Home. It was good to be back but I could not be complacent. Our holiday was over and I had a job to do. I’m a Lhasa Apso, so I’m a very serious guard dog. A quick glance into our back garden confirmed that things had slipped a little bit during my absence. For example, the local cats had not only been trespassing in my garden but, more importantly, doing things that they definitely should not be doing on my patch.

Arrival of the beast

Apart from a very stubborn squirrel who didn’t like my rules, everything at home returned to normal quite quickly once I had reinstated my regular garden patrols. My home life proved to be pretty uneventful until something very dangerous arrived in my garden. It was a creature unlike any I had ever seen before. This beast looked very strange and had huge wings. It was twice as big as a seagull with a long narrow beak that ended with a wickedly sharp point. Its neck was shaped like the spout of a teapot and it had very long legs. Now, I am a Lhasa Apso and will stand up to almost anything but this creature was not to be messed with.

Lurking danger

On this particular occasion, I was alone in the garden. Mum and Dad were inside the house probably drinking tea and eating cakes as usual. Honestly, they’re worse than me. Anyway, they had no idea what danger was lurking outside. This strange beaked creature sat in one of our trees but took no notice of me. Its eyes were fixed firmly on our pond and the fishy animals moving about below the surface. I moved forward and barked loudly but the dangerous creature just sat there and gave me the look. I’m afraid this flying beast did not give me a second thought. It continued to stare at the pond.

The attack

Suddenly, the creature swooped to the ground and I could see just how big it was. Surprisingly, I didn’t flinch. It dropped its beak into the pond water to take a peck at the fish. With that, I sprang into action and leapt forward with all my force. The creature flew back into the tree. Coward! I was jubilant. Nobody ignores a Lhasa Apso and gets away with it! And nobody messes with my fish! But what could I do now? This creature only had to wait until I went to bed and then it could strike. I had to summon help but if I kept barking the bird would fly off and my parents wouldn’t have a clue about the danger to our pond life. The bird would obviously return when everything had quietened down. I was sure of it.

The plan

I devised a plan that I thought might work. I trotted away from the bird and quietly went indoors. Dad was drinking tea on the sofa. I jumped up and tapped his arm. The first time it didn’t work so I tapped his arm again and then turned my head to the door. Eventually, he realised I was trying to tell him something and so I barked and moved towards the door. Both my parents followed moving through the door and out to our pond. The creature was surprised and quickly flew away. “It’s a heron”, dad told mum. “Well done Poppy!”.

Dad disappeared into the shed and came out with some netting and a few planks of wood. It didn’t take him long to make sure our fish were protected and would come to no harm. That pesky heron would have to look elsewhere for its next meal but I would be all right. Lots of treats for me I think.

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