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Toby the Hero, by Sheena Fallon, age 8, Ireland

It was a bright Spring morning in County Roscommon.

Megan, along with her daddy and her old pal Toby, the dog, were out for their morning stroll.

The birds were singing softly. The smell of freshly cut grass was in the air.

A cuckoo could be heard in the tree and life was good, even though Megan and her family were in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Daddy needed to check on his cows in the far fields, so Megan and Toby hopped into the red tractor and sat into their seats; well, Toby sat at Daddy’s feet where he always sat, looking out the bottom window.

The music was playing on the radio and Megan thought how she loved these times with Daddy and Toby.

This was so much better than having to go to school any day!

She was going to be a farmer like Daddy one day, or a vet, or both! She wanted to always mind her animals and help keep them safe too.

Daddy drove the tractor slowly over the little bridge; a bridge she had watched Daddy build a few years ago.

Daddy stopped the tractor so they could continue with their walk.

It was so peaceful here in the far fields. Only the sound of birds and trees blowing in the wind could be heard.

Megan put on Toby’s lead, and he panted happily to be getting back to his daily walk through the fields. Off they went. Happy in their little world. But this was soon about to change!

Toby started to bark and bark. He was going mad!

Megan got such a fright she let go of the lead and Toby raced from her.

He was running like a bullet towards the river.

Oh No!!!

“Toby, Tooooobbbby” Megan called.

But Toby was like a bullet and now was gone out of sight.

She pleaded with Daddy… “Please Daddy, get him before he falls into the river”.

Poor Daddy wasn’t fast enough to catch Toby either. Daddy whistled, but Toby didn’t come!

Daddy and Megan ran towards their last sighting of the dog. Daddy had become very cross with Toby.

Megan…well, she was so upset and incredibly worried about her canine pal. Even though it was a small river, it was a fast moving one in places.

Daddy knew there was only one way, and it was to get back into the tractor and search for Toby.

They drove up close to the river bank, but there was no sign of Toby.

They called and called out to him. Megans’ tears were rolling down her cheeks. She could hardly see out the window she was so upset.

20 minutes had now passed and still no Toby.

“Where, oh where has my dog Toby gone..??” Megan asked.

When all of a sudden, Daddy could hear barking. He turned off the tractor’s engine to hear more.

Megan could only hear the gushing water from the river.

Then…there it was…the barking noise she was praying so hard to hear.

He was still a bit away, but Megan and Daddy went in search of the noise they had been waiting to hear.

They followed the next bark and the next one, until they eventually heard it coming from behind the old fence that surrounded the river.

Daddy ran to look, and there was Toby at the side of the water watching over a calf that had obviously fallen into the river.

Toby was calling the calf to move but the poor calf was so frightened and so wet! He was shivering.

Megan could do nothing to help. She just watched as Daddy jumped across the fence and in through the bushes to get to the little calf.

It seemed to take FOREVER! But Daddy eventually lifted the calf over the ditch and onto dry land.

Poor Daddy was exhausted and nearly as wet as the poor little calf.

He was on his hunkers trying to get a rest when Toby pounded over to him and started licking his face.

Daddy rubbed Toby – he had saved the calf and saved the day in Megan’s mind!

Megan helped dry the calf with her jacket. Daddy carried him to an area where he knew the mother cow would be searching.

The calf ran to it’s mother, who moo’ed at Toby. She was so happy to have her calf rescued by our hero Toby! He barked back!

Hooray for Toby!!

Name: Sheena Fallon
Age: 8
Country: Ireland

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