The kids loved to dress up and today was no different. They decided to go into the back corner of the yard and pretend they were early explorers. They often played at explorers.
In the back corner they discovered a hole in the ground behind the old she oak that had been there as long as any one could remember.
They left their bike and looked down into the hole. It was big enough for one of them to get into and being naturally curious one did just that.
The boy looked into the hole and said there was a light at the bottom. Suddenly the earth gave way and as he fell he grabbed his sisters arm and dragged her down with him.
They landed with a thump and lay still a moment wondering just where they were and if any bits were broken.
Above them they saw the light from where they had come. It was too far up to climb. The boy terrified by the ordeal began to cry but his older sister comforted him and looking about saw a light further along a dark passage.
They began walking towards the light and all the way along the sister had the distinct feeling they were being watched.
They came to a fork in the way. Along both forks shone a distant light. They pondered which way to go. They stepped to the right fork but a voice nearby suggested that was not the way to go. A step to the left and they were greeted by voices applauding their decision.
Along the path they passed various large doors, which were all locked. The girl tried each one but to no avail.
The boy clung to his sister the whole way. At the end of the path was another door and a knocker.
The girl raised and lowered the knocker, which was quite heavy for her, and then they both cowered as a gigantic boom uttered forth from the knocker.
The door swung open to reveal a large room with a table set for dinner. Around the table sat the strangest group she had ever seen. They were chatting but upon their entry they stopped and turned to face the children.
‘Your late!’ said one.
‘We’ve waited a long time,’ said another
‘The soup,’ said a third
‘Is getting cold. Said another rather irritatedly.
The children stood mesmerised.
‘We are lost,’ said the girl.
This was greeted by laughter all round the table.
‘Lost!’ they all chortled. ‘You aren’t lost, you’ve come home.’
‘Now come and sit down so we can enjoy our tea,’ said the one at the top of the table whose head the children thought was far too small for his body.’
With that the assembled diners turned and started to slurp their soup. The boy and girl took their seats at the table and before them appeared a bowl of tomato soup, their favourite.
Outside in the world above, a sparrow sat in the tree looking down at the hole behind the she-oak and thought to itself how strange it was to see the hole suddenly disappear.
In the distance the traffic on the street could be heard behind the voices of the children’s parents calling them for dinner.