Friday, 15 November 2013

The Day We Played Shuffly Leaves

BooBoo's November Blog

It’s 1 month and 9 days since Nora joined our family. I’m not saying I’m totally happy with the situation, but I realise that being a big sister comes with some responsibilities like teaching her how to push her dinner bowl in the corner of the kitchen so she can lick it really, really clean, how to bark at cats and, most importantly at this time of year, how to play Shuffly Leaves.
The opportunity came to show Nora how to play Shuffly Leaves last weekend. We walked into the park with Frazzle and Mr Patou when I saw that the whole patch of grass was totally covered in leaves. Nora asked why the leaves weren’t on the trees any more and Mr Patou started telling her about a very strong wind called Hurry Cane, which must’ve blown them all off, but I was too excited to listen. I looked over at Frazzle and we grinned at each other. “Calling all ParkPups!’ we shouted. “Let’s play Shuffly Leaves!”
“What’s that?” asked Nora.
“Follow us! You’ll find out!” I said. As we ran towards the leaf-covered grass Daphne, Zola and Masher appeared out of nowhere. “Who said Shuffly Leaves! Wait for us!” they cried. 
“Let’s start at the bandstand and stop when we get to the path,” said Mr Patou. “The one who has the biggest pile of leaves is the winner!”
“We just have to run through the leaves?” asked Nora.
“That’s right. Just copy me,” I replied.
Mr Patou took a deep breath. “Ready! Steady. Shuuuuuuffllle!”
Off we ran, swishing through the leaves, tumbling over our feet, whooping, cheering and getting covered in leaves.
Now, we have played this game many times and the results are never a surprise. Because I’m the smallest, I always come last. And because Masher’s the biggest he always comes first. But this time I was pretty sure the result would be different.
Mr Patou measured the piles of leaves. “Masher’s the winner!” he cried. “Then Frazzle, me, Daphne, Zola, then BooBoo is last.”
“No but it can’t be me!” I declared. “What about Nora?”
I turned to where Nora should’ve been but all that was there was a small pile of leaves.
“Nora’s gone!” I cried, feeling like the worst big sister in the world.
“Don’t worry, BooBoo,” said Zola. “She can’t have gone far. Let’s follow our shuffly leaves tracks back to the bandstand. We’re bound to find her.”
I walked off, following my tracks and calling Nora’s name.
Then I heard a tiny voice calling my name. “BooBoo!” I looked around but there was no sign of Nora, just a pile of rustling leaves. I walked on and heard the voice again. “Here! Down here!” This time, I turned to see the pile of leaves moving towards me! It came right up to me and ran in circles around me. Then a tiny ball of fur jumped up at me and licked my nose. “Nora! It’s you!” I laughed as the others came over to see what the noise was about. “I thought we’d lost you.”
“I was just playing shuffly leaves!” said Nora excitedly. “I love it! Can we play again?”
We all agreed we’d play some more and took it in turns to make sure Nora didn’t get lost. Then my nose got cold and we went home.

As well as being really great fun, this game is particularly good because you get to see leaves really close up because they’re on the floor rather than up high on the trees. It’s amazing how many different shapes and sizes there are and if you click on the picture of the leaf, you can download Masher’s special Colour & Match Tree Leaf game.