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The Last Footsies
This short story of approx. 2000 words is aimed at early readers. It relates a brief history of what has become a nomadic clan of unusual creatures: the J’s. Anthony, an only child of school teaching parents, lives in an isolated rural country cottage, somewhere on the edge of the Border Counties in the very North of England. A stream, shaded by mature trees, runs through the bottom of the garden Nature loving Anthony loves observing the wildlife which passes through his paradise. Many species are attracted because he nurtures them with food and treats. One warm evening in late summer he rescues from the stream, what turns out to be, the last surviving clan of J’s which, in his own mind, he christens “Footsies.” The Footsies have no hands, nor arms, but they do have very dextrous feet. The Footsies, a diminutive, unknown species with human speech, have been hunted almost to extinction and, now nomadic, are moving ever northward to escape detection. Their journey ended abruptly at the bottom of Anthony’s garden when their raft unexpectedly hit rapids and throws one of their kind, and their meagre belongings, overboard. Rescued by Anthony they are persuaded to stay a while in the safety of his garden. The nocturnal J’s excavate holes and burrows in which they live, hidden during the day. Hence Anthony’s declaration: “There are no fairies at the bottom of my garden.”