Many of us I'm sure have many dream of wanting to be somewhere in store books and in imagination, such as following the yellow brick with Dorothy to the Emerald City to see the Wizard of Oz, having tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter in Wonderland, flying with Peter Pan to Neverland, stepping through a wardrobe into Narnia or learning to become a wizard or witch with Harry Potter at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I wanted to go somewhere myself. Somewhere that's full of adventure than people who tease me for supporting the wild. Before I final got what I wanted, I always watched films and read books based on animals such Seekers by Erin Hunter, Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky and The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann. My name is Leonardo Barning, but I'm mainly addressed as Leo. I was nineteen years old when this amazing adventure for me began, and so one for many others in mu life. I am not longer nineteen saying all this however; there are so many stories I have to tell you and they all happened a long time ago; I am older than thirty and furthermore I am not a human. But more description to that later - all I'll say is that I have long journey ahead of myself to tell these chronicles as much as I can remember them. So here is where the first chapter of it all starts.
I was reading a book about rabbits on my way home from college studying Performing Arts. I was an actor you see. I started acting when I was ten and I had played many fun lead roles such as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Oliver Twist in Oliver! and Gavaroche in Les Miserables. Though I stopped doing most of it to catch up on some sport, I began to miss so I began to study it further. Though I felt I had learned a lot, I knew could not catch up with Rosie Rell. She was the sweetheart of the college. I met her during Hansel and Gretel in which she was the female lead. I could go on about her but for another time for she didn't really have a part in this story.
"Hello, Leo," said a skinny policeman with a scrawny beard.
"Good afternoon, P.C. Vanie," I greeted.
"Are you going to the forests when you get home?"
"Indeed I am, sir," I said. "I always like to have my pastime there."
"Just be careful," he warned, "Mr. Gorwood is up to his thing as usual. If he orders me to arrest you, I will have to even if I don't want to. I try to act like I'm on his side but I regret it."
"It's not hard to just stand up to him," I said.
"I'm just a coward, that's all," he said glumly.
"You really need to start standing up to people, P.C. Vanie," I criticised. "No one will take you seriously if you let them take you for advantage."
"Indeed you are right, lad. But I always fear of losing my job for the slightest mistake."
What a poor gullible man P.C. Vain was. He was a very kind man. So kind everyone finds it easy to take advantage of him. Mind you, I was not a confident person myself in this story but some special friend changed me.
"Anyway, thanks for the warning," I said. "I'll try to remember."
The forest patch was my favourite spot. The sun shone through trees in a very beautiful way. It looked even more beautiful in the sunset. I always take my bag full of books up there, with some snacks such as Jaffa Cakes, Sant & Vinegar Pringles and a cold, fresh can of Pepsi, and read for hours and hours, enjoying the sun ray. I could have sworn that I once saw rabbit hope to a hedge. I always wanted to look at those types of animals. But a nasty shock had come to me that same afternoon when I had tried talking P.C. Vain into manning up. I was on my wayu to the forest patch to find it was all gone. Trees were sawn down. Branches were blocking my path but I climbed through them. It was no longer a forest but an ugly hill.
A man came up to me. He was wearing a long black coat and an inspector's hat. He had a very ugly face, all hairy with blood-shot eyes. His moustache was in a tangle and he wore a patch over his eye, probably to hide a gruesome scar. Mr. Gorwood. I am not exaggerating when I tell the readers of this story that he was the meanest man ever to grace South Wales. He had whoever got on the wrong side of him arrested or putting kids into troubled kid schools by right order.
"You are trespassing!" he shouted in my face.
I was a tall boy myself, but he was bigger than anyone. I felt afraid looking at him. It was like looking into the eyes of a nightmare you want to run away from but trapped in trying to do so.
"I didn't see any notice!" I cried in fright.
He pointed at a notice down a second path, which said in hot red painting: If you value freedom for childhood, run as quickly as you can or suffer until your youth ends forever,
"I am having a good idea to have you arrested. I got your address. Everyone must give me an address whilst I am councillor of the whole of Tonna. Leo Barning I presume?"
"Please sir!" I said close to tears. "I don't want this to happen. I have a future plan to red and perform."
"I will make sure you go to the strictest detention centre with discipline. Not to fear, you will still pursue your hobbies but the are not very friendly towards such dreams. Shall the make you perform it, you must do a good job or it's life-taking thrashing for any moment of failure. Now get out! I will be speaking to your parents about this."
I didn't need to be told twice; I fled as fast as mu legs would carry me. Mu childhood gone! P.C. Vain did try to warn me. How would I ever find mu was out of this? How?
When arrived at my house, mu mother was cutting the weeds and my dad was mowing the lawn.
"Where on earth is Leo?" asked Dad as he stopped the mower for a break.
"Still on his favourite spot in the forest I should think," said Mam.
"He can't be too careful with Mr. Gorwood around."
"Here!" I cried, panting.
"What's happened, babe?" asked my mother.
"Mr. Gorwood," I cried. "I accidentally trespassed on his property without realising and now he says he is going to arrest me."
"What?" said mu father, shocked. "Why couldn't you be more careful? Did you not see any signs?"
Then at once, a black Rolls Royce came up to the drive. And out stepped Mr. Gorwood.
"Told them the news?" he said nastily to me.
"You're in trouble," laughed Jason from the upstairs window. Jason was mu youngest brother and he was always looking for a way to make mu life miserable.
I tired to make him respectable as a toddler but I seemed to have failed. He often threw tantrums when we were little and I let him have his to avoid us both getting into trouble. I often wonder if this was why he was what he was now
"Everyone makes mistake every now and then, Mr. Gorwood," said mu mother taking my arm. "When I was nineteen like him I-"
"That's what they all say, Mrs. Barning," growled Mr. Gorwood. He frightened my mother just as much with his ghastly appearance like a wild, ferocious bear and sabre-toothed tiger roles into one. I wondered if my level of fear was the same Theseus felt for fighting the minotaur. "Many times in my school, boys often threw cricket balls through window and pranking their least favourite teachers. They should have been the law. Laws that I agree should be worthy of death. Such as for your son."
"Death sentences are illegal now aren't they?" I asked my parents worriedly.
"Of course they are," said my mother.
"You obviously have no feelings for any teenager," said my father angrily. "My son may make a mistake or two, but he learns from them and never does so again."
"He trespassed!" Mr. Gorwood shouted. "The twigs blocking the path should have told him that it was somebody else's property! It is much better without them grass and trees. Can't stand those nasty birds singing and them ugly rabbits hopping. Had them all hunted only this morning. I will be telling my friend who is a police captain about your son. He will be here to collect him as soon as I tell him. And trust me," he added pointing at me, "as soon as I have released you, you will thank me."
And he got back in his car and drove off.
"We won't let him have you," said my father.
"But he will have the rights," said Jason.
"I'm going up to a field," said I.
"The best way of handling a problem is to stay where you are," said my mother.
"That's all you have to say when I am going to be taken away by that horrid demon?"
"At least you'll be seen as well-behaved criminal doing so," laughed Jason.
"I cannot stay waiting for my freedom to be stolen! I'm going to become a man one way or another!" I shouted, so I ran off into the forest and the hills. Anywhere was better than where I was about live the rest of my life in Shawshank.
"Go to your room," my mother said to Jason.
"What did I do?" said Jason who looked taken aback.
"Teasing your brother," said my father. "It really doesn't help when you frighten him even more."
Jason went up in a strop.
"Poor boy," said my mother. "He didn't realise what he was doing, and now that rotten Gorwood is going to give the rights."
"But we will fight," said my father. "We won't let a monster of a man take his freedom so cruelly. He worked extremely hard to get close to that he wants. His results from college are brilliant and proud-ridding."
"Freedom in the green and summer trees is his favourite thing," said Mam. "I always smiled when I saw the little boy then climbing trees and exploring caves. He is almost as free as a rabbit in that world."
"But unfortunately, he is not a rabbit," said Dad who was quite a no-nonsense sort of person at times. "We'll worry about his charge when Gorwood arrives."
The field I sat on was a hill going up to some trees. How beautiful it was, and I could look down to the tiny buildings and houses down below. I looked at the rabbits hopping past me, how free they looked. The sun shone down on me as I thought about what would happen if Mr. Gorwood caught me here. I don't think he would. Everything was green and there were animals. He would be too afraid since he hated them so much. That moment when he said he had the rabbits and birds shot garnered anger inside me. Animals have a right to live. God created them to make this world pretty, full of song, full of love for these creatures. I brought out a pen and my small notebook from my pocket and started to write a poem. I like to write fictions and poetry.
Freedom and Life is the Gift of God
Freedom flourishes far and wide, into the cloud where sweet birds glide
Babies brought into the earth, a life is what they all deserve
Many sights await for them, rainbows, laughter, all a friend
Lives are guided from a map, to freedom that is not a trap
Freedom is the gift from God, a gift like that is never odd
Luckiness of that gift always brings, tickly butterflies and no beestings
Mountains wait for you to club, for many treasures you will find
Pots of gold that make you rich, rivers full of rainbow fish
Prisons keep you far from home, in prison you are alone
Keep your own self from the bars, lie on the field to see the stars
Running through the woods of green, dark with lightness from sunbeams
Freedom and life is God's gift, rabbits, deers never missed
Their homes in forests green and fresh, Heavenly more, ugly less
Freedom and life you must keep, to have them stolen is too steep