Children attending Jones Memorial Primary School and residents of the County Care Home in Enniskillen recently joined forces in a collaboration of creativity as part of a 'Story Swap' – the latest project of the Kindness Postbox.

The Kindness Postbox was an initiative launched by Fermanagh woman Nuala O'Toole to foster good relationships between young and old.

By working with Roberta Irwin and Helen Graham at Jones Memorial PS, and Karen Healy, the activities coordinator at the County Care Home, Nuala and the Kindness Postbox team introduced the Story Swap project to the schoolchildren and care home residents.

She explained: "We met Roberta one day after school, had a wee cuppa, and chatted about an idea of the two generations creating joint stories before meeting together for a celebration to hear the finished pieces.

"After ironing out a few kinks, and with no idea how we would pull it together, that evening we decided to go for it!

“We then got in contact with Karen, the activities co-ordinator, and she loved the idea," said Nuala, adding: "Again, we had no idea how it was going to work at her end, but we all knew we loved the idea and we were going to make it work."

And so, in the week beginning October 9, the Story Swap was launched at Jones Memorial PS, where the children were provided with story prompts.

"They wrote half a story, leaving the ending to be continued," explained Nuala.

The following week, she brought these half-written stories over to the residents at the County Care Home, where they, with the help of Karen, finished off writing the stories.

The Kindness Postbox team then transcribed the stories.

On Wednesday, October 25, to mark the conclusion of the project, a special celebratory ‘Tea, Tales and Tunes’ event was hosted at the County Care Home, where the children and residents came together to hear their completed stories for the first time.

Jones Memorial provided the music, with rousing songs such as ‘Pack up your Troubles’, which the residents thoroughly enjoyed and sang along to.

The refreshments were provided by Eamon at Scotts Bakery, Annette at McBrides Spar Chanterhill and Martina at Tesco Enniskillen.

"A huge thanks must go to all our authors, young and younger. The stories these two groups have brought to life have been incredible, spooky, uplifting, funny and creative," said Nuala, saying that she is truly grateful for everyone who supported this Kindness Postbox project."

She added: "On a personal note, it truly has been a privilege to be allowed to capture and share these stories that have spanned the generations."

Due to the success of the first Story Swap, the Kindness Postbox are now preparing for a second Story Swap before Christmas.

"I cannot wait for this festive instalment," said Nuala.

Here are just a small selection of the great, creative stories created by the primary school children and the care home residents.

A Haunted Mystery

By Ruby and Lily

Bleary-eyed, I went downstairs for breakfast. The house was empty, even the furniture had gone.

Chloe screamed for her parents and her brother, Alex. The more she screamed, the more scared she got.

Chloe cried for help for hours. After a while of crying, she contacted the police, and they sent out a search party.

Chloe went to spend some time with her aunt Jayne. She missed her family so much, she cried every day and spent hours looking out of the window, wishing that they would return.

After a few weeks, her aunt received a phone call from a man called Sheriff Adam, stating he was from the New York Police Department.

She listened to him, with questionable thoughts, as she put the cell phone close to her ear.

The person on the other side said with a dark voice: "Hello, I need to speak to Chloe Bryans."

My aunt hesitantly handed me the phone. Chloe sharply asked: "How do you know my name?"

With a distinctive voice, the man on the other side replied: "I am Sheriff Adam from the New York Police Department – we have good news."

Chloe replied: “Really! What? Tell me please, have you found them?"

Sheriff Adam replied: "Can you come immediately to 147 Golden Drive?"

Chloe exclaimed: "Yes, I'll get my aunt to bring me right away!"

Five minutes later, Chloe spotted the house. She screamed: “ Here it is!" as Aunt Jayne was slowing down. Chloe jumped out, she was so nervous.

Chloe ran to Sheriff Adam. "I'm here, I'm here!" said Chloe. She thought the man looked suspicious, but she was also convinced that she was going to see her family.

Sheriff Adam directed her: "Come this way." Chloe walked in anxiously, not knowing what could happen.

Chloe was brought into the house with her aunt Jayne. She found out that her family had moved house, and they thought she was in the removal truck with the removal men.

It was a bit like the film ‘Home Alone’, where the little boy got left behind by mistake.

Chloe was glad to see her family again, and liked her new house, and so the mystery was solved.

Underwater Breathing

By Sarah and Seana

It was Spring 2014 when we first realised we could breathe underwater.

The weather was hot; Bear and Sour were cooling down by jumping off the dockside. Bear and Sour were friends from Nursery.

Now at 16, they had spent their summers on their bicycles, speeding up and down the town, often ending up at the docks.

One day, we jumped into the water, and we could see that something was glinting in the clear water.

We quickly came up to catch our breath, and went straight back down.

Bear couldn't hold his breath and gasped, expecting to inhale water, and to his surprise he realised he was breathing like a fish!

It was weird! I panicked, I thought I was dreaming. But I wasn't, even Sour could breathe.

It was way too weird, it was incredible, impossible – we could breathe.

But then we realised we'd forgotten about the thing that was glinting in the clear water. We needed to know more.

Bear and Sour went back into the clear water to investigate. They were shocked at what they discovered.

They couldn’t believe their eyes, the glinting things were wriggling and moving. They had to know more and so they swam closer.

Down and down, closer and closer in the clear water they went, until they finally realised they were looking at a gathering of frogs, sitting around in a circle.

Huge toads with silver backs. Bear and Sour screamed at the amount of silvery toads in the water.

There were also some tiny-looking frog spawn sitting on one edge of the circle, it looked they had been rejected by the circle of huge toads, and so Bear and Sour decided to take some home to look after, to show their parents, and even to go for long underwater swims together.

Peaceful Death

By Aimee and Anna

All was well in Nimire Town, well, at least that's what you would think.

There was a mansion down in Slythorn Hill that nobody dared to enter. At least, not yet!

I was going to be the first. I was all packed and ready to leave, I was going to ask my friends to come but I knew they would decline the offer.

I didn't even tell my parents as I knew they would try and stop me. But there was no going back. I was going.

I started my journey as soon as the church bell rang at midnight. I crept slowly down the stairs, shut the door behind me, and stepped out into the damp street. I was on my way!

As I tiptoed up the lands, lights from the house came on in a hurry! I quickly scurried into the bush.

Two mysterious men suddenly jumped out from behind the big oak tree in front of the grocer's shop, holding a little girl’s arm in either hand.

I recognised her at once. She was the grocer's daughter. Suddenly I heard a scream coming from the house.

The two men started running. But where were they going?

I suddenly realised. They were going to the mansion on Slythorn Hill. I started running after them, down the street and into the mansion.

The big wooden double doors shut behind me. There was no going back now. I was in.

It was a very beautiful house. There were young children everywhere, they looked like they were tired and in pain. I was sure it wasn't good.

But, to my surprise, it was being used as a children's home to help local families with sick children.

They were children who needed a lot of care, and sometimes their parents needed a bit of a rest.

Just then I felt a hand on my shoulder. "You're not supposed to be here."

"I know, I'm sorry, but I had to know, what is this place, why is it called Peaceful Death?"

It turned out the men always knew which children or families needed help, and they would sneak into town and bring those children and families over to the mansion.

And when the people were well again, they would sneak them back into town and make them promise not to tell where they'd been, or how they'd been helped.

That's why the name – to keep people away that didn't need to be there.

The men had been trying to help the grocer's daughter, but she was so scared of them she ran back home to her parents, and told them what she'd seen.

Her parents quickly told the rest of the people in the village, who were so glad of the help, and so they went over to the mansion, which was still named Peaceful Death, to leave food and gifts, like people do to welcome new neighbours.

And no one was ever afraid to visit the mansion again.

The Dark Castle

By Max, Robin and Joshua

Grey and foreboding, the castle stood atop the hill looking down across the small town.

In the topmost window of the highest castle stood a small boy called Alan.

It all started when Alan went exploring.

He stumbled upon a castle at the edge of the town that was dark, crumbling and it looked as if it was abandoned.

To his surprise, as he gingerly entered the front door, he was met by the sight of activity.

In the massive dark kitchen, he could not believe his eyes. He saw kids cleaning and cooking. They had dark rings under their eyes and they looked exhausted.

Alan got the attention of one of the boys, who was stirring soup. He asked Jim: "What's going on here?"

The boy was shocked and whispered back: "We are here but we are not happy. We are being kept as slaves for Bob!"

Alan was sure he had found a childcatcher, who kidnapped kids.

"Come with me I'll help you escape"

It turned out Bob, the farmer of the castle, had caught the kids stealing his fruit and vegetables from the farmyard, pinching eggs from the hen house, and frightening the cattle.

He was a fair but firm farmer, and had made all the kids cook and clean his castle, including the cattle shed and the hen house,

The kids promised never to steal again.

Death in Paradise

By Rory, Connall and Dylan

Footsteps slowly creaked on every step of the stairs. The bedroom door handle turned slowly.

Detective Graves was feeling nervous and slightly confused. It happened every time he was called to a crime scene that involved a member of the cartel.

It was never straightforward. The scene that met him was gruesome and yet not a surprise!

At that moment, his mobile rang. It was a familiar tone, Jenna. “Great timing”, he thought as he retreated to take the call.

“Hi Dad, how are you?” came a chirpy voice.

“I'm good thanks, what about you?''

The voice at the end of the phone cracked slightly. “Dad, I'm not sure what's going on. I'm at home, a car pulled up outside and I'm scared. There's a group of men, they've got guns and they are just at the house.”

Jenna’s voice was quiet. “Dad help, they're inside, I can hear the front door creaking.”

Suddenly the phone cut to static. Graves roared. “No, Jenna!”

Graves roared through traffic and pulled up to the house. He kept the car lights off, and could see inside the living room window.

Jenna, and one other man. He didn't look familiar.

Just then Detective Graves turned around and was met with a gun held by the other man.

“Move, walk quickly and quietly and no one needs to get hurt.”

As the man marched Graves into his own home, Jenna screamed and shouted. “Bobby!”

The men didn't know Bobby. “Bobby!” shouted Jenna.

At that, a huge German Shepherd came bounding into the living room, pinning one of the men to the ground.

In that split second, Graves turned on the second man, pulled the gun from him and threw him to the floor.

“You're under arrest for attempted burglary, kidnapping, attempted bribery and the rest. You'll not see daylight for a long time.”

Jenna meanwhile phoned the police for back-up, who swiftly arrived and escorted the men off to the station.

The two men trying to get an easier jail sentence gave the names of all the cartel, and so Detective Graves and Jenna ended the reign of that Cartel.

Leaving Home

By Taylor and Jenny

It was a hot summer's day; sun shining, not a cloud in the sky. Hope was jumping up and down on her trampoline.

Then mother called her in for dinner. “Hope, dinner’s ready.”

“Coming, mum. Where's Andrew and Abigail?” Hope asked.

“I’m not sure, Hope. They might be at Robert and Roberta’s house,” her father replied.

They started dinner without them. Andrew and Abigail are always late for meals. They’re both 15 and are total opposites of me.

“So, Hope, are you excited for the first day of school?” mother asked, trying to make a dinnertime conversation.

“I’m really excited, I don't know what to expect. Do you think it will be much like my last school?”

That night, Hope had a strange feeling in her stomach, nothing like she’d felt before.

She finally got to sleep, knowing she had an early start.

She was quickly woken by a loud, heavy knock on the front door. It frightened her. It was still pitch black in her room. Who could it be? It's not morning yet.

Cautiously she went downstairs and turned the handle slowly.

A man in a black suit, like he was going to or coming from a funeral, was at the door. Hope started freaking out!

“Is this Thomas and Sharon Anderson’s house?” one man asked.

Hope couldn't believe it – he was looking for her mum and dad.

“Who are you looking for exactly?” Hope asked at last. “Sorry, I was asleep.”

“Well, I’m actually looking for their daughter, Hope, Hope Anderson,” the man in black replied.

Hope muffled a yawn. There was a long pause.

“No, sorry, I’ve never heard of the Andersons, did you say?” Hope managed to ask.

The two men left. At last, she shut the door and locked it.

Hope knew what she had to do. She had to leave home, she had to run away.

Hope went up to her room and packed her bag.

She left a note telling her mother and father that she loved them dearly, and thanked them for all they had done for her.

They must pretend she had been kidnapped, and never try to find her.

That night she left her old world behind. But she didn't know what she was getting into again.

This was the part of being hidden in plain sight Hope hated the most, but it had to be done.

If anyone were to find out the truth about who she really was, everything would change, and possibly not always for the better. Too much power is not a good thing.

So Hope took to the road again with just the clothing on her back. She slept by day in hedgerows and old ruins, using every trick she had learned over the years to blend into her surroundings, and taking to the roads at nightfall under the light of the moon.

This was the way she travelled every time the Men in Black appeared in the middle of the night.

One evening just as she was about to cross a stream into another field, when the sky seemed to go dark, the stream seemed to rise and the normally warm summer breeze was replaced by a biting north wind bringing with it crashes of lightning and loud roars of thunder.

Hope knew exactly what that meant. She turned around slowly and there, as she expected, stood Mother Earth.

“Hope, why must we do this every year? You must learn that for this world to survive we all work together. We all have jobs to do, and we must do them.”

“But I want to stay here, why do I have to keep leaving home, year after year?”

“You are Autumn and there is so much work to do. The harvesting must be done, and I must make nice warm earth beds for all the seed babies to sleep in through the cold winter. Oh my, I will have to go and prepare everything.

“You have new colours to pick, seeds to capture and soft breezes to book.”

Eventually, as she did every year, Hope said she would return home. Even with the seasons and weather changing each year, she knew she had to do her job.

On the way home, she saw a cave that was glowing with golden light, she knew it wasn't Summer’s light, too early for Winter, Spring was still on holiday, and it definitely wasn't hers.

She started to walk into the cave. Inside were baskets of shining seeds for Mother Earth.

She lifted the baskets and returned home.

“Oh good, Autumn, you're here,” said Mother Earth.

“Autumn is here, Autumn is here,” called Winter to her friends.

“Mother Earth needs our help. Come see, come see, quickly, quickly!”

All the seasons went over to take a peek at the seedlings. What a wonderful sight, shining golden seeds.

"We must give them to Mother Earth, quickly, Autumn is here," so they gently gathered the gifts of seeds and handed them to Mother Earth.

Mother Earth was just finishing her work. The beds for all her children were ready.

Just then, she said: “Look, golden seeds that need to sleep, thank you for bringing them home. Now, it's time for you to rest, Summer will be home soon, and it's your turn to paint the world.”

And now we know, sometimes not even Autumn wants to go home when her mother calls, but I’m glad she does.

The Adventure in the Woods

By Terry and Lyra

It was a bright frosty morning, the pavement glistened like a carpet of crushed diamonds in the early morning sunshine.

Robin set off on his daily morning walk, with his big fluffy Huskie called Roxie.

Walking down the pavement, cold air filling his lungs, getting closer to the dark wooden gates of the forest where his friend should be waiting like every other morning.

But to Robin's surprise Max wasn't there. Where could he be, has he slept in?

All these thoughts went through Robin's head.

Just then there was a loud howling coming from the forest. It sent shivers up Robin’s back; he never liked walking in the forest alone. It was always Max that was the brave one.

He waited a good five minutes. Roxie was pulling on the lead, eager to get going for his walk. "Hold on Roxie, I don't want to go in there alone."

The howling started again, followed by what I thought was a human scream. Was it Max? Was it all in my head? Overthinking was something that always happened to me.

Roxie pulled hard on the lead and tossed me backwards, Roxie ran off into the forest!

I shouted and shouted “Come back, come back”, but Roxie was out of sight. I knew then I had to be brave and cross the dark wooden gate.

Bravely Robin slowly started to walk forward, he heard another scream. “That was definitely Max,” he thought, and began to run.

Soon enough Robin found Max and realised he had been right all along.

Max had been climbing the biggest tree in the forest for a dare. As soon as he got up there, the older boys ran away laughing and howling.

When he tried to get down Max slipped and fell to the ground with a huge cracking sound.

It seemed like he'd broken his leg, he was screaming in pain. Robin put his coat around Max, told him to stay there.

Robin definitely couldn't lift Max alone, so he went to get help. There was still no sign of Roxie, but Roxie would have to wait.

Robin ran home and rushed in the door, he told his parents what had happened and asked them to call an ambulance.

Then he was so worried about Max out in the forest alone, he turned around, and ran all the way back to his friend.

When he finally found Max again, there was Roxie sitting beside him, trying to console Robin's friend.

Safe that Max wasn't alone, Robin went back to the edge of the forest to wait for the ambulance, to show them where his friends were waiting.

The ambulance came and took Max to the hospital, where he made a full recovery thanks to Roxie and Robin being so brave, even though they were very scared.

And Max, who never really liked dogs, adopted Roxie’s brother.

So the two boys and their best friends went everywhere together from then on.

The Ghost on Burts Hill

By Amiee and Matilda

I had never seen a ghost before. But like they say, there is a first time for everything.

Three months previously, Ella and Lily were sitting at a table in the orphanage. Two cups of hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows) were steaming, ready to drink.

Lily thumped the tabletop. It was enough to cause the marshmallows to slide over the mugs!

“We should go to that mansion on Burts Hill. I don't believe that it is haunted.”

Ella took a sip of her marshmallow-less hot chocolate and glared at Lily because she had to scrape the sticky goodness off the table.

“Well, I will come with you on the agreement that we can get a replacement drink on the way home.” Lily stood up quickly. She knew that it would be getting dark soon.

Lily and Ella ran up the orphanage stairs to go and pack their things. When it hit ten o’clock at night, Kate the Orphanage Manager came to check on them to see if they were asleep.

“Good night!” she called from afar.

“Good night,” said Ella sleepily to sound like she was asleep.

Kate shut the door with a creak two hours later.

“Ella, Ella, are you awake?” whispered Lily.

“Mhm, what do you want Lily?”

“Do you not remember, we are going to the haunted mansion!”

“Ugh, five more minutes,” exclaimed Ella.

“No! Not five more minutes!”

“Sorry, I didn't mean to shout.”

“It’s fine, but please, I was having such a lovely dream about meeting the prince and he said –”

“No-one needs to hear about you and the prince,” said Lily.

And so Lily and Ella set off to the mansion.

“Remember about the hot chocolate?” said Ella slyly. I did.

“Come on then.” So they got hot chocolate.

After hot chocolate, they went to the mansion.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” said Ella quietly.

“Of course, it was my idea,” said Lily.

When they came to the mansion Ella and Lily saw that the house had some broken windows, and the house was falling apart.

The girls opened the door and saw a broken chandelier. They walked onwards to the living room. They found an old TV on an old stand. Ella sat on the velvet sofa.

“Lily, come sit with me on this sofa, it's so comfy.”

So Lily joined Ella on the sofa. That’s when the sofa started to move, slowly at first, but it was definitely moving, or was it the room that was moving?

The large sofa started to pick up speed, going round and round and round. The girls clung to each other, shouting, “Please stop, please stop, please stop”.

As quick as it had started, the sofa stopped, throwing them in mid-air onto a very regal-looking carpet, which quick as a flash gathered them up and rolled itself around them, and then rolled all around the floor.

All the time the girls were squealing, dizzy, frightened, and almost sick.

“Please stop, please stop, please stop.”

Quick as it started the carpet, began to loosen its grip and threw the girls over the sofa and onto the dining room chairs.

Just then, the arms of the chairs started to tighten around the girls, and then began to do a dance right there on the floor, round and round, left and right, up and down all around the house.

The girls were now feeling so bad they screamed out: “Please stop, please stop, please stop, we will never snoop again”.

And just like that, everything went quiet, the chairs released their grip, the carpet lay down and the sofa sat up proudly.

As the girls were trying to figure out which side of the world they were looking at, a pair of legs appeared.

Brown boots with a point at the front, green trousers with a red stripe and, attached to the legs, was an old gentleman in a very old-looking military uniform, with brass buttons and a huge fluffy hat held in place by a chain under the neck.

“So what have we got ’ere then,” he asked in a booming voice.

“Don't you know this ’ere place is haunted, not for the likes of you, poking around, disturbing our peace?”

“Your peace – you frightened us half to death,” shouted Ella, sounding braver than she was.

Just then there was a noise from behind the sofa; it sounded like a murmur or a giggle being held in.

Then the old gentleman started to giggle and guffaw, and hold his sides, laughing.

“What's so funny?” shouted Lily. “Do you think it's funny, scaring people half to death? It's not Hallowe’en until next week.”

Then the old gentleman, whose name was Major Burt, summoned all his friends. The carpet, the dining room chairs and the sofa all changed into fine-looking men and women.

“He went on to explain they had all lived in the mansion over 300 years earlier, and though other people had tried to move in, no one ever stayed long, and they'd be too frightened after just sitting on the sofa.

He also went on to explain that haunting was a very tiring way of life, and sometimes they spend time in the village watching the celebrations they have during the year, like birthdays, Hallowe’en, Easter and Christmas.

Just then the two girls had an idea.

“How about we bring the celebrations to you? You can tell us your birthdays, and we can come and leave you a little something around the holidays.

“That way you won't have to tire yourselves out haunting people all the time and you will be part of the celebrations.

“I'm sure the people in the village will be only too happy to know there won't be any more hauntings on Burt Hill.”

Everyone agreed, so the girls told the villagers what they'd found out about Burts Hill, and everyone thought it was great to celebrate the residents of the mansion (even if they couldn't see them).

They all set to work over the next few years, fixing up the old mansion and making it more comfortable for all the visitors, and they lived and haunted happily ever after.

The Night of the Big Heist

By Joshua and Luke

One night Detective Charlotte was sitting in her unmarked Range Rover Discovery in Buckinghamshire, on Old Street opposite the Denton Bank, not too far from Sports Direct and Bogues Jewellers.

She was waiting for her husband Mark to collect their Chinese takeaway from Chopsticks. “It looks really busy in there tonight,” thought Charlotte.

Suddenly, a black BMW 320D screeched to a halt outside the Denton Bank. Four men leapt out of the car, each carrying big black bags. Two of them were rather slim and small whilst the other two were stockier.

“Oh no,” moaned Charlotte. “Not on my only night off!”

Charlotte had to make an emergency call back to headquarters. She said: “There is a bank robbery taking place at the Denton Bank. There are four men with big black bags entering the building, I can't identify them.”

The man on the other side of the phone replied: “We are sending units to your location, stay put and don't do anything to let them know you're there!”

Charlotte was not sure what to do. Then she heard sirens wailing in the distance. “Good,” thought Charlotte, “the police will be here any moment”.

Mark came wandering down the street with the small brown bag. When he got into the car he said: “It's really busy in there tonight, are you ready for home now?”

“No,” replied Charlotte, “the Denton Bank is being robbed, and I’ve been given orders from headquarters to stay put”.

“Charlotte, what are you doing, you've been told to?”

“I know, but it's my job.”

At that, Charlotte got out of the car and began to make her way towards the BMW.

Suddenly, the four men were seen running, but not towards the BMW they'd arrived in – no, they were heading for her Range Rover as money appeared to be floating from the big black bags.

“Oh no,” thought Charlotte, and then she realised Mark was still in her car.

Broken doors, smashed glass, no police and a destroyed bank left behind as the men sped off as quick as lightning down the main A54 towards an old cottage on the outskirts of Brackley.

Charlotte followed in hot pursuit. It was one thing to rob the bank, to steal a detective’s vehicle was another, and then to kidnap her Mark, well, that sent her off into such a fit of determination she knew she wouldn't stop until she found this gang of men.

These men could not be allowed to get away with this, they were a danger to the community.

So she followed them in their own black car, which blended in well to the lanes and roads they took. A large Range Rover however is not so easy to hide on country roads.

After a quick phone call to headquarters, followed by a lengthy wait, the police finally caught up with Charlotte, who had arrived at the cottage the car had stopped at.

The four men got out of the car. “Mark,” she whispered. She had to stop herself from calling his name when she saw him. At least he was still alive.

Four officers from the station had arrived, and after going over the plan, and arranging transport, all five members of the Denton Police were ready to spring into action.

They crept up to the thatched cottage, each crunch underfoot sounding loud in the quiet night.

Each officer stood on a separate corner of the building, with Charlotte at the front door.

The signal was given, everything happened so quickly, but it seemed like it was in slow motion.

Charlotte burst into the door, followed by the two officers from the back and front of the cottage.

Mark was unharmed, and very lucky. Charlotte began to relax, then she looked around at the three men on the floor.

“Where's the fourth man?” asked Charlotte.

“There was no fourth man, Detective,” said one of the officers.

“Yes there was,” said Mark, “there were four of them”.

“Now, why would someone pull off a great heist, then leave the group at the safe house?” thought Charlotte. Unless, it's not over.

Quickly Charlotte started the search for suspect number four.

He hadn't gone too far before he was found. He had been out in a wooded area near the cottage hiding something else – an insurance policy for when he would eventually get released from prison.

The whole thing had been an elaborate plan, and the gang, who thought they were going to get rich quickly, didn’t know a thing about it.

The main man had set up the robbery as a diversion. He knew they could never get away with it in a small town where everyone knew everyone.

While the gang were concentrating on doing the actual robbing, the main man was a look-out, except he was really next door cleaning out the jewellery from Bogues to stash later that night.

He took millions of pounds-worth, and like all his friends got away with nothing.

The Denton Bank offered a reward to Charlotte and Mark. The crime rate went down in Buckinghamshire since there was no mystery or crime they couldn't solve together.

The Revenge of Casper The Ghost Dog

By Darcy and Grace

I had never seen a ghost. But like they say, there is a first time for everything.

It all happened in 2022, the spooky night of 31st of October, also known as Hallowe’en.

It was a cold, rainy night. I was working in the pet shop. Charlie and I were in the middle of closing the store when suddenly I thought I could smell smoke.

We panicked when we saw the flames and by that time, it was all too late.

Charlie and the pets for sale didn’t make it. We couldn't find the keys to their cages. It is something that bothers me to this day.

There was one silver lining in that I did manage to take Casper out with me that night.

He had been a stubborn dog and was refusing to go to the toilet, so I had him out the back of the shop. That stubbornness saved him!

Casper lived to the ripe old age of 16.

The night that he died was 16 years to the day from the night of the shop fire.

Casper was smart. He decided to look for the killers who had set fire to the shop.

Casper had a fantastic sense of smell. He used it to track down two girls who had been at the shop, 16 years ago.

They were wearing t-shirts with their names on them, Darcy and Grace. They were sitting in front of a five-star cat's home.

“I knew that they’d be here,” Casper muttered to himself. “I knew I smelt cat somewhere the day Charlie’s pet shop burnt down.

“Finally, it's time for my revenge,” Casper exclaimed.

Casper was also a very patient dog, after all he had waited this long to find out who destroyed Charlie's beloved shop.

That shop was home to so many of Casper's friends. It was a very sad day.

People said someone should have opened a new pet shop, but no one had the heart to, especially after such a tragedy, and besides there were so many people offering shelters to animals now.

Casper was glad to have his best friend Charlie for as long as he had, but he still missed him terribly and would pine often.

Casper was lucky because Charlie’s dad had adopted Casper after the fire. He couldn't bear to think of Casper being alone, so they became fast friends.

Charlie had always thought people who did harm to animals should be made to live in kennels or cages, and Casper thought the same.

That was the little spark that had kept Casper going all these years, and now right here today he found those responsible. He was going to take his chance when he could.

He quickly ran down the alley next to the cat's home, scurried up the fire stairs and made it to the roof, where he could see the whole of the town below him.

He howled, a long, low deep growling noise, the air carried it over rooftops.

Suddenly a black mass appeared on the horizon but it was moving like ants being carried on the breeze.

There at the front of this mass was his oldest friend, the wise old owl, Hector.

Old and proud he led what appeared to be every bird of the sky toward Casper. Then scruffy looking shapes began to slide over the edge of the building onto the rooftop toward Casper, and so the wild cats had joined the call, the domestic cats just sat in windows looking up, licking their paws nervously.

The trap had been set. First the wild cats scaled down the outside of the five-star cats home, getting inside through every door window and chimney pot they could find.

They forced all the pampered cats to run towards the front door.

Then it was the turn of the birds of the air. They came in through all the open doors and windows the wild cats had opened.

They swirled around rooms, making every light thing lift from the floor like a tornado.

With a huge flapping of wings the last of the pampered cats and staff were shooed forward.

Now out on the street there was a huge commotion and in the middle of it were Darcy and Grace.

Everyone tried to run away, screaming all the time and trying to stop birds nesting or worse in their hair.

It was then that all the dogs of the town appeared on every street corner and were steering the crowd like sheepdogs rounding up sheep.

Over the course of the next hour, the crowd seemed to get smaller and smaller until they finally reached the edge of the dark forest.

It was only then that Darcy and Grace realised they were the only humans left, the animals had let everyone else go.

Then they discovered there in the centre of a wooded clearing, two cages with straw bedding, and a food and a drinking bowl.

They were both put into the cages and had to spend the next three days being caged up outside in the cold without proper food and water, while the animals all sat around a campfire, had the best dinners, ran, jumped, and played all day.

“Would you like to go for a walk today?” asked Casper, but each time he asked the girls, they replied: “No way, you're not taking me for a walk.”

“Suit yourself,” laughed Casper. And so, eventually after 10 days being stuck in cages, when Casper again asked: “Would you like to go for a walk today?”, the girls were so uncomfortable they accepted his offer.

The birds opened the cages for the girls, who plopped onto the floor, their legs were so cramped.

“Casper, we are really, really sorry for hurting you, your friends and for burning down the pet shop.

“We know we deserve to be here, and we now know what it feels like to be caged up.

“If we ever get home again, we promise we will be kind to all animals, humans and all creatures in the world.”

Just then a round of applause broke out. “Lesson learned,” announced Hector, the wise old owl.

“You are released, Miss Darcy and Miss Grace, but know this: we will be watching over you.”

So the girls ran as fast as their little legs could carry them, and when they tried to explain where they had been for almost two weeks, no one would listen to their story, and no one believed them.

However, when the two girls grew up, they remained close friends, who both became vets.

They now own a Rescue Centre called ‘Caspers’, for animals of all species, and where do they walk all these animals they look after? Why, in the dark forest of course!

And there they sometimes still meet and talk with the wise old owl, and if they are very lucky, on Hallowe’en night, they can hear Casper barking to let them know he's there.