After their snack they climbed down with the plan to head back to the center of the garden. Hugh felt sure that he knew the way, and set out confidently, but the longer they walked the less familiar their surroundings seemed.
After leading them for what seemed a very long way he admitted his confusion, “I don’t recognize the clearing we just crossed. I am afraid we are rather lost.”
Alllie sighed. The clearing had been full of the most enchanting wildflowers. She had enjoyed looking at all the sights while they walked it had not occurred to her to worry about which direction they were going. She tried to think back to the view from the top of the tree and guess where they were, but she really had no idea.
“I’m not really sure what to say… I guess we should just keep going that way,” she said and pointed towards what looked like a path leading back into the trees. Matthie nodded his agreement and it seemed like a very good choice at first. However gradually the ground beneath their feet got softer. What started as a bit mushy was soon an expanse of mud. They tried to walk carefully, stepping on rocks and what looked like firmer spots, but they did not always succeed. One misjudgment landed Allie in mud that came up to her knees.
“Oh no! I think i’m stuck! This is rather disgusting muck!” she groaned as she tried to pull her feet out.
“Do not worry my new friend. A tree will help us once again!” Hugh was very excited to try and help. He climbed the nearest tree and scooted out onto a branch above her. He wrapped all four of his legs around the limb and held on as tight as he could, letting his tail down for her to grasp. Having something to pull on made all the difference. It took several yanks but finally she was able to move forward. Unfortunately when her feet finally came all the way out of the mud her shoes were not with them.