Freddy opened the small canvas-seated fishing stool his grandson had bought him five Christmases back and set it firmly on the woodland floor. From his satchel he pulled out his props – a sketch pad and pencil. The fabric creaked beneath his weight as he settled, but he was used to that now. He opened the pad at the part-drawn tree. And as he had done every day since Poppy ran away, he waited. Some days it seemed to him she did speak. But most days her head and her voice remained hidden in the tree that had taken his beloved away.
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