Funny how things come together to create a story. Behind this short tale was a walk in France where I stumbled across a pack of dogs gathered in a pen in a remote farmyard, a sprinkle of Harry Potter style influence, and maybe more than a dash of childhood wish fulfillment. Enjoy.

It was raining cats and dogs. Quite literally. One moment the sky had been a brilliant blue and the sunshine a dazzling heat. Next a wisp of white cloud appeared. It blossomed into candyfloss pillows, and then the deluge began. Balls of fur, large and small, in a kaleidoscope of browns and blacks, white and auburn and blonde, fell to the ground, rolled across hot pavements and parched grass, then came to rest. Moments later came a great unfurling. Ears of all shapes and size burst forth, followed by paws and tails, and the cutest of faces with bright eyes, shiny noses in black and pink. Kittens and puppies were scattered across the country.

Quickly though it became apparent that their landing sites were no random occurrence as children young and old raced out of doors to greet the new arrivals. Faces shining with joy they gathered up a long wished for pet. Parents everywhere were faced with the desperate appeal of their offspring as they cried as one ‘Can we keep it?’

At number 10, Avondale Road, Lily Keynes put the lid back on the fountain pen she had purchased that weekend at her local charity shop. She smiled at the artwork she had created that morning: a carefully crafted image of smiling children clutching puppies and kittens while over their heads drifted the final wisps of a magical cloud.

‘Finished,’ she said as she set the pen to one side. ‘That makes everything right.’

And then she hurried out of the house to meet the cute spaniel puppy she had longed for but been denied. As she scooped him up from the front lawn she turned to her mother, and with the broadest of smiles asked, ‘Can we keep him?’