Field Report, June 2011: The dawn of my second attempt at retrieving Fiona XXX was heralded by snow. I was entirely confident that this recruiting run would proceed as it should. While my charms are considerable in the general sense, the contrast of my coal black coat and a pristine dusting of snow would, I was certain, prove utterly irresistible, and the young girl with the shockingly inappropriate hair would become my Rider.
I proceeded to the coordinates of the second attempt and was most pleased to find that the Council had wisely booked it on the beach at Mussleburough. The reasoning for this was sound. Water is my element, and the combination of the Firth and the snow coated coastline would conspire to heighten my powers; there was no way that the pink-haired schoolgirl could elude me. Although I can't say I approve of the child's choice of haircolours, I must admit that it does make her easy to target. As the scouts had predicted, Fiona was making her way along the beach with her Grandmum on her arm. Fiona herself is a pixieish child, but next to her Grandmum, she is a virtual giant. I had thought that the onslaught of modern nutrition and hygiene had eliminated such diminutives, but there was something of the fey in this tiny wispy woman. Her thistledown hair strained to escape the confines of the tight bun it was imprisoned in, ghostly white tendrils coronaed her head. Fiona's posture was one of solicitous attention, as she helped her ancestor along the strand.
As expected, the two women, reached the first house at the end of the beach and turned in, passing through the back garden gate and up the porch stairs. A quick glance at the white spot of sun buried in snow clouds assured me that Fiona would shortly come pelting out of the door to run back along the beach and up to the plaza for the bus. The scouts report that Fiona always delays to the last minute and then sprints for the bus. I figured that was the perfect opportunity to put myself in her path. I took a few bracing steps, just enough to add a high arch to my neck, and start my nostrils flaring prettily, and placed myself in the path that led from the house's back garden onto the beach. I was certain of my quarry as the door slapped open and Fiona came barreling out, calling goodbyes over her shoulder. My skin was quivering with the excitement, and my tail twitched as I could not refrain from shifting, hoof to hoof. This was the moment! I tossed my head, showing myself to advantage against the stoney sky and snow-blanketed beach. Fiona reached the gate, sprung the latch and whirled through, deftly kicking the gate closed behind her. She hadn't seen me yet, but in just a second our destinies would collide and her world would change forever.
"Movit awa fra the bairn!" The command rang across the strand with a volume that should have been impossible from such a tiny frame, and I turned to see Fiona's Grandmum standing like an avenging angel on her back stoop, clutching a bundle of Rowan twigs in her tiny fist.
Fiona was galvanized by her Grandmum's words and threw herself back behind the protection of the gate, staring fearfully over the garden wall at me. The pick up was ruined, the sparkling snow wasted on these heathen women. Disgusted, I turned to the Firth and made a dramatic exit, Jumping cleanly through the water. It was clear I was going to have to take a different approach to recruiting Fiona XXX.