The Dens

The Dens


My brother left home at the age of 8, he went to a neighbours house and hid in a tree. I thought it was good because I would get a bigger room, His room was next to mine and I thought we could knock the wall down.

 I had to go on my own and look for him; because apparently if he heard my voice on my own he might come back. My mum thought we got on. I still would’ve knocked the wall down though.

 When we were little we used to live in Marnhull, there was a big hill we used to call “The Hill”. I started looking for him in the Tree Den, halfway down “The Hill”. It sounds stupid but we used to have loads of dens we used to play in with Will and Abbi, who lived at the top of the cul-de-sac, number 31, and we lived at the bottom of the cul-de-sac, number 23. There were lots of dens, The Druggie den, at the bottom of the hill, my dog got stabbed in there once by standing on a needle, and was ill for about a week. Mum said we weren’t allowed to play in the druggie den but we still did.

 There were loads of others. There was the tree den, but that had the rope in there from when that man opposite me hung himself. We used it as a swing now.

The big den had a rope swing, zip wire and everything else. We used to take hammers and tools to make stuff. We got stuck in there one time, when the cows circled round us in the den, because the big den was in the middle of four fields and the cows could get in every single one.

The river den, that was disgusting, it was like a sewage pipe but I didn’t know when I was little what it was. I took my mum there once to show her our cool den, she knew it was a sewage pipe and said we weren’t allowed to play in it again because of all the rats and stuff, but we did anyway. When I think about it now I realise how disgusting it was.

The Hay den was a massive shed where you keep hay bails. I didn’t know what it was called, there was a horse there and we used to take it polos and wine gums We went somewhere with my Nan once and we gave a horse a wine gum, they chew them for ages and it was really funny so we used to take wine gums every time we went for a walk with my Nan.

 I started to look for my brother in the tree den because that was the closest. I didn’t think he’d go very far because he was only 8, but he wasn’t there. I heard noises but it was only leaves rustling because it was windy and cold. I then cut across the corn field to go to the big den. I wasn’t that worried about my brother being missing because I knew he would come back when he got hungry. The cornfield was dark because it was getting late, we used to run across it and jump on it to stop it hurting our legs. I could hear loads of neighbours out looking and calling Tom’s name. I thought it was funny because they were shouting my brother’s name. I got to the big den and he wasn’t there. I sat on the swing for a bit but it went all quiet and I got all scared because it was night time, and we only went to the big den in the day because it was so far away from the houses.

 Coming back from the big den in the dark I walked along the main road, to feel safer. I walked past the river den, checked the druggie den, I checked the tree den again, but he wasn’t there. I got back to the house and he was sat on the doorstep really angry and said, “I’ve been sat here for ages”.

I had to run down the hill, wellies flapping against my legs, to find Mum. Mum hugged him then she smacked him when she got back because that’s what mum’s are like. They’re weird like that, happy and angry at the same time. 

I knew he would come back when he got hungry.


I still would’ve liked the bigger room.



Written on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 at 11:12 am by PhilS. Filed under Links for students.

5 comments to “The Dens”

  1. Phil said, at 11:22 am on September 29th, 2009 :

    This is a great story Nat, well done!

    I am so intrigued to hear the rest about the man in the tree den.

  2. Jez said, at 11:25 am on September 29th, 2009 :

    This is excellent Natalie..I love the little throw away lines like mum hugging and smacking him and the rope left from the suicide….just wonderful details

  3. Julia said, at 2:25 pm on September 29th, 2009 :

    Such a brilliant story, Natalie. It’s well written because it’s about one event, but you’ve brought other things into it as well, such as why the dens have got different names, and how people feel different things at the same time. Did you ever get the bigger room? I love the picture too.

  4. jane said, at 4:28 pm on September 29th, 2009 :

    Such a well written story Natalie, one that I could relate to. When I was young ( yes, I was young once! ) I used to play in different dens. Some, myself and friends made, and some which were made by others.Our dens were brilliant because nobody knew about them except ‘the gang’.So, thank you for jogging my memory and well done for writing an excellent story…………and, did you ever get the bigger room?

  5. sarah martin said, at 8:51 pm on September 30th, 2009 :

    well done natalie, what a brilliant amazing excellent peice of work!!! im so proud of you it brings a tear to my eye lmao

    aha everyone thats my best mate who wrote that, jealous much people!!

    whoeever nats teacher is i exspect you to give her a************* or else 🙂

    love youu nat 🙂

    pleasee dont slap me when you see me next!


Leave a Comment