The Adventures of Flat Katie

As a 1st Grade Project, Katie's class (after reading the book Flat Stanley) had to make a "Flat" version of themselves (in Katie's case complete with pet Hamster in her hand), and send it to an out-of-state relative or friend. The idea being "Flat Katie" should go on adventures, and then report back with photos and a brief description, which we'll report back here. Katie's teacher is planning to put up a map showing where all the flat kids went. Hope she is planning on using a World Map.

First Stop: Enniskerry, Ireland

Enniskerry is located roughly under the red star on the map of Ireland above, Flat Katie's adventures and pictures courtesy Gaius Coffey (with minor edits):

On my first day in Ireland, one of my new friends showed me a photo of what he likes to do at the weekend.

In the olden days, men would have hunted foxes to protect their animals. Nowadays, there are better ways to do this and some people think hunting foxes isn't nice.

So my friends go drag hunting instead. Drag hunting is where skilled riders drag a man-made scent across country. Hounds follow the scent and many riders follow the hounds on horse-back.

The horses love it, and so do the riders. It looked like fun and I asked if I could see a hunt for myself.

They said I could, so we drove to Enniskerry in Wicklow and stopped a short-way outside the village on the side of the road. There were lots of people of all ages and almost as many horses.

This is me with Frank and his horse Charlie. Frank is seventy-five and he still hunts twice a week. Most people wore black jackets but Frank wore a green one. He said that was because he was a master.

The masters ride at the front and help to keep everybody safe by steering them away from dangerous obstacles. Frank told me that I had to make sure to stay behind him as otherwise I would have to buy him a large Jameson Whiskey.

Frank has more than one horse because he rides so often. He introduced me to Fiona who is keeping his spare horse, Joe, fit. I asked Fiona if I could try riding, but she thought I would find Joe a bit too strong for me, so she took me to meet another friend.

This is Selma and she is riding Horace. Horace is an experienced horse - he is seventeen years old and he knows his way around, so he was ideal for me to learn on.

Selma showed me how to hold the reins and how to sit comfortably in the saddle, keeping my legs long for balance.

Once I had mastered that, I was allowed to ride all on my own.

Two riders headed away from us with the drag dragging along the ground behind them on a long piece of rope. That would lay the scent for the hounds to follow.

We let them get a headstart of a few minutes and then the huntsman sounded his horn. The hounds gave him his full attention and he led them past us to try to find the scent.

We all followed after him to spend three hours jumping big ditches, fences and other obstacles. It was great fun, but it was very tiring.

So, after a long day, I sat down with my friends' cat and remembered all the fun things I'd done that day.

But Wait, There's More....

Stay Tuned, Flat Katie has now moved on to her next stop, hopefully more adventures to follow shortly!