Noah, collected his name as he was born during a rainstorm.
The rain pounded down on his parents. If you had been able to wring their clothes, you would have collected enough to fill three barrels. Everyone except Noah was wet that night.
As his mum held him close to her, she noticed that the rain did not land on him or her. So it continued as he grew, water did not linger on him. Bathing Noah was a puzzle until the accepted a simple truth – water did not like him!
His world was different to yours, soaps and creams were his way of bathing. Drinking was not a problem. He loved to drink water but whenever he held his hand out to catch some it skirted around his outstretched hand.
At four years of age he was walking with his mum. They watched other children splashing about in puddles on the ground. Noah tried to do the same and the water simply jumped away from him.
“I don’t like water.” He moaned.
“It might not always be like this, Noah, things happen for a reason.” She consoled him.
When Noah was six he went to swimming lessons. His instructor stood on the side of the swimming pool and asked everyone of the new swimmers to sit on the edge of the pool. They did. When Noah dipped his foot in, the water ran away from him. He scratched his head and tried again. Where is the water going? He wondered.
A loud shout from beside him answered that question, “Hoi, Stop splashing me!” The boy scowled at Noah.
“I didn’t do anything.” Noah told him as he got up and left the class.
Noah envied the other children. He never arrived at school with wet shoes or clothes, he was always dry. His hair was shiny because it was washed in shampoo and conditioner with a thimble full of water added. Dogs loved to follow him and lick his skin because they loved the fruity taste of the creams he used.
He was ten years of age when it happened.
However one afternoon on his walk home from school he heard a cry for help. It was coming from the river that ran close to the road. Noah raced to the bank and stared in horror. A tiny girl had fallen in and was being pulled away by the current. Without thinking Noah ran along the bank until he reached the bridge, then he watched until he saw she was being carried close to the bridge. With one jump he fell from the bridge and landed on the soft muddy riverbed. The water had stopped flowing and a giggling sound alerted him that he was no longer alone. Noah opened his eyes and saw the very wet smiling toddler lying on the muddy river bed before him. He scooped her up and carried her to the bank.
Much later he walked home feeling very happy. He could not wait to tell his mum, but he did wonder what other adventures were lying in wait for him.
I believed, stupidly, that once I had the main story written that the other bits and bobs would fall into place in a matter of weeks.
How silly of me. (Naive I think is the word.)
Editing took a long time mainly down to me. But the evolution of the cover was the work of Sara. She asked for an outline of the book. I sent it on, along with a draft copy. Then there were a few telephone calls and much to my delight I received the first idea. Here it is:
The debate began. A few suggestions were made and this was the next idea,
which we liked but the problem was Harry the seagull had been cut from the story.
So back to the drawing board and then with Harry cut, deleted, the next debate was the title and the type face (font) colours etc.
Finally this was the final image.
Did we get it right or wrong? Everyone’s opinion is appreciated.
She was the smallest dragon ever born. Everyone loved her. When the question was asked, “what is her name?” The answer was, “we haven’t found just the right one for this sweet little dragon yet, but we are working on it.”
The days rolled by and still she was called “sweetie.”
In desperation her mum, Katya said, “she doesn’t look fierce so we can’t call her Norberta or Saphira after her Grandmothers, I have been playing with the idea of a more traditional names of Tintaglia, Firsen and Cordelia but they don’t sound right either.”
Her dad said, “right we will work on it, but she doesn’t sound sweet today.”
And he was correct. The tiniest dragon with pink and purple scales was howling like a banshee. She hadn’t eaten in a long time. The trouble was she didn’t like anything they fed her. Her older sister Tabitha arrived at that moment clutching a bunch of nasturtiums and sweet peas. “I thought these would look nice on our salad mum.” she said walking past her baby sister.
The baby grabbed the sweet peas in her tiny claws then ate them in one swift gulp. Tabitha stopped and smiled. “You like them, don’t you?” She held out the entire bunch to the baby. Seconds later they were gone and with a delicate belch and smile the baby fell asleep.
Tabitha looked at her mum and dad. “I think you should call her Sweet-pea.”
And they did.
Here she is, Sweetpea my coloured-in version and a blank one for you to colour in;
Breeze was asleep until the wood was filled with a bouncing sound. “Booinnnggggg” On and on it went, echoing off the trees, sky and ground until the tree shook and Breeze was shaken from his branch.
Now this is not good, he muttered and went to investigate.
It didn’t take long for him to find the cause of the noise.
It was really two causes, Lovisma and her favorite furry friend: Flippity Rabbit.
He stood on the ground and watched them play. Other animals had gathered round and they were not smiling.
For the two had created a trampoline made from spiders webs and were bouncing on it so much they had shaken the clothes from washing lines, petals from wildflowers, babies from their beds and more importantly children were finding it hard to eat their dinners as the dishes kept bouncing about the wood.
Breeze wanted to tear the net down and stop them from doing more damage except for one slight thing. He wanted to try to bounce and tumble on it.
Trouble was the net didn’t look strong enough to take his weight.
He opened his mouth and roared; “Stop!”
They didn’t because they couldn’t so Breeze did the next best thing: “Elegant. Help.”
She arrived in a blink of an eye. Took one look at her younger sister and said, “I knew Lovisma would be in trouble again, she can’t stay away from mischief for long. ” She raised her wand and looked a little surprised when Breeze pleaded with her not to make it vanish.
“Why not?” She asked.
“Well I kind of like the idea of bouncing but it doesn’t look safe enough for me. And it is in the way of everybody here in the wood. Could you move it some where safer? Please?” He scuffled the grass at his feet as he waited for her answer.
“Very well, come on. We should do this sooner rather than later, I have dinner to make.”
Breeze wanted to ask, why she never simply zapped dinner instead of cooking it but he was a little afraid of witches. Even good witches have tempers. So he followed her to the edge of the wood where the river raced to the waterfall. They walked for a long distance before she stopped and turned to him. “This will do nicely. The pool is close to the wood, the water doesn’t race along here and if the web breaks the water will break your fall. ”
She flicked her wand. The air sizzled and sparked for a moment. Then with a loud pop it appeared. A huge net high in the air, dangling above the water with Lovisma and Flippity still bouncing on it.
Breeze didn’t wait to be asked he climbed the nearest tree and took a dive onto the net.
However, he forgot about the others. With a squeal of delight Lovisma and Flippity shot high in the air and then with a loud splash they bounced straight off the net and into the water.
Much to everyone’s surprise the tiny witch loved it.
“Do it again Breeze do it again. ” Poor Breeze spent the rest of the evening bouncing on the net and sending those who wished to try it, shooting like rockets into the water.
“next time I get a good idea, I really should keep it to myself.” He muttered when he made his way home to bed very late that night.
Breeze was smiling because he could smell his favorite smell – cakes baking. He slid off the branch and began to wander through the forest. He knew if he took his time he would miss the messy washing up bit and land at Tulips door in time for afternoon tea and cake.
His smile lasted for about ten seconds. It was the saddest looking dragon who took his happy smile away. The dragon was green and miserable.
“Hey, What is wrong with you buddy?” Breeze asked.
“My life is ruined and all because of my hot breath.” The dragon mumbled.
Breeze frowned and sat down, a safe distance away, from the grumpy dragon.
“But, Frank even I know that your speciality is fire breathing” Breeze spoke softly not wishing to annoy the small dragon.
“Yes but not when you love flowers and want to be a botanist.”
“A what?” Breeze looked about him wondering if he had fallen on his head and was having a terrible nightmare, because not one bit of this conversation was making sense to him.
“I like studying and growing flowers but it won’t work cos often, much too often they end up looking like toast.”
Breeze opened his mouth, closed it and opened it again. He was afraid to say what he was thinking.
The dragon spoke for him. “No burnt flowers do not taste like toast. They simply look burnt.”
“Okay I know what to do lets talk to Elegant witch.” Breeze stood, told Frank where to meet him and ran off to see Elegant.
Unfortunately for him she wasn’t baking, she was cleaning her house using a broom.
Breeze watched her work and frowned. The world is gone upside down, he thought, dragons who want to potter about in the garden and witches who use a broom for sweeping.
Her chuckle startled him. “I heard that Breeze and no I am not crazy. I just like sweeping.” Putting down the broom she asked him, “What problem have you brought to me today?”
Breeze told her about Frank. It was Elegants turn to look worried. “If I stop his fiery breath, the others will not like it.” Elegant began to pace about the room. There was a bee dancing on the window ledge, very gently Elegant shooed it from the room. Then she turned to Breeze, “That is the answer.”
Breeze frowned. He didn’t think a bee on a window was an answer to anything but he knew Elegant to be a clever witch so he waited for her to return.
Frank arrived as Elegant finished her spell. When the dragon nervously asked her if she could help, she smiled and held out the hat for him. “It is smashing but won’t it go on fire too?”
Breeze moved out of the way and said, “Try it” then as fast as he could he ran to Tulips house. Afterall if the magical beekeepers helmet worked the dragon would be happy and if it didn’t then Breeze might have a lot of ashes to sweep up and Breeze hated sweeping.
Note: A first draft of a chapter book, remarks, comments will be chewed on with delight.
A problem to solve.
Pots and pans were zipping through the air. The kitchen was a large airport without an airport controller. With a loud squeal Esmeralda, Izzy’s cat, was whisked upwards in the playful current of air. She landed in a huge saucepan. Crouching low with her tail tightly curled about her, Esmeralda’s huge paws covered her eyes.
Izzy didn’t notice her poor cat. She was sitting eating toast. It was oozing with warm runny butter and strawberry jam.
Those saucepans look grotty Izzy , she thought. Her friends couldn’t understand why Izzy preferred saucepans to cauldrons. “Easier to clean” she explained to them. That is they would be easier to clean if she remembered to get cleaner.
Izzy began to write on the back of an envelope. The note said, get some more cleaner, it was scrawled in her untidy hand writing with cartoon spiders dancing about it. She scowled at it, it reminded her of something she didn’t like doing – shopping.
“Surf and stuff it” Izzy stamped her foot and every flying object including Esmerelda lost its invisible wings, landing with a huge wallop in an untidy heap on the kitchen floor.
Izzy knew why everything was turning upside down and roundabout on her. She was fed up. It was ages since she had any fun with her other witch friends.
“Perhaps they’ve grown out of having fun!” Izzy whispered. “What a terrible thought! I mean, what sort of witch is a witch who doesn’t have any fun or silliness in her life. It’s what we’re supposed to do, create mayhem for humans. They say people can die from boredom.” Izzy told a dizzy looking Esmerelda who was stumbling out of the upturned pot.
Izzy had a terrible thought. What if it isn’t only people who could be seriously affected by the lack of fun and newness in their lives? “Witches couldn’t die from boredom, could they?” Izzy spoke very carefully and slowly hoping that it would help to get rid of such a stupid thought.
But no, it lingered, repeating itself over and over. It didn’t help her bad mood. She gave a giant hiccup and flew straight out of the window into the huge beech tree.
It was her favorite place to sit and think.
In fact some of her most earth shattering decisions had been made while sitting quietly in this tree. High above with only the odd wayward bee for company she was free from all the usual noises of life.
Her great decisions may seem simple to you or me but to a neat methodical witch they were very important indeed.
For example: She once spent a whole afternoon sitting wondering, if it would be better to file all of her recipes (Jamie and Delia’s) by color code or by the order in which Izzy ate her meals. That was her problem.
The order in which she ate depended on what she was having. If it was tomato soup it always came first and last, Izzy loved tomato soup.
High in this tree the solution appeared suddenly. It was simple. A recipe book for witches by a champion cooking witch! The recipes would appear as she made them up. If she liked the new recipe it would stay but if she didn’t then it would topple off the page.
Today she was so tired she curled up and fell asleep.
When she woke she was not only hungry but full of energy.
“I think a little walk before dinner would do this talented witch a world of good,” she decided as she licked her lips. “A couple of meringues from the bakers shop could be just the medicine that I need.”