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.”
Large grim clouds rolled past, Ernest but he didn’t listen to their grumbling. He was tired of the sameness of his days. He wanted an adventure. No, he decided I want to do something wonderful for someone.
Then to his dismay he heard laughter around him. Stars peeped out from their hiding places to mock him, birds joined in as they flew high into the sky to see what was happening, “you can’t do anything more wonderful than existing. You are a mish mash of colours. A rainbow to brighten peoples days.” On and on went the comments all insisting he was crazy to dream of doing great deeds.
“Not deeds,” he mumbled. “Just one act of kindness, to help someone somewhere.”
As the moon rose and sank to be replaced by the sun over and over again, Ernest began to believe he was wrong and they were correct. He would never be more than a blur of colours flitting about the earth. So, he learned to stay quiet to keep h is dreams hidden, afterall they cannot mock me if they don’t know what I am thinking, can they?
Feeling a little sad and useless he hovered above the earth only appearing when the sun bellowed for him to come out from his hiding place. Then one day he grew tired of this manner of behaviour. He decided to go off on his own and see what he could do.
He used the large grumbling clouds as his cover. This allowed him to zip past huge mountains, vast cities which frightened him with their loudness and false lights. He wondered about people. He didn’t understand them but still he stuck with his idea. Somewhere, he thought someone is looking for help and maybe I am the one to do it.
What this it was he had no idea but it was a comforting thought that he might only know it when it happened.
A child sitting on top of a bale of hay caught his attention. The child was crying. Not a loud harsh cry but a soft whimper, as an animal would do if it were in pain. Ernest let the clouds go on without him he went lower and lower until he could see the child. It was a young boy. He was talking to himself.
“I am not stupid. Someday I will get it right. Anyway they are only sums, not important stuff like bringing Annie home from school safely with me. I didn’t mean to get them wrong. No, I am not stupid or an idiot.”
Ernest felt sad for the young boy. He whispered to him. “No one is truly stupid, I mean some of us are silly sometimes we do the wrong thing without thinking, I think they are called accidents. Anyway I think you are clever if you manage to get Annie home safely.”
The boy stopped sniffling and looked about him. “Where are you?” When he didn’t see Ernest he said, “I am not only stupid I am crazy, talking to myself and answering myself.”
Ernest chuckled and as he did his colours began to grow stronger until the boy could see him. He looked at Ernest and said, “I am Steve, how do you do?”
Ernest didn’t answer for a minute. He was thinking. Steve interrupted his thinking time by asking, “What are you doing here.”
“I came to help you feel better.”
How can you do that? I am stoopid and that is the end of the matter.”
“No you are amazing most people don’t see me unless the sun shines on me. They think the colours just appear they don’t know it is my job to make them appear.”
Steve asked, “can you feel colours.”
Ernest replied, “I do but I don’t know about you but we can test it.”
“Like this.” Ernest gathered all of his colour bands close to him and swooped gently down beside Steve then very slowly Ernest wrapped his many colours around the tiny boy. As he worked he asked, “Well can you feel anything?”
“I feel wonderful, happy and warm. I feel ….” Steve was struggling for a word.
Ernest whispered in his ear. “Remember you are clever to have spotted me, clever to have felt the warmth of the rainbow colours, hold that warmth within you and take these feelings and memories out on days when you feel sad.”
From then on Steve learned to smile from the inside out.
Henry was a hungry baby. He bawled and yelled until he was fed. When the bottle of milk was empty he let out a giant belch and then, he smiled.
Mum and Dad discovered he would chew anything when he was hungry. He tried: earth, grass, worms, wood, cotton wool, coal and the bumper of the car.
Henry grew tall and strong. One day at school his teacher, Mr. Snow took a look at Henry’s homework. “How can I read this?” He said twisting and turning the pages. “Did you invite a family of spiders to have a party here, on the page?”
That afternoon Henry said to his mum, “I hate homework and school. Teachers don’t like me. I think I am really dumb.”
“Of course you aren’t Henry but you will learn a lot as you grow up. After all everyone changes during their life.” Mum said.
“Not in my life.” Henry said kicking his school bag across the floor.
Hopping off the school bus one day, Henry discovered there was no one at home. He tried all the doors, but they were locked. He pressed his nose to the kitchen window. His tummy growled and rumbled, as he saw the apple pie, sitting on the table.
Sticking his hands into his pockets he walked to the low garden wall. The clouds gathered overhead to look at him sitting there swinging his legs. He wished there was someone to talk to.
A leaf tumbled from a tree. It landed on his nose, tickling him and making him giggle. Others floated past. He began to count them. “One, two, three, four-five-six-seven.” Soon Henry was speaking so fast the numbers ran into one another. He liked the sound of this and kept going. He reached the amazing target of one thousand and seventy one, with the odd pause to catch his breath, before his growling stomach drowned out his voice.
Tipping his bag upside down an odd collection of books, biros and crayons fell out. He picked up a piece of ribbon he had pulled from Anne’s hair yesterday. It was blue, not his favourite colour, but Henry was hungry.
Popping it into his mouth he began to chew. A minute later he spat it out deciding it wasn’t his favourite taste either!
He caught a leaf and tried chewing it. He liked the rough and smooth texture of the leaf. But after a minute he decided it was tasteless. So he spat the leaf out.
He picked up his dictionary. Mr. Snow said all schoolbooks were to be treated with great respect. Henry’s nose twitched, as he smelt peppermint. A lump of chewing gum was stuck to the cover. Yanking it off he rolled the gum in another leaf and tried eating the sandwich.
No, he thought, it can’t compete with apple tart. His tummy rumbled in agreement.
The bright yellow and red covered dictionary felt nice in his hands. Henry stared at it. How do you eat a book with respect? He considered the problem carefully. If it were a used book, then it wouldn’t be so bad, he decided and opened the last page of the book.
The last word was; Zucchini. “I like zucchini’s ” he mumbled as he tore the strip out and popped it into his mouth. It didn’t taste too bad.
The first word on the next page was Zabaglione. He frowned puzzled by the strange word. He read aloud. “Italian whipped egg and cream dessert. Hmm, sounds nice. I will eat it after dinner some day.” He promised folding the page up and chewing it.
The dictionary paper was far better than used hair ribbon, and a lot nicer than chewed bubblegum and a dry crispy leaf. Better still his stomach was not as noisy. It had settled down to a pleasant grumble.
He flipped open another page, to Young Person and YWCA . He read the meanings of each word aloud before eating them.
By the time he had worked his way through Yeti and Y Chromosome he decided he liked the taste of the paper and the ink. If he closed his eyes he could pretend it was a crunchy flapjack.
Henry was happy until a thought arrived in his head, if I could remember these words I wouldn’t have to go to stupid school or have to do silly homework, ever again. But Henry knew there was no possibility of that ever happening to him.
Henry was as far as, Wonky, when his mum arrived home.
“‘Oh, Henry. I am so sorry. The car had a flat Tyre. It took me ages to change it, are you OK?” She rushed by him,opened the door. Inside she went straight to the kitchen to get Henry a snack.
“You must be so hungry you could eat a whole,” she paused and looked at him. He was very quiet.
“I should be in a woeful hungry state,” he told her. “And yes you are correct I am so hungry I could eat a horse but I am not hungry at all.” He noticed she was staring at him in a strange manner.
“Oh dear, are you feeling faint or light headed?” she asked.
Henry smiled and said, “No. I am not feeling woozy. But I would rather eat that apple tart than a woggle.”
His mum looked puzzled. “What is a woggle?”
“A woggle is a leather ring, made in Scotland.” Henry said.
“You did learn a lot at school today.” She said watching him swallow a slice of tart in two gulps.
Henry went to bed early. He wasn’t tired. He was thoughtful. Henry had worked out the solution to his homework problem: he would read and eat more books!
When he woke in the middle of the night with a grumbling rumbling tummy Henry ignored the large plate of biscuits on his locker and opened his dictionary. He was staring at the I’s, Index finger, Indiscriminate, and the last on the page Indulge. He smiled
“I know these,” he said to his Buzz Light Year who sat on the shelf ready for action.
At school next day, Henry did not complain once. He struggled a little bit with the maths but he stuck at it and finished the problem. Today was Tuesday and Mr. Snow always gave them a story to write on Tuesday night. Usually Henry hated writing a story but today he was looking forward to it.
“Tonight, I want you to write one hundred words about why you think you should be on the football team.”
“Henry, are you feeling OK?”
“Positively terrific, sir.” He said.
Mr Snow walked over to stand before him. “Are you ill?”
“No. I have never felt better.”
“Hmm.” Mr Snow looked into Henry’s eyes. “Are you certain you don’t have a fever?”
“I’m fine Sir, better than fine, exceptionally well. I am one of the healthiest boys in this class.”
“On this occasion I hope you remember that. And remember to do the one hundred words. No excuses will be tolerated, even if you do become ill.” Mr. Snow’s eyes rested on Henry as he spoke.
When he got home, Henry started on his homework.
I have oodles of speed, he wrote. Speed is, he paused and looked at the dictionary. Henry smiled. He had eaten the S section some days ago. He wrote, rapidity of movement.
Henry discovered writing a story was no problem to him at all. When he was finished he read it aloud:
I will bring the following attributes to the football team,
I have an overall speed that exceeds all of my class-mates rapidity of movement. I was the only boy on the team to play competitively during each one of our last games. (He put this bit in because some of his team had sat on the grass and held a debate about who was the greatest superhero.) I am a relatively calm individual who does not lose his temper or shout at the referee. (Henry laughed as he remembered the fight between his friend James and the boy he was marking. It had been loud and noisy). More to the point I will not make any excessive flamboyant displays. I will be focused on one thing only, getting the ball in the oppositions net.
Henry smiled. That should do the trick he decided and turned his attention to his maths homework.
Next day he was happy. His plan worked. He was picked for the team.
As time went on Henry discovered he had created another problem. It didn’t matter how quickly you did your homework if your teacher kept doubling the amount. He was struggling through the front door carrying so many books when he bumped into his Dad.
“Henry! What have you done wrong to get all this homework?” Dad asked him.
Scratching the top of his head, Henry considered his answer. “I think the problem is I keep getting things right. I think Mr. Snow is testing me, waiting for me to get it wrong.”
“Well I am proud of you son, nice to have a genius in the family.”
Henry didn’t smile. The last time he smiled was before the football letter and that was weeks ago, since then he had finished the dictionary and started on a grammar book.
Before he went to bed Henry asked Mum and Dad. “Would it bother you if I wasn’t a genius?”
“Henry, it wouldn’t matter to us, as long as you are happy,” Mum said.
Dad asked, “Are you cheating?”
Tilting his head sideways Henry said, “No, just reading a lot more books. The words are sticking in my head.”
“I never had that problem,” Dad said. “Nothing stays in mine, I forgot the milk again on my way home.”
On Saturday morning a loud thud and a flash against the window woke Henry. He dressed in a hurry and rushed outside. The bird lay on the ground. Not a feather or limb twitched. Henry felt a tear roll down his cheek. He hoped it wasn’t dead. Henry got a shoebox and lined it with tissues. Next he placed the bird in the box. He thought he felt movement but was unsure.
When his Dad got up Henry showed him the bird. It was sitting as still as a statue staring at them.
“It was stunned Henry, good work. We’ll leave it outside on the bird table and watch it for a while.”
They both smiled minutes later when the bird flew away.
Henry went back to try to solve his problem of being super smart. Remembering the bird he wondered if that could be the answer to his problem. He needed to have an accident and lose his memory. But how do you have an accident on purpose?
Henry thought about this new problem a lot during the next day. He thought about it so much that his best friend Mike began to follow him around.
“Why are you following me Mike?” Henry demanded as the bell rang.
“Because you are dangerous today, you stepped in front of a moving car, almost got hit by the swing doors in the hall and last but not least you nearly fell down the school stairs. Wake up Henry. I can’t follow you everywhere!”
“I’m sorry. Perhaps you shouldn’t follow me because you are jinxing me. I am trying to be a magnet for jeopardy, big and small.”
Mike scratched his head. “Magnet for what?”
“That should be no problem but be careful. I have to go to detention.” Mike said.
Henry went looking for more danger. It was windy so he walked home. He saw a ladder lying against a house. He walked under it. Nothing happened! Next he walked through the park full of waving trembling old trees, but to his disgust not one branch fell on him!
“You would imagine getting clunked on the head today would be an easy thing to achieve.” He said to his Mum.
“Clunked on the head, oh my! Are you ok?” Mum said. Henry nodded his head.
On Saturday he visited his Granny. Henry noticed she was upset.
“Oliver’s missing,” she said.
“I’ll find him for you,” Henry told her and wandered outside to find Oliver, the worlds oldest fattest cat. He found him, sitting on top of the shed.
“How did you manage that?” he asked.
Oliver blinked and stayed where he was.
“I’ll get him.” Henry said.
“Please be careful.” Granny said.
Henry wasn’t listening because he was climbing. Getting up there was easy. It was the return journey with a wailing sharp, clawed cat that was difficult.
One minute he was climbing and the next he was lying on the ground, in a heap with the cat scampering away. Henry couldn’t move. Oddly enough his first thought was, Typical it only happened after I gave up. Then the pain arrived, “Ouch! Help Granny.”
Before he knew it he was in hospital with a large plaster on his head and his broken leg in a huge ugly boot.
Henry was bored after a few hours of lying still. The doctors would not let him go home until they were sure he had not damaged his head. “It doesn’t matter,” he said.
“It does, we have been told how bright you are,” the nurse said as she left some books on his bed. “These are from the doctors they said you might enjoy discovering what they were talking about when they looked at your x-rays.”
Great, books or comic books about super hero’s and space adventures, he thought. He picked up the first one. “The Human Skeleton.” It was a schoolbook for doctors. Henry looked at the pile they were all school books.
“Ahh no. I can’t read any more school books,” he groaned.”However, more importantly I won’t break any bone ever again. I will miss soccer.”
For the next few hours Henry tried to pretend he didn’t like books, teachers or school. But he became bored with no one to talk to and there was a bunch of books sitting beside him. Finally he accepted the fact he needed to see what was between the covers of the books. Picking up the first book he said aloud, “Well there is always plan B.”
(There was never a plan A. What he meant was he could always learn to keep quiet.)
But being Henry, he read it, aloud!
So in time Henry had to create plan C;
Learning how to enjoy being the brainiest kid in school!
The two children are Junior and Baby.
Junior (named Alfie) looks and sounds just like his dad. Baby, is small and roly-poly like his mum. His real name is Greg but everyone is used to calling him Baby despite the fact he is eight and goes to school!
Our story begins on a pretty normal day; the family were enjoying a relaxing few moments after lunch when the doorbell rang.
‘Whatever is that?’ Granddad asked scratching his beard and sending crumbs flying about the room.
Baby Munchin, grinned. ‘Doorbell’ he told them. Then he went back to licking his bowl clean.
Mother Munchin smiled. ‘Well fancy that! We have a genius in the family. Baby, however did you know that?’
Baby was thinking, I can’t tell the truth, I promised Fred I wouldn’t tell.
He and his best friend, Fred play a game after school most days. Fred does most of the work because he is the fastest boy in the whole school. He races up to a door, rings the doorbell and runs to where Baby is hiding. Together they watch the people of the house come out and look for the caller. People always walk outside. Next they look up and down the street, under bushes, in cars, behind pillar-boxes for the person who rang their doorbell.
Fred and Baby are so successful at this they have made the headlines in the local paper. The big print on the front page this morning asked, ‘Are the invisible door bell ringers really aliens?’
Baby remembers what Fred said to him, ‘be careful do not tell anyone it was us or we will get punished.’
Baby had no idea what punished meant. He asked Fred who waved a long finger at Baby saying. ‘Well my dad said he used to get beaten with a stick, my mum used to get smacks of a wooden spoon and my aunt used to get grounded.’
Baby thought this last bit was funny but after some reflection he decided that spending your day with your head stuck in the ground would not be so funny.
So he simply said, ‘Don’t know, must have learnt it at school.’
‘Clever boy,’ his mum said patting the top of his head fondly.
The doorbell rang once again. ‘Well come on in’ Father Munchin yelled.
A deep voice shouted back, ‘I would if I could find a door handle.’
‘Just pull or push.’ the whole Munchin family shouted. Their shout whipped up enough wind to knock the birds out of the tree and to blow the door open. They could see blue sky and green grass but not a visitor or any birds.
Junior Munchin stood up and walking over looked outside. ‘There is no one there!’ He said in a puzzled voice and turned to go inside.
They heard a painful whisper, ‘I’m crushed to a pulp behind the door, help, please.’
There was a thunderous noise of trampling scampering feet as the rest of the Munchin Family arrived to rescue him.
Granddad was rubbing his hands together in anticipation of seeing a squished body.
‘Oh my, Oh my.’ Father Munchin said over and over again as he twisted a hanky in his hands. He wasn’t good at looking at blood and gore.
Baby wanted to see what a squashed person looked like and he peeped behind the door. He was disappointed there was no blood or mess. Sighing loudly he said, ‘He’s ok. He looks a funny color and is a bit squished. But he will live!’
‘Come on in and have some tea, ‘Mother Munchin said staring at the visitor.
He was a very peculiar looking fellow. His face was long and thin with a short bulbous nose set right in the middle. His eyes were huge, one was brown and the other blue. His mouth was thin and small. His hair was so tightly curled it looked like a helmet sitting on his head.
Baby Munchin stood on his head and asked, ‘Were you punished, is that what happened?’
Their visitor’s whole body was shaking from the incredible experience of being flattened and meeting the entire family.
‘Baby, get the nice man some hot tea and a sandwich.’ Mother Munchin said as she patted the man’s hand and led him to a chair.
Baby ran to do as she asked and wished Fred were here, because Baby didn’t know how to make a sandwich. All he knew about sandwiches is that he loved them.
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