A Surprising Catch.

 

Hamish and Breeze were fishing. The moon hovered over them high in the sky.  The river flow was slow.

“The river looks tired.” Breeze whispered.

“Lets hope the fish are hungry and tired.” Hamish stuck his fishing line in the water. The line ran from the water to a low branch of the oak tree. Near the top of the branch Hamish had fixed some tiny bells. “They will wake me when the fish has been caught.” He told Breeze who kept staring at the bells.

“I should have thought of some bells,” Breeze said and settled down for a nap.

They woke when a fox jumped onto Breeze’s chest.  Breeze sat up and shouted “we’ve caught one.”

Hamish looked at their fishing lines.They sat quietly they didn’t jig about in the water.  “I don’t think so, it was Harry the fox, blame him.”

Harry apologised to Breeze for waking him adding, “she scares me. And she is a little crazy as well.”

Breeze and Hamish watched the fox run across some stones along the river bed and vanish into the dark field behind them.

“I wonder who scares him. How shall we find out?” Hamish asked as he spotted a  stripey sock lying on the path close to them. They walked to the sock. Hamish sniffed it. “Lovisma, it smells of lavender and she likes lavender.”

“Lovisma loves her crazy coloured socks, why would she drop it here?” Breeze walked along the path and found another sock, this one had dots on it. They continued through the wood finding out bits of clothes here and there. A hat sat on a gooseberry bush, a  dress hung from a branch and a long scarf blew amongst the leaves in the willow tree. As they went they picked the items up and Breeze stuffed them in his pockets. He smiled because he had solved the puzzle.

“I know a crazy collie who likes to steal socks, but I won’t set Lovisma on her.”Breeze said. “I like crazy collies called Ellie.”

The sun was rising and the moon was heading to bed as they arrived at Lovisma’s house. Elegant and Lovisma were in the kitchen arguing. They could hear because the windows were open.

“I don’t understand who steals our clothes? I mean who would want to do it and why?”

“It is very bothersome. It means we have to keep zapping up new socks. It is  a little tiresome.” Lovisma told her older sister.

“What I don’t understand is how it always happens when it is your turn to do the laundry. It is strange.” Elegant said.

“Let’s be kind neighbour’s and return the washing.” Hamish suggested. “Afterall Elegant is a very kind witch.”

They emptied Breeze’s giant pockets and left the socks and hats in a heap on the porch.

“Go hide.” Hamish told Breeze.

Breeze ran into the wood, Hamish rang the doorbell, then hid.

Elegant answered the door saying, “Good morning….” She stopped and stared at the heap of washing. Then she did a little jig and dance on the front porch before pointing her wand at the clothes and ordering them to march indoors.

Breeze and Hamish heard Elegant say, “Good news Lovisma, you won’t be bored today, some kind neighbour has found our washing.Now lets make sure these socks  in pairs.”

The two friends decided doing nice things made them extra hungry so they forgot about their fishing lines and went to Hamish’s house to cook an extra large breakfast.

 

Spring and the problems it brings

On the first day of Spring, every being, except for Breeze, spend their time cleaning. His plan was to sit and watch Spring work its magic on the wood.

daffodil

Lilian walked beneath the tree he sat in and shouted to him, “Mr. Breeze how come you get to sit around all day while I work?”

“I dunno ask your mum.” He said, hoping she would go away.

“I did – she said, either you love dirt or you are just plain lazy.”

“I am not lazy” Breeze said.

“That is what I said, you love dirt.” Lilian said goodbye and went home.

Breeze smiled, “I do love dirt,” he told a passing bird.

However he lost his smile when he returned home. His cave sparkled. He screamed and ran back into the wood. Banging his fist on Hamish’s door he tumbled inside the moment the door opened, yelling, “It is horrible, just horrible you got to help me. I can’t live in a sparkling house. Do I look like a princess,no, I don’t. “

Hamish said, “Good.”

Breeze stopped and stared at Hamish. “What do you mean good?”

“Great,no more dust flying around you, clogging up the air when you walk, I can go visit you, have tea without my allergies kicking off..”

“Then others would want to come visit – I would have to be nice and not eat all the cakes.” Breeze considered the problem. He smiled then said, “ I’d best go and find some dirt for my home.”

Breeze spent the evening spreading dirt about his home. Next morning he went out side for ten minutes to stretch and admire the morning sunshine. Walking back inside he groaned, “How is this possible?” His home was gleaming, sparkling, super clean. “Ahghhhhhhhhh”

He ran to Elegant witches house where he found his favorite baker, Tulip, having breakfast with Elegant. “Did you do it?” he demanded.

“Do what?” Elegant and Tulip asked.

“Put a magic clean spell on my house?”

“No we didn’t but I am sorry I didn’t think of it. And we can’t blame Lovisma she is on spring holiday.””

Breeze marched away, he needed to think about this problem. As he marched through the wood he spotted a pair of purple boots dangling from a branch in a tree ahead of him. “Hello, now that is a funny place to put a pair of purple boots.” He tweaked the boots.

“Hey let go of my boots.” Penelope demanded.

“Sorry I didn’t realise there was a Penelope attached to them.” Breeze chuckled. “What are you doing up there?”

“I was watching for something to happen.”

“Did it?” Breeze looked about him.

“I dunno I slept late today, all of the super cleaning yesterday made me tired.” Penelope jumped to the ground.

Breeze blinked, her dress was brighter than the sun and her gleaming skin made it hard to look at her. “You look colourful.”

“Thanks. Are you going home now?” She smiled at him and waited for his answer.

“Yes. Bye” Breeze was in a hurry to get home for he hadn’t eaten breakfast. His stomach rumbled with each step he took. As he walked he scooped up lumps of earth from the ground and stuffed them in his pockets. When he reached his home he closed his eyes and walking inside he began to drop bits of dirt against the walls, on the floors, furniture and on him. Then he opened his eyes in time to see each bit of dirt roll back outside.

He sniffed the rolling dirt and whispered, “this stinks of Elf magic.”

While he ate his three bowls of cereal he considered the likelihood of meeting Penelope who was watching for something in a tree on a day when an elf spell had been placed on his home.

“Penelope did it.” Now he knew who cleaned his house, it was time for him to persuade her to let him continue as normal. Trouble was Elves are tricky beings to deal with, for they are clever. But Breeze knew they were kind and Hamish’s words gave him an idea.

So he set to work. The next time he met Penelope she got a fright. “Oh my, what happened to you?”

Breeze looked ill, his normally green skin was an unhealthy orange colour and sprinkled with bright blue spots. He sat down and whispered, “I don’t feel well, my house…”

“What about your house?”

Breeze said, “I am allergic to cleanliness. I need dirt to make me feel well, happy and …alive.”

At his words Penelope began to panic, “Oh dear, oh dear. Let me come home with you and see what I can do to help.”

“That would be most kind of you but there is some evil spell working on my house, every time I get it right – poof – it is clean again.”

Penelope looked horrified. “I will do my best, I won’t promise much but I will do my best.”

And she did, of course, though Hamish did scold Breeze for tricking the kindly Elf. “Well she shouldn’t muddle in other people’s lives, we are all different you know.”

Hamish simply shrugged his shoulders.

A Christmas Post

This is a retelling of a story I published on decidinglybob.wordpress.com

It will pull the child from every adult and get us in the festive mood.

Constance Claus and an elves wish.

Christmas Eve –  two am – Constance Claus decided it was time. She tiptoed through the snow filled square. Though the sound of the elves snoring was reassuring Constance was being extra careful. She knew Enda could hear a feather drop in snow.

“I wish I could snore in harmony like them.” She paused, mid step to listen. “Ahh. I know the name of this tune. Let’s get this party started.'” Bending down to rub her white cat, she murmured, “we agree, don’t we Summer?”

The cat shook her paws before continuing on to the doorway of the workshop.

Constance believed her idea was brilliant. She was tired of listening to the elves moaning about the amount of snow. They are getting themselves in such a state that they are catching cold. She shivered at the thought of catching such a dreadful thing.

With her hand on the door knob, she paused to check again. Their snores floated on ice cold air to her. Satisfied she walked inside, flicking on lights as she went.

The workshop looked empty and vast. It wasn’t that way an hour ago.

*   *   *   *   *

Panic had been the order of the day. For a start, getting Santa into the sleigh  proved to be difficult.

“Steady on, mind my trousers.” He shouted as the elves formed a line and pushed him into the sleigh.

“Let’s fit the other toys in around him when we squish him down,” Enda  suggested.

“Hey Enda, less of the squishing. I can sit down.” Santa roared.

“You do the squishing bit.” Enda’s brothers, Slim, Noel and Sam, sang. They preferred to stay out of his way during the fraught filled minutes of final preparations.

Constance walked up to Santa, “Wait dear, you forgot your thermal insulated gloves.” She narrowed her eyes, “did you remember to put the matching socks on?”

He gave a nod then grimaced because they were hotter than he liked.

She said, “Good. I packed you a snack.”

At the mention of food he cheered up.

“And some liquorice for the reindeers.”

When he scowled, she chuckled, “a thermal mug of hot chocolate and a barrel of ginger nut elf biscuits for you. Take your time. Remember the list. Drive carefully Mr. Claus.”

Santa scowled. “That incident with the plane was not my fault, the idiots came closer for a second look. The reindeers lost their bootees with fright. As for the traffic lights in the main street, it wasn’t my fault, Mrs. Claus, I didn’t know they could swivel.”

The elves scurried away to check the reindeer’s boot laces.

She kissed the tip of his nose then worked her way around the reindeers planting a kiss on top of every head or they would be jealous.

“Have a nice rest, be kind to yourself Constance do something for you just for a change.” With those words he left.

“I will indeed,” she said.  Armed with a giant cup of creamy coffee embellished with a sprinkling of coco and a flake bar,  to get her creative motor running she began to plan. She liked inventing things, and tonight she felt like doing so.

 “Deciding to invent something is easy. The problem is doing it without causing further complications along the way.” Constance bit into her flake bar.  “Oh dear I will have to be careful. I remember poor little Elsie’s hair. Poof, up it went in a rainbow cloud of smoke when I made a hair curling tongs for her. And poor Jake tested my first sock warmers. He couldn’t bear to reveal his scorched foot to anyone for a long time. It looked so hideous. I got sick when I changed the bandages, but then I suppose that was my punishment for the damage I did.”

To dispel that nasty image she nibbled on the flake bar. Summer neatly caught the bits that fell towards the floor. There was silence for a long time as Constance sat and considered if, maybe, this was another stupid idea. The clock chimed. She glanced up at it. A scroll flipped down. It read, “late Christmas eve, go to bed.”

She muttered, “You are correct. I should but I won’t get an opportunity for another twelve months. So lets start.”

*   *   *   *

Once in the work shop she began by grabbing her tool box and plugging in the compressor. Bright blue sparks flew about her. Steel screeched as she cut and shaped. She didn’t realise she was finished until she reached for the last nut and bolt and discovered there was no more.

 “Now for the fun bit, testing and trying.” She hesitated. “Bother health and safety but I can’t ignore it.”

Getting ready for the test took more time than she bargained on. She dressed with care but she frightened Summer who raced towards the woods.

“Coward,” declared Constance as she pulled on the goggles and the thick safety gloves, before checking everything. “Right let’s check first,  safety harness for climbing. Hard hat, in case I slip. Bright obnoxious yellow jacket to make me highly visible, in case I get stuck under the snow.” She lifted one booted foot and stopped, they were of course safety issue, heavy and cumbersome.

 Saying a quick prayer to her guardian angel she went to drag her monster invention out of the workshop. It wouldn’t budge.

She stood looking at it wondering how to get it moving, then spotted a pair of roller blades, “perfect.”

Minutes later it sat outside in the snow, looking like a forlorn giant dog. Humming merrily she pressed the on switch. Clipping her rope to the central Christmas Pole in the middle of the square she took a look at the trampolines. They were lined up in strategic spots. They were used for hanging up lost and fallen lights or icicles. “Tonight I have another task for you,” she said.

Taking a leap she began to bounce along the trampolines hovering all of the snow from sight!

Constance was woken by a loud rumpus. It roared in her left ear. Sitting upright in her bed she discovered wasn’t easy as elves were climbing up onto her bed. From the muffled sounds beneath her she guessed a few were hidden underneath her bed.

“It’s been stolen, Christmas has been nicked.” Enda squeaked. His brothers took up the shout. “Not one snowflake left. Christmas is lost.”

“Not at all. It’s….” Constance smiled. “Isn’t this what you wished for?”

“No course not. It’s gone.” There were elves sobbing and moaning all around her.

She chewed on her bottom lip while considering the problem. “Let’s make the most of it, pretend we are in Hawaii.”

The elves moved into a huddle. There was frantic whispering. Enda appeared beside her.  “Slim is googling it on his iphone.” He ducked back inside the large circle.

“Can we barbecue? Make flower garlands, wear grass skirts? Try limbo dancing?” Sam asked.

She grimaced and worked her way around the vision of a hundred elves who can’t cook attempting to barbecue while wearing grass skirts.

Constance nodded. “Of course we can, but we’d better make sure there is a giant bucket of water standing by just in case..”

The words, “Christmas gets burnt,” died on her lips as she quickly added, “in case you get thirsty.”

Constance watched them race from her room chattering about sun lamps and sun burn. She wondered how she was going to explain this to Mr. S. Claus. With a sigh she tumbled from her bed and went to search her cookery books for tips on barbecuing.

“I suppose if the worst comes to the worst, the reindeers will not get lost this year, they will be guided home by the flames and aroma of one hundred turkey’s burning.”

Spring in September

There is a mischievious witch living on the outskirts of the wood. Her name is Lovisma. She is unpredictable and full of trouble making ideas.

However, most of the occupants of the wood know this and avoid meeting her.

So, when every tree in the wood was rattled by the sound of her angry roar,  all of those living in the wood hid except for one family. They were having too much fun.

“Who stole my cherry pie?” Lovisma bellowed as she raced through the wood on her broomstick. She was angry. The broomstick was spinning around which meant, most of the time this dizzy witch was flying upside down. When her head met a very solid fallen branch, she tumbled from her broomstick. Lovisma sat on the ground and rubbed the bump.  Then she let out a piercing whistle and her broomstick returned.

She stared around her and sniffed, (witches have a great sense of smell). “Funny but I can’t smell cherries anywhere in the wood.” She considered the possiblities. There were not many. “This means the villain is still near my house.”

She was sneaky. She flew slowly and silently back to the edge of the wood. Then she stopped and listened. She could hear laughter. She sniffed. She could smell her cherry pie. Lovisma crept forward ready to pounce but she was so surprised at what she was watching she forgot about pouncing.

“Who are you and what are you doing that for?” She demanded as she watched the family of elves bouncing high above the ground from cobweb to cobweb.

“Cos it is fun. I am Dot, or Dorothy. Wheeee”  Dorothy tumbled head over heels and landed beside Lovisma.

“Can I try?” Lovisma asked.

Dorothy frowned. She looked from Lovisma to the cobwebs and back to Lovisma. “You could….but… they are small and you are ……” Doroth scrunched up her tiny nose and wiggled it. She knew witches could be crotchety so she carefully said,  “Much bigger and stronger than we are, I wouldn’t like you to get hurt.”

Lovisma giggled. “No problem. Watch.” With a flick of her wrist she created a huge cobweb that stretched from one tree to another. Then she ran to her creation.

Lovisma discovered she loved the freedom of tumbling and dancing on the webs. When she finally grew tired of it she sat beside the group of elves to catch her breath. “It is stupendous fun. But, it does make you hungry.”

Dorothy nodded her head. “I am sorry about your pie, but it was sitting on the porch of the house and we thought it was left there for anyone to take.”

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

Lovisma stared at Dorothy. The elf got to her feet and started to run away. “Stop, I was just going to ask how you feel about apple pies cos I know a spell to create some delicious pies.”

As Dorothy and Lovisma sat with the other elves eating pies and drinking elderflower cordial they failed to notice the large audience at the edge of the wood.

“This is a day to remember, the day when Lovisma reverted to the child she should have been, fun and friendly.” An elderly rabbit declared. Everyone agreed as they crept away.

Upside down but not inside out.

image001Breeze woke  then asked many questions.

Why are the bees flying around my feet? Why are the trees hiding in the ground waving their roots at the clouds?  The answer was because he was hanging upside down with his jacket flapping about below his head in the light wind. A passing bird flew into his jacket pocket and settled there.

He pinched his arm. “Nope I am not dreaming , that hurt.”

Breeze knew of only one person who could do this to him…. he scowled, “Lovisma.”

He removed the bird from his pocket, loosened his feet in the branch and landed head first on the soft grass beneath him. Back the right way up Breeze discovered he was walking in circles. His head felt strange so he sat on the ground and waited for everything to stop spinning.  He discovered the only upside down thing in the whole forest was him and the tree he had fallen asleep in.

Feeling better he set off to find Lovisma.  He glanced at the sky and saw the sun sitting high above him. Having decided it was lunch time he guessed she would be  trying to persuade Elegant her sister to make her a snazzy, tasty lunch.

When Breeze arrived at their house he heard Elegant say, “What have you done now Lovisma? Breeze looks angry.”

Lovisma giggled, “he always looks mad.  I didn’t do anything.”

Picture1to colour

Breeze peered in at the window and demanded to know if she had flipped him.

“I didn’t but I wish I thought of it you must have looked funny.” She smiled at him and licked strawberry jam off her fingertips.

Elegant asked him, “Would you care for a strawberry jam tart?”

Breeze ate six then told them he would not move unti l he discovered the truth. Elegant decided to bake more tarts. He sat down to wait. Something soft went ‘plonk’ on his head. It was a scrunched up bit of paper. He opened it and saw an arrow pointing to his left towards the river. He got up and wandered close to the bank. At the edge he saw another arrow pointing down at the water. He peered into the water. “Strange,” He muttered and walked back to his favorite tree. Much later he woke to discover the world had flipped upside down again.

Elegant arrived before him. “What time of the year is it?” She asked.

“Spring.” He said. Then he smiled. “I always sleep well in Spring time.”

“Exactly.” She left him to unravel the mystery.

Breeze started to think.  They all grumbled as the large ogre trampled through their gardens and bumped into everything.

What are you doing? Hamish, his best friend asked.

“Solving a puzzle.”

“Can I help?” Hamish asked. They sat outside his house drinking tea and eating Chamomile sandwiches.

Breeze woke when Hamish roared at  him. “Look what you did to my garden.”

Breeze frowned. The scarecrow was shivering as he was not wearing his clothes. The flowers were shaped like the letter n with their heads near the ground.

“I didn’t do this.” Breeze said.

“You did. Your  loud snoring blew the clothes off my scarecrow, and scared the flowers.”

Breeze smiled “Thank you Hamish you solved the puzzle.” He headed home singing “I was upside down but not inside out” while poor Hamish had to find some new clothes for his scarecrow and persuade the flowers to raise their heads.