Sally’s Sunflowers

Sally started on her list. 1. Keep Bubbles out of the way.

She put a nice comfy cushion on the sunny windowsill in her bedroom, next she placed Bubbles on top of the cushion.

“Now number two, the birds,” Sally whispered.

It was a tricky thing to do but Sally placed five fat seed balls on the bird table in their garden along with a full net of peanuts.   Crossing her fingers she hoped the table wouldn’t break.

“Number three,” she said and went to collect his post from the postbox.  Sally walked to  Mr. Blunts door.

Bubbles ran up to her as Mr. Blunt opened his front door.

“Shoo cat!” He shouted.

“Bubbles came to say hello. She likes people.”

“Well,  I don’t like her. Why have you got my post?” Mr. Blunt asked in a loud voice.

“I was being nice!” Sally whispered.

Just then, Bubbles ran in to the kitchen.

Mr. Blunt chased after her. Sally followed. Luckily for Bubbles, Sally was smaller and faster than Mr. Blunt. Diving under the table she caught Bubbles in her arms and dashed home.

“My teacher says practice makes perfect, we will make him smile.” Sally said hugging Bubbles to her.

Number four was – mow his lawn. But, Mr. Blunt had already mowed it.

Sally shook her head. “It is very hard to help some people.”

Number five: wash his car.

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Sally took out the buckets and sponge for washing the car. She wanted the car to sparkle so she squeezed an extra dollop of liquid into the bucket.

She was washing the windows, when she heard a strange noise. She discovered there were dogs licking the car. Great big dollops of dog slobber were flying about and landing on the nice clean car.

“Shoo go away,” she said. They started barking.

Mr. Blunt came outside. “Who is making all that noise?” He stopped and stared at his car, which was covered in dogs of many shapes and sizes.

He was still shouting as Sally and the dogs ran away.

Mum asked her, ‘Is this what you washed his car with?’

“Yes. It said, it will give the greatest shine all week long.” Sally said scratching number five off her list.

Number six: buy him some sweets.

Sally shook her piggy bank. She counted out loud, ‘four euro and two cents. I could buy an awful lot of chocolate for that.”

Scooping the money into her blue purse Sally walked along beside her mum with a hop and a skip. The money rattled as she moved.

The sweet shop with its rows of rainbow jars of sweets was her favorite shop. “He is a really old man so perhaps I should buy him soft sweets.”

The shopkeeper said,  “that is a kind thought, yes jellies are over here.”

Sally scrunched up her face. Mr. Blunt reminded her of a shark. “What would a shark like?” she asked.

“Something strong and hard, I think, to crunch on.”

‘Well, he is an old shark so perhaps, some bulls eyes, chocolate candy, jelly babies and some soft jellies, just in case.’

“Good idea.”

Sally bought some chocolate mice for Bubbles and herself.

On the way home Sally said, “I don’t know how to give Mr. Blunt these sweets without making him mad.” She sighed. “How can I make him smile if all he does is get madder and madder?”

“Maybe he just doesn’t smile.” Mum said.

Sally grinned. ‘That is silly. Everyone smiles, even Bubbles smiles.’

Back home Sally walked to Mr. Blunts front door. She rang the doorbell. When the door opened Sally shoved the bag of sweets at him saying, ‘these are for you,’ and ran back home.

Mum asked, “did it work?”

“I don’t know.”

Mum bent down and gave Sally one of her extra special hugs.

“Number seven will make him smile, a great big toothy smile!”

Sally spent hours working on her picture. The bird table looked just like the one in her back garden, the birds looked like birds. Sally went to bed saying, “tomorrow I am going to see Mr. Blunt smile.”

That night Sally dreamed that Mr. Blunt smiled so much, he out shone the sun. It hid behind a cloud. The birds didn’t like his smile, they flew away. The dogs were frightened by it and howled like wolves.

On the way to his house, the next morning, the wind pulled the drawing from her hands. It landed in a puddle. She gave it a shake and continued to his door.

The door opened. “What? You’ve come to give me another tooth ache?”

“I drew a picture to make you smile, here it is.”  She held the picture out for him to see.

He took the soggy picture and gave a nod of his head.

Sally was sad but she said, “I’m not giving up. I’ll write down my funny joke.”

Sally’s joke was:

A cheeseburger walked into a bar and said, “hello, can I have a pint of beer please?” The bartender replied “Sorry, we don’ t serve food”

Sally wondered how she could deliver it to him without him seeing her. Dad said, “Let’s send it by airmail.”

He showed Sally how to make and fly paper airplanes. Soon the kitchen was full of paper planes whizzing about.

Sally and dad planes

“I can do this.” Sally said. Walking outside she took the empty bird food bucket and placing it upside down stood on it. She saw Bubble’s sitting in Mr. Blunts garden chair. The back door opened. Sally held her breath, pointed the nose of the plane in the direction of the back door and threw the plane.

It flew straight. Then with a – smack- it hit him on the nose. “Ouch! Who did that?”  He roared.

Sally hid behind the fence. With a sigh Sally sat down on the bucket. Now she had to bake a cake. Sally didn’t like baking but she did like eating cakes.

She baked the cake with mums help. While it was cooling Sally made the icing. “This is the best bit”, she told Bubbles as she drizzled some icing on his paw. He tasted it. Sally went to clean her face and put on a clean tee shirt.

When she returned she discovered Dad had left just one piece of the cake.

“Sorry Sally but it was delicious.” He said.

Sally had one chance left. But she didn’t know what to do. Mum gave her an idea. ” Mr. Blunts wife was a great gardener. ”

“Really?” Sally said. They were watching a tv program about gardening.

“She loved bright flowers.”

The man on TV was talking about Sunflowers. ” They are very smiley flowers, aren’t they?” Sally said. She went to find her dad.

“The trouble is real Sunflowers take months to grow, Sally,” he said.

Sally had a plan. First, she drew a huge sunflower.  Then she and her Dad to his workshop.  Days later they were finished. The flowers had bright yellow and orange faces. They had leaves for arms. The petals made a soft clicking sound that she knew the birds wouldn’t like. Her mum helped her paint the flowers.

“It will keep them away from Mr. Blunts garden and Bubbles too.”  Sally said.

Next morning, Sally and her Dad went to Mr. Blunts house, very early to plant their sunflowers. “Don’t worry Sally, if he shouts, I’ll shout back.” Sally crossed her fingers.

Mr. Blunt was grumbling as he walked to the door. He opened it. “You!” he said to Sally.

“Follow us, Mr. Blunt, you have to see this.”  Dad said.

Mr. Blunt followed them. They stood together and waited. Sally heard a strange sound. She felt sad, Mr. Blunt’s bottom lip was wobbling. She knew what that meant.

“I’m sorry, these were supposed to make you happy,” she whispered.

Mr. Blunt walked over and bending down hugged her lightly, ” Thank you. Can I touch them? My wife loved sunflowers, these are smashing!”

Sally did a cartwheel and laughed aloud. Her miles of smiles worked.

 

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“Well done! Sally. I’ve made some gingerbread, can I bring it over?” Mum asked Mr. Blunt. He answered with a smile.

After that, Mr. Blunt became the smiliest man in the neighborhood. He even suggested they start a business. From then on every Saturday morning Sally, and Mr. Blunt sold sunflowers in the market. And every Sunday morning Mr. Blunt arrived at Sally’s house to hand her a small bag of chocolate mice for Sally, just to make her smile.

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Snippet of a story in progress

I will tell you a little about The Munchin Family (this is me, below telling the story)

 

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The Munchin family are like their home,  unusual.

Their house is not made of bricks or timber. It is made from steel. Knowing this the sun loves to dance about it. It stays for a while playing and bouncing off the Munchin house sending dazzling rays of light flying about the street.

Once you step through the doorway you will notice that everything (you sit on, eat out of. or sleep on) is made from steel or metal. Because of this, it is a noisy house.

The Munchin family love visitors and hurry to introduce themselves.

Granddad Munchin is tall. His hair is thick and white as snow. His beard is so long he wears it like a scarf on cold winter  days. His smile is toothless.  ‘I had all my teeth removed when I was eleven to help me look normal.’ He explains this to you as his eyes roll continuously about like a hamster on a revolving wheel. His false teeth spend most of their time in his shirt pocket.

Father Munchin is big and jolly with the most enormous looking teeth. ‘Hi’ he smiles puffing his large stomach out before him. ‘I’m proud of these gnashers.’ And to prove it he snaps them together rather like a shark. Unlike Granddad, Father Munchin has not one tiny hair on his shining round head.

Mother Munchin is a roly-poly woman who smiles a lot. Her eyes are so blue you find yourself staring into them as you would into the bright ocean.  When she meets you she always waves her wooden spoon asking, ‘Will you stay for lunch?’

If I were a visitor I would decline.

Why?

The answer is simple – because it is the most terrifying event to watch. As soon as she yells, ‘Ready, come and get it!’Her two children race into the room to join the adults. Within a minute the entire table is stripped bare, not a lettuce leaf remains or as much as a pinch of salt. So if you value your fingers, do not stay for lunch!

 

The Mix Up.

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The mix up.

 

Lily and Laura both live in Mudpile Wood.

Lily is a tiny Ogre which means she is a lot bigger than fairies or elves of her age. Laura is a petite fairy with huge eyes and long brown hair. Both girls love going to parties and love wearing party dresses.

When Breeze and Tulip decided that both the Ogres and the Fairies should host a huge party, there was great excitement.

Every one wanted to look their best.

Parties don’t happen often in Mudpile Wood however, when they do they are amazing.

The evening of the party. Lily opened the parcel that said L’s Dress. She slipped her  arms through it and stopped. She couldn’t go any further. It was tiny. Lily opened her mouth and wailed. The cave rumbled and shook.

Her mum sat and looked at the dress which was stuck half way on and half way off. “You’d best take it off,” she whispered.

“I can’t” Lily moaned “its too tight. It is stuck.”

Her mum helped her out of the dress.

Deep in the northern end of the wood. Laura laid out her wand, her head dress, her fairy slippers and with trembling hands opened the package that said, L’s dress. It was pretty. It was pink. But it was huge. Laura sat on the floor and wept. Tulip found her there and tried to comfort her. “There must be a mistake” Tulip said. “We will fix it.”

“It is too-ooo late. There is no time.”

“Course there is, you fix your hair. I will be back in no time.” Tulip gathered the dress and flew  to the elves house.

Norah the seamstress was a very old elf. She didn’t look happy when Tulip explained the problem. Then Lily’s mum arrived. It didn’t take long for them to realize there had been a mistake.

“I will scold Matt for this.He promised to deliver them to the correct address. Silly Ogre.” Norah said.

They quickly swapped dresses.

An hour later everyone was at the happy and smiling, except for Lily and Laura because Matt met them and said, “You look like crazy twins. You are both wearing the same dress but in different sizes.”

They answered him by chasing him all around the wood. Then when he was hiding they ate all the fairy cakes that he had left on his plate.

The Tale of the Curious Tree as told by Breeze.

Breeze was left in charge of  Mrs. Groundsels Grandchildren.  “Tell us a story, please.” Lisbeth demanded flashing her dark blue eyes at him.

Breeze sat and stared all around him. In the distance an old twisted tree caught his eye.

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Lowering his voice he said, “A tiny oak tree was planted in the wood many years ago by a kind and friendly witch. ”

“It wasn’t Lovisma then.” Lisbeth said and moved closer to him.

Breeze smiled then said,

“The tree was planted in a good place. It began to grow. A rabbit stopped one day beside the tree to scratch his ear. The tree bent sideways to  ask the rabbit what it was doing. 

“I am itchy. So I am scratching the itch.” The rabbit said and then he hopped away.

The tree decided it was good to know answers to simple questions.

Whenever an animal stopped close to the oak it would move its body to look at the animal and ask a question or two. Over time the tree grew very knowledgeable about everyday things.

It knew why the clouds danced across the sky on sunny days and why they emptied buckets of raindrops on the forest on dark cold days. It also learnt the names of all the plants and animals in the forest. “

“Really?” Lisbeth asked.

Before Breeze could speak, Matt said, “That is rubbish there is no twisted oak tree in this wood and if there was it wouldn’t know anything about anything. Trees are just trees.”

Lisbeth looked sad. “Mr. Breeze, that is not true. Is it? Your story is beautiful. I think trees are great.”

“Thank you Lisbeth. Matt will discover the truth some day soon.” He hoisted her on his shoulder and said, “we are going to visit the tree.”

He walked a long way then stopped before the tree. Lisbeth ran her hand along the bark.  “You are a super-duper old tree. ” Breeze placed her on a low branch and jumped up beside her.

“Does it know everything?” She asked Breeze.

“Maybe not everything but it does know a lot of stuff.” He looked at her. “Why?”

“I would like to know what there is far beyond the Sugar lump mountains. Please Mr. Tree can you tell me?”

Breeze looked at her and said, “why don’t you write a note and pin it to the tree?”

She grinned at him. “Trees can’t write.”

“No but fairies can and I bet Tulip or Izzy could talk to it, or Elegant. I will ask them. They could write the answer down for you.”

So Lisbeth left her note pinned to the tree.

Next day she woke Breeze from a nap by shouting at him, “I got an answer.” Lisbeth read the note: “Beyond the Sugar Lump mountains lies a green valley. It is filled with cows grazing, sheep sleeping and lambs having fun. There is no river but there are many different types of flowers and trees. The air is filled with humming birds who sing as they collect pollen from the plants. ”

Lisbeth was smiling when she finished the note. “I am never going to tell Matt about this. It is great to know something he doesn’t. Someday when he walks miles and miles to find out what is over the mountains I can say, I knew all along because the kind oak tree told me.”

When she left Breeze slept, dreaming of dancing trees who became so knotted they fell over and grew on the ground.

 

 

Tulip’s Vanilla Fudge Recipe – To be made with the help of a grown up

450g light brown sugar
400g double cream
50g butter
1 tbsp glucose syrup
1 tspvanilla essence

 

Line a 20 x 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.

Put the sugar, cream, butter and glucose syrup into a medium to large saucepan.

Heat to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter, stirring now and again.
Once dissolved, put a sugar thermometer in the pan, making sure the end is completely covered by the syrup .

When the mixture starts to boil stir occasionally   until the mixture reaches 116C (soft ball) .

Remove the pan from the heat and leave for  5 mins. Add in the vanilla and a pinch of salt.
Keep the sugar thermometer in the pan and begin beating the mixture, until the temperature cools to about 60C until it is thick.

Before it  sets pour the fudge into your prepared tin and smooth over the surface. Leave to cool at room temperature overnight (don’t put the fudge in the fridge )

Cut into chunks

and enjoy