Izzy’s Problem

Note: A first draft of a chapter book, remarks, comments will be chewed on with delight.

Chapter 1

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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.”

 

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Muddy Puddles and Ally McDuff

 

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Ally

bob thinking about ogres

Scruff

 

Ally McDuff has a best friend named Scruff.  He has a thick warm coat, four paws, a curly tail and a big smiley face.

Ally and Sruff love doing things together.

 

Trouble is they always get dirty.

“Stay clean, Ally.” Mum said.

Minutes later they were digging. Ally used a shovel. Scruf used his paws. “We will find the Pirates treasure soon, Scruff, ” she said.

By tea time they found:

An old smelly sock,

a bone,

an funny shaped blue glass bottle.

Ally peeped through the blue bottle and said, “Even you are blue, Scruff.”

“Woof” he said.

Ally looked at Scruff.  He was no longer white and black. He was dirty from nose to tail.

“This means a bath, Scruff,” Ally whispered.  She looked at her arms, she was dirty too.

“Maybe Mum won’t see it. Let’s hide.” They ran indoors.

Scruff hid under Ally’s bed. She squeezed in beside him.  “Mum won’t find us here” She said.

Mum did.  They washed Scruff first. He hated being washed.  He looked sad and wet when he was clean.

Ally was next. “Wash behind your ears,” Mum said.

When they were nice and shiny again, mum said, “Ally you are always getting dirty, someday…you might stay clean.”

“Tomorrow Scruff we will be clean all day.” Ally whispered.

Ally decided if they were to be clean, then Gran was the person to be with. Gran was the cleanest person for miles around. Her house shone in the sunlight. Her garden was squeaky clean. Though Ally wondered if the squeaky noise was made by the mice playing in the hedge.

“No chasing mice Scruff, today we will stay clean.” She said as they walked into Gran’s kitchen.

Gran was baking gingerbread men. Ally helped. Scruff sat on a stool and watched. When they put the gingerbread men in the oven to cook. shoes. Scruff has it on his fur.”tulips gingerbread man

 

Gran looked at them and smiled. “Ahh Ally you and Scruff are wearing a lot of the mixture on your face, your clothes and your face.”

Ally scowled all the way home.  She looked grumpy during and after her bath.

Next day they decided to stay indoors. Ally loved painting. Scruff joined in, splodges of paint flew around the room.

When they were finished they showed the painting to mum. “It’s great, I love it even Scruffs paw prints.”

She looked at them and sighed. “Ally you are both covered in paint.”

Ally groaned. One bath later they were sitting having tea.

“How can we stay clean?” Ally wondered.

“I have an idea,” dad said.

Next morning he said to Ally, “you are coming to help me today. I am going to wash my car and Gran’s. You and scruff can help.”

Ally looked at the bucket of water and the sponge. They couldn’t get dirty could they?

They began to wash the cars. When the y were finished the cars were shining and clean. But when they looked at each other, they were all dirty, even Dad.

“Ahh no Dad, another bath?”

“Sorry Ally, it was my fault. Don’t worry though I will make up for it tomorrow.”

Ally spent the night wondering how they were going to manage to stay clean.

Next morning Dad said “I have a reward for my two helpers, we are going out.”

He brought them to the park where they had fun on the slides, swings and roundabouts, even Scruff had a go.

They came home squeaky clean.

Well done. Ally. Mum said. “You are shining like a new Ally.”

Matt’s Christmas Adventure. – A Christmas 2 part story.

It was the 24th December. Every child, big and small, was hoping Santa would stop in Mudpile Wood. Last year he had enjoyed a mug of hot milk and some of Tulips Cinnamon fairy cakes. This year she planned on giving him Mincemeat bread along with his customary hot drink.
Breeze was collecting holly, with berries, for his relations. Ogres loved to decorate their cave with holly. This meant Breeze had to fight off the birds who wanted to eat the berries not sit and look at them.
He began to walk home underneath his large pile of holly which made him look like a moving holly bush. Breeze heard Lily say, “But what will we do if he doesn’t have time to stop? He is a busy man.” Breeze dropped his load of holly and sat down behind it. He wanted to hear the answer to Lily’s question.
Matt said, “I have been thinking of this and this is what we will do.”
Breeze held his breath to hear more but Matt was whispering and he couldn’t find out what Matt planned to do. He collected the holly and decided it might be best to keep an eye on the group of children. He didn’t want them getting into trouble before Christmas.

Breeze spent the afternoon decorating his cave. He finished it at dinner time. Matt’s mum Nell came rushing into Breeze’s cave. “He is gone. Matt is gone. Lily says it was an accident but she won’t tell me anything please help Mr. Breeze.”
Breeze sighed, looked very sadly at his red berry and mushroom pie, “Don’t go anywhere.” He said, then decided to scoop it into his hands to eat as he followed Nell out into the cool evening air.

They found Lily sitting outside her house. She was crying as she said, “It wasn’t my fault, or Matt’s or Lov..It just went wrong. The bubble ate him and carried him away.”
“Where to, Lily?” Breeze asked.
She pointed towards the clouds.
They all stood looking at the twinkling stars and wondered what to do next. “He hasn’t even got his hat and coat,” Nell sobbed.

*****************************

Matt was happy inside his soap bubble which Lovisma’s spell had made strong as steel. Earlier when Matt asked her to create a spell to make the bubble bigger and stronger, Lovisma was curious to see what would happen. Matt sat on a cushion of moss inside the bubble which sat on a branch of a tree. Lovisma watched him until she got bored and left.

As the sun began to sink in the sky the wind decided to play with the ogre sitting in the bubble. It pushed and pulled until the bubble was carried away high into the sky. Matt thought this was fun, he could see everyone below him.
His mum was hanging out her washing. He waved at her but she couldn’t see him. The bubble swooped low and one of his dad’s vests was sucked into the bubble to land beside Matt. He put it on.
The bubble swooped low over Tulips house. The windows were open because Tulip was baking. The bubble flew in one window and out another neatly snagging a freshly baked bun as it went.
Matt felt happy. He was warm and he had a bun to eat. Matt waited to see what would happen next. The wind tired of lingering close to the ground climbed towards the stars. The air was colder up here. Matt pulled his dad’s vest about him and waited to see what would happen next. He grew tired and curling up in a ball he fell asleep.

Flash Fiction; Children’s story for our friend Doogle the Dragon.

Doogle is a friend of Hamish and Breeze. He is a pink Dragon who wishes to be a dark Dragon the size of a mountain.

 

Doogle hated being the smallest dragon.

“If I can’t be big then I will be a famous magician.” Doogle thought.  He began to practise being a magician. Unfortunately he set his magician’s hat on fire.

Doogle tried hip-hop dancing. “I’m dizzy” he moaned bumping into his mum. The pot of potatoes she was carrying flew high into the air and landed on his dad’s foot.

Dad wrapped his foot in cotton wool pulled from a cloud.

Doogle tried singing. “He sounds like a fire alarm,” mum said. He stopped singing when the lollypop factory burned down because the fire men were having tea at Doogle’s house.

“I’ll be a champion swimmer,” he said jumping into the pond. However, the water splashed out leaving the pond dry.  Dilly duck gave out to him as he ran away.

“If I were the biggest dragon in the whole realm people wouldn’t laugh at me.”  He moaned.

“You can get bigger,” Granddad said but Doogle wasn’t listening.

Doogle ate more vegetables, and exercised everyday but he didn’t grow.

Granddad said, “I know how you can be as big as a house.”

Doogle asked, “If it is easy why doesn’t everyone do it?”

“Because their surname is not Nogard” Granddad said. He whispered the secret of how to become a large dragon to Doogle.

“I don’t think I could do it.” Doogle said.

“Don’t think Doogle – just do it.”

Doogle flew high into the blue sky searching for a cloud.  It was hard work beating his wings.  He remembered Granddad’s words,” keep going especially when you feel you can’t.”

Doogle found a white fluffy cloud.

He flew around it. Next he wrapped silver thread about the cloud. He counted as he went, “one, two, three, four…” On the thirty third circle a large rumble shook the sky, followed by a flash of lightening.

Doogle was thrown up to the waiting stars. “A dragon to play with,” they cried bouncing him about like a football.

The noise brought the other dragons out of their homes. “What is happening?” They asked.

“Doogle is gone,” sobbed mum.

“He will be back perhaps we have time for tea,” Granddad said.

Everyone agreed. Tea and cakes were eaten before they heard a light whooshing noise. It grew louder until it became a rumble like a jet plane.

High in the sky they spotted a swooping, diving spot growing bigger.

“It’s Doogle,” Granddad said. Everyone began to cheer as Doogle came to land.

Doogle smiled and spewed flames into the sky.

Looking at his mum he said, “sorry I will need a bigger house.”

She just squeezed his foot, “it’s nice to have you back, I’ll go make an extra large dinner.”

Granddad said, “You will go down in our village history as being the largest dragon in the realm.”

And this was only the beginning of Doogle’s fame, for he returned to the land where giants are made on many more occasions.

A little more about Witches.

Late one night, when the wood was quiet. A soft  swooshing sound was heard in the night sky.

Breeze peeped out of his cave door and saw an odd thing in the sky.

flying hat home

 

He went back to bed and dreamed of flying witches hats.

The next morning he told Tulip of his dream.

She smiled then said, “I don’t think it was a dream. Because the witches have moved their home.”

Breeze frowned. He closed his eyes and said, “It is down by the giant grasses at the edge of the wood. That is where I saw it yesterday.”

amongst the trees

Tulip shook her head. “Well it is gone, poof, gone in the night sky. They said they would let us know where there new address is.”

Breeze chuckled. “Lovisma has gone.” He rubbed his hands together, “no more nasty pranks. This is too good to be true.”

“Don’t be silly they have only moved, not gone. We will find out shortly where they are as Elegant is drawing a new map of the wood. She is tired of everyone complaining that they don’t know how to find a shoe maker or a baker.”

Breeze sighed. “Now that is stupid all you have to do is sniff and follow your nose. The smell of leather means shoes, the smell of cakes or bread means the bakers.”

He left her and went for a nap. He knew better than to worry about a silly map as there was nothing wrong with his nose..

The Cloud Who Learnt to Hug. 280 words.

(Inspired by a dream from Breeze)

 

Tiny cloud was small and thin.

At first he didn’t notice how small he was.  He dived and soared. When he tired of this he stopped and looked around him.

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High above him large clouds rolled in an elegant and smooth fashion. They flowed through the sky.

He wished he  could dance like they could.

A cloud ducked low over the earth and  sat on a mountain.  He must be tired, Tiny cloud thought.

Then as tiny cloud watched the giant cloud hugged the mountain.

He felt sad.

“I want to learn to hug.” He sang as he whizzed past his bigger friends.

“Slow down, enjoy” they whispered. “It will happen when it happens.”

But he was gone.  “I want to be big and great” he sang.

Birds didn’t notice him or hear him. He was moving too fast.

He dived around the earth, wishing and hoping.

“I want to be big and great,” he shouted in his tiny voice.  No one heard  him.

He moved around the sky looking for clues.

He wanted to be bigger.  He was busy watching everyone else.

One day he realised he no longer soared and dived. He didn’t feel like playing.

“I like rolling,” he grumbled. “But I feel heavy.”

The cloud began to sink, slowly at first towards the earth.  He stopped over a mountain. He saw the stones and earth getting closer.

He wondered if he might swallow the mountain.  He stopped grumbling and rolling.

He smiled. “I’m hugging a mountain.” He cried as the rain spilled from him.

Then he was light once more and flew high into the sky to tell the other clouds.

All the time he was singing, “I like hugging.”

Mudpile Wood: Part 2 Job Swap.

What happened when the fairies swapped

their jobs.

 

They practiced.

Ellen insisted Breeze watch. She told him he had to pretend to be a sleeping child. He thought she was bossy but he  didn’t mind being the sleeping child until Izzy tumbled him out of his sleep on the wide branch. He hit the ground with a bang.

Ellen made Izzy do it over and over again until she got it right. Breeze grumbled loudly each time he hit the ground.

 

Next it was Ellen’s turn to wake the trees up. “This will be easy peasy,” she said.

He hoped it would be for the tree’s sake.

 

It wasn’t.

The first time she tried it the trees bloomed bright red.

Breeze said, “They look hot.”

The second time she woke them they flipped upside down and their roots were waving at the clouds. A lot of angry squirrels and birds left in a hurry. But the third time she did it perfectly.

 

Now we are ready to start work,” Izzy rubbed her hands together. “This will be fun.”

They agreed to meet back at Tulips house at dawn.

 

Breeze sat and waited for the sun to rise. He liked watching it climb out of its bed. He said good night to the moon. It smiled at him.

Minutes later he heard a loud noise. He climbed the tallest tree to spy on Hungry Wood which was a few miles from Mudpile Wood.

It was called Hungry Wood because the Ogres who lived there were always hungry.

This morning the wood was shimmering and hopping.

 

“Oh dear it shouldn’t be doing that. Or should it?” He called for Tulip. She took a look and called Elegant to come and help.

The three friends decided to visit Hungry wood.

“This is not good at all.” Elegant said when they were close to the wood.

Every tree and bush was trembling. Animals scurried and raced from it. They huddled in a group behind Breeze.  He wondered what was going on.

There was a loud belching noise and a giant oak shot from the ground to fall back into place shuddering and groaning. Then a hawthorn tree did the same little dance. Ellen came out of the wood shaking her head. Her hair stood on end and she looked frightened. “I don’t understand it, I did everything I had done in practice but it is n’t working.”

Elegant sighed. “Every wood is different, they have to be treated differently.” She flew into the wood and a moment later there was a great shimmering rainbow of green that flowed over the wood followed by silence.

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When Elegant came back to them, Ellen hugged her. “Thank you.” She squinted and looked beyond the wood. “I hope everything went well with Izzy.”

“We will have to wait and see.” Elegant told her.