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.

Sally’s Smiling Sunflowers

Part 3.

Sally wondered what would make Mr. Blunt happy. She wanted to see him smile. “Everyone should smile sometime,” she whispered.

Her dad heard her. He said “If you do that you will be the biggest and best smile maker in the whole world.”

This is Sally as  the worlds biggest, best smile maker for you to colour.

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Images belonging to another children’s story yet to be completed.

I thought instead of writing a story I would post a few of the great colourful images Sara has done for another children’s story. You might recognise one of the drawings which features on decidinglybob.wordpress.com

Sally lives next door to an elderly man who is grumpy. Her aim is to make him smile. The question is how does she do it?

 

The progression of a book cover.

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:

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The debate began. A few suggestions were made and this was the next idea,

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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.

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Finally this was the final  image.

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Did we get it right or wrong? Everyone’s opinion is appreciated.

 

 

Lottie Weeds Words

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Lovisma Tabitha Toothwich (or Lottie for short) was asked to mind her friend Molly’s house. Molly was going on holiday.

Lottie said, “Yes, please.”

They packed with care, for Lottie was bringing Bob with her.  This meant there was a lot of extra’s : jelly babies, bones, and his favorite pink sunglasses.

When they arrived at the address they were surprised. Lottie danced and cartwheeled to the front door. She turned to wait for Bob who, wearing his pink sunglasses, plodded after her.

“Isn’t it perfect Bob? I forgot Moll lives in a lighthouse.  I love circles and look the garden is one giant circle.”

Bob said, “Woof.” They did a lap of the garden to celebrate.

On the first morning Lottie raced to the top of the lighthouse and ran around shouting hello to the birds and animals far below. They spent the day exploring the lighthouse. They decided to sleep for the rest of the holiday right at the top of the building, outside.

That night they were watched carefully by the moon who seemed a little surprised at how soundly they snored while down below the waves crashed and thundered off the rocks.

Lottie and Bob enjoyed minding the lighthouse. The sun behaved as it should by rising promptly every morning. The dolphins and seals popped out of the water to say hello. Lottie and Bob ate most of their meals outside and left snippets of bread on the railing for the seagulls.  Lottie loved to sit on the rocks below the lighthouse watching the seals play in the water while Bob preferred to sleep on the circular lawn.

At the end of the week Lottie noticed the grass was long and the weeds were growing tall. She mowed the grass then said, “I need to weed the garden.” Lottie took out the wheelbarrow and Bob jumped in. She pushed him towards the flowerbeds then stopped when she spotted a collection of wooden words dotted about the flowerbeds.

Lottie  frowned. “Who would plant words in a garden, you can’t eat them? How did they grow there?”

A soft noise got her attention. Lottie pivoted about and saw a rabbit eating a word . By twisting her head sideways Lottie could read the word. “Forget.” She wondered what it meant.

“What a strange thing to have plonked in the ground. Did you do it?” Lottie asked the rabbit who ran away.

Lottie spent a long time weeding. The words were difficult to move. She had to dig the bigger ones free. When she was finished she sat on the ground and looked at the words lying on the grass around her. They were all sizes, big, little, thin and fat.

“I wish they were made of chocolate, “Lottie said to a passing bumble bee who ignored her and flew home. She stared at Bob who was chewing on his name.

“I bet that tastes nice,”Lottie said and picked up the nearest word. “Promised, sounds tasty” she said and took a bite. “Ugh it tastes of old boots,” Lottie grumbled, noticing Bob was chewing on a bone. He paused chewing to look up and smile at her.

After dinner Lottie decided to climb to the top of the lighthouse to see the words she had weeded.

She stood looking at the oodles and oodles of words. She twisted her head this way and that realising they might be a message but from who?

She got a piece of paper and a pencil. Then she began to write carefully.

“Its a puzzle. I need to solve this Bob.”

Her first attempt was terrible. It read;

Lottie,

Smiley don’t forget P.S. Bob Sunday Lunch me with your on surprising friend find it place in you for.

It took a long time but she finally solved the puzzled. It read:

Lottie,

Don’t Forget your promise to have lunch with me on Sunday, your surprisingly smiley friend.

P.S. I hope Bob left this message in a place for you to find it.

 

Lottie laughed. “He did, clever old Bob, lunch with Smiley Sam will be fun.” To celebrate they decided to have ice cream topped with marsmallows for Lottie and dog biscuits topped with Jelly Babies for Bob.