Captain Dave The Pirate Cat

Captain Dave is your Pirate Cat

A Pirate Cat with a three cornered hat

A Piratical Cat that sails the seas

On a gale or a breeze

he goes where he pleases

and always has peases for tea.

No-one calls him a Pirate Puss

A Pirate wimp or a Pirate wuss

For Dave is as fierce and as brave as can be

Whether chasing a mouse

Or climbing a tree

He buckles his swash and swishes his tail

And sharpens his claws as sharp as a nail

He’ll flash and spit and hiss and growl

But you wipe his face with a fluffy blue towel.

Captain Dave’s tail is ginger with stripes

He’ll crawl up drains and down dirty pipes

Coming out stinky and horribly smelly

Mud and poo cling all round his belly

He’ll sit on his hind legs washing his toes

And less pleasant places far from his nose.

Curled up in bed and dreaming of fish

Imagining wonderful things for a wish

He wishes for cream and lovely smoked salmon

Dreaming of bream and big bones with ham on

Morsels of catfood, milk and cucumber

Swim round his brain in his deep sea slumber.

Yes Dave is a Pirate but also a cat

So stroke him again and think about that!

Firewood – a story for children on Halloween


Wee Georgie McPhee, known as Dodie to everyone except his teacher, was a disagreeable child. “No”, “Will Not” and “Don’t hold yer breath” were often heard.  His favourite though, which he saved for when he wanted to be particularly rude, was “Speak to ma Grannie’s ear”, meaning she couldn’t hear, and neither would he.

People would say things like “That Dodie McPhee will come a terrible cropper one day” and “Yon little know-it-all is too big for his breeks” and “One day he’ll go too far and there’ll be no coming back”.

He’d say “Speak to ma Grannie’s ear”.

It was tea-time on the last day of October.  The nights were drawing in, the rowan berries were full on the trees and cool evening mists hung over the river.  Dodie wanted to collect fallen branches for bonfire night, the following week.

“There a pile of wood over the river by old Mother Meg’s bothy.  After tea I’m going to cross over the stepping stones and get it.”

“Not tonight Dodie, his mother said, It’s not safe to cross the river at night but especially not on Halloween, and extra especially mind, not on a full moon.  They say strange things happen to children in old Megs’s field on Halloween.”

“Speak to ma Grannie’s ear.  You told me that last year but I’m a big boy now, ken, so you can save the scary stories for the wee ones.”  His mother, not pleased with his cheek, sent him straight to bed instead of letting him go guising with his friends.

Later, though, when the house was quiet, he crept downstairs to the porch where he took his bonnet and lamp, and set off. “Grannie’s ear”, he said under his breath.

Around the bend in the river, out of sight of the house, he stood on the bank looking at the moon-bright stepping-stones in the swift flow.  He listened to the bubbling water as it pushed between the stones, and fancied he saw the swirl of a salmon in the pool on the far side.  It was a bonny night. The bright moon cast strange shadows in the trees on the far side and the stillness made the skin on his neck prickle.  He suddenly felt cold but said to himself “I’m no feart”.  He turned up his collar and, whistling a reassuring tune all the same, stepped out.

About half way across Dodie thought the river sounded like it was chattering or giggling, rather than bubbling, and he had the strangest feeling of being watched.  He stopped to look back, but the mist had closed in behind him and he could see nothing.  He looked forward and the far end of his path had also disappeared into the mist.  Using his lamp, though, Dodie could still just make out the stepping-stones and got to the other bank alright but, as he reached the far side, he slipped and had to grab at an overhanging branch, to haul himself up.  It seemed, ever so briefly, that though he let go of the branch it did not want to let go of him.  It was only his imagination, of course, but in the struggle to free himself he lost his grip on the lamp, and it fell into the river.

The mist hung close to the river like a wall but, even without his lamp, Dodie could see Old Meg’s bothy and his goal, the pile of firewood beyond it, clearly lit by the moon.  The walking across Meg’s field was slow.  True, the grass and brambles snagged at his legs but, even after a while, it seemed he got no nearer.  He tried to walk faster, but it seemed to make no difference: he got no nearer.  Then, while he stopped to get his breath, he saw a flickering candle in a window and a figure there beckoning to him.  Suddenly Dodie seemed to be flying towards the bothy and, in an instant, he was standing beside the door, which swung open with a creak.  An old bent woman in a shawl and apron stood before him holding a long cromach: It was Old Meg, and he found he was afraid after all.

“Ah”, said Meg, “Young George MccPhee.  At last.  I’ve been expecting you.  You’ll be wanting some wood for your bonfire; let’s see what we have.”  Meg took Dodie’s hand in hers, her long fingernails digging slightly in his plump flesh, and walked him to the woodpile.  With the cromach in her free hand she reached up and pulled down a log, passing it to Dodie.  “Will this one do?”

Dodie looked at the log.  It was strange, all twisted and gnarled, not like the logs in the fireside basket at his house.  It didn’t look or feel like wood at all. “I don’t know, I suppose so,” said Dodie, his voice a little trembly. “Are you sure? Look more closely, George” Meg insisted.  Dodie looked again and saw, to his horror, that the log appeared to have a face, a child’s face, a pleading face formed in the bark.  Dodie dropped the log at his feet and whimpered.  “Don’t you like it, my dear” said Meg, “perhaps this one will suit you better?”  She handed him another.  It was the same, only with a different pleading face, and Dodie dropped it too.  And another, and another, and another; faster, and faster, Meg handed him logs that had faces, some he knew and some he didn’t, all pleading to be set free.  “These are my naughty children, but they are all well behaved in here.  They don’t run away, they don’t talk back.”  Then, finally, she showed him the last. “I think this is the one for you, it will do  very nicely”.  It had no face.

Dodie struggled to escape, but he was already up to his waist in the log children, becoming part of the woodpile himself.  He wriggled and pulled and then, with one mighty effort, broke free and ran.  He ran across the field, without looking back once, knowing that Meg was right behind him, ran back to the river, ran back across the stepping stones, ran crying out all the way “Leave me be, I don’t want to be a log, I don’t want to go in the fire!”  He cried out all the way back to his home and right under his bed.

He was still crying when his mother woke up and came in.  “George McPhee, what is all this commotion.  Come out from under there this instant. Is this because I sent you to bed early?”

Dodie explained everything in a rush, the words tumbling like the water in the river.  “It was Old Meg.  I went out over the river to get wood, and she came out of her house and caught me and tried to make me into a log.  She’s a witch!”

Dodie’s mother laughed.  “What a tale, Dodie! You must have been having a nightmare That’ll teach you to go to bed upset.”

“Ma grannie’s ear! Not a chance!  It wasn’t a dream.  I saw her, touched her, she held my hand!”

“Are you still arguing, Dodie?  Will you never learn?  Old Meg has been gone these 100 years, and the bothy a ruin for nearly as long.  Now, stop your nonsense and come down by the stove.  You’ll have some hot milk, and a biscuit, to settle your mind, and then back to bed you go.

Later, in his room warm and safe, Dodie drifted off to sleep mumbling “Witches?  Ma Grannie’s ear”, while Mrs McPhee made up the stove downstairs.  She took a piece of wood from the top of the basket, but something about it made her stop.  “Well, look at that!  It looks just like Dodie’s face.  I’ll keep it back and show it to him tomorrow, he’ll like that.”

© Andrew Gold September 2012

Dildeep and Mooly Visit the Shops

Dildeep and Mooly visit the shops.

Dildeep and Mooly are little and a bit bigger.  Mooly is little and Dildeep is a bit bigger.  Dildeep can nearly reach the kitchen taps.  Mooly has to stand on a stool.

One morning, their Mummy says they are all going to the shops: after breakfast, after Daddy has gone to work.

“I want toast” says Dildeep, “with the crusts off.  I don’t like crusts”.  Mummy knows this.  “What would you like on your toast?”

“I don’t want toast, I want cer-re-ral” says Mooly, rather loudly.  She has her bottom lip sticking out.  “Yes”, says Mummy “but I was asking Dildeep.  And it is more polite to say ‘may I have’, and ‘please’, and not ‘I want’”.

Dildeep says. “May I have, and please, not I want, jam.  May I want strawberry jam?”  While Mummy is putting jam on Dildeep’s toast she speaks to Mooly.  “Now, you would like cereal, yes?” “Yes I want ce-re-ral with milk and jam.  And toast.  And chips”.  Mooly likes chips.

Mooly and Dildeep go to the table.  Dildeep can reach but Mooly has to kneel on a chair.  She has cereal, but not chips, all down her arm and her pyjama sleeves are soggy.  “Oh, Mooly”, says Mummy, “look at your pyjamas, they are all milky!”  Mooly sucks the milk off her sleeve and grins.  She wipes her mouth on her other sleeve, just to make sure.  Mummy sighs.  Dildeep is making a dinosaur with his toast.  Mooly says “Mummy, look; Dildeep is playing with his food!”.  Mooly likes to get Dildeep into trouble sometimes.  “Dildeep makes a fierce roaring sound and bites his toast in half.  “Don’t play with your food Dildeep”, says Mummy.  Dildeep says “I’m not playing – I’m a Toastosaurus”.  Mummy says “Yes dear” and takes her tablet.

Daddy comes in from the bathroom.  He has been getting ready for work.  Daddy is very important .  Mummy says he’s a merchant banker but he doesn’t work in an actual bank. He wears a suit and tie.  He would rather wear jeans but Daddy’s boss doesn’t like jeans at the office, except on Friday.  Friday is the boss’s secretary.  He says “Sorry dear, I am late, no time for breakfast – I have a meeting. I’ll get something at the station”.  Really he is afraid Mooly will spray him with her ce-re-ral.  He kisses Dildeep and Mooly and Mummy goodbye, and sets off.  He has a toast dinosaur stuck to his elbow. Poor Daddy.

After breakfast Dildeep and Mooly get dressed to go to the shops.  “Please may I, can I, not want, to wear my Spiderman outfit?” says Dildeep.  “I don’t think Spiderman is quite the thing for the number 49 bus or Sainsbury’s”, says Mummy, “Why not wear shorts and shirt, it’s such a sunny day?”.  “Dildeep is very pleased.  “OK” he says “I can do it myself.”

Mooly wants to wear her denim overalls with the pink patches and love hearts.  She likes pink and pretty.  She also wants to wear Wellingtons and a woolly hat.  Mooly is not old enough to co-ordinate.  “I think you had better put on your sandals, and you don’t really need a woolly hat on such a nice day”, says Mummy.  “OK” says Mooly “I can do it myself.”

Mooly and Dildeep come to the door.  Dildeep is wearing his Arsenal strip and football boots.  Mooly has on a pair of flip-flops and a Paddington Bear hat.  Mummy sighs.

On the bus Mooly asks, in a loud voice, “Do very fat people pay for two seats, Mummy?”  Mummy says “let’s get off and walk from here, I’ve just remembered I need to go to the post office.”  When they are in the queue at the Post Office they stand next to a very nice lady in a long black dress and large funny white hat. “What’s a grobsite, Mummy? says Mooly.  “That man on the bus said I was a little grobsite.  That was nice of him wasn’t it?  I want to be a big grobsite when I grow up.”  Mummy sees the lady in the black dress is mumbling and playing with some beads and a cross.  Dildeep asks Mummy “Is that lady in fancy dress Mummy?”

Soon they are at the shops.  Mummy asks Dildeep to push Mooly around the shop in the big basket while she goes to get some Cod. “Whee…..faster, faster”, says Mooly.  Mummy hears the crash really quite well from the fish counter.  Mooly is still in the basket, with lots of packets of something called ‘reduced offer’.  Dildeep’s football boots are sticking out of a pile of empty boxes, but the rest of him is head first in the chilled meats.  Poor Mummy; but the shop manager is really quite nice after she gives him lots of money.  He even gives Mooly a biscuit.  It has a name printed on it.  Bonio.  That’s a nice name isn’t it?

When they get out of the Police car, Mummy is very quiet.  Dildeep asks “What’s a care order Mummy?”  Mooly says “What’s medication Mummy?

Mummy sighs.


© Andrew Gold 2007

Dildeep and Mooly Go to the Country

Dildeep and Mooly go to The Country

 Dildeep and Mooly are brother and sister.  Mooly is Dildeep’s sister and Dildeep is Mooly’s brother.  They are little, and a bit bigger.  Mooly is little and Dildeep is a bit bigger.  Dildeep can nearly reach the middle shelf.

They live in a house, in town, where there are no Horses or Cows or Giraffes or Dinosaurs.  Dildeep likes Dinosaurs but he has never seen one.  He likes them anyway.  He likes the way they bash cars and eat aeroplanes.  And he likes ‘Banjo’.  Banjo is his cat.

One day Dildeep is bored: It is raining.  He says to Mooly “Let’s go across the sea to ‘The Country’, that’s where the Dinosaurs and Giraffes live.  Mummy told me.”  Mooly wants to see a Ninosaur, an’ a Raffe an’ a Norse too, but not a cow.

“Can we be back for tea?” says Mooly, “Mummy said we are havin sossgis today”.  Mooly likes sausages.  And potatoes and bananas, but not peas or blackberries.  She doesn’t like the pippy bits in blackberries.  Dildeep doesn’t like lots, especially not crusts, mushrooms, spinach and apple peel.  He likes snacks, but not cheese.

“I don’t know,” says Dildeep, “but we need to take lots of snacks, so I’ll get them from the fridge, and the sausages – in case.”  He gets some snack drinks and a yoghurt pot.

Mooly doesn’t like the idea of having no proper tea, but packs her bag with her two bestest ever dolls, Baby and Tilly, and her rain hat, and a baby wipe, and her book about how butterflies eat cabbages, and a ribbon that came round her Christmas present.  Dildeep packs his Transformer Killerator Zomboid Drone, some colouring pens and a piece of paper, a football (in case the giraffes want to play), a book about how to speak dinosaur and the walking-about telephone from the kitchen.  And a toothbrush.

“Do they have toilets in The Country?” asks Mooly.  “There might not be any paper, like in the supermarket yesterday.”  “No,” says Dildeep, “they don’t have things like toilets, or baths, or spare underpants or anything.  You’ll have to go now, before we leave.”

When Mooly comes back from the bathroom she says, “How will we go without Mummy seeing? She’ll never let us go to The Country without her,” half hoping that she won’t have to go at all.  Mooly isn’t very sure about there being no toilet or spare underpants.

“It’s alright,” says Dildeep, in his most bravest ‘I’m nearly old enough for school, so I know a lot’, voice. “Mummy will be busy with the ironing for hours, and then she said she was going to make us a cake.  We can go, and be back, before she gets to the end of the sheets”.  The sheets always take a long time because Mummy has to keep stopping to get Banjo off the washing heap.  Banjo likes to play in the washing.

Mooly thinks for a bit and then says “But how will we get there? My trike is broken.”  Dildeep sometimes thinks that Mooly is so completely silly that she doesn’t understand anything at all.  He puts his hands on his hips and rolls his eyes round (he’s seen his Daddy do that) “You can’t go to The County by trike, it’s too far.  We have to go across the sea in a raft and then walk for ages.”  He thinks there might be a bus, but he isn’t very sure so he doesn’t say.

Mooly’s bottom lip sticks out, and she puts one hand up to her eye.  Mooly knows this always works with Mummy, but it doesn’t work with Dildeep.  “Don’t be such a baby,” he says, “it will be a ‘venture.”

“Will there be ‘nakes and ‘piders, I don’t like ‘piders,” says Mooly.  She almost says Boo Hoo, too.

“Yes,” says Dildeep, “snakes and spiders and grerillas, and a hittapoperus.  But it’s OK ‘cos I’ve got my water gun.  Snakes and spiders don’t like water.  I’ll squirt at them if they come too near.”

Soon the raft is ready.  They have a big sheet for a sail, which they have taken off the spare bed so that Mummy won’t notice it has gone.  Dildeep jumps onto the raft, and it rocks quite a lot.  Mooly is frightened it might tip over and Dildeep has to help her get in.  “Cast Off,” Dildeep orders, in his salty seadog captain’s voice.  Mooly doesn’t know what ‘Cast Off’ means, so Dildeep has to do it himself.  They begin to paddle furiously out into the stream and down towards the sea.

After a while Dildeep says “I’m hungry, let’s have a snack.  We can stop over there and make a camp.”  Mooly is quite hungry too, so they paddle for the shore and pull the raft up onto the beach.  They aren’t allowed to play with matches, so Dildeep makes a fire by rubbing sticks together and Mooly unpacks Baby and Tilly to share her snack with them.

“Are we at The Country now” says  Mooly as she tucks into her Apple Crumble and Wheatflake bar (with no added sugar she can hear her Mummy say).  “No, not yet” says Dildeep, “it’s over there a bit, and round the corner past the deadly crushing rocks and the whale cave.”

“Tilly’s tired,” says Mooly “she wants to stay here until tea time.  Can we?”

“No.  I want to go to The Country.  If you don’t go to the Country with me I won’t speak to you ever, never, again.  Even when you come to big school with me.”  So they pack up their camp, and put everything back on the raft.  Dildeep thinks it will be a good idea to take the fire, in case it gets cold near the whale cave.  He’s heard Daddy talk about a fire bucket, so he puts the fire into a bucket and lifts it onto the raft.  “Cast Off”, Dildeep commands.  This time Mooly knows she has to untie the cord from Dildeep’s dressing gown, but she throws it onto the shore instead of bringing it into the raft.  Dildeep is annoyed, because Mummy will wonder what has happened to it.  Soon the current takes them fast into the deep blue sea and sweeps them round the headland and past the whale cave.  Dildeep gets his water gun ready, but the whale must be asleep, because they don’t see even a bubble or a burp from under the waves.  On and on they go, until Mooly is so tired she falls asleep in the bottom of the raft.

She wakes up suddenly when Dildeep shouts “Land Ho! We’re there, look Mooly, we’ve arrived at The Country.”   Below the great grey cliffs there is a small beach where they land the raft and lift out the fire bucket.  “We have to explore up that path and find the dinosaurs and giraffes.”  “And the ‘orses too,” says Mooly “after a snack.”

The climb up the cliffs is very hard, but soon they are at the top and there, ahead, just above the tree tops, they see a tall funny head with two bumpy bits on top.  “Look”, says Mooly.  She is excited.  “It’s a ‘raffe”.  Can we feed it some of my snack?”  “S’pect so”, says Dildeep, “but only a bit ‘cos they might not like it and then we might get into trouble.”

Mooly shows the giraffe to Baby and Tilly.  They are a bit scared and Mooly has to hold them very tight, but they like it really, especially the long eyelashes and big, big, curly tongue.  The ‘raffe licks them.  Then Dildeep sees something else tall above the trees; a big tall neck like a giraffe, but it is all green and scaly and it has big TEETH.

“Help”, says Dildeep as he grabs his water gun “it’s a dinosaur and it’s going to attack us!”  Mooly screams and clings to her brother’s legs.  “ROAR” goes the dinosaur. Squirt, Squirt, goes the water gun into the flashing jaws.  Dildeep transforms his Killerator Zomboid Drone which launches itself into the fight, biting and bashing the dinosaur.  Then Mooly has a brainwave and throws the sausages to the dinosaur, which eats them so fast that it falls over dead with indigestion.  “Gosh, that was close, says Dildeep.  My gun is out of water.  We’d better get back to the raft, and go home before we see any more monsters.”   “But we didn’t see a Norse” yet says Mooly, a bit disappointed.

Back in the sea the raft flies along under the big sail, but the fire bucket tips over in the bumpy waves and soon the raft is on fire from end to end.  “Oh help”, says Dildeep “what shall we do?”  He is very afraid, but Mooly is very clever and uses the bucket to take water from the sea and put out the fire.

Then Dildeep says, “Help! Now there is too much water in the raft and we’re sinking!”  But Mooly uses the same bucket to take the water out of the raft and put it back into the sea.  “Oh Mooly, you are clever,” says Dildeep, “you’ve saved us both, with the sausage eating dinosaur and the fire.  Well done you!  You are a great explorer.” And he gives her a big hug.  Mooly is very proud.

Sure enough, they creep back into their room just as Mummy finishes the cake.  She calls through from the kitchen “Hallo you two, you’re very quiet.  It’s nearly tea time – have you seen the sausages? I thought they were in the fridge?”  She comes into the room, but Dildeep and Mooly are fast asleep on the floor.

She thinks to herself, “What a mess!  Just look at that sheet.  What are the sausages doing in here, and why have they got teeth marks all over them?  And where is Dildeep’s dressing gown cord?  Why are the walls all wet, and what is that bucket doing on the bed?  Never mind, I’ll ask them tomorrow; maybe we can all take a trip to the country.  That will keep them amused!

© Andrew Gold 2007

Dildeep and Mooly Have a Busy Day

Dildeep and Mooly Have a Busy Day

Dildeep and Mooly are brother and sister.  They are little, and a bit bigger.  Dildeep is a bit bigger.  He can nearly reach the pedals in Daddy’s car.  He likes Daddy’s car.

One hot day Dildeep said to Mooly “We should do something nice for Daddy.  Daddy works hard all day so that Mummy can sit around drinking coffee with her friends.”  Dildeep knows this because he has heard Daddy tell Mummy.  Often.

“I know,” says Mooly, “we can clean Daddy’s car while he’s at work.”  Dildeep thinks this is a very good idea.  Daddy goes to work by something called The 7.49 and never has time to clean his car.  Busy Daddy.

The car is on the drive because the garage is full of something that will come in handy one day.  It has been there a long time.  Mummy is waiting for the pigs that can fly to collect it.  Dildeep is looking forward to seeing this, very much.

Mooly gets her special bucket, the red and yellow one for the beach, and fills it with water from the garden pond.  It is a nice pond. It has frogs in it.  And goldy fish.  Dildeep thinks she is silly.  “That will take too long.  We should use the hose”.

The hose has a sprinkly thing on it, for watering the grass, but neither Dildeep nor Mooly know how to take it off.  Mooly says “I know, we can put the sprinkly thing on top of the car, and then it will be like rain.  Daddy’s car will soon be wet and then we can wash it.”

Dildeep cannot quite reach the top of the car, but manages to push the sprinkly thing onto the roof with the garden rake.  Clever Dildeep.  He tells Mooly to turn on the tap, and then get some soap.  Mooly is not tall enough for the kitchen sink, but she can reach the bath.  Nice bubbles.  Daddy’s car will smell of lavender.  He will like that.

Dildeep goes to the kitchen.  He can reach the scrubby thing that makes the saucepans shine so bright.  “That will clean the dirt off nicely,” thinks Dildeep.  While he is in the kitchen, Mummy comes in and suggests, as it is such a nice day, that they go to the park with a picnic lunch.  Dildeep says “After we have made a surprise for Daddy,” and Mummy says “Alright, I’ll start making the sandwiches and the drinks – but don’t be long.”  Dildeep says “Take off the crusts, I don’t like the crusts.”  Mummy knows this.

Outside, Mooly is already soaping the car, but the sprinkly thing is not making the car very wet after all.  “Never mind,” she thinks, “I’ll use the water from the pond.”  See the frogs in the pretty bubbles.  They go all orange when Mooly rubs them.  They make pretty patterns in the purple bubbles.  Dildeep begins to scrub too.  Daddy’s car is very dirty so Dildeep has to rub really hard.  Soon Daddy’s car is lovely and shiny, especially the bits that Dildeep can reach.

Mummy calls from the kitchen that the picnic is ready, and to come in as they have to go the back way to the park.  Dildeep tells Mooly to throw the rest of her bucket of water over the car and to leave the sprinkly thing on, to finish rinsing the bubbles off.  Off they go, hop and skip; what happy children they are.

After the picnic Mummy, Dildeep and Mooly come back by the same way to the house, and Mummy sends them upstairs to wash, so that they will be lovely and clean for Daddy when he comes home.  The water runs into the bath very slowly, and Dildeep remembers the hose.  He turns off the tap, but cannot reach the sprinkly thing because it is inside Daddy’s car, with Mooly’s goldy fish:  Daddy has left the sun-roof open.

When he comes home he is very excited about his nice clean car, and Dildeep and Mooly learn lots of new words.

When Mummy comes to tuck them in, Dildeep asks “What’s a vasectomy?”

© Andrew Gold 2007

Mai Mung Bean – a story about minority vegetables

Mai Mung Bean

Mai Mung Bean has come from Asia.  It’s a long way to Plantwell City.  She lives with her sprouts in a window box at the top of Haricot House.  Far below she can see roads and houses and lots of people.  It makes her feel quite small and lonely.  In the distance she can see some trees.  It is Plantation Park.

She decides to take her sprouts to the park.  Perhaps she can find some friends for them all there. In the park she can hear music playing, and see people dancing. Mai likes the sound of music so she follows the banging and twanging and tootling towards a bandstand. “That looks like a good place to meet people,” she thinks.

Along the way she meets a small round person with red hair.  It is Calum Coconut.  “Hello,” says Mai.  “My name is Mai Mung Bean.  My friends call me Mai.  We are new here, how do you do?”  Calum looks at her but says nothing and keeps walking. “Perhaps he is in a hurry to listen to the music,” Mai says to the sprouts, “Let’s try somewhere else.”

Mai sees someone selling sandwiches at the bandstand.  It is Walter Cress.  “Hello”, says Mai. My name is Mai Mung Bean.  These are my sprouts.  What is your name?”  But Walter carries on selling.  “I expect he is too busy to talk”, says Mai to the sprouts.

Then Mai sees a very extraordinary person listening to the band.  He is big and purple and is wearing a green spiky hat.  “Hello,” says Mai, “I’m Mai Mung Bean.  How do you do?”  The very extraordinary person looks down at her.  He has a kind purple voice to go with his smooth purple skin.  “Yes?” he says, “and I am Mr Aubrey Aubergine. Can I help you?”

Mai explains that she is new to Seed City and wants to make new friends for her and her family.  “The trouble is, everyone seems so busy.  Nobody will talk to me.  Do you think it is because I am different?  I am small and green. Everyone is so big here, like you.”

“I don’t think so,” says Aubrey.  “I felt like that when I first arrived.  People thought I was posh, and I do rather stand out!”  He smiled and shone in the sunlight.  “I have lots of friends now.  I suggest you go over there,” says Aubrey pointing to a colourful building.  It has writing all over the walls, and a big red roof.  A sign over the door says Community Hall.

“Always something going on there.  Always need new people to help out.  Be there myself later. Got to go.  I’m meeting my friend, Baba Ghanoush, for lunch.” And with a cheery wave off he goes.  Mai thinks, “He seems very nice. So, the Community Hall is the place to meet people.”

Inside the Community Hall there are lots of tables, all around the walls.  Every table has a sign above it, like ‘Baking’, ‘Re-cycling’, ‘Swap’, ‘Allotment’ and ‘Face Painting’.  Mai reads the signs out loud to the sprouts, but they are gone, happily running in and out of the tables, with all the other little ones.  One table has a tent with a long queue of people waiting to go inside.  A sign says “Sal Ad the Mysterious”.  Mai is very curious and she joins the queue.

Inside Mai finds someone dressed in a fantastic suit of different colours.   It is Aubrey Aubergine. “Well, hello again Mai Mung Bean!” says Aubrey.

“Where is Sal Ad the Mysterious?” says Mai.  “I am he,” chuckles Aubrey, “It is my stage name: I’m also known as Salata the Greek and Signor Insalata.  I’m looking for ingredients for my new act.  Would you like to join?

Mai thinks this sounds very exciting, but is worried about leaving her sprouts.

“Bring them too,” says Aubrey”  “They’re so full of life:  along with ‘The Flying Adukis’ they’ll be my stars.  Sal Ad the Mysterious’s shows are always fantastic, but with them it will be amazing.  And you’ll meet hundreds of new friends, at every performance.  What do you say?”

Do you know what Mai said?


© Andrew Gold

Anakin Landwalker and Princess Padme-on-the-Bottom

Anakin Landwalker and Princess Padme-on-the-Bottom Go into Space

 Anakin Landwalker and Princess Padme-on-the-Bottom are little and a bit bigger.

Princess Padme (for short) is little and Anakin is a bit bigger.

Anakin has a light sabre and Padme has a gun.  The gun goes pop and the light sabre goes whizz.  They are very scary and very dangerous.

One day Anakin and Padme decide to go into space.  They are going to Jupiter.  It is very far away and it is very dark in space.  They have to take some sandwiches, made of ham and white bread with the crusts on.  And some space lemonade (without bubbles so that they don’t blow up). They take a torch and a box of matches and a candle to see by.  Their mummies don’t let them play with matches but they take them anyway.  Naughty.

To get into space they have to catch the number 49 spacecraft.  They wait a long time for the number 49 to come and then three come along together.  It is usually like this.

On the spacecraft they have their sandwiches.  They keep floating away, so Padme has a bright idea and ties them down with her hair band.

After dinner they look out of the window and see another spacecraft.  It looked oval from the top but when it turned over it was round.  This was very interesting so they decided to go across and see what it was like inside.  They put on their spacesuits (Padme wore a space skirt with frilly edges and pink patches).  The strange spacecraft was locked, so they had to break in.  Anakin says “I’ll use my light sabre to make a hole in the side.”  Padme is worried that they will get into trouble for doing this, so she takes out her gun and fires it at the spacecraft’s door.  Pop. It breaks open.  That’s a surprise isn’t it?  Padme thinks that if they get into trouble that she will say it was Anakin’s idea.  Clever Padme.

They didn’t know that Darth Moll was watching them from the top of the round spacecraft with some Battle Dudes.  The Battle Dudes have guns and baggy shorts.  They like surfing.

Darth Moll has two light sabres stuck together with glue so that he can twizzle them like a windmill.  He jumps out and twizzles.

Anakin takes out his light sabre and twizzles back at Darth.  They bash away for ages.  Padme’s gun has run out of space bullets so she has to bash the Battle Dudes with her gun and her handbag.

Padme’s bag catches in the battle Dudes shorts and they fall down.  The Battle Dudes run away in embarrassment leaving Darth Moll without any help, so in his desperation he twizzles so hard that he cuts himself in half.  What a mess.  He was never heard of again.

Anakin and Padme go back to the number 49 but the conductor won’t let them on with mess all over their spacesuits and half-eaten ham sandwiches.  They have to wait for the number 48 and they are so late getting to Jupiter that they have to come back right away, to be in time for their mummies coming back from work.

When their mummies come home they ask “Where have you been today?  Have you been good?”  Anakin and Padme say “Yes.  We have been here all day.  We haven’t been out at all.”

Do you think this was true?  Will they get into trouble for telling fibs?  Watch next week for more exciting adventures.

For, and with the help of , Dylan and Millie Glover aged 7 and 4

August 2009