Update

This blog is not being updated at present while the material is offered to publishers and agents. The idea took off!

The fairy’s tale

The fairies

Mark sat cross-legged on the floor and scowled at Jodi. “We are NOT going to play with fairies!” he said. “Fairies are for girls.”

Jodi looked up from the sand where she was arranging her three favourite fairies. “I AM a girl,” she said. “You can play with me or get something else to play with.”

Angelina spread her beautiful yellow wings and looked up at Jodi. She hoped they were going to have an exciting game in the sand. It was ages since the children had taken the fairies out and played with them. “I hope Marc doesn’t stop Jodi playing with us,” she said to her friends.

Patty was sitting quietly on her toadstool as usual. “Sometimes children make other people do things they don’t want to. I’m glad we’re friends and stick together.”

“Yes,” said Gabby, flapping her bright pink wings. “We’ve been friends ever since we were born in fairyland.”

“I wish we could visit our fairy palace again,” sighed Angelina. “It was so big and beautiful.”

Suddenly the three fairies found themselves picked up and tossed in a pile at the end of the sandpit. “OW!” said Patty. “That hurt.”

But before they could complain, they heard Jodi say, “Come on Mark, get the wooden blocks. We’re going to make something fantastic.”

“Bother,” muttered Angelina. “They’re not going to play with us after all.”

Mark brought the blocks over, and Jodi and he started building something in the sand. They built walls and roofs and stables and garages. Quite soon the building looked like a huge castle with battlements and a drawbridge.

“We still need someone to live in it,” said Jodi.

“Well, what about the fairies?” asked Mark.

Jodi looked at him in surprise and the three fairies held their breath. What would Jodi say? It wasn’t a palace, but a castle might be quite interesting. It would definitely be better than sitting in a heap in the corner!

Jodi stood Patty and her toadstool on the battlements. “She can be the look-out,” she said, “and tell us when the enemy is coming.”

Patty nodded. She liked watching everything that happened – there was always someone doing something interesting.

Mark opened the stable and put Angelina inside. “She’s looking after the fairy horses,” he said.

Jodi found a white horse with fancy reins and put it in the stable with Angelina. “There, that’s her favourite horse,” she said.

Angelina smiled happily. “This isn’t like our fairy palace,” she said, “but I’ve never looked after a horse before and it’s going to be fun!”

Jodi looked round. “What shall we do with the other fairy?” she asked Mark.

Mark frowned. Then he said: “She can stand here at the door and say hello to any visitors.” He put her near the drawbridge.

“Ooooh,” said Gabby. “I’m going to show visitors round the castle and make them a drink and something to eat. I wonder if they’ll like fairy food?”

Of course, Mark and Jodi couldn’t hear her talking, so Gabby nearly fell over in surprise when Jodi said, “She can give them cakes. Everyone likes fairy cakes.”

So the fairies lived in the castle until bedtime. Everything was exciting and new, and when they fell asleep, they realised they hadn’t thought of their own fairy palace for ages.

The moral of this Tale is that  you can get really interested in anything if you give it a chance.

The skeleton’s tale

The skeleton

The skeleton was rowing on the lake. He was the happiest skeleton in the playroom. He always had a huge grin on his face because he enjoyed taking the lego people across the water every day to visit someone, or to do their shopping, or to play in the sand with their friends.

Natalie and Kaylee were organising a picnic on the shore today. It was a hot afternoon.

“This lady is the first to arrive with her children,” said Kaylee, putting a kind lego mummy into the skeleton’s boat and placing her two children with her.

The skeleton stuck his oar in the water and started rowing hard. He was very proud of his oar. It was a huge weapon that he’d stolen from the ogre.

So he used his oar to row across the lake and came back for some more people. Natalie had a queue of lego men and women and children lined up on the shore. But soon they were all ferried across to the sandy beach, and the skeleton sat down on the seat in his boat to watch and wait until it was time to ferry them all home again.

Natalie had brought some other people over as well. These people were not like the lego people. They all wore clothes, like Natalie and Kaylee did.

The skeleton sighed. “It would be so nice to have clothes. No one even notices that my bones get cold in the wind. They just expect me to row and row and––”

The boat rocked as a bird landed beside him. It was Baby Owl.

“Sorry,” said Baby Owl. “I’m just practising flying long distances and I got tired. I’m glad your boat was here.”

The skeleton felt cross. This was all he needed. A silly baby owl landing on his nice clean boat and probably making it all messy. “I thought owls slept in the daytime,” he said. “That’s probably why you’re tired.”

“I’ve nowhere to sleep now they’ve chopped our tree down,” Baby Owl said. “Look round. Can you see any trees?”

The skeleton looked all round the lake. “No,” he said. “There are no trees. So what will you do?”

Baby Owl’s feathers drooped and his wings sagged. “I’ll have to ask someone to share their home with me… Maybe you would?” he said, looking up.

The skeleton was horrified. He felt the huge grin fade from his face. “There isn’t much room in this boat,” he began.

But Baby Owl interrupted him excitedly. “I could sleep near your feet and my feathers would keep them warm.”

The skeleton looked down. He had no shoes, no socks and no trousers or pyjamas. Would feathers feel like having clothes? Perhaps they would keep him as warm as socks.

“That’s a very good idea,” he said finally. “You are the kindest baby owl I have ever met.”

Baby Owl nodded his head but said nothing.

The skeleton suddenly jumped up. “I have to go ferry the lego people back from the beach. Will you come with me?”

Baby Owl saw Kaylee and Natalie coming over. He quickly agreed, and the two of them had a brilliant time with all the lego families as the skeleton ferried them home from their day on the sand. And then the skeleton and Baby Owl settled themselves cosily in the boat and fell fast asleep.

The moral of the Tale is that being kind to someone helps both people to feel better.


The big cats’ tale

Big cats

Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Panther and Cheetah were on the window ledge. They knew there was a forest outside the playroom window and they wanted to be there – chasing, fighting, having fun and hunting for food.  They often dreamed of what life in the forest would be like.

“It’s horrible having to sit still and be neat and tidy,” complained the little black panther. He poked the cheetah baby who was even smaller than he was. “Ha, ha, scaredy-cat,” he said, as the baby fell over.

“Stop that!” snarled the lion, “or I’ll eat you for supper.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” said the black panther cheekily. “My mum would be cross.”

Tiger glanced out of the window at the real forest. “We’d all be happier out there doing what big cats do,” he said. He purred angrily.

Jake and Ben were roaming round the playroom wondering what to play with. It was nearly bedtime and they were tired.

Jake suddenly saw the big cats on the ledge. “Hey! Let’s make a safari park with loads of trees and some other animals.”

Ben grabbed the trees and fences. “Great idea,” he said, picking up the crocodile and the chimpenzee. “Get the bears and snakes and let’s get going. We’ve just got time before bed.”

Before the big cats could even roar, they were taken off the ledge and dumped in a clearing among trees and bushes that Ben set up in the sand pit.

“Some forest,” grumbled Tiger. “I want to go out into the real one.”

At that moment, Jake slithered a long green snake along the forest floor and jabbed it at the tiger. Tiger felt the sting and swung round. How dare a puny snake attack him! He was lord of the jungle, even a sandy one like this.

Ben made Tiger chase after the snake. But although he was faster, the snake was nimble. He slid in between the bushes and trees quicker than Tiger could catch up.

Jake then bounced a chimpanzee in front of Tiger. Chimp jumped on his back and pretended to ride him like a horse. Tiger was furious. He jumped and jerked but he couldn’t get Chimp off his back. After a while, Chimp laughed a long cackle and swung high into a tree.

Then Jake sent a big brown bear after Tiger. He growled and snapped at Tiger’s paws. Poor Tiger got more and more cross and more and more fed up.

Ben then made Tiger run faster and faster until he arrived back in the clearing. He was surprised to find Lion, Leopard, Black Panther and Baby Cheetah sprawled out lazily in the sun.

“How come you’re okay and all the animals are annoying me?” Tiger asked.

A voice spoke up from the tray of toys nearby. “Because I am the magician and I can make the children hear us. I let Ben and Jake hear you complaining about the playroom. They decided to teach you a lesson for moaning.”

Tiger was annoyed to hear this. But he knew he had a good life in the playroom. And the animals in the real forest outside would probably be even more frightening. Maybe he didn’t want to go out there after all!

At bedtime, when Ben put the big cats back on their ledge, Tiger said to his friends, “You all get some sleep, and I’ll keep watch over us. Just in case Ben wants to teach any more of us a lesson! Then we can swap and I’ll sleep.”

So all night, four of the big cats slept while one kept watch. And the ones who slept dreamed of real forests and real enemies but knew they were all safe and sound in the playroom.

The moral of the Tale is that being kind is a nicer feeling than always wanting things to be different.

The hippo’s tale

Hippo

Hippo opened his enormous mouth and roared and roared. He was very cross. Three crocodiles had swum into his river and started splashing and snapping and swishing around.

Ben and Jodi were having a brilliant time with the tub of water. They held onto the crocodiles and thrashed them around in the water. They shrieked and shouted as they played, and Hippo got madder and madder. He liked peace and quiet!

No one took any notice of his angry roaring. So he turned round and walked across the playroom to where Leona was playing with the large dolls and changing their clothes ready to go for a walk.

“Please may I sit here and watch quietly?” Hippo said politely.

But Leona took no notice of him. She was too busy with the dolls and their clothes.

So Hippo walked over to the puppets. “Please may I sit here and watch?” he asked.

“Of course you can,” said Monkey. But Monkey and Koala were chasing each other around, and their noise made Hippo’s head ache. So he wandered over to the bricks. Marc was building a tower.

“Please may I sit and watch?” asked Hippo politely.

“Of course you can,” said Marc. “But mind out: they’re just ABOUT  TO––”

Too late!

The bricks fell on Hippo’s head. Now he had a real headache the size of a football. He got up and stomped off into the forest where the king and queen and their fairies lived.

The king looked up as Hippo dragged himself to a shady corner and lay down. “You poor thing,” he said kindly. “Whatever is wrong?”

Hippo could hardly speak, he was so upset. But he managed to explain about the crocodiles, the dolls, the puppets and the bricks. “I just need somewhere quiet to rest,” he said. “That’s not too much to ask, is it?”

The king went off to talk to his wise fairies. When he came back, he whispered something in Hippo’s ears. Then he said, “Now you have a good sleep here in the woods, and then go do what we have told you, and all will be well.”

As the sun began to set behind the trees, Hippo woke from his sleep and set off towards his river. When he arrived, he noticed that Ben and Jodi had stopped splashing water. But the crocodiles were still there, chasing each other around and making a noise.

Remembering what the king had whispered to him, Hippo calmly said, “Good evening and good night!” to the crocodiles. Then he slid his huge body into his favourite stretch of the river. He went in far enough that only his nose and eyes showed above the water.

As he settled down and made himself comfortable, he realised that the water stopped any noise entering his ears, just like the king had promised. Everything went really quiet, and before long he found he could ignore the new crocodiles in his river and be perfectly happy living there alongside them. So he sighed deeply, sent a mental “thank you” to the king and his fairies, and fell asleep.

The moral of the Tale is that you can learn new ways to deal with anything and be happy again.

The game counter’s tale

Game counters

The blue game counter was having fun. Leona rushed him round the Snakes and Ladders board. She hoped to get him home first and beat Jake’s counter. Blue Counter felt really happy when she won the game.

But then Leona walked off and left him on the table, and there wasn’t really anything else to do. When no one played games, he didn’t really want to be a game counter!

He sat with the green, yellow and red counters and watched Jake and Leona as they started to play with the farm. “Just look at the fun they’re having,” he said. “I wish we could join in.”

Jake was moving the tractor out of the big barn. “Mind out, Leona!” he called. “Move those sheep out of my way!”

Leona used her sheepdog to move the tiny lambs and their mothers into a pen in the corner of the farmyard. Then Jake drove the tractor backwards out of the barn doors, turned it round and steered it carefully through the gate into the field.

Blue Counter watched as Jake pretended to leave bales of hay in the field for the cows and sheep to eat.

Leona said, “You need some proper bales of hay. Why don’t you look around and find something you could use as hay?”

Jake walked round the playroom. Straightaway, he saw the counters that Leona and he had left on the table. Blue Counter was excited! The counters would make wonderful pretend hay!

Jake must have thought so too, because he grabbed a handful of counters and tipped them into the trailer on the back of his tractor. Then he drove the tractor round the field again and dumped a few counters in each corner.

Leona’s sheepdog then drove the flock of sheep and lambs into the field. “There, everyone is happy now,” she said.

But just then, a large woolly sheep came over and sniffed at the pretend bales of hay. Blue Counter was scared and cried out: “Help! I don’t want to be eaten.”

But Jake didn’t hear him. He’d gone across the playroom. Blue Counter had to sit there as the sheep sniffed around and Leona pretended to make them eat. “I don’t think they like counters instead of real hay,” she said to Jake. “What shall we do now?”

Jake was sitting at the table. He turned the Snakes and Ladders board over to the other side and looked at the Ludo game. He called back: “Come and have a game of Ludo with me. I’ll beat you this time.”

Leona and Jake put the board between them, and Leona started to take blue counters and put them in position. “There are only three!” she cried.  “Where is the fourth blue counter?”

Jake looked puzzled too. “Three of my green ones are missing!” he said.

Meanwhile, Blue Counter was in the field. A small flock of sheep stood around him, looking hungry. He held his breath. Would Leona and Jake remember where he was?

Suddenly Jake clapped his hands. “I know! We used them as hay bales! They’re in the field.”

He ran over and rescued Blue Counter and his friends from the sheep. By the time Leona and Jake finished their game, Blue Counter was really tired, and ready to go to bed in the black box all the counters lived in. He felt glad he was just a small game counter in a black box!

The moral of the tale is that it’s okay to be what you are. You are special!

The palm tree’s tale

Palm Tree

The palm tree wafted his branches in the draught from the window. He glanced down at the Lego baby in its push chair on the carpet beneath him. The baby was sound asleep, and the leafy branches of the palm were shading him from the late afternoon sun as it poured through the glass in the playroom.

Marc had taken the small cars off to race through the village. Palm Tree realised that Marc had forgotten all about the baby!

Suddenly the Lego baby started to cry. Palm Tree swished and waved his branches nervously. What should he do? Marc couldn’t hear the baby’s cries because the magician was asleep. Only the magician could make the children hear the toys.

Marc pushed the police car through the roads, chanting “der-der, der-der, der-der” as he raced them across roundabouts and through traffic lights.

At that moment, Natalie came into the playroom. “Marc!” she called. “Stop that noise!”

Marc turned round and suddenly the playroom was very quiet. “Why should I?” he asked.

“It’s annoying me,” said Natalie. “Come and help me with the doll house.”

Marc made a choking noise. Palm Tree watched, amused. He knew that Marc and Natalie were friends. But would he play with the doll house just to please her? And what would they do about the crying baby?

Marc got up. “You do the doll house. Make tea for us. And I’ll bring the baby in when I’ve taken her for a walk.”

He went over and grabbed the push chair. Then, as Palm Tree gazed in horror, he zoomed it round the roundabout, past the airport and up into the air with a whizzzzzz. Palm Tree was certain the baby would fall out of the push chair!

Just as he realised the baby had stopped crying, Marc zoomed the push chair round and round like a stunt plane and crash-landed it into the sand pit.

Palm Tree was astonished to hear the baby laughing and giggling. But he knew that Marc couldn’t hear the baby because the Magician was still fast asleep.

“Marc! Bring the baby home. It’s tea time,” called Natalie from the doll house. She arranged the dolls round the kitchen table.

When Marc pushed the pram into the kitched of the doll house, Natalie said, “This house is boring and hot. We need to sort it out.”

Marc looked puzzled. Then he shouted, “I know! I’ll get the palm tree and plant it in the garden outside the kitchen window. It can shade the dolls from the sun.”

So Palm Tree found himself carried to the doll house and put just outside the window. He was delighted. He’d never seen into the doll house before.

As the sun went down, he stood staring in the window as the dolls ate their tea and Natalie read them a story. When she took them upstairs to bed, Palm Tree stopped wafting in the breeze and settled down for the night.

He was so happy to be sleeping next to the doll house that he dozed off nearly immediately. And his dreams were full of the sandy shores and moonlight beaches where he used to live.

The moral of this tale is that there is always something new to do, and if you wait, the right opportunity will come along.