Saturday, 23 July 2016

Imminent Baby Writing Challenge Day Two: "Cloak, Club and Cups"

T-minus 25 days until blast-off! Or less!

So Day One seemed to go pretty well. Now though, the choice of an old university friend of mine - 'hammock' - which got paired with 'fairy story'. Not an easy one this, but I've given it my best go. Thanks very much for the word - and it's been brilliant to see photos of your lovely boys on Facebook. Tomorrow's word is 'shine' and the genre is 'crime'.

If any of my readers want to chip in a word, I'll write you a story too!

Cloak, Club and Cups

There once was a little man and a little woman who lived in a gigantic sunflower, along with their ten little sons. The little man was a carter by trade. Each morning, he would load up his little cart with sunflower seeds the size of cows, kiss his wife and ten lovely boys goodbye and pull the cart to market.

It so happened that the family was so numerous that they had to all sleep in hammocks made from sunflower petals, slung between the leaf stalks, all except Little Nick, the youngest. By the time Little Nick was born, the family had outgrown the titanic plant and there were no more stalks for him to sling his hammock between, so he had to sleep on the ground next to the stem. Despite being pure of heart and even of temperament, this made him very sad. Sometimes he would cry enormous, fat tears which wetted the little orange clothes his mother had stitched him from sunflower petals.

One day, quite by chance, a flower fairy flitted by whilst Little Nick was crying one evening. She had been born that morning from the unfurling of a rose bud and now had three wishes to grant wherever she chose.

“Little boy,” called the fairy gently. “Why are you crying?”

“I am cold,” wept Little Nick.

Now this fairy had a heart of gold and could not pass by a child in need. The fairy waved her wand in a shower of red sparks.

A beautiful thick cloak of rex rabbit fur appeared with a clap of thunder.

“Be cold no more, my child,” whispered the fairy as the child curled up under the cloak. He turned to thank the fairy, but she was already gone. The boy snuggled into the blanket and fell asleep.

The next night, the fairy came by once more to check on young Nick. She found him sleeping, but now his kind mother was weeping as she tucked him in and rested her hand on his forehead.

“Gentle matron,” called the fairy gently. “Why are you crying?”

“The giant ants harry my son dreadfully,” wept the mother. “They give him no peace.”

Having helped the child, the fairy could not refuse such a warm-hearted woman. She waved her wand in a shower of yellow sparks.

A mighty weapon appeared with a clap of thunder.

“Take this curved club,” whispered the fairy gently. “All men and beasts tremble before its power. You shall be troubled no more.”

The mother sighed in gratitude, but the fairy had already gone.

The next night, the fairy flew by a last time to find the father himself weeping as he cradling his slumbering son.

“Stout father,” called the fairy gently. “Why are you crying?”

“My boy is so lonely,” wept the father. “There are no stalks for him to sling his hammock up with his family.”

The fairy had one more wish to grant and, seeing the goodness in the man, waved her wand one last time. The wand showered blue sparks everywhere before slowly crumbling to dust, its magic spent.

“Take these beautiful cups carved from reddest jasper,” whispered the fairy gently. “Their value is beyond compare. They are the last gifts I can give you.”

The father sighed in gratitude, but the fairy had already gone.

The next morning, the father sold the cups at market, receiving a giant sackful of gold in return. The whole family rejoiced at such good fortune.

“Shall we spent it on new clothes?” said one little boy.

“Or on new hammocks?” said another.

“No,” smiled the father. “I've bought the giant beanstalk down the road. Now there's enough room for us all!”

And it turned out that there was just enough gold left to buy Little Nick a harp from the giant at the top of the beanstalk and, every evening as the sun went down, he would make beautiful music to thank the fairy and all she had done.

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