a childminder and her children fly off to a magic land and its full of fruit
| The Marham club
It was a lovely sunny day and as usual Gene, Ruby, and David were playing in Pat's front room. David had just finished his milk and Pat went out to the kitchen to wash the bottle up. The children heard a funny noise, which scared them a little, Ruby just kept smiling.
Pat walked back into the front room, but she'd changed and looked very different. Her hair was long and silver blonde, her make up was perfect and her dress was the prettiest one any of the children had ever seen.
“Mama,” David said, giving Pat a look that said, I know you, you're just different.
“Instead of going out in the pram today, why don't we fly, I know a special place, and it won't take long to get there,” Pat said.
“An adventure?” Gene asked, he was excited.
David found his favourite toy and crawled off with it.
“Pat?” Ruby asked, still not sure if it was the lady who looked after her, or someone who looked like her.
Pat picked David up and sprinkled some blue dust over him, he sneezed then smiled. She picked up Ruby next and sprinkled some pink dust over her, finally Gene was picked up and sprinkled with blue dust. The children didn't know it was magic dust, and the fun was just beginning.
“We're going on a journey, the Marham club and I, when I count down from three to one, we'll all be able to fly!” Pat said in a loud firm voice, “Three,” Ruby closed her eyes, “Two”, Gene looked a bit scared now, “One,” David dropped his dummy on the floor. There was no time to collect it, they where all flying.
“Sca.......sca.........sca......scared!” Gene shouted.
“Fun, this is fun,fun,fun!” Ruby said, her pigtail's flowing in the warm air.
David held onto Pat's dress for dear life, he looked like he was enjoying himself, but only when he had his eyes open.
“We're going to a beautiful land called Fruitydom, we'll be there in just a couple of minutes, hold on and enjoy flying,” Pat said.
The children could see a land that looked like a huge pudding, a house that looked like it was made of sweets and a river made of jelly. The hills looked like whipped cream, there weren't any clouds, just sky as far as you could see.
“Where's all the people?” Gene asked
“I fhink there hiding from us,” Ruby answered.
“There's only one person that lives here because as you can see there's only one house. His name is Mr Strawberry, but he's very shy. I've been to this land a few times and only seen him twice, I've only heard him speak once,” Pat explained.
“What did he say?” Gene asked.
“Dada,” D.J. said.
“Not Dada David, he asked me not to eat him. You see he's a real life strawberry, that's why he's called Mr Strawberry. He's just a bit taller than you Gene and I can tell you he's a fast runner. The one thing he does like is children. He loves playing, hide and seek is a favourite of his, that's why I've only seen him twice!”
“Are we going to knock on his door?” Ruby asked.
Pat didn't answer, she was to busy landing on a huge banana, all the children held on tight. A nice soft landing, they all slide off the banana and headed for Mr Strawberry's house, which wasn't far away.
Without any warning it suddenly started raining, not normal rain but grapes.
“Take cover over by that tree,” Pat said as she tried to cover D.J's head.
“What do we do now?” Ruby asked.
“Eat the grapes!” Gene said with a big smile on his face.
“We just wait, I'm sure Mr Strawberry won't be long. If you want to eat the grapes go ahead, I'm sure there perfectly fine, I can't see any clouds so I'm sure it will be over soon,” Pat said.
D.J wanted to crawl round the new fruity land but Pat wouldn't put him down so he started to cry, this seems to stop the grapes from falling out of the sky. Gene bent down and picked up three grapes, two were green and one was red. He put one of the green one's in his mouth first.
“There very nice,” he said with a big smile on his face.
Ruby put her hand out and Gene gave her the red grape he was holding, she put it straight into her mouth. She took a bite and made a strange face.
“If you don't like it, just spit it out,” Pat said to her.
Ruby started to cough uncontrollable, Pat didn't panic, she put D.J on the floor and patted Ruby on the back. A small bit of red grape came flying out of Ruby's mouth and hit Gene on the top of the head then everybody laughed.
“You have to be careful not to choke on small bits of grape,” Pat explained.
“I feel funny,” Gene said and tried to sit down. His trousers started to rip from his ankle upwards, he didn't have a clue what was going on. A few seconds later Genes human legs had been replaced by frogs legs. They were green and thin and webbed at the bottom, he tried to stand up and fell over.
“Don't move Gene, I'm trying to think of a spell to get your normal legs back, let me think,” Pat was interrupted by Ruby pulling at her dress, “Not now Ruby, I'm trying to help Gene,” Pat explained and pulled her hand away.
“But Pat,” Ruby said as she started to tug at her dress again.
“Ruby just let me deal with Gene please, as soon as I've sorted him out I'll deal with you alright,”
Pat looked down at Ruby who was pointing to something, she just couldn't see what, “What is it Ruby?”
“The baby,” Ruby answered.
D.J had crawled off into a field of whipped cream, he was just sitting there licking and sucking his fingers, a big smile on his face.
“I'll get him,” Gene said as he tried to get up.
“Don't worry Gene I'll get him, trying to help you out first,” Pat replied but Gene was about to bounce.
Gene bent down and took off, he bounced into the next field, then the next one then the one after that. He couldn't control himself, he just kept going from one field to another until finally he stopped. He waited a minute to get his breath back then turned around slowly and started to bounce back towards Pat, Ruby and D.J.
He could see D.J from three fields away, he was the same size as a house and growing.
“Stop licking the cream!” Pat and Ruby shouted to him.
Gene just managed to bounce over him and managed to stop just in front Pat, a big smile on his face.
“This is fun,” Gene smiled.
“Fun it maybe but we really need to help D.J at the moment, we've got to stop him growing or he may explode!” Pat said.
“Who's been eating my crops?” a loud voice asked, it was coming from behind Pat.
The children watched as the biggest strawberry they'd ever seen came walking up behind them and he didn't look very happy.
“Hello Mr Strawberry, do you remember meeting me before?” Pat said, trying to calm the red fruit down.
“Who said that baby could eat my crops?” Mr Strawberry asked.
“I only put him down for a moment and he crawled off. Is there anything we can do to make him back to normal size?”
“There is one thing you could try,” Mr Strawberry said with a smile on his face.
“Can I have my normal feet back as well, I don't like these one's,” Gene asked.
“The good news is its the same thing for both of you,” Mr Strawberry said smiling.
“What is it?” Pat asked, she was starting to lose patience.
“Pick up four grapes and four strawberry's, squeeze them in your hand and drink it, its that simple,” Mr Strawberry replied.
Gene done exactly what Mr Strawberry said and his frog's legs soon disappeared and his own legs came back with no problems at all.
“Well done Gene, but what about D.J, how do we get him to squash them in his hand, he's getting to big. Any suggestions?” Pat asked.
“There's only one thing I can think of,” Mr Strawberry said, then disappeared into his house, closing the door behind him.
“What's he doing in there?” asked Gene.
“I really don't know, but I'm sure he won't be long” Pat answered.
As they looked round to see how big D.J was getting the front door of Mr Strawberry's house opened and out stepped Mr Strawberry wearing something that looked very strange on his back. It looked like the strangest back pack, but a weird shape, it was square, circle and rectangle all at the same time.
“I'm going flying!” Mr Strawberry said, then pressed a button on his back pack.
“Stand back,” Pat said to Ruby and Gene.
Mr Strawberry put his fist in the air and the small rocket on his back sparked into life, there was a big smile on the red piece of fruits face. He went up in the air really fast, he flew past D.J who tried to swat him like a fly, but he was going to fast. Mr Strawberry started to disappear, he was now so far up the children had problems seeing him.
“I thought he was going to help D.J?” Ruby asked.
“He's just putting on a show for us,” Pat said, she wasn't sure why Mr Strawberry had gone so far up.
“He's coming back,” Ruby said as she pointed up in the sky.
Mr Strawberry's face wasn't as red as it normally was, and he wasn't smiling. As he flew past D.J he threw one grape at a time, the baby's mouth was so big now he could hardly miss, D.J tried to swat him again, to him it was a funny game.
Mr Strawberry flew down and picked up two more grapes and four strawberry's then flew up high in the sky again, turned and headed straight for D.J.
“Let's hope D.J eats the fruit, then he should return to normal size,” Pat said, she was a little bit nervous.
Down came Mr Strawberry, every shot hit D. J's mouth, but he didn't get any smaller,
“It didn't work, D.J is still the same size!” Gene said, he was excited but a little disappointed.
Mr Strawberry had gone way up in the sky once again after picking up four more grapes and strawberry's. He threw them from further away this time, D.J was getting bigger and if this didn't work he didn't know what to do. All eight pieces of fruit hit the target and everyone waited.
Slowly D.J got smaller, as he did he started to cry, he liked being big.
As Mr Strawberry flew closer to see how the baby was doing, D.J put his arm out and swated the red piece of fruit. Mr Strawberry headed straight for the ground, he had no control.
“Let's make sure D.J is alright, I'm sure Mr Strawberry is fine, he landed in cream!” Pat said, then started started walking towards the baby. She was right, D.J was just fine.
“Now lets find Mr Strawberry shall we?” Pat asked.
Both Gene and Ruby nodded there heads in agreement while Pat picked D.J up.
They looked everywhere in the field where Mr Strawberry had landed but they couldn't find him anywhere' it was like he'd just disappeared.
“Where's he gone?” Gene asked
“I really don't know,” Pat replied, she was just as surprised as the children.
“Maybe he flew away really quick,” Gene said.
“We would have seen him, he's disappeared into thin air,” Pat replied.
Bubbles started to to appear at the top of cream, “Moving, it's moving,” Ruby said, pulling back a little scared. Then Mr Strawberry's head popped up, he looked annoyed, “That's the thanks you get for rescuing the baby, he knocks you to the floor! I never have and never will understand humans, your a strange lot,” then he pulled himself up and wiped the cream off himself.
“I'm ever so sorry about that Mr Strawberry, I'm sure he didn't mean it. He was just, well, playing. I'm sure you played as a child, or in your case a young bit of fruit,” Pat said.
“My days of playing are long gone young lady, of course I played, was all part of growing up. When you are young Fruitydom is a great place to play, but you have to be careful at the same time. There are hidden dangers everywhere and some nice surprises as well,” Mr Strawberry said, wiping off the last of the cream.
“I don't like danger I like to play,” Gene said.
“It's all part of the adventure young man, an adventure is not an adventure without some danger or it wouldn't be an adventure. You have to take risks and hope you don't get covered in jelly!” laughed Mr Strawberry.
“Can you tell us of any of the dangers?” Pat asked
“Its so much more fun finding out for yourself, but there's two bits of advice I can give you,”
“Any advice would be most welcome,” Pat said, Gene took hold of her hand.
“The first one is, never trust what an apple tells you and never, and I mean never go into the orchard. The other thing is Mrs Lemon, you will know her when you meet her, is one crazy bit of fruit. She's always singing and telling jokes, I don't think I've ever known her to be in a bad mood and I've known her for three years,”
“I'm three!” Gene interrupted.
“I'm two,” added Ruby who took hold of Genes hand.
“That's human years, I'm talking about Fruitydom years, I'm not sure how many human years there are in a Fruitydom year, I can never remember weather its ten or fifteen, I'm sure its fifteen but as I say I can't be sure. So I think I'm a bit older than you two,” Mr Strawberry winked at the children which made Ruby laugh, Gene squeezed Pat's hand.
“Are you older than Pat?” Ruby asked.
“I don't know, how old is Pat?” Mr Strawberry replied with a question of his own.
“Twenty one is what she tells people but I think she's twenty two,” Ruby said innocently.
“It's definitely twenty one Rubs, and if anyone else tells you different, you just send them to me!”
“I like apples, and there good for you,” Gene said.
“I agree, apples are good for you but don't trust any of the apples in Fruitydom, if you do then you'll be in trouble,” Mr Strawberry replied, “But I have to go now, there's a few things I have to do, remember what I've told you and you'll be fine.”
Mr Strawberry walked off at a very fast pace, muttering something underneath his breath.
“What's the best way to go?” Pat asked, but the red piece of fruit was to far away to hear the question.
Gene pointed one way while Ruby pointed another, D.J just said “Dad!” which was no help at all, then he smiled.
“Well I think your both wrong, I think we should go this way,” Pat pointed a totally different way to the children.
“I think it don't matter which way, its an adventure,” Gene said.
“You know Gene I think you're right, so let's go your way,” Pat said and Gene smiled, he was glad they'd chosen to go his way.
They set off walking, all except D.J, who was carried by Pat. They didn't walk to fast, they didn't want to go to fast in case they missed anything, after all it was an adventure. After walking for about fifteen minutes they decided to stop by an orange tree, they just needed a little rest,
Fruitydom was very hot.
“Nothing to see here, I'm not here, please move on, nothing to see here, I'm not here,” they all heard a voice say, but couldn't see where the voice was coming from.
“Who's saying that?” Gene asked looking round.
“Nothing to see here, I'm not here, please move on, nothing to see here, I'm not here,” the voice said again.
“Hello, who's here?” Pat asked, she was looking around as well.
“There's nobody here I told you, and I said there's nothing to see,” the voice said.
“If there's nobody here how can you talk?” Pat asked.
“I also said there was nothing to see, and if you can't see me there's nothing to see,” the voice said.
“But we can hear you so you must be here,”
Gene bent down and picked up an orange that he thought he saw move.
“Put me down at once!” the orange demanded.
Gene was so shocked the orange spoke he dropped him, he didn't mean to but he was frightened.
“How dare you drop me!” the orange shouted.
Gene started to cry, he didn't mean it.
“It was an accident, you scared him by talking so really its your fault and you lied. You said you weren't here but you are so its definitely not Genes fault! If you'd stayed quiet we wouldn't even no you there!” Pat said, she sounded a bit annoyed.
“I suppose you have a point, but I just wanted you to walk past, when the little girl looked at me I felt I had to say something,” the orange explained.
“Why didn't you just say 'hello', don't you think that would have being easier?” Pat said.
“I've been silly haven't I,” the orange said.
“Well you are an orange are you not?” Pat said.
“I am an orange, what's that got to do with it? Are you saying oranges are silly?”
“I didn't say you were silly, you just did!” Pat said.
“Every time I talk to a human I get confused but then again I get confused talking to fruit as well, maybe its just me, I'm a silly orange!”
“We can't really tell if your a silly orange, we've only just met you but you weren't exactly nice were you?” Pat said.
“I suppose you're right,” the orange said, feeling sorry for himself.
“Do you want to play a game?” Gene asked.
“You're asking if you can play with me? Nobody has ever asked me that before, they normally tell me to go away. I'd love to play, what game do you want to play?” the orange asked, he was amazed to be asked.
“What games do you play?” Gene asked.
“I don't really know, I've only played with one other piece of fruit before, it was a game, I just can't think what its called,” the orange explained.
“Can't you just ask the piece of fruit?” Pat asked.
“I'll do better than that, I'll go and get him,” the orange replied.
A few moments later he was back, “He'll be here in a minute, he's chatting to some friends,” the orange said.
Ruby was the first to see him, his green skin shinning like he'd just got out of a shower, then Gene and Pat saw him and were very scared.
“This is my friend Joe, he's my only real friend in Fruitydom,” the orange smiled as he said it.
Pat, Gene and Ruby said nothing, standing in front of them was the greenest apple any of them had ever seen, and they were scared.
“My name is Joe, nice to meet you,” he said, all they could think of was trouble was in store.
“You look worried, what's wrong?” the orange asked.
“We've never seen a talking apple before, that's all,” Pat lied, she was thinking what Mr Strawberry had said.
“What game did you and orange play then?” asked Ruby.
“It hasn't got a name at the moment, I suppose you could call it 'Try and find me',its easy really, one of us counts up to twenty while the other one finds a place where they can't be seen,” Joe explained.
“That sounds like hide and seek to me,” Pat said.
“That's a good name for it, better than the one I chose. If you can't be seen you're hiding, yeah, I really like it, I think that's what we should call it, what do you think orange?”
“You're the one that thought of the game so you should chose the name,” replied the orange.
“We'll call it 'hide and seek' then,” Joe replied.
“There's something I don't understand here. The strawberry is called Mr Strawberry and the orange is called orange, so why is the apple called Joe?”
All the children nodded in agreement.
“There's a simple answer to that, Joe said, “There's lots and lot's of apples in Fruitydom, there's only one orange and one strawberry and one mad lemon,” he laughed.
“What happens if someone eats Mr Strawberry?” Gene asked.
“Who would do that?” the orange asked, he looked very confused at the question.
“Erm, well I don't know, don't you eat fruit here?” Gene asked.
Gene could feel everything that moved in this strange land was looking at him.
“Eat fruit? In Fruitydom, well, that's just really silly, if we ate each other there would be none of us left, there would be no Fruitydom, and you wouldn't be here to ask that question, so the answer is no we don't eat fruit. Can I ask do you eat fruit or do you no anyone that does?” Joe asked.
“May I answer for Gene please? Pat asked.
“Of course you can, everyone is allowed to talk here in Fruitydom,” the orange replied.
“Well in the world we live in fruit is a vital part of our diet, it keeps us healthy. If we didn't eat fruit we wouldn't be fit and strong. So most humans eat fruit, because its good for us,” Pat said, she could see all the fruit weren't happy with her answer.
“So you've come here to take us away to your world, so you can eat all of us?” Joe asked, he didn't sound like he was in a good mood.
“Not at all, the fruit in our world doesn't talk. The thing with fruit in our world is its totally different, it can't walk or talk or even play games, it just grows and gets eaten. We're not here to eat you, we came here to have a little adventure and make friends, that's all,” Pat replied.
“Daddy,” D.J said.
“How come that little version of you keeps saying that, Tabby, what's a Tabby?” Joe asked, he was a little confused but seemed to understand Pat's answer about the eating fruit.
“A Tabby is a cat but that's not what he's asking or saying, he calling for his Daddy, you know what that is I take it?” Pat asked.
“A Tabby is a cat and we should know what a Daddy is, you humans speak in a strange language. Is a cat a Daddy or is a Tabby a Daddy?” Asked the orange.
“Let me explain, a cat is an animal in our world, it has four legs and drinks milk and eats meat. It also chases mice,”
“It chases it self twice? That sounds like a silly thing to do! The orange asked, interrupting Pat.
“Not twice but mice, another little animal that lives in our world, Tabby cats chase mice, its like a game I suppose,” Pat said.
“Sounds like hide and seek game but when you get seen you run!” Joe said.
“Yeah that's right, its a bit like that I suppose,” Pat said and smiled.
“Are these cats and mice coming here?” the orange asked.
“No, they are back in our world and that's where there staying,” Pat replied.
“So what's a Dad?” Joe asked.
All of a sudden the ground started to shake and Joe rolled off.
"Where are you going?" Pat asked.
"It's a stampade, the melons are coming and they'll flaten everything in site, you have to get away!" Joe said.
Next action coming soon.......