A Fairy Tale
by Dominic McSherry
Once upon a lovely day, a day very much like today there was a smart little girl called Molly Moone. She was on her way to see her friend Tom, when she decided to take a short cut through Darlington Forest.
It wasn't long before Molly got lost. She looked around, but all she could see were trees. Nervously, she felt into her bag for her favourite toy, Spike, but Spike was nowhere to be found! Molly began to panic. She felt sure she had packed Spike and began to worry.
To make matters worse, she was starting to feel hungry. Unexpectedly, she saw a strange winged monkey dressed in a red jacket disappear into the trees.
"How odd!" thought Molly.
For the want of anything better to do, she decided to follow the peculiarly dressed monkey. Perhaps it could tell her the way out of the forest.
Eventually, Molly reached a clearing. She found herself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from peppers, a house made from fruit gums, a house made from jelly babies and a house made from humbugs.
Molly could feel her tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease her hunger.
"Hello!" she called. "Is anybody there?" Nobody replied.
Molly looked at the roof on the closest house and wondered if it would be rude to eat somebody else's chimney. Obviously it would be impolite to eat a whole house, but perhaps it would be considered acceptable to nibble the odd fixture or lick the odd fitting, in a time of need.
A cackle broke through the air, giving Molly a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Spike! "Spike!" shouted Molly. She turned to the witch. "That's my toy!" The witch just shrugged. "Give Spike back!" cried Molly. "Not on your nelly!" said the witch.
"At least let Spike out of that cage!"
Before she could reply, three winged monkeys rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Molly recognised the one in the red jacket that she'd seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.
"Hello Big Monkey," said the witch.
"Good morning." The monkey noticed Spike. "Who is this?" "That's Spike," explained the witch. "Ooh! Spike would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!" demanded the monkey. The witch shook her head. "Spike is staying with me." "Um… Excuse me…" Molly interrupted. "Spike lives with me! And not in a cage!" Big Monkey ignored her. "Is there nothing you'll trade?" he asked the witch. The witch thought for a moment, then said, "I do like to be entertained. I'll release him to anybody who can eat a whole front door." Big Monkey looked at the house made from fruit gums and said, "No problem, I could eat an entire house made from fruit gums if I wanted to." "That's nothing," said the next monkey. "I could eat two houses." "There's no need to show off," said the witch. Just eat one front door and I'll let you have Spike." Molly watched, feeling very worried. She didn't want the witch to give Spike to Big Monkey. She didn't think Spike would like living with a winged monkey, away from her house and all her other toys.
The other two monkeys watched while Big Monkey put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Big Monkey. "Just you watch!"
Big Monkey pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from fruit gums. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
Eventually, Big Monkey started to get bigger - just a little bit bigger at first.
But after a few more fork-fulls of fruit gums, he grew to the size of a large snowball - and he was every bit as round.
"Erm… I don't feel too good," said Big Monkey. Suddenly, he started to roll. He'd grown so round that he could no longer balance!
"Help!" he cried, as he rolled off down a slope and into the forest.
Big Monkey never finished eating the front door made from fruit gums and Spike remained trapped in the witch's cage. Average Monkey stepped up, and approached the house made from jelly babies.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Average Monkey. "Just you watch!"
Average Monkey pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from jelly babies. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After a while, Average Monkey started to look a little queasy. She grew greener…
A woodcutter walked into the clearing. "What's this bush doing here?" he asked. "I'm not a bush, I'm a monkey!" said Average Monkey.
"It talks!" exclaimed the woodcutter. "Those talking bushes are the worst kind. I'd better take it away before somebody gets hurt."
"No! Wait!" cried Average Monkey, as the woodcutter picked her up. But the woodcutter ignored her cries and carried the monkey away under his arm. Average Monkey never finished eating the front door made from jelly babies and Spike remained trapped in the witch's cage. Little Monkey stepped up, and approached the house made from humbugs.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Little Monkey. "Just you watch!"
Little Monkey pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from humbugs. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After five or six platefuls, Little Monkey started to fidget uncomfortably on the spot.
He stopped eating humbugs for a moment, then grabbed another forkful. But before he could eat it, there came an almighty roar. A bottom burp louder than a rocket taking off, propelled Little Monkey into the sky. "Aggghhhhhh!" cried Little Monkey. "I'm scared of heigh…"
Little Monkey was never seen again.
Little Monkey never finished eating the front door made from humbugs and Spike remained trapped in the witch's cage.
"That's it," said the witch. "I win. I get to keep Spike." "Not so fast," said Molly. "There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from peppers. And I haven't had a turn yet.
"I don't have to give you a turn!" laughed the witch. "My game. My rules." The woodcutter's voice carried through the forest. "I think you should give her a chance. It's only fair." "Fine," said the witch. "But you saw what happened to the monkeys. She won't last long."
"I'll be right back," said Molly.
"What?" said the witch. "Where's your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Spike back." Molly ignored the witch and gathered a hefty pile of sticks. She came back to the clearing and started a small camp fire. Carefully, she broke off a piece of the door of the house made from peppers and toasted it over the fire. Once it had cooked and cooled just a little, she took a bite. She quickly devoured the whole piece.
Molly sat down on a nearby log.
"You fail!" cackled the witch. "You were supposed to eat the whole door."
"I haven't finished," explained Molly. "I am just waiting for my food to go down."
When Molly's food had digested, she broke off another piece of the door made from peppers. Once more, she toasted her food over the fire and waited for it to cool just a little. She ate it at a leisurely pace then waited for it to digest.
Eventually, after several sittings, Molly was down to the final piece of the door made from peppers. Carefully, she toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. She finished her final course. Molly had eaten the entire front door of the house made from peppers.
The witch stamped her foot angrily. "You must have tricked me!" she said. "I don't reward cheating!"
"I don't think so!" said a voice. It was the woodcutter. He walked back into the clearing, carrying his axe. "This little girl won fair and square. Now hand over Spike or I will chop your broomstick in half."
The witch looked horrified. She grabbed her broomstick and placed it behind her. Then, huffing, she opened the door of the cage.
Molly hurried over and grabbed Spike, checking that her favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Spike was unharmed.
Molly thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Tom. It was starting to get dark.
When Molly got to Tom's house, he threw his arms around her.
"I was so worried!" cried Tom. "You are very late." As Molly described her day, she could tell that Tom didn't believe her. So she grabbed a napkin from her pocket.
"What's that?" asked Tom.
Molly unwrapped a doorknob made from fruit gums. "Pudding!" she said.
Tom almost fell off his chair.
Thank you for reading!