Monday, June 8, 2009

Nobbly Oak Woods

I haven't written a blog piece this week, as I have been working on a children's story ('Book 'em Danno!' will explain my thinking). I have no idea what I will do with this story, now that is basically finished, but I thought I would share it with you anyway. Feel free to print it off and read it to your kids (presumptuous I know), would love to hear any feedback, good or bad. A normal service will be resumed next week (hopefully).

Nobbly Oak Woods

Our story starts in Nobbly Oak Woods, it is quite an ordinary place to live. The bats aren't too hungry, the owls aren't too noisy, the trees aren't too scary, and the creepy crawlies aren't too big. Altogether not a bad place to live, if you like talking animals that is. If you were to walk across the thin green bridge, over the pile of rocks that look like a spider, and through Tickly Grass Meadow, you would come across a cosy little cottage. It looks just like the one Hansel and Gretel found, except this one isn't made of sweets, and a horrible Witch does not live inside.

Inside this house live five beautiful forest Princesses. Forest Princesses look like normal castle Princesses, except that they don't live in a castle, and they don't have a wicked step-mother who is always trying to do nasty things to them. In fact they do not have any parents at all, they were made by a magician, because all the creatures and tree's in the woods were lonely, and they wanted somebody to sing to them. So they called the Magician on the wood horn, paid him with berries, flowers, and some nasty smelling mushrooms. Hogrot, for that was the magician's name, waved his wand in a big circle, and Hey Presto, the Princesses appeared.

They all looked exactly the same, beautiful but bald. Everybody wondered how they would be able to tell them apart, but Hogrot gave them all a 'wait for it' look, and one by one their hair began to grow. Hogrot gave a small smile, and introduced them to everybody, everybody except Nodrig the bunny, who had fallen asleep.

First was Sunshine who had long blonde hair, the colour of buttercups.

Second was Raven with hair as black as the cupboard under the stairs.

Third was Lily whose hair was as white as a snowman's belly.

Fourth was Hazel with brown hair that shone like a chestnut.

Fifth was Scarlett with a shock of red hair that looked like strawberries, but smelt of, well hair.

The whole forest laughed, and clapped, and cheered, and once everyone had quietened down Hogrot took a huge bow, and POP, disappeared leaving a small puff of smoke and the slight smell of old mushrooms. The forest folk then led the Princesses into their new home, and left them alone to settle in.

Over time the Princesses learnt all the forest songs (except "Googly is a codswallop" because nobody really liked that one), and they would spend their days, singing, dancing, and having a fun old time. Sometimes they would draw pictures of the wood folk, and they were also good at making the most colourful clothes from the leaves and flowers that grew around their cottage. The years went past and nothing really changed, everyone was happy, and colourfully dressed, and the Princesses remained as beautiful as ever, and everybody lived happily ever after.


What do you mean you want more, I thought everybody liked a happy ending? What more is there for me to tell you? I told you about the hooded horseman and his quest did I not? Silly me, I would forget my head if it was not screwed on. OK I shall continue my story, sit back down, get yourself ready, and back to Nobbly Oak Woods we shall return.

The hooded horseman stopped at the edge of the woods and looked in. All the animals, and at least three of the trees, covered their eyes and turned away. The horseman ignored them, and made his way into the woods. He kept his horse at a slow trot, until he entered the clearing in the middle of the woods. There he announced in a booming voice "I am Prince Griswold, and I have searched these lands from Greentop Mountains, to Wispy Hollow, looking for a beautiful princess to marry." Everyone looked at each other with a worried frown. "I have searched every Castle, and they have all been empty. These woods are my last chance to find a bride. Be there any here?"

Nodrig the bunny, who was not asleep for a change, heard these words, and ran off to the cottage to tell the Princesses. Being a lazy bunny, and one not used to running, Nodrig was out of breath when he reached the Princesses. For 5 minutes they all watched him with puzzled looks on their faces, whilst he tried to gasp out what was happening. After many deep breaths he managed to blurt out "There is a Prince in the clearing, and he is looking for a princess to marry. Comb your hair and put on your best dress, and follow me."

Twenty minutes of busy running around and hair combing later, the five Princesses left the cottage, and started the slow walk to the clearing, with a puffed out Nodrig trailing behind them. Quite a crowd had developed once they got there, and as soon as they entered the clearing everybody went quiet, except Coughy Joe the Mole, who was, well coughing.

"Come forth beautiful maidens. Let me cast my eyes upon you" ordered Prince Griswold loudly. "At last I have found myself not one, but five lovely Princesses. Come closer so I can see you all the better." They all looked at each other and then took a step closer. The Prince took his time looking at them, and then announced "I have found myself a Wife, for any one of you fine young girls will do!"

With that he pulled off his hood so that everyone, including the five beautiful Princesses, could see him. It would be quite safe to say that Prince Griswold was the ugliest person in the whole kingdom. The trees were so shocked all their leaves fell off, the frogs forgot how to croak, the family of otters starting crying, and the ducks started barking. The whole clearing had one big kerfuffle at the hideous site before them.

It is quite hard for me to describe the Prince to you, but I will try my best. One of his eyes was yellow, and the other was mushy pea green, and droopy. He had four big hairy warts on his very pointy chin that was also quite long. His nose was big, round, and red like a clown's, except it was covered with lots of pus filled spots, that were all oozy and running. His ears were 2 different sizes and shapes, and neither of them were a nice size or shape. He also had green and brown hair that looked like it had not been washed since Eldred the Foolish was King, and that was a long time ago. We all missed King Eldred, who had died trying to get his ping pong ball out of a lion's mouth, but that is a story for another day.

The Prince jumped off his horse, and kicked Nodrig out of his way. The Princesses may have been able to fall in love with an ugly Prince, but a cruel one, never. They all turned around and ran off into the woods as fast as their legs would carry them.

Sunshine ran and ran and ran, until she spotted a cottage very like her own. Outside this cottage was a sign that read "WANTED PORRIDGE TASTER, ENQUIRE WITHIN". Sunshine stopped, read the sign, and knocked on the door. A big Bear with a very friendly face answered the door, "Come in, Come in, let me introduce you to my wife and son. By the way, what type of porridge do you like?"

Raven and Lily always did things together, so they went straight to Two Toad Pond. Once there, they grabbed one of the toad's each, and gave them a big wet kiss. Everybody knows that when a beautiful maiden kisses a frog, the frog turns into a Prince, but what is less known is that if you kiss a toad the opposite happens. By the time Prince Griswold arrived, Two Toad Pond had turned into Four Toad Pond, and one of the toads had white hair, one had black hair, and the other two looked very happy.

Hazel looked around not knowing what to do. Mr and Mrs Mole called over for her to follow them, and that is what she did. They led her around the three Oak trees and to the entrance of their burrow. The hole was not big enough for Hazel to fit through, so she dropped to her knees and started digging a hole until it was big enough for her to wiggle through. Once she had crawled along the tunnel, she found a large opening, and saw Mr Mole standing over a fire, brewing a large pot of tea. "One lump of two dear?" said Mrs Mole as she handed Hazel a tea cup.

Scarlett ran as fast as she could into the woods and straight into the arms of Wolfy the Misunderstood. He wrapped his red coat with a big hood around her, "Matches your hair darling" he said, and then he rushed her off to his Grandmother's cave to hide.

Prince Griswold searched for the five Princesses for two days and two nights, and still he could not find them. The more he searched, the angrier he got, the angrier he got, the redder his nose became, until BANG, his nose exploded. If you thought the Prince was ugly before, well you should have seen him then. Not even a blind skunk, without a sense of smell, would have been able to love him now.

The prince jumped back onto his horse, and rode out of the woods, the sounds of the forest folk laughter, ringing in his very ugly ears. He decided to give up looking for a wife, they seemed to be a lot of trouble to find, and to be honest, he hated horse riding as well. He returned to his castle, a long tall building with only one window, and one servant, a tiny person who weaved a lot. The prince could never pronounce his name, so he called him "You". The prince never left his castle again, and You found a golden haired bride of his own, leaving the ugly and angry prince alone.



SereneBabe said...

so wonderful! and funny, too! well done! lots! of! exclamation! points!

Dave Bartlett said...

Packed with humour that will make the kids laugh and the parents too.
Original, but with just the right amount of 'shrek style' references to other stories, which I'm sure the little'uns will respond to.
One point though: You ought to recommend that parents considering reading it to their offspring, read it through to themselves first; not because of any problem with the content, but because it's the only chance they'll have of later relating it, without bursting into fits of giggles.
More please!
(My own offspring range in age from 16 to 21, so the request for more is a purely personal and selfish one.)

Nene said...

How lovely! Made me laugh and smile. Will print and read to sonny at some point. We're in the middle of the Very Exciting Treasure Island so it might be a week or two before I can squeeze this one in.

Keep up the good work, there might well be a career in the making here!

Angpang said...

Well FINALLY read it to my daughters.

4 year old: "I like everything about it especially the bit where the princesses kiss the toads."

6 year old: "I really liked the descriptions of the hair and the bit where they kissed the toads."

So, more toads Mr Harding. I also loved it. Well done J.

Wren said...

Absolutely smashing! You had me chuckling from the start and wishing my 28-year-old daughter was six again so I could read it to her ... over and over and over and over and over (until she grew to be 10, at least). And I loved THE END that wasn't.

goonerjamie said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments, gives me the inspiration to write another, will give you a sneak peak as I go along.