30 September 2004

The patchwork mountain

I haven't introduced myself yet have I? I must have forgotten. With age comes great knowledge, but few faculties to remember it.

Oh yes, a story about a cold mountain, that's what's required.

In the Hillymalaya, a small town resided at the base of Old Worrier. This was the largest mountain in the range, and was covered all the way up to its peak in snow. The townspeople loved the mountain, particularly in Spring, when the snow melted, the rivers flowed and the land turned green once more.

But one year, they had the coldest Winter anyone had ever seen. People walked round head to toe in thick rugs and balaclavas, and even then they still got cold.

One girl would spend a lot of her time at the foot of the mountain, watching the snow fall. She could spend hours outside, just sitting quietly, waiting for the birds and animals to pass by.

On one of the coldest nights, she sat quietly thinking about the stars, when the earth started to rumble beneath her.
"I'm cold," grumbled Old Worrier. "So cold!"

The girl couldn't believe her ears.

"I cannot keep the snow on me any more!" it grumbled. The earth shaking violently every time it spoke. "If I shiver any more," it said, "your town will be engulfed by a great avalanche. I cannot hold on much longer!"

The girl rushed to the town and told the mayor what she'd heard. The mayor was concerned, but he thought he had an answer to the problem.

In a flash the girl rounded up all the townsfolk and told them what they must do. Everyone was to stitch, knit or tie squares of material. No-one was to stop until a massive blanket had been made to cover the mountain.

They worked all night, and by sunrise a procession of colour wound its way up through the town and over the mountain passes. It took some effort, but the people dragged the blanket across the mountain top until it was wrapped up snuggly in its own patchwork quilt.

"Oooooh what a wonderful idea!" said the mountain. "I feel much warmer now. Thankyou everyone."

It was quite a sight among the white mountain range to see a colourful mountain stand proud, but it did the trick, and Old Worrier never had to shiver again.

29 September 2004

Unglebunk the Giant

I once dreamed of a three-armed giant. His name was Unglebunk and he seemed a sad sort of giant; he had hairy arms and legs, and big bushy eyebrows. People would laugh at how useless he was - and how hairy – but one day he proved his worth.

It was a cold day, of the sort that leaves a damp patch on your scarf where your breath hits the fabric. The giant was pacing slowly over the hillside, his arms all huddled into the odd number of pockets that adorned his jacket. He loved going for walks and letting the clouds moisten his hair - not many people knew the joy of this humble pursuit. However, the giant would bore anyone who bothered to ask with his tale of accidentally strolling into a thundercloud and losing his eyebrows to a malicious streak of lightning. They grew back of course.

Yet it was on this cold day that he came across a bustling village. Everyone seemed to be baking; smoke was rising from the numerous ovens, and people would rush from door to door carrying trays of loaves. Someone looked up and noticed the giant. "Hello you big oaf!" shouted the rude woman. "Fat lot of good you are up there. We're running out of bread for his Royal Doughness, the Prince Loafer. He eats it so quickly, we can't keep up!"

Suddenly the giant realised his calling. Despite this person being ruder than rude, he decided to help her.
"If you pile up all the ingredients you have, I will make bread for you faster than you can loop a bagel!" he said excitedly. The woman looked up in disbelief. "And how do you imagine doing that?" she said.

The giant bent down and whispered his answer in her ear. Her face flushed red, but in a second she had run off and the whole town was piling up ingredients before the giant. With his giant hands and giant fingers he scooped up the ingredients and shovelled them into his mouth. He then raised all three arms, and with the faint wind that whistled past his ears, his extremities whirled round like a huge windmill.

The villagers looked on in disbelief. The giant's face bulged and blushed, and his belly swelled to unbelievable proportions. He then let his arms drop by his side and let out a massive belch. "Ooooh, that's better," he said, and then bent over and dropped his gigantic trousers. The villagers' faces suddenly turned to panic stricken awe as they watched hundreds of thousands of perfectly formed loaves pop out of the giant's exceptionally hairy bottom.

The excitement reached fever pitch as each villager caught loaves in any way they could. The flow was unstoppable - and unbelievable – and the giant had finally proved how useful he was. He'd saved the day, and would be remembered forever.