A Fairy Tale
Once upon a time there was a grateful boy called Arash Eliss. He was on the way to see his colleague Chris, when he decided to take a short cut through forbidden forest.
It wasn’t long before Arash got lost. He looked around, but all he could see were trees. Nervously, he felt into his bag for his favourite toy, Laura Doll, but Laura was nowhere to be found! Arash began to panic. He felt sure he had packed Laura. To make matters worse, he was starting to feel hungry.
Unexpectedly, he saw a naughty monkey dressed in a green cloak disappearing into the trees.
“How odd!” thought Arash.
For the want of anything better to do, he decided to follow the peculiarly dressed monkey. Perhaps it could tell him the way out of the forest.
Eventually, Arash reached a clearing. He found himself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from sweet potatoes, a house made from muffins, a house made from doughnuts and a house made from pancakes.
Arash could feel his tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease his hunger.
“Hello!” he called. “Is anybody there?”
Arash 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 Arash a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Laura!
“Laura!” shouted Arash. He turned to the witch. “That’s my toy!”
The witch just shrugged.
“Give Laura back!” cried Arash.
“Not on your nelly!” said the witch.
“At least let Laura out of that cage!”
Before she could reply, three naughty monkeys rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Arash recognised the one in the green cloak that he’d seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.
“Hello Big Monkey,” said the witch.
“Good morning.” The monkey noticed Laura. “Who is this?”
“That’s Laura,” explained the witch.
“Ooh! Laura would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!” demanded the monkey.
The witch shook her head. “Laura is staying with me.”
“Um… Excuse me…” Arash interrupted. “Laura lives with me! And not in a cage!”
Big Monkey ignored him. “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 pancakes and said, “No problem, I could eat an entire house made from pancakes 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 Laura.”
Arash watched, feeling very worried. He didn’t want the witch to give Laura Doll to Big Monkey. He didn’t think Laura Doll would like living with a naughty monkey, away from his house and all his 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 muffins. 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 muffins, 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 into the forest.
Big Monkey never finished eating the front door made from muffins and Laura remained trapped in the witch’s cage.Average Monkey stepped up, and approached the house made from doughnuts.
“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 doughnuts. 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 doughnuts and Laura remained trapped in the witch’s cage.Little Monkey stepped up, and approached the house made from pancakes.
“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 pancakes. 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 pancakes 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 pancakes and Laura remained trapped in the witch’s cage.
“That’s it,” said the witch. “I win. I get to keep Laura.”
“Not so fast,” said Arash. “There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from sweet potatoes. 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 him a chance. It’s only fair.”
“Fine,” said the witch. “But you saw what happened to the monkeys. He won’t last long.”
“I’ll be right back,” said Arash.
“What?” said the witch. “Where’s your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Laura back.”
Arash ignored the witch and gathered a hefty pile of sticks. He came back to the clearing and started a small camp fire. Carefully, he broke off a piece of the door of the house made from sweet potatoes and toasted it over the fire. Once it had cooked and cooled just a little, he took a bite. He quickly devoured the whole piece.
Arash sat down on a nearby log.
“You fail!” cackled the witch. “You were supposed to eat the whole door.”
“I haven’t finished,” explained Arash. “I am just waiting for my food to go down.”
When Arash’s food had digested, he broke off another piece of the door made from sweet potatoes. Once more, he toasted his food over the fire and waited for it to cool just a little. He ate it at a leisurely pace then waited for it to digest.
Eventually, after several sittings, Arash was down to the final piece of the door made from sweet potatoes. Carefully, he toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. He finished his final course. Arash had eaten the entire front door of the house made from sweet potatoes.
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 boy won fair and square. Now hand over Laura 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.
Arash hurried over and grabbed Laura, checking that his favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Laura was unharmed.
Arash thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Chris. It was starting to get dark.
When Arash got to Chris’s house, his colleague threw his arms around him.
“I was so worried!” cried Chris. “You are very late.”
As Arash described his day, he could tell that Chris didn’t believe him. So he grabbed a napkin from his pocket.
“What’s that?” asked Chris.
Arash unwrapped a doorknob made from muffins. “Pudding!” he said.
Chris almost fell off his chair.