Annabelle Lee and the Four Friendly Puppies
It wasn't long before Annabelle got lost. She looked around, but all she could see were trees. Nervously, she felt into her bag for her favourite toy, Bunny, but Bunny was nowhere to be found! Annabelle began to panic. She felt sure she had packed Bunny. To make matters worse, she was starting to feel hungry.
Unexpectedly, she saw a friendly puppy dressed in a purple t-shirt disappearing into the trees.
"How odd!" thought Annabelle.
For the want of anything better to do, she decided to follow the peculiarly dressed puppy. Perhaps it could tell him the way out of the forest.
Eventually, Annabelle reached a clearing. She found herself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from carrots, a house made from muffins, a house made from jelly babies, a house made from sweets and a house made from doughnuts.
Annabelle could feel her tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease her hunger.
"Hello!" she called. "Is anybody there?"
Annabelle 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 Annabelle a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Bunny!
"Bunny!" shouted Annabelle. She turned to the witch. "That's my toy!"
The witch just shrugged.
"Give Bunny back!" cried Annabelle.
"Not on your nelly!" said the witch.
"At least let Bunny out of that cage!"
Before she could reply, four friendly puppies rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Annabelle recognised the one in the purple t-shirt that she'd seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.
"Hello Big Puppy," said the witch.
"Good morning." The puppy noticed Bunny. "Who is this?"
"That's Bunny," explained the witch.
"Ooh! Bunny would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!" demanded the puppy.
The witch shook her head. "Bunny is staying with me."
"Um... Excuse me..." Annabelle interrupted. "Bunny lives with me! And not in a cage!"
Big Puppy 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 Puppy looked at the house made from doughnuts and said, "No problem, I could eat an entire house made from doughnuts if I wanted to."
"That's nothing," said the next puppy. "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 Bunny."
Annabelle watched, feeling very worried. She didn't want the witch to give Bunny to Big Puppy. She didn't think Bunny would like living with a friendly puppy, away from her house and all her other toys.
The other three puppies watched while Big Puppy put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Big Puppy. "Just you watch!"
Big Puppy 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 Puppy 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 Puppy.
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 Puppy never finished eating the front door made from muffins and Bunny remained trapped in the witch's cage.
Average Puppy stepped up, and approached the house made from jelly babies.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Average Puppy. "Just you watch!"
Average Puppy 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 Puppy 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 puppy!" said Average Puppy.
"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 Puppy, as the woodcutter picked her up. But the woodcutter ignored her cries and carried the puppy away under his arm.
Average Puppy never finished eating the front door made from jelly babies and Bunny remained trapped in the witch's cage.
Little Puppy stepped up, and approached the house made from sweets.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Little Puppy. "Just you watch!"
Little Puppy pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from sweets. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After five or six platefuls, Little Puppy started to fidget uncomfortably on the spot.
He stopped eating sweets 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 Puppy into the sky.
"Aggghhhhhh!" cried Little Puppy. "I'm scared of heigh..."
Little Puppy was never seen again.
Little Puppy never finished eating the front door made from sweets and Bunny remained trapped in the witch's cage.
Tiny Puppy stepped up, and approached the house made from doughnuts.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Tiny Puppy. "Just you watch!"
Tiny Puppy pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from doughnuts. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
However, on the next mouthful, the food fell straight out of Tiny Puppy's mouth. She tried to stuff in another forkful of doughnuts, but once again, the food fell out. There just wasn't enough room left in her belly.
"This is just not fair!" declared Tiny Puppy, and stomped off into the forest.
Tiny Puppy never finished eating the front door made from doughnuts and Bunny remained trapped in the witch's cage.
"That's it," said the witch. "I win. I get to keep Bunny."
"Not so fast," said Annabelle. "There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from carrots. 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 puppies. She won't last long."
"I'll be right back," said Annabelle.
"What?" said the witch. "Where's your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Bunny back."
Annabelle 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 carrots 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.
Annabelle sat down on a nearby log.
"You fail!" cackled the witch. "You were supposed to eat the whole door."
"I haven't finished," explained Annabelle. "I am just waiting for my food to go down."
When Annabelle's food had digested, she broke off another piece of the door made from carrots. 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, Annabelle was down to the final piece of the door made from carrots. Carefully, she toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. She finished her final course. Annabelle had eaten the entire front door of the house made from carrots.
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 Bunny 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.
Annabelle hurried over and grabbed Bunny, checking that her favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Bunny was unharmed.
Annabelle thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Tony. It was starting to get dark.
When Annabelle got to Tony's house, her loved one threw his arms around her.
"I was so worried!" cried Tony. "You are very late."
As Annabelle described her day, she could tell that Tony didn't believe her. So she grabbed a napkin from her pocket.
"What's that?" asked Tony.
Annabelle unwrapped a doorknob made from muffins. "Pudding!" she said.
Tony almost fell off his chair.