Friday, December 10, 2010

Charlie goes for a walk in the forest

"Hurray, it's morning," said Charlie. "Time to get up.  I wonder what we're going to do today?"

"We're going to go for a walk in the forest," said Abba.

"Oh, good! Will I see my friends?" said Charlie.

"Let's hope so," said Granny. "We'd better go in the car as it's quite a long way."

So they all got in the car, first Charlie, then Abba, then Granny and then Granny's friend Sue.

"Oh dear," said Charlie.  "We've forgotten the sandwiches."

"Oh no we haven't," said Abba.  "Here they are in the big green bag.  And guess what else we've got," he said.

"What?" asked Charlie.

"We've got some eggs," said Abba.

"Eggs?" said Charlie.  "Why have we brought eggs?"

"Wait and see," said Abba.

"Hurray!" said Charlie.  "Off we go."

The car started and off they went.  They hadn't gone very far when all of a sudden they saw a STOP sign.

"Oh no!" said Charlie.

"Oh no!" said Granny.

"Oh no!" said Abba.

"Oh no!" said Granny's friend Sue.

"What's the matter?" said Charlie.  "Why are we stopping?"

"Look behind you," said Abba.  Charlie turned round and there he saw...

...lots of men digging up the road.

"Oh dear!" said Charlie.

"Oh dear!" said Granny.

"Oh dear!" said Abba.

"Oh dear!" said Granny's friend Sue.

"I hope we don't have to wait long," said Charlie.

"So do I," said a man in a big yellow lorry.  "I've got a lot of work to do."

"So do we," said the people in the cars.  "We've got to get to the market."

Charlie turned round and looked at all the people waiting by the side of the road.

"Oh dear," he wailed.  "We're never going to get there."

"Don't be upset," said Granny.  "I'm sure we won't have to wait long."

"I hope not," said Charlie.  "I'm getting hungry."

"I wonder if any of the cars are moving yet," said Charlie.  "I'll have a look."

"Oh good!" he said.  "I can see the van in front of us moving.  What a lot of people and luggage it has in the back.  I hope they don't fall out!"

They all got back in the car and off they went again.  Soon they reached the top of the hill.

"Look at all the trees!" said Charlie.

"That's the forest," said Abba.

"It's awfully big," said Charlie.  "We'll never find my friends in the middle of all those trees."

"Oh yes we will," said Granny.

"Oh yes we will," said Abba.

"Oh yes we will," said Granny's friend Sue.

Soon they reached the edge of the forest.

"Look at all the trees!" said Charlie.  "Look how high they are.  Look how thick they are.  I love the forest."

They all stepped inside.

"Look at the big tree trunks," said Charlie.  "I can hardly see over them."

"Look at this tree." said Granny.  "It's hollow.  You could hide in it."

"Are my friends in there?" said Charlie.

"I don't think so," said Granny. "I can't see them, but I can hear them."

Charlie listened carefully.  "But they're right at the top of the trees.  Come down!" he shouted.  But nobody answered and nobody came down.

Charlie started to cry.  "I want to see my friends," he said.

" I think we need a guide," said Granny.  "He'll help us find your friends.  Why don't we have lunch, and then we'll set out to look for them."

"Oh look," said Granny's friend Sue.  "Here comes a guide."

"Hello," said the guide.  "My name is Robert.  I'm going to take you to somewhere really special.  Follow me."

They left the forest behind and Robert set off across the swamp.

"Where are we going?" said Charlie.

"I don't know," said Abba.  "I'm getting hungry."

"I'm getting hungry too," said Charlie.  "Time for lunch."

Suddenly, Charlie could hear a gurgling sound.  He looked round and there was a fountain of water.  It was bubbling and steaming.

"What's that?" he said.  "It smells funny."

"That's the hot spring," said Robert.  "Walk carefully.  You don't want to burn your feet, do you?"

"I don't like this," said Charlie.  "It's hot, it smells funny and I want my lunch."

"So do I," said Abba.

"Let's stop here," said Robert.

"Here?" said Charlie.

"Here?" said Granny.

"Here?" said Abba.

"Here?"said Granny's friend Sue.

Robert bent down and poked around in the water.

"What are you doing," said Charlie.

"I'm boiling the eggs," said Robert.

"Boiling the eggs?" said Charlie.  "That's a funny way of boiling eggs. You can't boil eggs here. You need a saucepan and a cooker."

"Watch," said Robert.

So Charlie watched.  There were the eggs, right in the middle of the water.  The water was very hot.

Robert stirred the eggs about with a wooden stick.

"Be careful," said Charlie.  "Don't burn yourself."

"I'm being very careful," said Robert.  "Look they're ready now.  I'll get them out and we'll have them for lunch."

"Good," said Charlie.  "I'm hungry."

"So am I," said Abba.

Robert very carefully took the eggs out of the hot pool.

"Would you like lunch now?" he said.

"Oh yes," said Charlie.

"Oh yes," said Granny.

"Oh yes," said Abba.

"Oh yes," said Granny's friend Sue.

"Yum yum," said Charlie.  "I love boiled eggs."

"So do I," said Granny.

They all ate their eggs and tucked into their sandwiches, which Abba had taken out of the green bag.

"I'm very thirsty," said Charlie.

"That's because it's so hot," said Granny.  "Have a drink out of my bottle of water."

"Thank you," said Charlie.

"I feel much better now," said Charlie.  "Time to go and look for my friends."

So back they went into the forest.

"Look," said Granny.  "What are those little orange berries?"

"Those are palm nuts," said Charlie.

"I love palm nuts and so do my friends.  I wonder if they're near here somewhere?"

Just then a big leaf fluttered down to the ground.

"Where did that come from?" asked Charlie.

He looked up at the tall trees.

"What's that?" he said.

"Hello, Charlie," came a voice.

"Hello," called Charlie.  "Where are you?"

"Over here," said the voice.

Charlie looked up.

"It's, it's, it's my friend," he said.  "It's Colobus."

"Hello, Colobus" said Granny.

"Hello, Colobus," said Abba.

"Hello, Colobus," said Granny's friend Sue.

Charlie and Colobus played all afternoon.  They chased up the trees.  They ran along branches.  They slid down tree trunks.

"Time to go home, Charlie," said Granny.

"I've had a wonderful time in the forest," said Charlie.  "Can I come back another day?"

"Of course you can," said Granny.

"Goodbye, Colobus," said Charlie.  "I'll be back soon."

"Goodbye, Charlie," said Colobus.  "I'll be waiting for you."

So they all got back into the car, first Charlie, then Abba, then Granny and then Granny's friend Sue.

"I'm feeling very tired," said Charlie.

"So am I," said Granny.

Back they drove.

"Time to go to bed, Charlie," said Abba.

"All right then," said Charlie.

Charlie got into bed.  Abba pulled the mosquito nets around.

"Good night, Charlie," said Granny.

"Good night, Charlie," said Abba.

"Good night, Charlie," said Granny's friend Sue.

But Charlie didn't hear a sound because as soon as his head had touched the pillow, he had fallen fast asleep.