Thursday, 18 July 2013

Beyond Imaginaton - Chapter Three

As promised! Another delicious chapter of my Children's Summer Reading Program for your enjoyment. I won't lie and say I didn't get hungry writing this chapter because I certainly did; in fact, reading it again I get the strangest urge for a slice of red velvet cake.

So enjoy Chapter Three and try not to eat your computer, phone or tablet in the process!

Chapter Three

"The Dessert Desert"

Dessert is one of best part of anybodies day. It's sweet, delicious and makes your tummy sing with all of it's sugary goodness!
So when faced with the peculiar choice of a painting to walk through and explore; what kid or even adult wouldn't choose artwork that depicts the most marvellous treats that eyes have ever seen?
Well Milo and Etta certainly weren't going to pass up a chance like that! No matter what that Poppet's warning meant...
Etta was the first one to enter the painting, hopping over the frame like a bunny and letting the picture swallow her whole so that she vanished just like magic.
Milo had a different method, first he tested the painting with his hand, letting it slip in and out of the painting until he felt comfortable enough to go through. But before he disappeared, Milo remembered to wave goodbye to their tiny owl guide.
The very second he was on the other side, Milo heard Etta; breathless and excited.
"You've gotta see this..." Etta said in amazement.
The view on the other side of the painting was a sight to behold. Lying before them were rolling hills of sand that seemed to make up waves that would have been big enough to surf if it were an ocean.
But this wasn't the ocean and it was impossible to imagine that it was.
"It's so hot!" Milo exclaimed, wiping sweat off of his brow and actually thinking of taking off his hat. Which was really weird since Milo never took his hat off, not even to take a bath!
"I know..." Etta complained with a groan.
But the complaining didn't last a moment longer and no one wondered where the desserts from the painting were. Why you ask? Because slowly appearing before Milo and Etta was an assortment of rainbow coloured and larger than life treats.
Milo was the first to run for them, he was so hot in his sweater and hat that a gigantic ice cream sundae looked the like perfect place to swim and snack at the same time. But the very moment he would have landed in the most amazing dish of dessert, Milo fell flat, face first into the sand.
Which compared to ice cream was just plain yucky.
"Where'd the ice cream go!?" Etta shrieked, running up beside Milo and helping him up as he spat out sand. There were still plenty of desserts surrounding them, but when Etta would squint her eyes she could see straight through them into the endless dessert.
Maybe the owl was right... They had chosen the wrong painting and now they were stuck in in this desert!
But out from the sound of shifting sand came a voice. It was parched; sounding dry and scratchy. "I think I can answer that." It said from out of nowhere.
"Who's that?!" Both friends called out, Milo grabbing Etta's hand and Etta grabbing Milo's a little nervously.
A warm chuckle came out from behind a sand drift letting them know that there was nothing to fear.In fact rounding the corner was something that looked like a stuffed animal, just like the owl in the gallery.
It walked on all fours and had a long nose that seemed to be snuffling around the sand for something. "You've nothing to be afraid of, I'm just Ada the Poppet." She said, sniffing her way over to the two children and looking up at them.
"Your name is Ada and you're an Aardvark!" Etta said laughing, reaching down and picking up the Poppet. Milo decided that the girl was much smarter than she seemed, especially knowing that the creature was an aardvark. The way she hugged it, the creature looked nice and comfy like Milo's favourite teddy bear. "That's so cute!" Etta squealed.
Milo had a feeling that these Poppets were going keep popping up everywhere...
"Nice to meet you." He said a little to quick to be truly polite. "But what's wrong with the desserts because I really wanted some ice cream." Milo was a little whiney about the whole thing but he tended to do that when he wasn't getting what he wanted.
"These desserts are playing a mirage game." Ada started to explain. "They're supposed to be a at party to celebrate children's day for the local town. But the desserts think it's funnier to run around and not be eaten. They also don't like greedy people and they won't let you eat them if you're not sharing."
"You mean there's children are having a party and there's no treats?" Etta asked sadly. "We've got to do something about it!" The little girl decided with great determination.
"It's true." Milo agreed. "But what can we do if the desserts won't let us catch them?"
"You've got to sneak up on them!" Ada laughed, climbing out of Etta's arms and onto the girl's shoulder.
Tricking dessert? Milo wasn't convinced he could actually do that. He'd never done it before which made it seem harder than it actually might be. But if he were supposed to have a party and there were no desserts than he would want someone to try and bring some to him too!
So he just had to try!
Looking at the first dessert he could find; a luscious chocolate cake with loads of chocolate icing and lots of candies on it. Milo turned his back pretending to not care. The boy even whistled to himself and took a few tiny steps away. When he was sure the cake thought he was leaving Milo jumped back around and spread out his arms as if he were hugging the cake.
Suddenly the mirage was gone...
But, oh joy! "Yippee!" He cried. That very same cake was in Milo's arms and was very real.
Etta followed Milo's example and the two of them gathered up desserts in their arms until the piles were as tall as them and they had to poke holes through the cupcakes to see where they were going.
There was...
Red velvet cake, strawberry pudding, pumpkin doughnuts, chocolate bars, cotton candy, ginger cookies, raspberry ripple ice cream and tummy tickling treats no one has ever tasted before.
"The party is at the Oasis, let's go!" Ada said after they couldn't carry even one more crumb.
As they traveled along with desserts to bring to the party, Milo turned to Ada and asked her a question. "Will you tell me what a Poppet is?"
She wasn't as secretive as the owl had been and so the answer came quite plainly. "A Poppet can be many things. It can be a name for someone you like, it can be a puppet or a doll. But Poppets like I are here to guide you on your journey. Think of us as friends." She said kindly.
"Well, if Poppets are going to help me--" Milo started.
"And ME!" Etta added quickly.
"...If they're going to help US get home, than I hope they're all a nice as you Ada." He said patting the creature on the head.
Ada ticked his fingers with her long nose and chuckled. "Well I would hope so too friend, but we're not all this nice. In fact you must beware, some of my fellow Poppets are tricksters. They don't want to cause harm but they can't help playing jokes! Promise me you will be careful." She said with motherly smile.
"We promise, cross our hearts!" Etta chirped in happily.
Milo was going to add his promise too but before he could there came a sound of rejoicing that could only be tons of excited kids.
"We're here!" He said, crossing from the hot desert sand and into a grassy, lush oasis where him and Etta were relieved of their desserts and drowned in hugs and 'thanks' from the children.
The party was lively with music, dancing and games. Milo and Etta had so much fun playing with everyone that at first that they completely forgot about eating. In fact, it was a long time before anyone thought about the desserts at all. But when they finally did there was enough for everyone to share and enjoy together.
When everyone was smiling together and their new friends were just as happy as they were; it made for the perfect party.
Both Milo and Etta agreed that the treats were twice as nice because of it.
And just as the last lick of ice cream was gone and the last slice of cake had been devoured; a few of the children came forward with a gift for Milo and Etta.
"We would like to give you a present for bringing us our desserts and being good friends to us even though we've never met." They said happily, like their hearts were singing.
"You're welcome!" Both friends said together.
Etta was the one to receive their present and Milo wasn't sure what it was, but looked suspiciously like a huge sheet of paper with a pretty floral pattern on it that was accented with shimmery gold.
"It's magic paper!" Etta exclaimed, holding the sheet out to examine it thoughtfully.
How she knew this defied Milo's logic, there didn't seem to be anything particularly magical about a square sheet of paper.
But Ada sniffled the paper and nodded in agreement with Etta. If she seemed to think it was magic too.
Who was Milo to disagree with an aardvark? Especially one that displayed undoubtedly magical qualities like this talking stuffed animal.
"That will help you on the next part of your journey." Ada said, turning her head towards the Oasis' water that had once been a pond but now looked like a never ending ocean.
"I'll fold it into a boat and then we'll use it to cross all that water!" Etta explained, lying it flat on the ground and starting to fold in the edges of the paper.
"A paper boat won't float!!" Milo yelped.
"Haha!! That rhymes!" Was the only thing Etta would say as she worked diligently.
Ada seemed just fine with this idea but Milo couldn't understand how they were ever going to cross an ocean like that in only a boat made of paper...

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