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Gemma Platt and the Five Feathery Maggots

A Fairy Tale
by Dove Windsor

Once upon a time there was a funny girl called Gemma Platt. She was on the way to see her Molly Greenway, when she decided to take a short cut through Spittleton Woods.

It wasn't long before Gemma got lost. She looked around, but all she could see were trees. Nervously, she felt into her bag for her favourite toy, Daisy, but Daisy was nowhere to be found! Gemma began to panic. She felt sure she had packed Daisy. To make matters worse, she was starting to feel hungry.

Unexpectedly, she saw a feathery maggot dressed in a blue jumper disappearing into the trees.

"How odd!" thought Gemma.

For the want of anything better to do, she decided to follow the peculiarly dressed maggot. Perhaps it could tell him the way out of the forest.

Eventually, Gemma reached a clearing. She found herself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from sweet potatoes, a house made from humbugs, a house made from fruit gums, a house made from pancakes, a house made from pancakes and a house made from chocolates.

Gemma could feel her tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease her hunger.

"Hello!" she called. "Is anybody there?"

Nobody replied.

Gemma 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 Gemma a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Daisy!

"Daisy!" shouted Gemma. She turned to the witch. "That's my toy!"

The witch just shrugged.

"Give Daisy back!" cried Gemma.

"Not on your nelly!" said the witch.

"At least let Daisy out of that cage!"

Before she could reply, five feathery maggots rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Gemma recognised the one in the blue jumper that she'd seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.

"Hello Big Maggot," said the witch.

"Good morning." The maggot noticed Daisy. "Who is this?"

"That's Daisy," explained the witch.

"Ooh! Daisy would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!" demanded the maggot.

The witch shook her head. "Daisy is staying with me."

"Um... Excuse me..." Gemma interrupted. "Daisy lives with me! And not in a cage!"

Big Maggot 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 Maggot looked at the house made from chocolates and said, "No problem, I could eat an entire house made from chocolates if I wanted to."

"That's nothing," said the next maggot. "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 Daisy."

Gemma watched, feeling very worried. She didn't want the witch to give Daisy to Big Maggot. She didn't think Daisy would like living with a feathery maggot, away from her house and all her other toys.

The other four maggots watched while Big Maggot put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Big Maggot. "Just you watch!"

Big Maggot pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from humbugs. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

Eventually, Big Maggot started to get bigger - just a little bit bigger at first. But after a few more fork-fulls of humbugs, 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 Maggot.

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 Maggot never finished eating the front door made from humbugs and Daisy remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Average Maggot stepped up, and approached the house made from fruit gums.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Average Maggot. "Just you watch!"

Average Maggot pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from fruit gums. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

After a while, Average Maggot started to look a little queasy. She grew greener...

   ...and greener.

A woodcutter walked into the clearing. "What's this bush doing here?" he asked.

"I'm not a bush, I'm a maggot!" said Average Maggot.

"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 Maggot, as the woodcutter picked her up. But the woodcutter ignored her cries and carried the maggot away under his arm.

Average Maggot never finished eating the front door made from fruit gums and Daisy remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Little Maggot stepped up, and approached the house made from pancakes.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Little Maggot. "Just you watch!"

Little Maggot pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from pancakes. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

After five or six platefuls, Little Maggot 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 Maggot into the sky.

"Aggghhhhhh!" cried Little Maggot. "I'm scared of heigh..."

Little Maggot was never seen again.

Little Maggot never finished eating the front door made from pancakes and Daisy remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Tiny Maggot stepped up, and approached the house made from pancakes.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Tiny Maggot. "Just you watch!"

Tiny Maggot pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from pancakes. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

However, on the next mouthful, the food fell straight out of Tiny Maggot's mouth. She tried to stuff in another forkful of pancakes, but once again, the food fell out. There just wasn't enough room left in her belly.

"This is just not fair!" declared Tiny Maggot, and stomped off into the forest.

Tiny Maggot never finished eating the front door made from pancakes and Daisy remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Even-Tinier Maggot stepped up, and approached the house made from chocolates.

"I'll eat this whole house," said Even-Tinier Maggot. "Just you watch!"

Even-Tinier Maggot pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from chocolates. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

Suddenly, Even-Tinier Maggot stopped eating and started dancing. While he danced, he sang at the top of his lungs, "Chocolates! Watch me eat all the chocolates!"

"It looks as though the chocolates are making you hyperactive," laughed the witch.

"Oh no they're not!" cried Even-Tinier Maggot. "I'm always this excited." With that, he walked into a tree.

Bong!

Even-Tinier Maggot banged his head and fell backwards onto his bottom. He passed out, exhausted.

Even-Tinier Maggot never finished eating the front door made from chocolates and Daisy remained trapped in the witch's cage.

"That's it," said the witch. "I win. I get to keep Daisy."

"Not so fast," said Gemma. "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 her a chance. It's only fair."

"Fine," said the witch. "But you saw what happened to the maggots. She won't last long."

"I'll be right back," said Gemma.

"What?" said the witch. "Where's your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Daisy back."

Gemma 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 sweet potatoes 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.

Gemma sat down on a nearby log.

"You fail!" cackled the witch. "You were supposed to eat the whole door."

"I haven't finished," explained Gemma. "I am just waiting for my food to go down."

When Gemma's food had digested, she broke off another piece of the door made from sweet potatoes. 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, Gemma was down to the final piece of the door made from sweet potatoes. Carefully, she toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. She finished her final course. Gemma 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 girl won fair and square. Now hand over Daisy 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.

Gemma hurried over and grabbed Daisy, checking that her favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Daisy was unharmed.

Gemma thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Molly. It was starting to get dark.

When Gemma got to Molly's house, her threw her arms around her.

"I was so worried!" cried Molly. "You are very late."

As Gemma described her day, she could tell that Molly didn't believe her. So she grabbed a napkin from her pocket.

"What's that?" asked Molly.

Gemma unwrapped a doorknob made from humbugs. "Pudding!" she said.

Molly almost fell off her chair.

The End

Created on 12th September 2021.





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