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Simon Hemingway and the Three Spiky Lizards

A Fairy Tale
by Dove Windsor

Once upon a time there was a friendly boy called Simon Hemingway. He was on the way to see his Alex Ferguson, when he decided to take a short cut through Central Park.

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

Unexpectedly, he saw a spiky lizard dressed in a yellow skirt disappearing into the trees.

"How odd!" thought Simon.

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

Eventually, Simon 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 cupcakes and a house made from cupcakes.

Simon could feel his tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease his hunger.

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

Nobody replied.

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

"George!" shouted Simon. He turned to the witch. "That's my toy!"

The witch just shrugged.

"Give George back!" cried Simon.

"Not on your nelly!" said the witch.

"At least let George out of that cage!"

Before she could reply, three spiky lizards rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Simon recognised the one in the yellow skirt that he'd seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.

"Hello Big Lizard," said the witch.

"Good morning." The lizard noticed George. "Who is this?"

"That's George," explained the witch.

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

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

"Um... Excuse me..." Simon interrupted. "George lives with me! And not in a cage!"

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

"That's nothing," said the next lizard. "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 George."

Simon watched, feeling very worried. He didn't want the witch to give George to Big Lizard. He didn't think George would like living with a spiky lizard, away from his house and all his other toys.

The other two lizards watched while Big Lizard put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.

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

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

   And more.

      And more.

Eventually, Big Lizard 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 Lizard.

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 Lizard never finished eating the front door made from muffins and George remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Average Lizard stepped up, and approached the house made from cupcakes.

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

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

   And more.

      And more.

After a while, Average Lizard 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 lizard!" said Average Lizard.

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

Average Lizard never finished eating the front door made from cupcakes and George remained trapped in the witch's cage.

Little Lizard stepped up, and approached the house made from cupcakes.

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

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

   And more.

      And more.

After five or six platefuls, Little Lizard started to fidget uncomfortably on the spot.

He stopped eating cupcakes 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 Lizard into the sky.

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

Little Lizard was never seen again.

Little Lizard never finished eating the front door made from cupcakes and George remained trapped in the witch's cage.

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

"Not so fast," said Simon. "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 lizards. He won't last long."

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

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

Simon 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.

Simon sat down on a nearby log.

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

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

When Simon'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, Simon 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. Simon 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 George 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.

Simon hurried over and grabbed George, checking that his favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, George was unharmed.

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

When Simon got to Alex's house, his threw his arms around him.

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

As Simon described his day, he could tell that Alex didn't believe him. So he grabbed a napkin from his pocket.

"What's that?" asked Alex.

Simon unwrapped a doorknob made from muffins. "Pudding!" he said.

Alex almost fell off his chair.

The End

Created on 7th September 2021.





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