Children’s Fiction

 

Tales for a younger audience or those who are simply young at heart 🙂

 

 

The Truth Behind The Tale Of An Enormous Turnip:

Once upon a time there was an enormous turnip…oh you have heard this tale before? Yes I have heard that version too but this is the real story…listen closely and you will see.

I better start at the very beginning.

Once upon a time there lived a great and magical Wizard. He was very kind and very wise and very magical with a talent for finding things. Wizard Odd Socks (for that was his name) was a great man to have around when you lost something; missing shoes, hair-clips and buttons, he could find them all in a flash. Of course his speciality was socks but he was usually pretty good at finding the missing pair of anything. That is until the day he met Witchy Smelly Pants, a very smelly and very mean Witch who lived in a dirty little cottage in his village.

She had misplaced one of her extra long, extra stripy, extra smelly socks. They belonged to her mother (a great witch) and her grandmother (an even greater witch) before her. They were said to contain magical powers all of their own. They were a very special pair of socks indeed. So needless to say Witchy Smelly Pants never, ever washed them. In fact she rarely took them off. But one night she was just too hot and so she stripped both socks off. She hung them carefully over the end of her bed. In the morning one of the socks had disappeared. Witchy Smelly Pants searched high and low for her missing sock but it had vanished!

A very cross and cranky Witch went about her chores that day with one sock pulled up to her knee and one very hairy, very white leg. Her neighbours took great care to avoid her; they didn’t want to be turned into a toad or a mouse or something even worse. The sock didn’t show up the next day or the next or even the one after that. One of her neighbours, trying to be kind, left a pair of new socks on her front door-step. They were stripy and long but not very smelly. Witchy Smelly Pants turned the neighbour into a pair of socks and gave them to her smelliest relative (Uncle Herbert) to wear. Uncle Herbert was the smelliest man in town. He took a bath just once a year and wore the same clothes everyday until they fell apart. I would not like to be a sock on Uncle Herbert’s foot.

The villagers were scared. They begged Wizard Odd Socks for help.

Wizard Odd Socks took the job though he wasn’t very fond of Witchy Smelly Pants. She was scary and mean and she smelled pretty bad. But he felt a little sorry for her. It was hard to lose one of your favourite socks. He performed dozens of spells, tried all his usual magical tricks, searched everywhere that socks like to hide – at the end of beds, hiding in pillow cases and lurking in bushes (having fallen from the washing line) but no luck. Witchy Smelly Pants was furious of course and because she was a very nasty witch indeed she decided to turn Wizard Odd Socks into a turnip seed then she sold him for ten pennies at the local market.

The man who planted the seed had no idea, of course, that it used to be a Wizard. Bob was his name and turnips were his favourite food. So he carefully planted the seed and watered it everyday. He watched the turnip grow bigger and bigger until finally it was enormous. He was very excited when finally it stopped growing and was ready to be eaten.

He pulled on his very best gardening gloves (green with red spots) and began to pull at the turnip. Suddenly a small voice piped up.

‘Help!’ Bob turned around but nobody was there. He went back to his job.

‘Help! Help!’ He dropped his shovel and looked in every direction. But the voice seemed to be coming from beneath his feet. He looked down. All he could see was his grubby wellies, covered in mud. So he called for his wife, Patricia.

She hurried out to join him.

“I think someone is stuck under this enormous turnip.” said Bob.

Patricia was very strong. She was well known in the village for winning the annual wrestling championship. She rolled up her sleeves, took a deep breath and began to pull her husband who pulled the enormous turnip. Ten minutes of pulling later both Bob and Patricia were very tired. And the little voice would not stop calling for help.

“Let’s call Tom.” suggested Patricia.

Tom lived next door and was glad to help although he hated turnips. He loved Bob and Patricia. They always gave him extra pennies on market day. So Bob, Patricia and Tom pulled and pulled but nothing happened. The turnip stayed stuck and the cries for help got louder.

Tom called for his friend Becky to join them.

Becky was busy swinging as high as she could go but she stopped and ran to help. She loved turnip and her absolutely favourite dinner was roasted turnip with mashed turnip and extra turnip on the side. She had it at least once a week.

Becky was very happy to help but the turnip would not move.

Feeling quite hungry Becky called her little dog Freddie to come help. He ran over and barked happily. He grabbed Becky’s dress, she held on to Tom’s t-shirt, he caught Patricia’s apron and she gripped Bob’s jumper. Then they all began to pull and pull and pull!

Slowly, very slowly the enormous turnip came out of the ground. It landed on its side.

“Ouch!”

Everybody rushed over and that’s when they noticed something very strange indeed. This turnip had two eyes, a flat nose and a wide mouth. That was where the cries had been coming from! The turnip was alive!

“That will teach me to try and help that nasty old witch!” said the turnip grumpily. The little group gathered around him but nobody knew what to say. A talking turnip!

The turnip looked up and smiled.

“I bet you have never seen a talking turnip before! Well that’s because I am really a Wizard!” with a blink of his eyes the Wizard Odd Socks was back to his usual Wizard self.

He smiled at his rescuers. They all smiled back. Except for Bob.

“I should never have bought anything from Witchy Smelly Pants.” huffed Bob, “Now I have no turnip for my tea.”

Because Wizard Odd Socks was very happy to be back to normal and he was a very nice Wizard he conjured up another enormous turnip. It was nearly as big as Bob’s cottage. Bob and Patricia invited the Wizard and all their friends to stay for tea.

And they all had turnip for their dinner – except for the Wizard. After that day he could never eat another turnip which was a shame as Patricia made the best turnip soup in that part of the world.

The End.

PS. Witchy Smelly Pants never did find her missing sock. But I’ll tell you a secret – a family of mice found it lying on the floor the night it went missing. They took it back to their little mouse hole and scrubbed it clean. Now they use it as a blanket when the wind blows and the rain splashes down. It’s really very cosy.