Suki Malkovich and the Three Hooting Guppies
Once upon a time there was a clever girl called Suki Malkovich. She was on the way to see her Annabelle Thomas, when she decided to take a short cut through Awfulpool Forest.
It wasn't long before Suki got lost. She looked around, but all she could see were trees. Nervously, she felt into her bag for her favourite toy, Bunny, but Bunny was nowhere to be found! Suki began to panic. She felt sure she had packed Bunny. To make matters worse, she was starting to feel hungry.
Unexpectedly, she saw a hooting guppy dressed in a purple coat disappearing into the trees.
"How odd!" thought Suki.
For the want of anything better to do, she decided to follow the peculiarly dressed guppy. Perhaps it could tell him the way out of the forest.
Eventually, Suki reached a clearing. She found herself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from cucumbers, a house made from lollipops, a house made from cupcakes and a house made from pizzas.
Suki could feel her tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease her hunger.
"Hello!" she called. "Is anybody there?"
Suki 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 Suki a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Bunny!
"Bunny!" shouted Suki. She turned to the witch. "That's my toy!"
The witch just shrugged.
"Give Bunny back!" cried Suki.
"Not on your nelly!" said the witch.
"At least let Bunny out of that cage!"
Before she could reply, three hooting guppies rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Suki recognised the one in the purple coat that she'd seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.
"Hello Big Guppy," said the witch.
"Good morning." The guppy noticed Bunny. "Who is this?"
"That's Bunny," explained the witch.
"Ooh! Bunny would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!" demanded the guppy.
The witch shook her head. "Bunny is staying with me."
"Um... Excuse me..." Suki interrupted. "Bunny lives with me! And not in a cage!"
Big Guppy 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 Guppy looked at the house made from pizzas and said, "No problem, I could eat an entire house made from pizzas if I wanted to."
"That's nothing," said the next guppy. "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 Bunny."
Suki watched, feeling very worried. She didn't want the witch to give Bunny to Big Guppy. She didn't think Bunny would like living with a hooting guppy, away from her house and all her other toys.
The other two guppies watched while Big Guppy put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Big Guppy. "Just you watch!"
Big Guppy pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from lollipops. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
Eventually, Big Guppy started to get bigger - just a little bit bigger at first. But after a few more fork-fulls of lollipops, 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 Guppy.
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 Guppy never finished eating the front door made from lollipops and Bunny remained trapped in the witch's cage.Average Guppy stepped up, and approached the house made from cupcakes.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Average Guppy. "Just you watch!"
Average Guppy pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from cupcakes. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After a while, Average Guppy started to look a little queasy. She grew greener...
A woodcutter walked into the clearing. "What's this bush doing here?" he asked.
"I'm not a bush, I'm a guppy!" said Average Guppy.
"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 Guppy, as the woodcutter picked her up. But the woodcutter ignored her cries and carried the guppy away under his arm.
Average Guppy never finished eating the front door made from cupcakes and Bunny remained trapped in the witch's cage.Little Guppy stepped up, and approached the house made from pizzas.
"I'll eat this whole house," said Little Guppy. "Just you watch!"
Little Guppy pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from pizzas. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After five or six platefuls, Little Guppy started to fidget uncomfortably on the spot.
He stopped eating pizzas 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 Guppy into the sky.
"Aggghhhhhh!" cried Little Guppy. "I'm scared of heigh..."
Little Guppy was never seen again.
Little Guppy never finished eating the front door made from pizzas and Bunny remained trapped in the witch's cage.
"That's it," said the witch. "I win. I get to keep Bunny."
"Not so fast," said Suki. "There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from cucumbers. 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 guppies. She won't last long."
"I'll be right back," said Suki.
"What?" said the witch. "Where's your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Bunny back."
Suki 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 cucumbers 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.
Suki sat down on a nearby log.
"You fail!" cackled the witch. "You were supposed to eat the whole door."
"I haven't finished," explained Suki. "I am just waiting for my food to go down."
When Suki's food had digested, she broke off another piece of the door made from cucumbers. 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, Suki was down to the final piece of the door made from cucumbers. Carefully, she toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. She finished her final course. Suki had eaten the entire front door of the house made from cucumbers.
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 Bunny 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.
Suki hurried over and grabbed Bunny, checking that her favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Bunny was unharmed.
Suki thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Annabelle. It was starting to get dark.
When Suki got to Annabelle's house, her threw her arms around her.
"I was so worried!" cried Annabelle. "You are very late."
As Suki described her day, she could tell that Annabelle didn't believe her. So she grabbed a napkin from her pocket.
"What's that?" asked Annabelle.
Suki unwrapped a doorknob made from lollipops. "Pudding!" she said.
Annabelle almost fell off her chair.