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How Never-ending Stories Began

By Lesley Potgieter (Never-Ending Stories)

There is a corner in my garage where a group of long lost forgotten toys live. You have to listen and look very closely to find them. There is Martha Mouse who is always cleaning, Timid Timothy the tortoise, Eager Emily the squirrel and high at the top of the garage sits Confident Charlie. Lets take a look inside…

A gust of wind from outside caused two loose tiles on the roof to clink together causing a reverberations in Never-ending Stories. Timid Timothy sunk deeper into his shell. He didn’t like the wind. He liked it even less when he was all alone.

His friend Eager Emily was out looking for provisions of nuts to stock up for the winter months. This by the look of it, in Timid Timothy’s opinion was not far away. Oh how he wished he had said yes to her when she had woken him up earlier this morning. But he had been so very cosy then under his warm blanket that he had mumbled no. Oh how he regretted that now as another gust of wind rattled the loose tiles again….

Quietly he started to hum, “Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect. I whistle a happy tune, so no one ever knows I’m afraid. Make believe you’re brave and the trick will take you far, you may be as brave as you make believe you are. “

It didn’t take long and he was feeling a little better. By the end of the song the wind didn’t sound as loud and the clanking didn’t bother him as much. But Timid Timothy wasn’t the only one bothered by the loose fitting tiles. Martha Mouse knew that if the wind blew any harder the tiles would work themselves free and a piece of the roof would be exposed. She had to act quickly before this happened.

While Martha worked, moving the books, pencils, rulers and crayons to one side she heard the soft sniffles of Timid Timothy she briefly stopped what she was doing and wondered whether she should go check in on him.

She was about to stop colour coding the pencil crayons when she heard the faint sounds of a familiar tune echoing in the silence. She knew there was no need to check in on him and resumed what she had been softly humming as she did so.

Time ticked away and before she knew it Martha had been busy for an hour. While locking the cupboard behind her she noticed that a pile of rubbish had appeared in the corner. Wearily she looked up to find that the tiles had finally wedged themselves free and a hole had appeared in the ceiling.

Martha was a little concerned as to Emily’s whereabouts not because she was incapable of looking after herself but rather that the wind had suddenly picked up speed. To be honest she slept a lot more peacefully when she knew the younger toys were safely back under her care.

With winter fast approaching Martha Mouse shivered as she headed off to bed. She heard the side door creak as a forgotten toy entered the room looking for warmth.

She was glad she remembered to put a pot of tea on and left a few biscuits with a blanket at the welcome mat. She smiled as she nodded off to sleep.

The sun took longer to rise and it felt like it started setting set almost as quickly as it rose. It was all hands on deck as the toys made preparations for the coming rain.

Martha Mouse remembered, as she nodded off, that there was an old piece of plastic to cover the bookshelves. She had a sinking feeling that they had forgotten to hang it out to dry last spring and it would be covered in thick, green mould.

“I must remind Confident Charlie and Eager Emily to clamber into the rafters to inspect the tiles,” she thought. “Perhaps Timid Timothy suggestion of using the pine needles from the field for insulation would work.”

The following morning all the toys bundled outside in their warmest coats and headed for the field. They were amazed to see how much pine straw there was lying on the ground. It took several trips before Confident Charlie was satisfied that they had enough to repair the roof.

They stood in a row and worked merrily beside each other as they passed on the material to Confident Charlie who knew what he was doing. Nobody felt cold as they sang and danced. They were all quite surprised when Martha Mouse said it was time for tea.