Emma's mother folded the last piece
of washing from the line and put it into her basket. She looked up at the
love, it's going to storm shortly. Will you gather your toys up now and bring
them in please?”
“Oh Mummy, do we have to? We were
just going to have our afternoon tea and they're all ready, aren't you?” she
asked the three life-like toy animals arranged in a half–circle in front of
her. She put a bright yellow dandelion in front of Sticks, a black possum with
a pink nose; a small plastic saucer of water in front Cinnamon, a sleek chocolate
brown cat with blue eyes; and a little plastic bone in front of Honey, a rather
scruffy little tan and white dog, but nonetheless appealing.
I suppose they can stay out here if you don't mind them being soaked, but
you'll have to stay out here with them so they don't blow away in the wind.
What do you think?”
The little girl frowned, collected
her toys, and marched past her mother into the house, her nose in the air. A
fairy peeping out from behind an upturned flowerpot giggled into her hands as
“Put them in your room please,
dear, not on the lounge,” called her mother as she went into the kitchen.
“I can't play with you anywhere but
my room!” she muttered, putting the toys on her bed before closing the
bedroom door. Emma sat on the end of her bed, elbows on her knees, and chin
in her hands. She pushed a strand of golden hair behind an ear and looked round
her pretty blue room. All her other toys sat tidily on their shelves on both
sides of the casement windows next to the curtains with fairies and elves
printed on them. The bottom window was open just enough to allow a faint breeze.
The curtains swayed gently so that the fairies and elves on them looked as if they were flying.
her shoes off, turned around, crawled up into the bed, and snuggled into
the warm quilt. “Oops sorry, I
nearly forgot you.” Emma arranged the three toys where she wanted them.
“Sticks, you come with me.” She put the possum under the coverlet beside her.
“Cinnamon, you sit there on this side of my pillow. Honey, you're over here.”
She placed him on the far side of her pillow and stroked the rough, furry
muzzle. “Now behave yourselves and no fighting.” She shook a finger at them
and sighed. “Oh, I wish you were real; we could have so much fun if you were.”
Emma lay down, snuggled into her pillow, and watched her curtains. They moved
with the breeze coming in through the small opening of the bottom casement
window, and she drifted off into a deep sleep.
Outside, the rain began to fall, softly at
first, then harder as the thunder rolled and lightning flashed across the sky.
Emma's mother opened the door a little, and seeing Emma asleep, closed it
This was to be a magic afternoon. Emma didn't
know what was about to happen. The fairy who had been watching heard the little
girl's wish, and had gone straight to the Fairy Queen with it. A short while
later, in a corner of Emma's room, a soft, pink cloud began to form and a
beautiful fairy dressed in the softest flowing silvery white gown appeared.
Many fairies and elves came with her and watched as she recited these words:
This wish is granted for these
In the eyes of this child, alive they will be,
As she desires. Now as I speak, let it be so.
No mortals this spell shall break,
Only her joy shall they know.
The Fairy Queen raised her wand.
The room filled with a shimmering blue light. She nodded gently, and with all
the fairies and elves, she disappeared into a pink cloud and vanished.
Nothing seemed to have changed. All
was quiet until Cinnamon blinked twice and shook her head. She looked across
the pillow at Honey, who was shaking vigorously.
“Scared of storms are we?” teased
“Not at all, cat, I like storms!”
“Yeah? Why you shakin' then?”
Cinnamon raised an eyebrow at her.
not, but you'd better be. I'm gonna...”
“Now cut that out, you two!”
Sticks' head appeared from under the coverlet.
“She's scared!” Cinnamon
pointed at Honey.
“Storms aren't on my ‘favourites’ list either, but that doesn't mean I'm afraid of them any more than Honey is.”
jumped off the bed and ran to the shelves. She climbed up to the window and
pushed her nose against one that was open. The harder she pushed, the further
it opened – enough for her to squeeze through it into the flower box just
under the window.
“I'll show you who's scared!” She
jumped from the flower box onto the wet grass and out into the rain. She ran
across the yard, through the fence, into the meadow, then straight towards
rainforest on the far side. In she marched, determined to show them she wasn't
scared – well, not much anyway – as she looked around at the thick undergrowth.
The rainforest became darker the further in she went. “I'm not afraid,
not!” she tried to convince herself when mighty claps of thunder rolled
the sky, making the ground shake. “Now I am!” she said as she dived
rock ledge out of the rain.
“Me too,” said
a voice beside her.
at the sound. She was face to face with a big green frog. “Oh you scared me,” she gasped. “Are you a
frog? Don't frogs like rain?” she asked nervously.
“Frog? Yes. Rain? Yes! Storms? No!
Nope, don't like storms!” He gulped as he crawled under a big palm leaf.
for him, but he'd already disappeared. “Oh,” she sighed, “I wanted to ask him where I am and how to get
out of here. I was silly to run away. Now I think I'm lost.” Honey looked
around her. Each path, tall tree, shiny wet fern, mossy log, and those palms…
big ones, small ones, all shapes and sizes all began to look the same. Honey
shrank back against the rock wall and whimpered. She was lost and alone.
at Sticks, her eyes wide. “OK, now what do we do?”
for a moment. “Well…we have three
choices, Cinny. One, we wait until she comes home. Two, we wake Emma. Or three,
we don't wake her and go find Honey ourselves.”
“Can't see her coming back by herself,” said
Cinnamon as she leapt lightly onto the windowsill to peer out into the pouring
rain. “If we don't wake Emma, she'll miss out on an adventure.”
“Adventure? What adventure?” Sticks
joined Cinnamon on the windowsill.
“The one we'll have when we all go
looking for Honey,” said Cinnamon as she swiped a paw over her ear. “Now
are you going to wake her or am I?”
“I guess I'll do it,” he
sighed. He left the sill and padded across the floor and jumped onto the
bed. Emma was lying on her back in a deep sleep. He came up to Emma's face
and gently patted her cheek with a paw. The little girl didn't move. He patted
her again a little harder this time. Still no response.
“Oh really, Sticks, if you're going to wake someone, there's
only one way to do it. Watch this!” Cinnamon crouched and pounced.
“No Cinny…don't!” yelled
Sticks as Cinnamon landed right in the middle of Emma's chest, her nose almost
Emma woke, eye to eye with
is that you? Did you wake me up?”
I did. Honey has run away, she went out though the window into the storm.”
“Cinnamon, you can talk! I can hear
you!” Emma clasped her hands over her mouth.
“Well, we hear you all the time,
but ‘till now we couldn't say anything – nice isn't it? Now what about Honey?”
Cinnamon asked again.
tried to stop her jumping on you, but…!”
Emma laughed. “I can hear you too,
Sticks! I wished for you to be real and you are.” She clapped her little
“Emma,” Sticks sat down beside her.
“Honey's out there. Shall we go look for her, or would you rather stay
here with Cinny and I'll go alone?”
“She's our friend; I thinkrig we
should all go.” Emma was already pulling on her gumboots, raincoat, and hat as
Sticks and Cinnamon were pushing the window out far enough for all of them to get
through. Soon they were all running across the lawn to the fence. “Which way?”
around in the wet dirt; some paw prints were barely visible. “This way,” he
called as he headed towards the wet rainforest undergrowth.
The rain was still heavy as the three friends stopped under
a huge granite boulder, surrounded by palm fronds hanging low in the rain.
“Lost something?” said
a voice in Emma's ear. A big green frog sitting in the center of a palm frond
rubbed a hand over his nose as she turned.
yes, we have. A little tan and white scruffy dog. Have you seen her?
“Sure have.” The frog blinked twice
slowly. “That way!” he pointed a slender finger along a ferny path.
“Thank you.” They
ran down the path the frog had indicated, looking to the right and left as
“Honey, Honey!” they
called. No answer. Just the sound of the rain on the forest canopy and the
thuds as the big drops hit the ground.
“Where is she?” Cinnamon
said crossly, shaking herself vigorously and sending a spray of water all
“Try looking behind that log over
there.” He pointed to a large, wet log. “And stop trying to drown
spotted the log, sprang, and landed on top of it. “She's not here,” she
called, looking around.
“She mightn't be, but I am!”
something growled crossly.
move. She stared, mouth open, at the ‘talking’ log.
“Get off me!” The ‘log’ stood
up and shook itself. Cinny fell off and landed on the wet ground in a tangle
of paws and legs.
“Eek, what are you?” she gasped.
”What are doing here?”
“Whaddya mean, what am I?? I'm a
Wombat! W.O.M.B.A.T.,” he spelled it out slowly. “Mindin’ me own business. Why
aren't you?” he growled as he looked around and saw Emma and Sticks.
“This yours?” he aimed
a paw at
Cinnamon. “Control it!” he muttered as he ambled away into the rainforest.
“Young'uns just ain't got no manners today. Nope! No manners…grrr!”
Cinnamon brushed the
wet dirt from her fur and cleaned her whiskers. “Wombat is the most disagreeable creature I've
ever met,” she sniffed.
“Well done, Cinny! Log, eh? Can't
tell the difference between a Wombat and a bit of old wood,” laughed
Emma and Sticks together.
“Ooh!” she growled, as she pulled a
wet leaf out of her ear. “Move it, you two. Honey's still missing – as I wish
your jokes were!” She put her tail straight up, nose in the air, and marched
past Emma and Sticks. The three friends made their way along the path that led
deeper into dense wet foliage. Sticks eyed a tall tree a little further down
the path. “Wait here for me,” he called, “I'm going to climb
up and have a good look around.”
“I'll be ready, Sticks, don't worry!” Cinnamon
“To catch you before you hit the ground like
great lump of wood.” Cinnamon sat back on her haunches and grinned at
Sticks as rain dripped off her nose.
“Search, Cinny!” threatened Sticks.
“Emma, I won't be long.”
“Be careful!” she called as he
scampered up the huge tree, clung to the topmost branch, and leaned out as far as
he could. The rain didn't help. It splashed into his eyes, which made him close
them, or else he had to wipe the rain away with a paw. He began to climb back
down. “No good. I can't see anything,” he said as he reached the
“OK,” said Emma, “we'll have to keep looking. She can't be too far away.” They walked on a little farther. Cinnamon
lowered her tail as it kept getting caught in the undergrowth. She poked her
head though an opening in some tall grass-like plants and stopped still.
“Oh boy, oh my whiskers, look at this!” She
backed away so Sticks and Emma could see. “What'll we do? Somebody make
a suggestion, decision, anything!”
back from the gap in the grasses. “I don't know what to do. I'm a bit
scared, aren't you?”
“No!” said Sticks as he looked back
through the grass. “Not scared. I'm really angry!” Across
the small clearing was a very young koala caught in a trap. A trap meant for
feral cats. On top of the cage was a large, mean, yellow-eyed tabby trying
to hook the terrified koala through the wire using its long, sharp claws. The low
growling noises coming from the cat made the hair on Sticks' neck stand up.
“Do something, somebody!” whispered
The cat's sharp ears heard the soft whisper even through the
rain. Its glittering yellow eyes were fixed in their direction. It slowly stood
up, unblinking, silently jumped from the cage, and moved as if it were in slow
motion towards the grass and the three friends.
“It's coming! Hide everyone!” whispered
cat's back was turned, a little brown-and-white shadow emerged from the undergrowth,
crept quietly to the trap, and lifted the front door. She propped it open
with a stick and led the little koala to her worried mum nearby. Safe on
mum's back, they climbed to the top of the tall tree, way out of sight of
the cat. She ran silently back to the trap, opened the back door, and stood
under it. The cat had its head through the gap in the grass, looking or listening
for a sound until, ”Here cat,
here I am! Want some dinner, you big ugly…oops!”
The cat spun around, saw Honey in
the trap, and raced towards her. Honey stepped back and allowed the trap's back
door to drop shut. The cat rushed into the cage so fast that it hit the back
door, causing the stick to fall away and slam the front door shut. The big
feral cat hissed and spat; he clawed the wire and pushed against the doors, but
they held firm. He was caught--well and truly. Trappers would collect the traps
they set, soon taking the vicious cat with them.
“Honey, oh Honey, here we are.” Honey ran to
them. “Are you all right?” asked Emma as she picked the little dog up, hugged
her, and laughed as Honey licked her face. “You're safe now, and we are so proud
of you for saving that baby koala from that cat, aren't we?” She looked
at the other two.
Cinnamon, I'm not afraid of storms, am I?”
Cinnamon was just about to answer
when a mighty bolt of lightning lit up the sky, followed by crashing thunder.
Honey tried to get inside Emma's raincoat.
Cinnamon a “don't answer that” look.
“Umm, nope!” she
“We'd better be going before it
gets dark,” Emma said. She turned and began the trek back the way they had
come. Sticks ran ahead with Cinnamon behind him. They reached the big granite
boulder where they'd met the green frog. They waited a few minutes while the
lightning flashed about and the thunder rolled through the rainforest. The
storm was directly overhead now; the rain hadn't let up for a minute. They had
to get home before Emma's mother came in to check on her. “Ready?” She said,
“We have to go now!” and ran out into the rain.
“Right behind you!” called
the others as they followed her along the path, and soon they were at the
edge of the forest.
“There's the fence!” cried
Honey as she leapt from Emma's arms and ran as fast her short little legs
would go, along the path. The others followed Honey through the loose paling
in the fence across the lawn, up over the windowsill, into the bedroom. How
good it felt to be home!
off all her rain gear and hung it in the wardrobe. She grabbed a towel and
dried her face and hands, then dried off her three wet friends. ”You're so wet. I wish you were dry so you
don't catch cold!” She rubbed the toys with the towel until it became
wet. Emma was so tired after her adventure into the rainforest that she crawled
back under the covers and went to sleep immediately. At that moment, a shimmering
blue light surrounded the three toys and then disappeared as quickly as it
came. Honey and Cinnamon went to both sides of her pillow while Sticks went
under the coverlet beside Emma.
He poked his
head out and said, “Hey, I'm dry
her paws. “Me too!”
“Yep. Dry.” Honey
looked over her shoulder and down her back.
The storm raged outside. The window slowly closed itself
just before Emma's mother looked in on her little daughter. Her eyes strayed to
the towel lying on the floor. She picked it up; it was fluffy and dry, so
she folded it and took it with her. The door closed quietly behind her.
across at Honey.
“Well, there's got to be something you're scared of I'll find…” Cinnamon
stopped mid-sentence. She had turned back into a stuffed cat. Honey grinned.
Then she too turned back into her old self. So did Sticks.
the storm had ended, Emma woke, sat up, gathered her toys in her arms, and
hugged them. Instantly they came to life. “Now that I know you are real, and no one else knows you are
except me, what fun we'll have.” They all laughed and hugged each other