Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a little girl called Jessica………………..
Jessica was 8 years old, well actually, she was nearly 9! and she had a little brother called Harry, who was 6. They lived with their Mummy and Daddy in a nice house , in a little town called Kettering.
It was a new house and it was very nice, with separate bedrooms for Jessica and Harry. At the back of the house was a big garden, with a lawn, and all around the garden was a high wall, which meant it was very safe for Jessica and Harry to play there.
Like most brothers and sisters, Harry and Jessica often argued and made a lot of noise playing around the house. One day, their Mummy had a lot of work to do for the office, and she was getting very annoyed, because Jessica and Harry were squabbling over who should play with the computer games.
They were making a lot of noise and Mummy was starting to lose her temper a little bit. ! Several times, she told Jessica and Harry to stop arguing and give her some peace and quiet, so that she could get on with her work.
Very soon, Mummy had taken all she could stand of the noise, and she told Jessica and Harry to leave the computer and to go and play in the back garden, so that Mummy could get on with her work.
Still arguing, about who was to blame for getting them thrown out, Jessica and Harry put on their trainers and went into the back garden, pushing and shoving each other as they went.
“What shall we play at Jess ? ” said Harry, as they got out into the back garden. “I don’t know ” said Jessica, “I wanted to play on the computer, and gardens are so boring ! “
“I know !” said Harry, picking his big white ball up off the grass, “Let’s play football ! “. ” Boring, boring ,boring ! ” said Jessica.
Harry lined up the football on the grass and gave it a mighty kick towards the wall at the back of the garden. Now, normally, when the ball hit the wall at the end of the garden, it made a sort of “Whack!” sound, and bounced back to Harry, or rebounded to somewhere else in the garden.
This time, though, the ball made a funny sort of “SPLOOSH! ” sound and a strange light seemed to ripple down the garden wall! Harry could not believe his eyes, the ball just disappeared through the wall, and where it went through, a funny looking purple door had appeared!
“Cripes ! ” said Harry. ” Look at that, Jessica, where did that door come from, and where has my ball gone ? “
Jessica looked at the wall in surprise. ” I don’t know, Harry ” she said ” but we better get the ball back, or we will be in even more trouble with Mummy !”.
They ran down to the end of the garden and looked at the funny purple door. Jessica carefully turned the handle and pushed the door slowly open. ” Come on Harry ” she said, “We had better go and get your ball back “
As they got through the door, they could see that everything was covered by big trees and bushes, with a little winding path going through long yellow grass, that came right up to Harry’s head. A little bit further down the path, they could see Harry’s football, sitting at the edge of the long grass.
“Come on, ” said Jessica, as she ran down the path to get the ball. Harry ran after her, even though he was a little bit scared of being in the long grass, where he couldn’t see anything.
They picked up the ball, and turned around to go back into the garden. To their surprise, however, the purple door had DISAPPEARED! All that was standing there, was a giant brick wall, with no way through it, and certainly way too high for them to climb over. It seemed to reach right up to the sky!
“Oh cripes! “, said Harry, ” Now we will be in trouble!. How are we going to get home before Mummy notices that we have gone out of the garden?”
“I don’t know “, said Jessica, and she sat down on the grass at the side of the winding path to have a think. ” Don’t worry, Harry”, she said, ” I will look after you, and I’m sure we will think of a way back in a few minutes, before Mummy notices that we have gone “.
Just at that moment, a funny looking, coloured bird popped out of the grass at the side of the path. “What you need to get back into your garden is a Magic Key, that will show you where the door is! ” said the bird, in a funny squawky sort of voice.
Jessica would have fell over, if she wasn’t already sitting down! “You spoke!” she said. “Birds can’t talk normally? ” Harry just looked amazed at the bird, and held on tight to his football!
“Ah, but you are in the Magic Jungle ” said the bird, in his squeaky voice. “Here, things are different to at home. To get back through the wall, into your own world, you will have to find a magic key which opens the purple door for you”
“Oh Cripes! ” said Harry again. ” I don’t believe this, what are we going to do Jess?”
Jessica looked at the funny bird and said, ” All right, if this is a Magic Jungle, and we need a magic key to get home again, where do we find one?”
“I don’t know exactly,” said the funny bird. ” I only know that it is hidden in a fairy garden, somewhere down this path in the Magic Jungle.”
“That’s not a lot of help “, said Jessica. ” Don’t you know anything else?”
“No, sorry, ” said the funny bird. ” I am just a bit of a birdbrain and I can’t remember much at a time. I am sure though, that if you follow the path, it must take you to the fairy garden somewhere? ” Having said that, the bird flew off and disappeared from their sight.
” Well, ” said Jessica, ” We will have to go and find this fairy garden on our own Harry” She took Harry’s hand, and held it tight in her own, because even though they were always fighting, Jessica still loved her little brother and didn’t want him to be too scared.
So, off they went, hand in hand down the winding path. Through the long grass, and into the jungle trees and bushes, where it looked a little bit dark and scary.
Harry held tightly onto Jessica’s hand, because he was a boy and didn’t want to show that he was a little scared. He knew though, that Jessica would look after him, as she always did in the end, even if they did argue a lot!
Then, just as they turned a corner in the path, out in front of them jumped A LION !
“Oh WOW! ” shrieked Jessica and Harry together! They were so surprised, that they both fell on their backsides in the dirt!
“Don’t eat us ! ” they both cried, as the lion came towards them.
The lion stopped and sat down on the path, in front of Jessica and Harry. ” I don’t eat children! ” said the lion. ” I prefer cheeseburgers! I am just a big softy, which is why all the other animals call me ‘Lucinda the Lion’!”
“Where are you two children going?” said Lucinda. After meeting the funny bird, Jessica and Harry were not surprised that a lion could speak and had a girl’s name, so Jessica said ” We are Jessica and Harry Oldham, and we are looking for the magic key, in a fairy garden, so that we can get home again”
“Yes,” said Harry , ” And we are getting tired, because we have been walking down this path for ages since we met the funny bird.”
“I can help you there”, said Lucinda, and he lay down on the path in front of Jessica and Harry. ” Get up on my back”, said Lucinda, “And you can ride the rest of the way, to save your sore feet.”
Jessica climbed up carefully onto Lucinda’s back and held on to his mane of hair at the back of his head. Then she leaned over and took Harry’s hand and helped him up behind her. Harry held tightly on to the back of Jessica’s jumper.
“All right, Lucinda,” said Jessica, “We are all aboard!”. Lucinda stood back up carefully and started trotting down the path, through the magic jungle. ” This is much better than walking, said Harry, as they bounced along on Lucinda’s back.
Just then, they turned another corner in the winding path and came to a crossroads. There was a signpost there, but every direction pointed the same……’To the fairy garden’!
“How will we know which way to go now?” said Jessica. “Remember!” said Lucinda, “It’s a magic signpost. Only one of the signs is real. The rest of them are just like pictures, set there to make you guess. “
” I know how we can find out which one is real !” said Harry, and he threw his football at one of the signs! It went straight through, as if there was nothing there! Harry picked up his football and threw it at each of the signs in turn. Eventually it hit one of the signs with a ‘whack’ sound and bounced back to Harry. “That must be the real sign” said Harry.
” You are a clever boy Harry”, said Jessica, and she told Lucinda to go down the path marked by the real sign that Harry had found.
As soon as they turned in the direction of the right sign, the dark jungle all disappeared, and in front of them instead, was a wide sunny path going straight to the magic fairy garden. Lucinda carried them straight down the path and into the fairy garden.
They started looking around for the magic key, but they couldn’t find it anywhere. Jessica looked in the flowerbeds, Harry looked under the bushes and Lucinda checked all along the fence, but it was nowhere to be seen!
“Now what do we do?” said Jessica and Harry.
” We can’t seem to see the magic key anywhere around here ?” ” I can’t see it either” said Lucinda, “And I am getting hungry, I haven’t had a cheeseburger for ages!”
Just then, they saw a big toad, sitting on a toadstool, warming himself in the sun.
“Hello ” he said, ” My name is Uncle Toadie, and I have a clue for you! “
“What is the clue Uncle Toadie?” Said Jessica and Harry together.
“Don’t sulk, don’t sigh, look low and look high! ” said Uncle Toadie. ” That’s my clue”, and off he hopped into the garden pond. They had already looked all over the garden, so Jessica looked upwards above her.
There it WAS! Hanging from the washing line was the Magic Key. It was held up there by the wooden peg that Granddad had fixed for Jessica only yesterday! ” That’s strange” said Jessica.
” I wonder how that got here?”. She tried to reach the key, but it was too high up. “Come here Lucinda, and let me try climbing up on your back, to see if I can reach the key,” said Jessica.
Lucinda let Jessica up on his back, but she still couldn’t quite reach Granddad’s peg holding the key up on the washing line. Then Jessica had another idea and told Harry to climb up and get on her back, and then they would be high enough to reach the peg and get the key.
” See,” said Lucinda, ” If you help each other you can do lot’s of things !”
Just as Harry grabbed hold of the magic key, there was a flash of light, and by magic, Harry and Jessica found themselves back at the high wall, where the purple door had been before. When they looked around, the Magic Jungle was slowly disappearing , and they were just in time to wave goodbye to Lucinda, who waved back with a burger bag in his hand – he had managed to get a cheeseburger somewhere by magic !
Harry took the magic key and put it into the wall. The purple door appeared and opened. Jessica and Harry jumped quickly through and found themselves back in their own garden in Kettering again. They thought that they had been away for ages, but because it was magic time on the other side of the wall, they had only been gone for half an hour, and no one seemed to have noticed.
They went into the house and Mummy was busy brushing Jake, the dog, who had got his coat dirty again. ” Hello” said Mummy, ” You two have both been very quiet out there, what have you been doing? “
Jessica and Harry looked at each other, and both said together, ” Mummy, you just wouldn’t believe us ! “
“Oh, all right” said Mummy, ” you have been good and quiet for a change, so you can have a special treat for your tea ! What would you like ?”
Jessica and Harry started laughing, and both at the same time said ” Cheeseburgers!”, as they remembered Lucinda and their adventure in the Magic Jungle.