Poppyseed and Sunflower
Author: Inventunus

Chapter 14
George Who?

   “Wake up! Wake up, Charlie!... Charlie!” 

    Charlie woke to the pull of  Poppyseed’s arm shaking his own. “What...?” was all he managed to say, before he saw they were surrounded by small men, not dissimilar to the ones he’d just been dreaming about! Except that these ones wore funny pink hats with feathers in them. And they were smiling.

     “Hands up!” said one of them, unexpectedly.

     Quickly, Charlie put his arms round the girls to protect them. Did they have a bow and arrow? He couldn’t see one.

      “Hands up if you like banana fritters?” And with that the funny fellows all broke up laughing and giggling. When Charlie realised they meant no harm, he saw the joke and giggled too.

       The fellows suddenly stopped laughing when they heard Charlie’s giggle because they’d never heard a monkey giggle before. Of course, Charlie’s giggles (as you know) are contagious and once Charlie starts giggling, he has great difficulty stopping. So his giggles got louder and louder, then hugging the girls, they giggled too and ... well, the newcomers wanted what Charlie had. So each stepped up for a hug from Charlie and before long the whole crowd were giggling, hugging and rolling round telling silly jokes.

     “Knock, knock.”

     “Who’s there?”

     “4 Eez.”

     “4 Eez, who?”

     “For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow...” Hee hee hee. They all joined in and sang the song right through. “For  he’s a jolly good fellow…”

                                                  

        When the giggling eventually died down, Charlie remembered the dream and asked,  “Where is the forest in Eastlands?”

       “A forest in Eastlands?” one replied, thinking hard, as if the question had never been put to him before. “Is there a forest in Eastlands? A forest? In Eastlands?” Charlie wondered if he would stop soon and answer the question instead of asking a whole lot more!

       “I know a song about a forest. Who will join me?” Every hand went up except those of our three adventurers, of course.

      The song went something like this, each verse I’m pretty sure made up on the spot by whoever thought of something to sing. (You’ll have to add your own tune because theirs seemed to change every time they sang it.)

                                 

1.  East in the east of the Eastlands, is a forest all must agree

     Is a forest full of adventure, for folks like you and me..

Chorus: Tickle me giggle, tickle tee hee,

              For folks like you and me.

2.  Watch out they say for the short men, dangerous as can be

     But tickle their toes and wiggle their nose, and a change you’ll shortly see...

                       (Chorus)

3.  Evie sang of the tree of life, Ezy held a great feast

     Soon the King will do His rounds

     And then we’ll have to lose some pounds

     And stop rolling round and round

     Until young George is finally found...

                        (Chorus)

                                      

 

      Charlie had been trying to understand the words and though it sounded like things he’d heard before, it wasn’t until one of them mentioned George that he suddenly stopped to stare at them in amazement. A round of applause was given at the end by the funny people for themselves. They then beckoned the trio to follow them along the path leading to the east.

       Charlie caught up with the one who’d mentioned George’s name. “You sang about George. Do you know him?”

      “Did I?” he replied, turning to his friend. “Did I sing about George, Jon?”

      “George,” Jon replied, slowly and thoughtfully. “George,” he repeated more thoughtfully. “Did you, Haggai?” he finally said.

       “Oh!” Haggai suddenly said. “Young George. Yes, I sang about Young George!” he said emphatically.

        Charlie was desperate to know if it was George his brother. “George who?”

        “George, um...” he began. “Now what was his last name? …  Porgy?”

        His friend Oby chipped in, “Georgie Porgy! Ha ha ha. I don’t think so! ... I think it was Washington.”

         “George Washington? By George you’re .... No, Oby, by George you’re wrong. He didn’t have a last name!” Haggai concluded.

         “Then can you describe him?” Charlie asked desperately.

         Zeph began. “He definitely had glasses and a stubby nose.”

         Hab added, “Yes and you know that his glasses have a hard time staying on his slippery nose. That’s why they keep falling off.”

        “And,” said Nahum adding his mao’s worth, “which is why his house has become a real pig pen.”

        “Just a minute” said Charlie who was getting more and more confused. “Who are we talking about here?”

        “About Chaldo, of course. Chaldo the pig, who else?”

        “But what happened to George?!” Charlie cried out shaking his head.

        “George? Oh young George! He’s in the forest having breakfast,” Jon replied.

        “Having breakfast?” Charlie replied, as puzzled as ever.

        “Don’t you have breakfast in the morning?” Mick asked.

        “Of course I do,” Charlie replied, “But who with?”

        “Don’t you know who you have breakfast with?” Oby asked kindly.

        “With my... No , I mean who is Charlie... I mean, George having breakfast with?”

        “George? I don’t think he’s having breakfast with anyone.”

        “Then how do you know he’s having breakfast at all?” said Charlie.

        “Yes, how do we know, Mick?” asked Oby.

        “Because, “Mick began confidently. “Because... because.... because of the wizard of Oz!”

        Charlie sank to the ground, his head in his hands and slowly counted to ten.

        Poppyseed bent over and asked if he was OK? “I think I’m going into Round Two,” he replied. “I definitely lost the first round!”

        Jon rang a small bell. Ding, ding, dong. “Round Two!” he called out.

        Charlie thought carefully because he didn’t want to be misunderstood any longer. He called all the funny fellows together and said “Friends...”

       They all clapped and cheered and called out in unison, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!” Charlie listened, dumbfounded.

       “Ears, ears. Two bob a pound.” The whole group cracked up laughing once again.

       “I’m going home!” Charlie said, exasperated.

       “Oh no, no, no, no, no!” they all said. “You must see your brother George first!”

        “My brother George the chimp you mean?” Charlie quickly said with new-found hope in his voice.

         “Is that who we mean?” Zach whispered.

         “YES!” everyone answered in chorus.

         “Yippee!” Charlie yahooed in happy relief. He sang and danced:


                                     “I’m going to see George. I’m going to see George.

                                      Hi ho the merry O, I’m going to see George.”

         “Now where is he?” Charlie asked, excitedly.

         “Haven’t a clue,” Oby replied.

         “Don’t know for sure,” Amy added.

         “Last time I saw him,” Ho said, “was down in the pig pen.”

         “In the pig pen!!” Charlie replied. “What was he doing in the pig pen!?”

         “Having breakfast,” they all replied.

         “George?”

         “No, Chaldo!”

          Charlie sighed very loudly this time. Taking a deep breath he tried once more. “I want to know where my brother George the chimp is?”

          Habby happily gave him the answer he’d been waiting for all morning. “George is in the forest.”

          Charlie hugged Habby in joy for giving him a straight answer! “Thankyou Habby! Is he well, Habby?”

          “Oh dear no,” Habby replied. “He’s been sick for days.”

          Charlie’s face suddenly fell. “What’s been wrong with him?”

           “He ate some poison ivy.”

          “Poison ivy!” Charlie exclaimed. “How on earth did he do that?”

          “Oby fed it to him by mistake. He thought it was spinach.”

          “You mean George has been here?” Charlie asked in surprise.

          “George? No, no. I’m talking about Chaldo!”

          “Chaldo! How did we start talking about him again?!”

        Sunflower who had been listening to most of this inane conversation, whispered to Charlie. “Charlie, every time you say “he” they think you’re talking about Chaldo. You’ve got to say “George” when you mean George.”

        “But I’ve been meaning George the whole time!” However, Charlie did appreciate Sunflower’s discernment.

      

        Ding, ding, dong. “Round Three,” Jon announced.

        Charlie began all over again. “I’m looking for my brother George, young George the chimp. You say he’s... I mean, you say George is in the forest and I want to know where  in the forest he is? I mean, where is George? Is he... Is George having breakfast with anyone? Can you show me how to find George? Is George well?”

        Habby replied on behalf of everyone. “The answers are: Number 1. In the East Forest. Number 2: Yes.  Number 3:Yes.  Number 4: Yes.”

        Charlie scratched his head, trying to remember what  questions he’d asked and in what order! Then he realised that Habby had said, amongst other things, that they could show him where George was. Charlie smiled. He giggled. He laughed. He hugged Habby and began hugging everyone, and you know what happened after that!

 

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