Character of the Week #3 Mr Biggles

Say hello to this week’s brand new character of the week…


Just Saying Hello!

Mr Biggles is a lovely, friendly bear, that lives in a wood and knows a great deal about the countryside and our world. He can help you find out about animals, birds and trees in the forests he loves in Britain, and every other living thing on Earth. An expert on what makes the planet as wonderful and powerful as it is, he can tell you about rivers and mountains, skies and seas, earthquakes and volcanoes,  tiny streams and mighty moving floods of water and soil. Also a believer in being a responsible member of the world, Mr Biggles can talk to you about recycling, using electricity and water wisely and how to take care of our environment.

Mr Biggles’ Book

Like every self respecting member of the Storytelling Gang, Mr Biggles has his own book that travels around with him when he meets children in different classroom and storytelling sessions. This one is full of ideas about his friends, the environment, and woodlands in particular. There’s a story about some bears his friend, Bob, met in woods and what they got up to as well. Take a look at some of the pages from the book.

Busy Biggles

Mr Biggles was born only a couple of months ago and has been one of my most popular characters. He was named not by me, but by a pupil I was teaching at one of the schools I visit regularly as a supply teacher. Barely (if you pardon the pun) had his nose poked out of the storytelling bag, when the little burst out with “I know what his name is. It’s Mr Biggles.” Up until that moment I had been thinking of a few different names, and nothing had really seemed right. Well, Mr Biggles it was and it has suited him ever since. There was a brief foray into Mr Biggle, though it didn’t last. Always trust children on these things.

For the past two weeks, Mr Biggles has been working his big strong paws off in Reception classes at a number of schools.  The children have learnt to sequence pictures from a story, to use relative positional language (not in those words), to draw different animal homes and to understand how an acorn grows into an oak tree. For one little boy, he learnt that acorns are called acorns, not oakanuts, which was a hard won contest. Acorns, pine cones, sticks and other outdoor materials were used on one particularly cold and miserable afternoon to create ephemeral art in the classroom, and the pictures were fantastic. The bark rubbing collages totally made by the children were unexpectedly delicious, as they were far more imaginative with their use of shape and colour than I anticipated them to be, which just go to illustrate my earlier point of trusting children of these things.

Anyway, TTFN, and I’ll be back soon!

Embla x

P.S. I will posting news about a competition on Tuesday, so look out for that!

More information coming on Tuesday 1st May

 

Character of the Week #2 continued!

My favourite alien, Mr Oggy Boggles, is back for another turn as Character of the Week!

Available for sessions in schools and at parties, Mr Oggy Boggles loves telling stories and helping children to write their own. He even has his own book to share with children.

Today, we have been working on adding some illustrations to his story, and we have something to show you. Take a few minutes to enjoy highlights from his life story so far, and then click on the links below to read the full story.

To read Mr Oggy Boggles’ full Origin Story, read on MacDuff:

The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles – Part One

The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles – Part Two

Character of the Week #2

This week’s featured character is…

Mr Oggy Boggles comes from the moon, and loves to hear stories. He helps children to develop story writing skills, through his own handmade book

Arriving on Earth after a freak incident on the Moon shook him loose in his little Moon Rock house, Oggy is now on an ongoing mission to seek out new stories and new poetry sessions, to go boldly where one stripey little alien has never before gone (or something like that anyway).

This week, Oggy and I have held high powered talks over cups of tea and packets of Malteasers (what with Moon Cheese being so rare and all, down here on Earth), and we have continued to develop his Go Bananas! Do Stories! Book and series of lesson plans.

As part of that, with his guidance of course, I produced a set of illustrations for Oggy’s book, that can help take writers through the different elements needed to write simple stories.

Mr Oggy Boggles and I are available to come to schools to share his book and discuss the storytelling strategies we’ve come up with together, and may be a story or two with pupils and teachers too, as we both love stories. Follow-up lesson plans and teachers’ packs are available. If you are interested, have a look for more information on booking us here: Storytelling – Information and Fees 

To read Mr Oggy Boggles’ own Origin Story, read on MacDuff:

The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles – Part One

The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles – Part Two

Character of the Week #1

Meet the brand new character to be part of the gang with Bob and the animals and creatures in the EmblaBee storytelling bag.

Mr Wolfgang Eriksen

An expert in traditional tales, Mr Wolfgang Eriksen is especially keen on stories about wolves (obviously), but can spin you are a yarn about adventurous girls and brave boys, sneaky animals and clever fairies, wicked witches, and more about magical turnips than you will ever want to hear.

Bob and the Very Rainy Day

NB Bob is lovelilicious but has his own idiosyncratic way of speakaling. It is infectious. All spelling mistooks are his fault, not that of the author. EM

 

Bob and the Very Rainy Day

Bob decided that it was going to be one of those dumbtwiddling days. He looked out of his window in his home at the base of an ancient hollowed out oak tree, and all he could see was big wetty gobbley droppers pourling down and making hugelymungiously soggy puddly muddles on the ground. On dumbtwiddling days like this, he knew there was only one thing that you could do. Sit in front of a warm fire with a hot chocolate, marshilymallowsqueezies and cake, and thunkle up stories. The problem today was that it was so cold and miseryshiverable that it was making him hard of thunking and coming up with a story of his own was making his brainynoggin do hurting.

When this kind of thing happened, and when you are a little acorn of huge lovelybugness, but little brainynoggin, it is good to look for help. So Bob did just that. He went to his shelf of huge books for little hands and took one that he loved the most. It said GRIMM TALES on the front cover, and Bob knew why it said that, because most of the tales were quite grim. Sitting by the cosy fire, but not too close, as Bob is wood mostly after all, he read for a little while, before he found his head doing nodding and dreaming…

 

Bob’s Grim Dream

Once upon a timey-wimey, there was a brave little acorn called Bob. He lived in a biggle huge castle with a wickedly beautilicious step-Queen, Nepetitious, and her two mugly pine-conely sons, Stinky and Squashy. They were all mega mean to Bob and made him do all their homework and never let him eat cake, not even on Sundays or chocolate Fridays. Bob was sadly thunking, but not miserigrumpilicious, because he could never be that.

One day there was an announcement from a neighbouring land that the Very Lovely Princess Anna to her handsome Prince, Arthur. There was going to be hugelymungous party and everyone for miles and miles and lands and lands around was invited. Best of all, Monsieur Fancy Cakes was going to be making the cake. This made Bob VERY happy and excited, and he couldn’t wait to go. But then… OH NO! Bob made specially gorgeous cake gobbling-up and smartling looking outfits for him and his family when that mean lot took all their clothes, and left him in a high tower with no door and only one window so high high high up his brainynoggin went squirrly and his tummy went flippy floppy when he looked out of it.

Poor Bob. He sat alone in his scary tower and started to cry. For the first time ever, he really did feel miserilicious and he didn’t like it one bit. To cheer himself up, he started to sing a little song, a song that he’d always loved, perhaps you know it…but I don’t. And when I asked him, he couldn’t remember, so I can’t tell you now. He danced and he sang, and it worked! He was soon much happier.

And then something miraculicious happenated. Outside there was a shuffling and bumping and moaning and arguing noise. Bob felt brave, and stuck his little head out of the window. He couldn’t believe what he saw. Seven little acorns, just like him, were climbing up a ladder! They were soon in the tower with him. They explainated that they had been given the job of seeking those in trouble by an old, old man with reindeer long, long ago, and when they had heard Bob’s singing they thought there was someone in a lot of painisufferin’. Bob was a bit upset that his singing must’ve sounded that bad but was happy that they were rescuing him. They asked him what he was doing there and they were sad and angry about what happenated to him, and wanted to get revenge on the evil step-family of pine-cones. One of them, who was known for extree goodly thunking, smiled a special smile and told them all that she had a plan, and not to worry, it was all sorted.

Bob’s new friends were excited about the party at the palace when he told them about it, so if they rushied up quickly they’d still make it in time for the cake. The seven little acorns helped Bob down the ladder and on to their dwarf horses and they raced to the party on the other side of Blue Shimmer Lake.

Arriving at the woods, just outside the palace, the acorns changed into their best party outfits and went into the palace and looked very handsome and beautiful. They were very relieved to find out that they hadn’t missed the cake and dancing but had missed the singing (Bob was confused about why they were relieved about that, but guessed they had their reasons).

Bob was just about to have a big bite of delicious Malteasers chocolate wedding cake, when out of the corner of his eye he saw his evil step family approaching… His little legs started to tremble with fear, his hands started to shake so much that he nearly dropped his dessert fork, and tears sprang to his eyes. Then his rescuing acorns’ plan swung into action. They encircled the evil family and presented them with a beautiful spinning wheel, dancing around and saying things like it was magic and if they didn’t take it, they’d regret it and it was special and fabulous, and so on. His evil family were greedy for money and magic, and very, very silly, so they snatched the spinning wheel, but as soon as they did, they fell to the floor. It was magic. It was enchanted with a spell that made anyone unkind and selfish go to sleep for one hundred years and dream about yukky things like maths homework the whole time.

The Very Lovely Queen Anna and the Handsome King Arthur came over to see what all the fuss was about and when they heard Bob explainate everything that had happenated to him, they fell in love with him. They ordered that his evil family to be taken to a dark and dank dungeon to sleep for their hundred years with a sign outside saying ‘no kissing allowed’, just in case anyone was tempted to wake them up early. Bob stayed with the Very Lovely Queen and Handsome King Arthur, and they all lived happily ever after.

 

Bob woke up, stretched and had a sip from his hot chocolate, and was happy that it was still warm. Outside, the rain had stopped a little and a beautiful rainbow was stretching out of the woods into the sky, carrying dreams and light into the sky. Rainy days aren’t so miserilicious, thought Bob.

 

The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles – Part Two

The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles – Part 2

In the last part of the Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles, we learnt that he was a little alien, all alone on the moon… until his moon rock house broke loose from the moon and started to float through space…

Floating through space was a strange and unusual experience for Oggy and he wasn’t he sure he liked it. Broken bits of cheese plates and his Bob Acorn-Seen mug floated past his head. And his feet tumbled around, and his arms and his antenna felt squirly and whirly. But then the little moon house started to slow down, and his movements started to feel less floaty and more bumpy, as he landed on the floor with a bit of a crash. When he thought about it though, Oggy realised that he wasn’t so much on the floor as on the wall. On the ceiling was his door and windows and his actual floor and ceiling were doing the job of walls. The little moon house began speeding downwards and Oggy held on to what he could as it jolted and banged, and then splashed with an almighty splash, into something cold and wet looking.

Bobbing about for what seemed liked ages, the little moon house was safe and sound, and so was, I am happy to say, Mr Oggy Boggles. Clambering to his feet, he soon gained his sea legs, as his big feet helped him walk about on the wobbly watery boaty like little moon house without even falling over once or feeling smallest bit seasick, which was lucky. Opening the door of his house as if were a hatch of a submarine, Oggy climbed out on to the top and was able to see the sea all around him, and, far off into the distance, something far more interesting… what looked like land.

There were hills and a small town with white painted houses looking back at him. There was a long prom with blue metal rails, and people walking up and down in coats and hats and scarves, eating ice creams and carrying buckets and spades, because it was August and they were meant to be having a good time. Going up the left-hand side of the town was a special train that only went up and down, not along, and tended to make men go a bit pale, children want more ice cream, and women want to close their eyes. There was a short pier with another white building on it, that was full of noises and smells that Mr Oggy Boggles had never heard before, but was sure were very exciting, if you were a bit bigger and braver than him. He was most excited about seeing the beach, an expanse of dark sand and large grey, black stones. If he could reach that beach, he could finally meet actual people and have friends of his own, hear stories and watch the lips that are telling them, and actually find out if marshmallows taste as good as he believes them to be.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT TO MR OGGY BOGGLES? FIND OUT SOON!!!

The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles – Part One

The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles

When you look up at the moon at night, do you ever wonder who lives up there? We think we know that there are astronauts and cosmonauts and dust and rocks up in space, and that there are no such thing as aliens, but are you sure? Just because you have never seen a thing, doesn’t mean it is not real, does it? I have never seen electricity or the wind or the air, but I know they exist. Is it just that aliens are always where we’re not when we’re looking? Are they just really good at hide and seek?

Let me tell you The Curious Tale of Mr Oggy Boggles and I’ll you decide.

Many years ago, far away on the moon, there lived a curious little fellow, by the name of Mr Oggy Boggles. He didn’t know how he came by this name, because there was no-one around to call him by this name and he couldn’t even remember seeing anyone else at all, only him, so the need for a name seemed rather curious. Nevertheless, Mr Oggy Boggles was his name and he lived, all on his own, on the moon. His favourite food was, of course, cheese. Perhaps, more surprisingly, his second favourite food was marshmallows, even though he’d never eaten any. He loved playing football, although he kept losing the ball because it floated off into space and he wasn’t very good at catching it. At the end of each of his two legs was one large, heavy foot, which helped him stay on the dusty ground of the moon. At the end of one of his arms was a large, three-pronged claw, which was very good for catching moon-cheese weevils and for being in goal, but was rubbish for doing complicated models out of lollipop sticks. On the other arm, he had a hand that looked a mitten, which was much more useful, most of the time.

The most curious thing about Mr Oggy Boggles was that even though he was quite, quite alone, and for all he knew, had always been that way, he never really felt completely lonely. On the very top of his head was an impressive antenna. He had nice little ears too, pretty much like you and me, except they were white and pink and green and blue (which was the same as the rest of him), and he could hear normal sounds through them. But with his antenna, he could hear the sound of stories on Earth. Old stories, new stories, funny stories, sad stories, true stories, made up stories, stories for children, stories just for grown-ups, all sorts of stories. He could choose which ones to listen to, as we can choose which radio station to listen to, and he imagined the faces and places that went with them, and made the pictures up in his head. Being the only being on the moon and seeing on himself and the moon, most of what he saw his head looked like him and the moon, but he loved the stories and whenever he felt a bit sad or on his own, he would concentrate really hard and listen to a story. Oggy really liked the ones about cake and marshmallows the best, but he liked the ones about fighting princesses and rescuing dragons too. Sometimes he thought that he might have muddled things up because he carried around so many stories in his head. He decided that it didn’t matter, it is enjoying the stories that counts and may be listening again next time will help.

One day, everything changed. Mr Oggy Boggles was in his garden, tending his Wensleydale Cheese Plants, which were just coming into bloom, when he heard a terrible crash and a roar. Not ever hearing or seeing anyone else before, he didn’t know what to do. He ran this way and that. He picked up his watering can and put it down four times. He hugged the Cheddar Tree and stubbed his massive toes on the wheelbarrow. Eventually, he ran into his little moon house. The whole of the moon seemed to be shaking and quaking around him. Every plate on his sideboard fell to the floor with crash, his favourite cup with a picture of an acorn looking man on it fell into the sink from the draining board. Poor Oggy didn’t know it was the sound of an explorer vessel from a nearby space station coming in to land to search for life on the moon. He was very afraid, so he pulled the shutters tight across the windows and bolted the door and hid under the table. The shaking didn’t stop and soon he felt his house start to break away from its foundations and drift away into space…or so it seemed to him.

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT TO MR OGGY BOGGLES? FIND OUT SOON!!!

Bob’s Brillinut Book

Bob and I have been busy in the Makery this week and have started work on what he is already calling his “Magnum Ice-cream Hopeless” – what I fear might become the greatest moment of undiscovered genius since that shy and retiring Trumpy Trousers man humbly declared his intellect and all of his pants spontaneously combusted in his wardrobe.

To follow Bob on his adventures and to see more highlights from his Magnum Hopeless, look him up on Twitter and Instagram at @bobacornseed. You can even send him an email with any questions or messages: bob@emblabee.org

Bob and I enjoy visiting schools, playgroups and parties (“speciously if there’s cake”, Bob says), so we can share our stories about Bob’s adventures (check How Bob Came To Be and Other Strange Things), sing songs and do some arty makes with a forest theme. BTW, we LOVE Forest School, even when it’s raining, but we like being indoors too. Let us know when you would like us to come, by carrier pigeon, smoke signals or emailing emma@emblabee.org

How Bob Came To Be And Other Strange Things

 

How Bob Came To Be and Other Strange Things

This is the story of a little creature called Bob and how he came to be. He is small and brown and looks a bit like an acorn, only a bit bigger and he has a very happy face. His favourite things are cake and chocolate and he’s very excited when they come together in the same thing such as chocolate cake. But this story isn’t about cake or chocolate; it is about him. You see, he wasn’t always. There was a time when there wasn’t a Bob, as hard as that may seem, but thankfully, now there is and I, for one, am very glad of that.

One snowy Christmas evening, many years ago, an old, old man was out in the woods looking for lichen to feed his reindeer. They had been busy all night and all day, flying all over the world, giving presents to good children and their grown-ups (even some of the naughty ones, if they said sorry and really, really meant it), so the old, old man decided that the reindeer definitely deserved a treat and they loved to lichen more than anything, even more than mince pies and carrots and sherry.

However, the old, old man had a problem. In fact, it was a big problem. I’d almost go so far as to say that it was big, big problem or an even a big, big, big problem. Do you remember me saying it was snowy evening? It was a very snowy evening and was rapidly becoming an extremely snowy night and the old, old man was getting colder and colder and older and older and more and more tired. He could really do with some help. If you or I had been there, I’m sure we would have given him a hand and looked for some, or something else nice that those reindeer would have liked as a treat after all their hard work. But it was a long time ago and neither you or I were around then, so what could be done?

Well, let me tell you… The old, old man was special and always, always kept a bit of magic in his pocket. You can’t see magic, so sometimes fairies and the magical folk add a bit of glitter or sparkle to help you see it all happen. On that snowy, cold night he took the magic from his pocket, which in those days looked little pouch tied to his belt, and ten particularly handsome acorns he found when he was looking for the lichen. Can you guess what he did? He sprinkled the magic all over the acorns and they came to life when he touched them and named them. He called them awake: “Wake-up Abigail, wake-up Bob, wake-up Carla, wake-up David, wake-up Evie, wake-up Frankie, wake-up Grace, wake-up Harry, wake-up Ieuan and wake-up Jemima.”

“Hello,” they all said, apart from Bob, who was still half-asleep and only managed a yawn.

“You are my special wood elves,” said the old, old man, “and I would like you to help me find some lichen for my reindeer. Will you please help me? We are very tired, and my reindeer have worked hard this night and I would like to reward them for being so good.”

“Of course, we will, yes, of course!” said all of the wood elves, apart from Bob, who said “pardon?” and ate a leaf, spat it out and scratched his ear.

The wood elves ran about searching for lichen and were off hither and thither in their pursuit. Bob fell over in the snow, made a snow angel, threw a snowball at a grumpy red-nosed reindeer who told him off, built a snow reindeer and ate some juicy berries that some hippity-hoppity birds said were lovely. But he didn’t find any lichen.

The old, old man sat down on a log and looked tired. Bob noticed and went and sat down next to him. “Yous alright?” asked Bob.

“I love my job,” said the old, old man, “but I do get a bit tired sometimes.”

“What yous bin doin’ then? Lots of stuff wiv them reindeer?”

“We’ve been travelling the world and giving presents to everyone who deserves one.”

“What? The wholes world? Is it bigger than the wholes wood?”

“Much, much bigger, yes, so huge, little Acorn, that you couldn’t see it if you were the mightiest Oak tree that there ever was in all of time.”

“Ooooh. And all them peoples that gets presents, is that just the goods ones then, that can’t be very many.”

“It is everyone.”

“Do you get the presents from a shop? I hear the hoomens talkin’ abouts them as they do walkin’ hereabouts.”

“Some of them. Some of them are extra special.”

“That must tek yous ages long to get everyones everything.”

“It does. A whole year, nearly. The Mrs and I have a little holiday about Easter time.”

“Do you has anyone to helps you, but grumpy reindeer?”

“Oh yes, I have all my elves at the North Pole, and the Mrs, of course.”

“Elves like us?” Bob was quite excited by the thought of there being more elves somewhere else. He was new to the world and everything is amazing when you are new to the world.

“Not quite like you, no,” said the old, old man. It wasn’t clear by the way he said that if he meant the wood elves he’d just created or Bob in particular, but I suspect he meant Bob. There really is nothing quite like Bob.

“Ooooh.” Bob was thoughtful for a moment. This was an achievement. It was the first time in his life he had ever actually done such a thing. Eventually, he said “I bin sleeping on the ground for ages and it was borin’, but all the time I knows I was gunna to grow and be summat brill n that. There was times I’d bins thunking I’d be a mouse’s lunchburger and that was scaretwizzling, I tells yer. When there’s something horrorlurking or just dullsville, there’s alus summat good coming, in’t there? E’en if it you dun’t know what it’ll be. I didn’t know I was gunna be snowsplayin’ today, but I is right now. I dun’t know why or how much lunger it’s be lasting n that, but it ain’t haf grand. Sems to me, whateves yer do is wuf doing if it meks yer feel gud or meks someone else heppy”.

The old, old man and Bob looked at their feet, or in Bob’s case, what were almost feet, for a moment.

“Whats can I be doing for yous?” asked Bob. The old, old man realised two things at this point. First, that Bob had up until that point had totally missed the point of what he was meant to be doing. He hadn’t collected any lichen and didn’t even know he was meant to looking for it. Second, that the other wood elves hadn’t seen how wonderful the world was around them or chosen to offer their help, they just did what they were told, but Bob, as maddeningly distractable as he was, had a heart full of wonder and wanted to live and grow.

“Little Acorn Bob,” said the old, old man, “I want you to do two things for me. You seem to know these woods very well for such a small fellow, can you find me some lichen for my reindeer? They are grumpy because they are tired too after a busy day and I think they deserve a treat. When you come back, I will tell you the second thing I want you to do for me.”

“I wills do all that rights aways, I wills,” said Bob, and he did.

 

***

 

A little while later, all the wood elves gathered back by the old, old man and the reindeer. The old, old man had built a beautiful, big fire and had brewed a lovely pot of tea for himself and warmed some ice and snow to make a drink for his reindeer. The wood elves piled up their lichen proudly, and the old, old man was just about to thank them politely for their efforts when one of them pointed out that Bob was nowhere to be seen. All of the other wood elves started to laugh and say that Bob was probably off playing somewhere again. The old, old man said nothing; he had faith in his little friend. With that a huge pile of lichen seemed to stagger towards them and collapse in heap, next to the much smaller collection made by the wood elves. “Hellos there,” said Bob, suddenly appearing from behind it all. “I found a bit for yer, but excuse me, I’lls be back in mo,” and promptly disappeared, leaving everyone aghast, everyone but the old, old man, of course, of course.

Two minutes later, another staggering heap appeared with two tiny little brown legs underneath. Bob had brought another huge pile of lichen. The reindeer licked their lips and it was a bit of struggle for the old, old man to hold back them back from eating it all up there and then, and possibly Bob too.

“Well, goodness me,” said the old, old man, “fantastic work! Well done all of you, but especially well done Bob! I thank you, and my reindeer thank you. I am sure they will really enjoy this lovely treat. However did you manage to find so much Bob?”

“I asked the tweetie hippity-hoppers, they knows everything,” said Bob, with authority.

“Right, my fine little acorns,” the old, old man announced, “it is time for you to go back to sleep, settle down now, back to where you belong. May all of nature protect and guard you so that you will become fine, fine oak trees, growing strong and tall, proud and beautiful, giving shelter and life to all.” The wood elves found their places back in the wood, here and there, high and low, settling down snug in the earth, deep beneath the blanket of white, white snow, and slowly turned back into the fantastical seeds they had once been. All of them that is, except, of course, guess who? Bob.

Bob got a bit lost at first, but he’d found his place, which was close to the old, old man’s camp for the night, and he’d started to snuggle down into the earth. Then he realised that his elven brothers and sisters were changing, and he, well, wasn’t.

“’Cuse mes, Mr Old Man, sirs,” asked Bob, rather bemused “I was listenin’ n all, and I think I was doing it all right and that, but how come I is still here and talkin’ and they all isn’t and are all lyin’ there like there was afore.”

“You have forgotten one thing Bob, haven’t you?” the old, old man said.

“No, I ain’t. I listened right hard wiv both me ears and l looked wiv both of me eyes and I used my thunkiling brain n all. You told us to back to where we was and go to slep, and I did what yous said and watched the others to mek sure n everythink.” Bob was getting really upset by now. There were big tears appearing his acorny eyes. The old, old man bent down and picked him up and stroked him to make him feel better. “Oh Bob, good Bob, best little Acorn Bob, you have done all that could ever want you to do. I asked you much earlier to do me two favours, one was to collect lichen for my reindeer, which you did marvellously. Going to sleep was my request for the other wood elves, not for you. I have one other favour I ask of you, my dear little friend.”

“Oh, well, that’s alright then,” Bob sniffed a big sniff and gave the old, old man and huge, if a bit snotty, “what tis it?”

“I’d like you to live, Bob.”

“Live?”

“Just as you have today. Enjoy life and do all you can. See the fun when there’s grey skies. Help other people when you can. Seek out adventures and take other people with you, if they are only a step away. Can you do that, Bob?”

“Living is easy, it’s jus’ breathing in and out.”

“There’s more to it than that, you know.”

“Oh, I knows that, there’s the thunking and stuff. But breathing is the most importantest bit.”

And that is how one old, old man gave his last gift one dark snowy Christmas night. And how Bob came to be.

 

MORE ADVENTURES OF BOB COMING SOON ON EMBLABEE.ORG

AND FOLLOW BOB ON TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM @bobacornseed