Once upon a time in the faraway land of Hairy Tails and Nursery Crimes, there was a gathering of characters at a castle in Booker. Dinner wasn’t ready because there was a power cut. Daddy Pirate, Captain Hook, decided to take them all for a run in the woods, while Mummy Princess Leyla (The Captain’s wife) struggled to light the gas.
There were many objections from the hungry and thirsty mob. The Captain tried bellowing loudly to call order, but had to resort to water cannon to get their attention. One little piggy in particular was very obtuse and he got quite wet. The rest were lured with sweets and water pistols of their own to play with in the woods. The rules of a game were explained, involving some engaged people, those not really engaged and those doing on backs, but it was too complicated and too hot an evening, so these were mostly ignored and the water used for cooling each other.
Eventually they set off across the rec and were soon in the deep, dark woods like Hansel and Gretel, following not crumbs, but white blobs of flour. Did these lead to the Gingerbread Cottage or the home of the Three Bears? Where was Goldilocks? (Running through the woods with Pinocchio I think!!).
Captain Hook strangely transformed into The Grand Old Duke of York once in the deep, dark woods and he marched his platoon up the hill, then he marched them down again.(Several times).
Then it was time for Ring a Ring of Roses and the girls were sent along one path and the boys along another. They passed each other half way round the big circle and then Jill no.2 took a tumble - no it wasn’t Jack no2 and it didn’t involve a pail of water. Once the group met up again Jack no2 nobly (or was it knobbly) walked Jill home to find some vinegar and brown paper.
Meanwhile the real Jack and Jill skipped gaily on up the next hill but without their pail of water. Simple Simon was leading the way, trying to play Oranges and Lemons but no one would stop because The Grand Old Duke insisted everyone start running. The Queen of Hearts, who had forgotten her tarts, but had brought along the King and Jack instead, ran swiftly on, followed by a couple of Old Macdonalds complete with cows, sheep and a tractor ( and a turkey?)
Little Red Riding Hood (the one without the hairy tale) stopped to ask the wood cutter where the wolf was (little did she know he was walking across the rec with a young lady, and was distracted from eating her by a film crew taking a break from filming a tv series called ’Town’ starring Martin Clunes). The woodcutter was busy explaining to a stranger that his axe wasn’t real. The real Jack explained it was dangerous to ask to see someone’s chopper in the woods, particularly a strangers! Red Riding Hood got worried - was that the wolf ahead or was it Grandma? Oh! thank goodness it was Grandma - but why was she running around in the woods in her nightie? Sorry Grandma your flowers got left at the castle.
Cinderella was still looking for her prince, Another princess closely guarded her pea(s) for fear of turning into a frog. Maid Marion kept losing Robin Hood who was so speedy he kept disappearing into the forest. They were reunited frequently when Robin was caught by an on-back, only to disappear again. Being July, the mad March Hare was having trouble keeping up and was a bit lost without the Mad Hatter who was nowhere to be seen (probably checking the wine cellars back at the castle).
Who was the man with the black briefcase? Was it the wolf in disguise? Perhaps the Mexican gaucho would know, but what was he doing in nursery crime land?
On-on was called again and again, up hill, down dale with the Grand Duke cracking the whip, run, run.
At last a short cut was suggested and gladly taken by all, but then progress was slowed. The three pigs had been cutting down trees to make their house of twigs and they had left deep ruts in the mud with their logging vehicle. “Shiggy!” everyone cried with delight.
Another short cut was offered and gladly taken by some, who were able to walk without the Grand Duke barking at them. They met up with the others quite soon and lured by the promise of eats and drinks,(the wolf and cottage in the wood quickly forgotten) they raced down Fernie Fields to the castle, where a banquet awaited them.
A jolly party followed with prizes for Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood, the Ugly Sisters, (Beatronella and Cabbagina?), and Cinderella. Pinocchio didn’t go empty handed either as s/he always makes an effort to join in the dressing up games. Happy birthday was sung to Beatronella who will be busy celebrating in style on Friday at the Olympic Stadium, supported by the team from Honduras.
Princess Leyla was thanked for preparing the feast despite the lack of electricity and a good time was had by all, apart from little Jack Horner who sat in the corner and Who was that man in the hat? ( Perhaps the wolf in disguise.)
Perhaps Captain Hook isn’t so bad after all…………………………….
Oh ……..and they all lived happily ever!!