Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A dangerous job

The postman hid behind the gatepost. He could feel his heart thumping from his head down to his toes, as though it was trying to escape from his chest. On the other side of the gate was a black dog; its head shaped like a mallet and growling an ominous rumble of thunder. The postman was extremely scared. He imagined the dog eating him, gobbling him up so that nothing remained except his postmans' bag. And his bicycle. The dog might even eat that.

He moved an inch behind the gatepost and felt the dog's hatred like hot breath on his neck. His palms sweated as he gripped the parcel he had to deliver. He peeped from behind his brick pillar of safety and the dog barked and ate some gravel, crunching the stones in its terrible teeth. Should the postman throw the parcel over the gate and run? No, the dog would surely eat the parcel.

Then the postman had an idea. He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled: 'I have a parcel for Sammy! A parcel for Sammy!'

There was silence. Then the sound of something clearing its throat. The dog's head appeared through the bars of the gate.

'Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I'm Sammy. The parcel will be for me. Ah yes, the new bone I ordered. Sorry about the barking and all that, but it's part of the job description. Good day.' And the dog trotted off towards the house, parcel delicately held between its teeth.

'Hmm,' thought the postman. He looked at the next package in his sack. It was addressed to Tiger Phillips. The postman took a deep breath and pushed his bike along the pavement.

Monday, 8 February 2010

The war of the words

The battle had raged for many weeks, before slowly running out of steam, then petering out altogether.

In the castle on the hill lived the Nouns. Solid, dependable types; they knew what was what, but lacked flair and imagination.

In the woods at the bottom of the hill camped the Verbs; full of action and derring do, but often aimless.

When the battle started, the Verbs had rushed at the castle; shouting and flinging and hammering and firing, all at once and all in the same way. The Nouns were terrified and gathered all the things they had at their disposal; rocks, burning oil, arrows, lumps of metal, and threw them from the towers and turrets until the Verbs rubbed their heads in pain and retreated.

This continued for several weeks until both parties were bored. 'What to do?' pondered the Nouns. 'We can't win the war by just being here and finding things to throw.'

'What to do?' cried the Verbs, running about and colliding with each other.

Suddenly, a triumphant horn sounded from the other side of the hill. 'Oh no!' shouted the Verbs. 'It's the Adjectives, come to help the Nouns win the war!' And sure enough, up the hill to the castle gates galloped the Adjectives, dashing and handsome and wonderfully clad in shining armour, brandishing glittering swords and heavy shields. The Nouns flung up their shaking hands in welcome and hurried them into the sturdy castle.

But from over the river and across the fields the Adverbs crept, quietly and sneakily, into the Verbs' camp. 'Fear not!' a voice called joyously. 'Now we can run swiftly and fight courageously and plan carefully. And stop carelessly bumping into each other!'

And so the battle recommenced, and everyone agreed it was far more interesting now.