Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)
TITLE: Ever Ever Land
By Colin Swann
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Every year the hamlet’s assessors checked out everyone’s state of wellbeing and those who failed the test were called before the Throne. The Throne being where Mister Blyss and other influential characters sat in the town’s check-out parlour deliberating on the Happians’ state of bliss.
This year three were being called before the panel to defend themselves against the accusation of not living harmoniously with their neighbours. The guilty penalty was expulsion from the land.
The three sat there silently pondering about their fate, thinking up counter arguments and imagining how they would defend themselves when called into the Throne Room.
Miss Falsesmyle popped her head round the door, smiled with her mouth but not her eyes – fixed her gaze on Missus Grumble and said, “Come in dear.”
Grumps, as her neighbours called her, tentatively entered the room where Mister Blyss sat on his big chair that was called the Throne. He had a kind genial face and Missus Grumps felt less fearful knowing he was around.
“The case against you is that you are always complaining about your neighbours’ activities. Quite a few charges have been made but I am rather concerned about one in particular” said Mr Blyss.
He continued, “It has been reported that you have grumbled about the children making too much noise in a nearby play area and that you shook your fist at them. Is this true?”
“Yes your honour but they all pulled their tongues out and shouted ‘Missus Grumbleguts’ at me.”
At this Mister Gleeglow tittered behind his handkerchief but stopped suddenly when he saw Miss Falsesmyle and Mister Doormat glowering at him.
“Right my dear wait outside, we’ll let you know our decision later. Please will you send in Johnny Joker?” requested Mister Blyss.
The chairperson had asked Mister Gleeglow to sit on the Throne and deal with the next case as acting spokesperson – much to the disapproval of all the others who had never been called upon to sit there. Mister Neerjoy was even daydreaming about what would follow if he made a formal complaint about Blyss (that was his name behind his back) making the rest of them so unhappy.
Mister Gleeglow stuck his chest out and addressed Johnny Joker, “You have been reported not because you are unhappy but because you have made others miserable by the pranks you have played on them.”
He continued, “I understand that at the stables where you work your capers have caused much consternation among your work mates. The one that concerns us most was when you entered Peter Draynpype’s locker without his permission and placed itching powder in his working underpants. This caused him great irritation and he had to have three days off work with gross inflammation of his piles.”
It was now Blyss’ turn to titter until he was brought into line by the two joy-stoppers.
“Please wait with Missus Grumble we’ll let you know our decision later.” Mister Gleeglow stated with authority. As an after though he shouted to Peter, “Will you send in Mister Dolittle?”
Now back in the chair of authority Mister Gleeglow addressed Donald (as he was known among the elders), “Donald we know you are getting on in years and you were a good worker when you were younger. But now that you and your wife are getting older it is inevitable that you do chores together.”
He continued, “Friends of your wife have told us that you sit around like a stiff Egyptian mummy and only lift a finger when it’s to feed your mouth. They say your wife struggles on regardless but they realise you are making her very unhappy with your laziness. Friend will you not amend your ways?”
“Yes, your honour.”
A little later they called the three back into the Throne Room to give them their verdicts. Mister Blyss gave the judgement of the assessors: “We have reach our unanimous decision that you Missus Grumble are at your happiest grumbling and you two men are happy being yourselves so as we have never ever banished anyone from Ever Ever Land you can all happily carry on living here forever.”
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