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STORY TIME

The Backyard Adventures of

Knights and T hunders

A read-aloud story for parents and children of all ages BY FELICITY WILLIAMS

Dizz-wops Knights was sitting in a cardboard box on the trampoline, bouncing up and down. A dripping hose was looped over the magnolia tree next to her. She reached out through the netting and pulled the dripping hose onto the trampoline. ‘Excellent’, she thought, because she wasn’t bouncing up and down inside a box on the trampoline — she was sailing down the Amazon. In a canoe. Anyone could see that. ‘Thunders!’ she yelled. ‘Want to come on a treasure hunt?’ Thunders was down the end of the garden, twanging on a blue ukulele. Yoinggg dwang bzang ‘Are you brave enough—’ said Knights Yoinggg dwang bzang ‘—to creep inside the dusty, dark cave of the singing spiders and snatch the sparkly dizz-wops from underneath the nose of the . . .’ Knights’ eyes spotted a black tyre covered with dry leaves underneath the trampoline. ‘From underneath the nose of the giant, hairy armadillo?’ Thunders looked up. He loved spiders. And if armadillos were giant and hairy, there was a good chance he’d love them as well. He didn’t have a clue what a sparkly dizz-wops was, though. He hoped it didn’t bite. He ran inside.

Yoinggg dwang bzang Thunders ran over to the side of the house where there was a tap. He turned the tap around as far as it would go. Now, instead of a drip, there was a whirlpool gushing from the hose. ‘It’s very wet in the Amazon today’, said Knights, as the canoe dissolved around her feet. ‘Just as well I’m here.’ Thunders disappeared underneath the trampoline. He dropped the shoe-box on top of the tyre. ‘Wait for me’, said Knights, scrambling down. Ping ping ping Knights frowned. ‘And tell those spiders to stop their singing. They’ll wake the armadillo.’ Knights opened the box. It was full of scrunched-up paper. She pushed her hand into the box. Right at the bottom she felt something hard and sharp. ‘Ow!’ she cried. Knights pulled out a large, glittery brooch. She held out her palm so Thunders could see it. ‘What d’ya know? A really truly sparkly dizzwops. But it bit me’ — she pulled her hand back — ‘so don’t touch it. And we’d better leave now before that armadillo wakes up.’

Knights pushed her legs through the bottom of the box and hauled it up around her waist. She kept bouncing. It was wet and slippery, and the canoe was getting mushy. She wondered where the cave of the singing spiders was, and how long it would take to get there. And, if there was a sparkly dizz-wops, she hoped she wouldn’t have to share it with anyone.

But Thunders was already halfway across the lawn.

Twanga langa banga

He wasn’t having anything to do with it.

He liked spiders and he liked armadillos. But that dizz-wops had sharp teeth. He’d seen them. Twanga binga bang

Something shot across the lawn towards her. It was Thunders, who was now wearing goggles and a raincoat. And, as well as the blue ukulele, he had a large shoe-box under his arm.

Want to make yourself a jewellery box? HERE’S HOW 1. Find an old shoe box. Paint it brown and black, and sprinkle with glitter. 2. Ask friends and family for old beads, necklaces, brooches or coloured stones. Place your collection at the bottom of the box. 3. Now fill the box with balls of scrunched-up coloured tissue paper, cellophane or old gift wrap the more colourful the better. 4. Put the lid on the box!

Felicity Williams spent many happy years playing in the backyard when she was little. She learned about science swinging around at breakneck speed on a rotary clothesline, about biology by frequent venturings inside a smelly chicken coop, and about commerce and finance with weekend-long monopoly marathons. Now that she’s somewhat grown up, she provides weekly improvised play experiences along similar lines for hundreds of children at Canvas Bag Drama School. canvasbag.nz

46 Spring / 2017

Your jewels will be safely hidden, and not even an armadillo will be able to sniff them out.

Art Activity designed by Mozarts Kindergarten

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