It was a cold, freezing morning when Elsie walked down the High Street of Elftown, the only town in Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley. She turned off the main street and into a small alleyway, where there were three tiny shops. The first one was a deserted sandwich bar, the second was a bicycle repair shop, and the third bore the inscription: DBSRVAM. To the uninitiated this was nonsense, or possibly an optician’s shop. To those who knew, it was the Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley Academy of Music. She pushed open the shop door and a little bell on a spring tinkled to announce her. It was a single, small shop-room with dusty old bits of sheet music pinned up on yellow wallpaper and an upright piano against one wall. It certainly wasn’t a very big Music Academy, thought Elsie. An oldish elf was sitting on the piano stool, reading The Financial Journal. “Good morning,” said the elf. “Good Morning,” said Elsie. “I’ve come to enquire about piano lessons.” “Well, I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but you’ve come to the right place,” said the elf. To prove it, he flicked open the lid of the piano and rattled off an 47
A free readable copy of Mike Batt’s adventure story for childish grown-ups and grown-up children.