Morwenna and the Monkey
by Cice Rivera
Once upon a time there was a brave girl called Morwenna Englisher. She was on the way to see her friend Doris Rockata, when she decided to take a short cut through Shangri La Forest.
It wasn’t long before Morwenna got lost. She looked around, but all she could see were trees. Nervously, she felt into her bag for her favorite toy, Georgie, but Georgie was nowhere to be found! Morwenna began to panic. She felt sure she had packed Georgie. To make matters worse, she was starting to feel hungry.
Unexpectedly, she saw a wise monkey dressed in a green mystical jacket disappearing into the trees.
“How odd!” thought Morwenna.
For the want of anything better to do, she decided to follow the peculiarly dressed monkey. Perhaps it could tell her the way out of the forest.
Eventually, Morwenna reached a clearing. In the clearing were two houses, one made from apple and one made from sweets.
Morwenna could feel her tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease her hunger.
“Hello!” she called. “Is anybody there?”
Morwenna looked at the roof on the closest house and wondered if it would be rude to eat somebody else’s chimney. Obviously it would be impolite to eat a whole house, but perhaps it would be considered acceptable to nibble the odd fixture or lick the odd fitting, in a time of need.
A cackle broke through the air, giving Morwenna a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Georgie!
“Georgie!” shouted Morwenna. She turned to the witch. “That’s my toy!”
The witch just shrugged.
“Give Georgie back!” cried Morwenna.
“Not on your nelly!” said the witch.
“At least let Georgie out of that cage!”
Before she could reply, the wise monkey in the green mystical jacket rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing.
“Hello Big Monkey,” said the witch.
“Good morning.” The monkey noticed Georgie. “Who is this?”
“That’s Georgie,” explained the witch.
“Ooh! Georgie would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!” demanded the monkey.
The witch shook her head. “Georgie is staying with me.”
“Um… Excuse me…” Morwenna interrupted. “Georgie lives with me! And not in a cage!”
Big Monkey ignored her. “Is there nothing you’ll trade?” he asked the witch.
The witch thought for a moment, then said, “I do like to be entertained. I’ll release him to anybody who can eat a whole front door.”
Big Monkey looked at the house made from sweets and said, “No problem, I could eat an entire house made from sweets if I wanted to.”
“There’s no need to show off,” said the witch. Just eat one front door and I’ll let you have Georgie.”
Morwenna watched, feeling very worried. She didn’t want the witch to give Georgie to Big Monkey. She didn’t think Georgie would like living with a wise monkey, away from her house and all her other toys.
Big Monkey put on his bib and withdraw a knife and fork from his pocket.
“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Big Monkey. “Just you watch!”
Big Monkey pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from sweets. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
Eventually, Big Monkey started to get bigger – just a little bit bigger at first. But after a few more fork-fulls of sweets, he grew to the size of a large snowball – and he was every bit as round.
“Erm… I don’t feel too good,” said Big Monkey.
Suddenly, he started to roll. He’d grown so round that he could no longer balance!
“Help!” he cried, as he rolled off down a slope into the forest.
Big Monkey never finished eating the front door made from sweets and Georgie remained trapped in the witch’s cage.
“That’s it,” said the witch. “I win. I get to keep Georgie.”
“Not so fast,” said Morwenna. “There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from apple. And I haven’t had a turn yet.
“I don’t have to give you a turn!” laughed the witch. “My game. My rules.”
The woodcutter’s voice carried through the forest. “I think you should give her a chance. It’s only fair.”
“Fine,” said the witch. “But you saw what happened to the monkey. She won’t last long.”
“I’ll be right back,” said Morwenna.
“What?” said the witch. “Where’s your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Georgie back.”
Morwenna ignored the witch and gathered a hefty pile of sticks. She came back to the clearing and started a small camp fire. Carefully, she broke off a piece of the door of the house made from apple and toasted it over the fire. Once it had cooked and cooled just a little, she took a bite. She quickly devoured the whole piece.
Morwenna sat down on a nearby log.
“You fail!” cackled the witch. “You were supposed to eat the whole door.”
“I haven’t finished,” explained Morwenna. “I am just waiting for my food to go down.”
When Morwenna’s food had digested, she broke off another piece of the door made from apple. Once more, she toasted her food over the fire and waited for it to cool just a little. She ate it at a leisurely pace then waited for it to digest.
Eventually, after several sittings, Morwenna was down to the final piece of the door made from apple. Carefully, she toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. She finished her final course. Morwenna had eaten the entire front door of the house made from apple.
The witch stamped her foot angrily. “You must have tricked me!” she said. “I don’t reward cheating!”
“I don’t think so!” said a voice. It was the woodcutter. He walked back into the clearing, carrying his axe. “This little girl won fair and square. Now hand over Georgie or I will chop your broomstick in half.”
The witch looked horrified. She grabbed her broomstick and placed it behind her. Then, huffing, she opened the door of the cage.
Morwenna hurried over and grabbed Georgie, checking that her favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Georgie was unharmed.
Morwenna thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Doris. It was starting to get dark.
When Morwenna got to Doris’s house, her friend threw her arms around her.
“I was so worried!” cried Doris. “You are very late.”
As Morwenna described her day, she could tell that Doris didn’t believe her. So she grabbed a napkin from her pocket.
“What’s that?” asked Doris.
Morwenna unwrapped a doorknob made from sweets. “Pudding!” she said.
Doris almost fell off her chair.