A friend requested a story to fit her book of illustrations. The illustrations will follow in due course. It is a story with seven chapters (seven illustrations, that is). In the meantime, I have sketched my impression of Maurice (see below).
This chapter was written while babysitting for some friends. I got to sit, curled up on the lounge, by the fire, while the kids slept. No children’s book was plagiarised in the making of this chapter…not that I know of, anyway.
Maurice was a fun-loving monkey.
While Gordon the Complicated Giraffe was thinking and thinking, Maurice was playing and playing.
Maurice liked playing a lot. He loved talking too, but he mostly liked talking about playing. He didn’t much like playing on his own, so he would talk about playing to others until they agreed to join in playing with him.
Maurice was fun to play with. Most of the time.
Sometimes Maurice liked to explore new games and see if they were as fun as the old games. They usually were. Sometimes they were even better! Maurice loved it when that happened! Sometimes he invented new games all by himself. Though he always invented games where others could join him. Maurice didn’t like playing by himself.
One day, as Gordon was standing by a particularly large tree, thinking about trees and how amazing it was that the leaves fell off and grew back just at the right time, his thinking was suddenly interrupted by a loud squeal and then lots of laughing.
It was Maurice the Monkey! He had just had the first swing on his brand new swing. He made the swing all by himself. He was pretty excited about it. So excited that he felt he just had to tell someone about it. That someone just happened to be Gordon, because Gordon just happened to be standing beside that particular tree.
Gordon had been too busy thinking about trees to notice Maurice’s noisy building of the swing in that tree and now it was too late to get away.
‘Gordon! I say, Gordon! You’ve got to take a look at this swing! Look! I can swing baa-aa-ck and fo-oo-rth! It’s am-aaaaa-zing! I know, you’re thinking, “That’s what swings do, Maurice”, but I’m telling you, this swing is better than any swing that has ever been swung on before. It’s so fast and it’s so high up in this tree. Gordon! Gordon! You’ve got to have a go!’
Gordon was not so much a fun-loving giraffe. He liked fun, most of the time. But the fun had to be safe fun. Maurice’s swing did not look very safe. It was made from some very thin rope and a very thin piece of wood to sit on. The rope really was very thin! Gordon was thinking ‘I’m not sure that Maurice has really thought this through…’
Besides, Gordon was too tall to have a go on the swing. He always had been too tall for swings. His legs were too long and his feet would scuff along the ground. He never did think swings were that fun.
Maurice thought his swing was very fun! He was telling everyone about it! Anyone who’d listen.
There were two bears on the ground below the swing, looking up into the tree. They were listening. They were also thinking very sound, very sensible, very scientific thoughts. While Maurice was swinging and talking and squealing and laughing, the two bears were doing a risk assessment of Maurice’s swing.
Gordon had thought that the swing didn’t seem very safe.
The two bears, Bernard and Barry, knew for a fact that this swing was not at all safe. Their risk assessment would soon prove to be correct.
Tune in for the next chapter when Bernard and Barry will give their scientific reasoning for why Maurice’s swing was not safe. Please feel free to leave questions, suggested changes, critique about the feasibility of the story, or other editorial comments below. This is a work in progress.