A fairy can make your wish come true
The Christmas Tree Fairy by Enid Blyton
Enid Blyton is one of the most popular children’s authors of all time — her books have been translated into 90 languages. Although she’s best known for series such as Noddy, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven, she wrote hundreds of short stories, with magic at their hearts, for younger children. Here, a Christmas fairy rewards those who believe in her . . .
Once upon a time, old Dame Trit-trot went to market and bought a big spray of holly berries to make her house pretty. And when she got home, what did she find fast asleep in the middle of the prickly spray, but a small fairy, wrapped in a cobweb blanket!
Now Dame Trit-trot did not believe in fairies at all, so, of course, she did not think this was a fairy.
‘It’s a doll!’ she said. ‘How strange! Well, I never saw such a dainty doll before! It will do for my granddaughter Jane.’
Enid Blyton wrote hundreds of short stories, with magic at their hearts, for younger children. Here, a Christmas fairy rewards those who believe in her
So she wrapped the fairy in white tissue-paper and put her in a cardboard box. She took it to Jane the next day, and Jane opened the box and unwrapped the tissue-paper.
Jane’s mother peeped into the box and saw the sleeping fairy there. ‘Oh!’ she cried, ‘what a beautiful little doll! It has wings like a fairy.’
‘It is a fairy,’ said Jane, who believed in fairies, and knew one when she saw one.
‘Don’t be silly, darling,’ said her mother. ‘There are no such things as fairies!’
‘But Mother, this is a real, live one!’ cried Jane. ‘It is, it is! Look at her wings! Look at her tiny little nails!’
‘What funny things children say!’ said Granny Trit-trot. So Jane said no more. But she knew quite well that the doll was a real live fairy, fast asleep.
She carried the box away to her nursery and took out the sleeping fairy very carefully. She put her into her doll’s bed and covered her up well.
How lovely the fairy looked, lying in her tiny bed, her golden hair fluffed out on the little pillow, and one of her small hands outside the sheet. Jane was so happy and excited. When would the fairy wake up?
Enid Blyton is best known for series such as Noddy, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven
‘Jane! Jane! Here’s John come to see you!’ Mother called up the stairs — and Jane heard John running up. She ran to meet him, her face red with excitement.
‘John! Come here! I’ve got a real live fairy asleep in my doll’s bed! Look!’
She took John to the bed and he looked down at the sleeping fairy. Then he laughed. ‘That’s only a doll!’ he said. ‘I don’t believe in fairies, Jane. That’s a doll — you can’t make me believe it’s a fairy!’
Jane said no more. She knew that Angela, her friend, believed in fairies, so that afternoon she made Angela come in from her walk and see the doll.
‘Jane! It’s a real live fairy! said Angela, in delight. ‘Oh Jane, how lucky you are! How lucky!’
‘Isn’t it funny, Angela, people who don’t believe in fairies think she’s just a doll,’ said Jane.
‘So they only see a doll lying there — but you and I, who do believe in fairies, can see quite well that she really is a sleeping fairy! Oh I do wonder when she will wake up!’
Every day Jane went to the doll’s bed to see if the fairy had awakened — but not until the end of the day of the Christmas party came did the little fairy open her eyes!
She had had such a long sleep! How surprised she was to find herself tucked up cosily on a soft little bed!
‘Oh!’ cried Jane, when she saw the fairy sit up and rub her eyes. ‘I knew you were a fairy and not a doll!’
The two talked together, and Jane told the fairy that her mother had said it would be nice to put the fairy at the top of the Christmas tree that evening.
‘You see, Mother thinks you are only a fairy doll,’ said Jane. ‘She doesn’t believe in fairies. Will you mind standing at the top of the tree, fairy?’
‘Not a bit,’ said the fairy. ‘And I’ll give each child who believes in me a wish to wish — one that will come true!
‘So you must tell all those who don’t believe in fairies to go out of the room, Jane — and I will fly down and hear every child’s wish.
‘And then, dear Jane, I must fly away. This is a dear soft little bed, but I have my own home, you know. I will often come and see you again.’
Enid Blyton (pictured) is one of the most popular children’s authors of all time — her books have been translated into 90 languages
‘Ssh!’ said Jane. ‘Here comes Mother.’
Jane’s mother carried the fairy doll to the Christmas tree and
put her at the top. How pretty she looked there!
‘It’s the loveliest fairy doll I’ve ever seen!’ said Mother.
In the middle of the party, when the Christmas tree was shining with candles, Jane clapped her hands and made everyone quiet.
‘Please, will you do something for me? she said.
‘Will everyone who doesn’t believe in fairies go out of the room — and all those who do believe in them stay here with me? I have a secret to show to them!’
All the grown-ups except Aunt Susan went out. Two little girls and three boys went out, too. Alan, Mollie, Angela, Trixie, Jack and Jane were left.
‘I know your secret!’ cried Jack. ‘It’s the doll up there! She’s a Christmas tree fairy — a real live one! I saw her smiling at us just now!’
‘Yes — that’s my secret!’ said Jane. ‘She is going to fly down to each of you and give you a wish. Keep still and think what you would like most!’
The Christmas Tree Fairy is taken from Christmas Tales by Enid Blyton, published by Hodden Children’s at £6.99
Each child stood still — and the little fairy flew down on her silvery wings. She listened to every child’s wish and nodded her golden head. ‘It will come true!’ she said.
And then she flew out of the window and disappeared into the dark night. ‘She has gone back to her home.’ said Jane.
When the other children and grown-ups came back, they were surprised to see no doll at the top of the Christmas tree. ‘Where is she?’ they cried.
‘She has flown out of the window!’ said Jane.
But, do you know, they didn’t believe her.
Do tell me — would you have been outside the door — or inside — if you had been at Jane’s Christmas party?
- The Christmas Tree Fairy is taken from Christmas Tales by Enid Blyton, published by Hodden Children’s at £6.99. To order a copy for £5.59 (20 per cent discount, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640. P&P is free on orders over £15. Spend £30 on books and get FREE premium delivery. Offer valid until December 17, 2018.
IT’S A CRACKER
What did the stamp say to the Christmas card?
Stick with me and we’ll go places!
My evil plot to kidnap Father Christmas
Horrid Henry’s Ambush by Francesca Simon
Francesca Simon published her first Horrid Henry book in 1994 and has since gone on to write more than 50 story books about the troublesome boy and his arch-enemy, Perfect Peter, his younger brother. Here, Henry hatches a plot to capture Father Christmas and hold him hostage until he gets all the presents he wants — instead of the dull ones chosen for him . . .
It was Christmas Eve at last. Every minute felt like an hour. Every hour felt like a year. How could Henry live until Christmas morning when he could get his hands on all his loot?
Mum and Dad were baking frantically in the kitchen.
Perfect Peter sat by the twinkling Christmas tree scratching out ‘Silent Night’ over and over again on his cello.
‘Can’t you play something else?’ snapped Henry.
Here, Henry hatches a plot to capture Father Christmas and hold him hostage until he gets all the presents he wants — instead of the dull ones chosen for him
‘No,’ said Peter, sawing away. ‘This is the only Christmas carol I know. You can move if you don’t like it.’
‘You move,’ said Henry. Peter ignored him.
‘Siiiiiiiii—lent Niiiiight,’ screeched the cello.
Horrid Henry lay on the sofa with his fingers in his ears, double-checking his choices from the Toy Heaven catalogue. Big red ‘X’s’ appeared on every page, to help you-know-who remember all the toys he absolutely had to have. Oh please, let everything he wanted leap from its pages and into Santa’s sack. After all, what could be better than looking at a huge glittering stack of presents on Christmas morning, and knowing that they were all for you?
Oh please let this be the year when he finally got everything he wanted!
His letter to Father Christmas couldn’t have been clearer.
Dear Father Christmas,
I want loads and loads and loads of cash, to make up for the puny amount you put in my stocking last year.
And a Robomatic Supersonic Space Howler Deluxe plus attachments would be great, too. I have asked for this before, you know!!! And the Terminator Gladiator fighting kit.
I need lots more Day-Glo slime and comics and a Mutant Max poster and the new Zapatron Hip-Hop Dinosaur. This is you last chance.
PS. Satsumas are NOT presents!!!!!
PPS. Peter asked me to tell you to give me all his presents as he doesn’t want any.
How hard could it be for Father Christmas to get this right? He’d asked for the Space Howler last year, and it never arrived. Instead, Henry got . . . vests. And handkerchiefs. And books. And clothes. And a — bleuccccck — jigsaw puzzle and a skipping rope and a tiny supersoaker instead of the mega-sized one he’d specified. Yuck! Father Christmas obviously needed Henry’s help.
‘How hard could it be for Father Christmas to get this right? He’d asked for the Space Howler last year, and it never arrived. Instead, Henry got . . . vests’
Father Christmas is getting old and doddery, thought Henry. Maybe he hasn’t got my letters. Maybe he’s lost his reading glasses. Or — what a horrible thought — maybe he was delivering Henry’s presents by mistake to some other Henry. Eeeek!
Some yucky, undeserving Henry was probably right now this minute playing with Henry’s Terminator Gladiator sword, shield, axe and trident. And enjoying his Intergalactic Samurai Gorillas. It was so unfair!
And then suddenly Henry had a brilliant, spectacular idea. Why had he never thought of this before? All his present problems would be over. Presents were far too important to leave to Father Christmas.
Since he couldn’t be trusted to bring the right gifts, Horrid Henry had no choice. He would have to ambush Father Christmas.
He’d hold Father Christmas hostage with his Goo-Shooter, while he rummaged in his present sack for all the loot he was owed. Maybe Henry would keep the lot. Now that would be fair.
Let’s see, thought Horrid Henry. Father Christmas was bound to be a slippery character, so he’d need to booby-trap his bedroom. When you-know-who sneaked in to fill his stocking at the end of the bed, Henry could leap up and nab him. Father Christmas had a lot of explaining to do for all those years of stockings filled with satsumas and walnuts instead of chocolate and cold hard cash.
So, how best to capture him?
A bucket of water above the door.
A skipping rope stretched tight across the entrance, guaranteed to trip up intruders.
A web of string criss-crossed from bedpost to door and threaded with bells to ensnare night-time visitors. And let’s not forget strategically scattered whoopee cushions.
His plan was foolproof.
Loot, here I come, thought Horrid Henry.
Francesca Simon published her first Horrid Henry book in 1994 and has since gone on to write more than 50 story books about the troublesome boy and his arch-enemy, Perfect Peter, his younger brother
Horrid Henry sat up in bed, his Goo-Shooter aimed at the half-open door where a bucket of water balanced. All his traps were laid. No one was getting in without Henry knowing about it. Any minute now, he’d catch Father Christmas and make him pay up.
Henry waited. And waited. And waited. His eyes started to feel heavy and he closed them for a moment. There was a rustling at Henry’s door. Oh my God, this was it! Henry lay down and pretended to be asleep.
Horrid Henry reached for his Goo-Shooter.
A huge shape loomed in the doorway.
Henry braced himself to attack.
‘Doesn’t he look sweet when he’s asleep?’ whispered the shape.
‘What a little snugglechops,’ whispered another.
Sweet? Snugglechops? Horrid Henry’s fingers itched to let Mum and Dad have it with both barrels.
Henry could see it now. Mum covered in green goo. Dad covered in green goo. Mum and Dad snatching the Goo-Shooter and wrecking all his plans and throwing out all his presents and banning him from TV for ever . . . hmmmn. His fingers felt a little less itchy.
Henry lowered his Goo-Shooter. The bucket of water wobbled above the door.
Yikes! What if Mum and Dad stepped into his Santa traps? All his hard work— ruined.
‘I’m awake,’ snarled Henry.
The shapes stepped back. The water stopped wobbling.
‘Go to sleep!’ hissed Mum.
‘Go to sleep!’ hissed Dad.
‘What are you doing here?’ demanded Henry.
‘Checking on you,’ said Mum. ‘Now go to sleep or Father Christmas will never come.’
He’d better, thought Henry.
Horrid Henry woke with a jolt.
AAARRGGH! He’d fallen asleep. How could he? Panting and gasping Henry switched on the light. Phew. His traps were intact. His stocking was empty. Father Christmas hadn’t been yet.
Wow, was that lucky. That was incredibly lucky. Henry lay back, his heart pounding.
And then Horrid Henry had a terrible thought.
‘Father Christmas was bound to be a slippery character, so he’d need to booby-trap his bedroom’
What if Father Christmas had decided to be spiteful and avoid Henry’s bedroom this year? Or what if he’d played a sneaky trick on Henry and filled a stocking downstairs instead? Nah. No way.
But wait. When Father Christmas came to Rude Ralph’s house he always filled the stockings downstairs. Now Henry came to think of it, Moody Margaret always left her stocking downstairs too, hanging from the fireplace, not from the end of her bed, like Henry did.
Horrid Henry looked at the clock.
It was past midnight. Mum and Dad had forbidden him to go downstairs till morning, on pain of having all his presents taken away and no telly all day.
But this was an emergency. He’d creep downstairs, take a quick peek to make sure he hadn’t missed Father Christmas, then be back in bed in a jiffy.
No one will ever know, thought Horrid Henry. Henry tiptoed round the whoopee cushions, leaped over the criss-cross threads, stepped over the skipping rope and carefully squeezed through his door so as not to disturb the bucket of water. Then he crept downstairs.
Horrid Henry shone his torch over the sitting room. Father Christmas hadn’t been. The room was exactly as he’d left it that evening.
Except for one thing. Henry’s light illuminated the Christmas tree, heavy with chocolate santas and chocolate bells and chocolate reindeer. Mum and Dad must have hung them on the tree after he’d gone to bed.
Horrid Henry looked at the chocolates cluttering up the Christmas tree. Shame, thought Horrid Henry, the way those chocolates spoil the view of all those lovely decorations. You could barely see the baubles and tinsel he and Peter had worked so hard to put on.
‘Hi, Henry,’ said the chocolate santas. ‘Don’t you want to eat us?’
‘Go on, Henry,’ said the chocolate bells. ‘You know you want to.’
‘What are you waiting for, Henry?’ urged the chocolate reindeer.
What indeed? After all, it was Christmas.
Henry took a chocolate santa or three from the side, and then another two from the back. Hmmn, boy, was that great chocolate, he thought, stuffing them into his mouth.
Oops. Now the chocolate santas looked a little unbalanced.
Better take a few from the front and from the other side, to even it up, thought Henry. Then no one will notice there are a few chocolates missing.
Henry gobbled and gorged and guzzled. Wow, were those chocolates yummy!!!
The tree looks a bit bare, thought Henry a little while later. Mum had such eagle eyes she might notice that a few — well, all — of the chocolates were missing.
He’d better hide all those gaps with a few extra baubles. And, while he was improving the tree, he could swap that stupid fairy for Terminator Gladiator.
Henry piled extra decorations on to the branches.
Soon the Christmas tree was so covered in baubles and tinsel there was barely a hint of green. No one would notice the missing chocolates. Then Henry stood on a chair, dumped the fairy, and, standing on his tippy-tippy toes, hung Terminator Gladiator at the top where he belonged. Perfect, thought Horrid Henry, jumping off the chair and stepping back to admire his work. Absolutely perfect. Thanks to me this is the best tree ever. There was a terrible creaking sound. Then another. Then suddenly . . .
The Christmas tree toppled over.
Horrid Henry’s heart stopped. Upstairs he could hear Mum and Dad stirring.
‘Oy! Who’s down there?’ shouted Dad. RUN!!! thought Horrid Henry. Run for your life!!
Horrid Henry ran like he had never run before, up the stairs to his room before Mum and Dad could catch him. Oh please let him get there in time. His parents’ bedroom door opened just as Henry dashed inside his room. He’d made it. He was safe.
The bucket of water spilled all over him.
Horrid Henry fell over the skipping rope.
CRASH! SMASH! RING! RING!
jangled the bells.
belched the whoopee cushions.
‘What is going on in here?’ shrieked Mum, glaring.
‘Nothing,’ said Horrid Henry, as he lay sprawled on the floor soaking wet and tangled up in threads and wires and rope. ‘I heard a noise downstairs so I got up to check,’ he added innocently.
‘Tree’s fallen over,’ called Dad. ‘Must have been overloaded. Don’t worry, I’ll sort it.’
‘Get back to bed, Henry,’ said Mum wearily. ‘And don’t touch your stocking till morning.’
Henry looked. And gasped. His stocking was stuffed and bulging. That mean old sneak, thought Horrid Henry indignantly. How did he do it? How had he escaped the traps?
Watch out Father Christmas, thought Horrid Henry. I’ll get you next year.
- Horrid Henry’s Ambush is taken from Horrid Henry’s Cracking Christmas by Francesca Simon, published by Orion Children’s Books at £6.99. Text © Francesca Simon. To order a copy for £5.59 (20 per cent discount), visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640. P&P is free on orders over £15. Offer valid until December 17, 2018.
IT’S A CRACKER
What does Father Christmas do when his elves misbehave?
He gives them the sack!
Why Christmas is happiest in a messy house
It’s Not Fair by Bel Mooney
In addition to being the Daily Mail’s advice columnist and an experienced writer and broadcaster, Bel Mooney is a bestselling children’s author. Her best-known series of books are about a little girl called Kitty, which is the name of Bel’s own daughter. In this story, Kitty learns a valuable lesson about the real meaning of Christmas . . .
Christmas was the best day of the whole year, of course, and this time it seemed better than ever. Kitty’s stocking had been crammed with funny little toys and jokes.
After breakfast, when they opened their main presents, Kitty was so pleased. Mum and Dad had what she wanted — a huge art set, with lots of different paints, paper of all sizes, felt-tips, crayons, pencils and rubbers — all packed into a lovely carrying case.
She had plenty of books too, because she loved reading, and a lovely long scarf from Gran, in rainbow colours.
Bel Mooney’s best-known series of books are about a little girl called Kitty, which is the name of her own daughter
Dan gave her three more soldiers and horses for her castle. She was very happy.
Kitty and Daniel were sorry about one thing, though.
This year Mum and Dad had arranged to go to Christmas dinner with Aunty Susan and Uncle Joe. That wasn’t so bad, although they said they would rather have their own turkey.
But going to that house meant something that made them both moan.
‘Melissa,’ said Daniel, making a rude face.
‘Yuk,’ said Kitty.
They had to leave all the lovely clutter of wrapping paper and ribbons and glittery pom-poms, and go out.
‘Aunty Susan’s house is so tidy,’ groaned Kitty in the car.
‘Just like Melissa. Maybe she vacuum-cleans Melissa when she does the carpets,’ grinned Dan.
‘That’s enough,’ said Dad.
There was a delicious smell of food when Aunty Susan opened the door. They all said Happy Christmas and hugged each other, although Daniel and Kitty ducked out of hugging their cousin.
‘Why don’t all the children play upstairs till dinner’s ready?’ said Uncle Joe.
But Dan asked if he could practice on his new skateboard on the garden path, and so Kitty was left with Melissa.
In this story, Kitty learns a valuable lesson about the real meaning of Christmas
‘Don’t you like to wear your best dress on Christmas Day,’ asked Melissa, ‘instead of old jeans?’
They aren’t old, they’re my new cords,’ said Kitty indignantly. ‘And this is a new jumper.’ It wasn’t a good start.
‘Oh, well, I suppose you’d like to see all my presents,’ said Melissa, throwing open her bedroom door.
There was a toy cooker with plastic pots and pans, and a multi-way pram for Melissa’s dolls, and a little pink wardrobe crammed with doll’s clothes on hangers, and a hairstyling set with pink rollers, brushes and combs, and a funny dummy-head to work on.
‘Who gave you all those?’ asked Kitty.
‘Mummy and Daddy. And I’ve got lots of ordinary things like paints and books from aunties and uncles.’
‘Gosh,’ said Kitty
‘What did you get?’ asked Melissa.
Kitty told her.
‘Is that all?’ asked her cousin.
Suddenly Kitty felt like a balloon that has gone pop.
The turkey tasted delicious, and the crackers were fun, and Aunty Susan and Uncle Joe gave her a big noticeboard in the shape of an elephant for her bedroom. ‘So you can pin up your lists,’ said Aunty Susan, picking up the paper right away and folding it neatly.
‘Then you won’t forget things,’ smiled Uncle Joe. Everybody laughed. Except Kitty.
At last it was time to go home. Kitty was glad to get back to their own, comfortable, messy house. But Mum and Dad could tell that something was bothering her.
She sat by the Christmas tree, looking up at the coloured lights. And one thought was going through her mind — something so bad she wouldn’t have told it to anyone. It’s not fair she’s got more presents than me. That was what Kitty thought.
J ust then Dan came up. ‘What did you think of Melissa’s stuff then?’ he asked.
‘She had lots of nice presents,’ said Kitty, in a small voice.
Daniel threw back his head and laughed.
‘What? All those nimsy-mimsy things in pink plastic for dolly-wollies? Not your sort of thing, Kit. You’ve got more taste.’
Bel Mooney’s best-known series of books are about a little girl called Kitty, which is the name of her own daughter
And Kitty realised he was right. There wasn’t a single thing in Melissa’s room that she would have wanted. Not one.
She stared up at the tree again. It had a warm, Christmassy smell. Already, showers of little pine needles fell down when you touched it. Aunty Susan had an artificial tree because she said the real ones made too much mess. And they didn’t have paperchains in each room, or a Christmas candle in the window, dropping wax all over the place, but giving a warming glow.
Kitty grinned slowly.
‘Our tree is much better than Melissa’s tree,’ she said.
And Melissa might have said, ‘Not fair!’
IT’S A CRACKER
Who’s Rudolph’s favourite pop star?