Once Upon a Lime

There’s a kerfuffle in the skate park and Pickles knows that Pete cannot resist a kerfuffle. An adventure on top of an adventure as friends  Pete and Pickles find out what nobody remembers.

Nanny Bea – season 1 episode 1

Once Upon a Lime

by Jules de Jongh

[title sequence-jingle with tagline of title]

Nanny Bea: Oh yes, that’s me, Nanny Bea. Welcome listening friends to my cosy cottage I like to call Dave. There’s always something silly going on here  with two squirrels, one kitten, a fuzzy bear and hens that I can hypnotise.  And today we also have a special guest Thomas….

Thomas: Hi.

Nanny Bea:  Oh hello, now I’ve heard there’s a game that you’re particularly fond of.

Thomas: Monopoly?

Nanny Bea: Oh yes that’s the one. You fancy a game after our story.

Thomas: Yep.

Nanny Bea: I call dibs on the boot. First we have our tale to tell. I can hardly wait. I do love stories maybe even better than my rich tea biscuits (which are far from rich and taste nothing of tea). Now Thomas, I believe you found a wonder word that snuck out from our story and into your hands.

Thomas: Words don’t sneak out. Anyone can use them.

Nanny Bea: What a relief, because I’m actually rather fond of this one. Would you like a drum roll? Go, go on. Do, do dear.

Thomas: No 

[drum roll]

Thomas: The Wonder Word of the week is…Kerfuffle.

[wonder word jingle]

Thomas: When I first heard it, it sounded like somebody sneezed but now I know better. A kerfuffle is a noisy excitement like when someone makes a fuss about something. 

Nanny Bea: Didn’t something happen on your birthday?

Thomas: There was a kerfuffle because our new puppy had opened all the presents..

Nanny Bea: Naughty puppy! But I like the word. I wonder if it snuck it’s way back into our story. Now keep your ears open listening friends and maybe you can find it. My neighbour Jules will be bringing it from her bookcase and should be knocking at the door any [knock sfx] minute now.

Nanny Bea: Yes, who is it?

Jules: Hi Nanny Bea, It’s me.

Nanny Bea: Me? Hmm, I know a lot of me’s could you be a little more specific?

Jules: Sorry it’s me, Jules from next door.

[door opening sfx]

Nanny Bea: Why didn’t you say so, we’ve been waiting for you, oh come in, do come in. You know Thomas here, and we have all our listening friends

Jules: Hi how nice of you to join us. I’ve brought a tale from my bookcase and some Earl Grey tea from my cupboard.

Nanny Bea: Oh how delightful! Be a dear and tell our listening friends what the story’s all about, while I go and pop the kettle on.

Jules: Well, today you’ll hear the tale of Pete and Pickles two friends who chase down an adventure, only to find an even bigger one. Is everyone ready for a story…

Nanny Bea and Thomas: Yes Please!!!

Once upon a Lime

Jules: Okay then, [page turn] Once upon a lime there lived…

Thomas: Once upon a lime(laughs) Noooo, It’s once upon a time.

Jules:  You are clever for spotting that Thomas and usually you’d be right but today we are actually talking about the teeniest, tiniest world that exists on top of a lime. It’s so small you can’t see it, unless you had the most powerful microscope on planet earth, but they’re busy using that to investigate an even teenier, tinier world on some slime, so you’ll just have to roll with me on this one. 

Now where was I?

Thomas:  You said Once upon a lime.

Jules:  Oh yes, Thank you Thomas. Once upon a lime there lived a young mite named Pete. Well not just Pete there was his family, his town, why the entire land of Bunda lived on that lime. Fun fact, it used to be called Flordibunda when the queen was still around, but nobody remembers that.

Today was just another ordinary Saturday, Pete finished his breakfast, brushed his teeth and headed out to meet his friend Pickles at the mall. But before his toe touched the pavement there she was right in front of him. 

‘Pete, Pete come quickly there’s a kerfuffle in the skate park,’ said Pickles knowing full well that Pete couldn’t resist a kerfuffle. So as requested he came quickly but Pickles was already racing ahead. It wasn’t until they reached spaghetti junction with it’s forest of traffic lights that Pete caught up, Pickles never crosses on a red light, not even the flashing one. Then Green light go and they were off  through the concrete towers of busy-ness, under the thunder-ing railway bridges, across the lot of parking lots  then Bam, right at the edge of the skate park they crashed into a crowd of lookey loos, rubberneckers, just itching to get a peak at what this kerfuffle was all about. The crowd stood packed so tightly, they were like a brick wall twice as high as Pete and 100 times as wide, he’d never get through. This was not a problem for Pickles of course ‘cause she can fly, oh didn’t I tell you, Pickles is a fairy well technically she’s Picaloriana master of the royal fairy guard, protector of the rainbows and eater of all things blue… but nobody remembers that.  She is also a faithful friend who wouldn’t leave Pete behind so she grabbed the straps on his backpack, flapped like a frantic flapping fairy, then with a mighty ‘Heave’ she pulled and she tugged but Pete wouldn’t budge.  ‘What have you got in that backpack, bricks?’ ‘Yes I do in fact,’ said Pete as though it was perfectly normal to carry bricks in your backpack. Pickles didn’t say a word, she just gave him that look, you know the one, with her head tilted quizzically to one side, her eyebrows raised in disbelief and her lips tightly pursed holding back her irritated words. Pete understood and proceeded to take the bricks out of his backpack and stack them neatly under a nearby bench, for future retrieval, you never know when you’re gonna need a brick. 

Then with a deep breath mustering up all the strength she had, Pickles set her wings on turbo and her eyes on steely with determination. She grabbed Pete by the straps on his now lighter backpack and hoicked him up in the air. With a splutter and a huff and sweat dripping from her brow like she’d sprung a leak, she lifted him up above the crowd.  Pickles strained out ‘What do you see?’ She herself could not see a thing as her vision went all wobbly on account of her frantically buzzing wings. ‘Lift me higher,’ said Pete, ‘the crowd is as wide as it is deep.’ Somehow Pickles found extra strength to lift him higher but that hyper manic flapping speed and Pete’s extra weight sent Pickle’s inner gps navigation out of whack, she started bobbing and darting, fleeting and fluttering in all different directions, except the way they wanted to go. With no more juice in her engine, puffed out Pickles planted Pete at the first available spot which happened to be on top of the highest wall of the castle mall, it used to be a real castle but nobody remembers that.

Pete, not remotely tired from being carried skipped over towards the edge of the wall, ‘The skate park is just beside the mall, maybe from the edge they can see what the kerfuffle is all about?’ but on his way, he thought he heard a scratch, scrachtety, scratch, so he stopped and listened again [scratch scrachtety scratch]. ‘I did hear a scratch, scrachtety, scratch, ‘ Pete shouted. Pickles, still in a heap where she landed, managed a, ‘mmm’. Pete squinted his eyes and hunched his shoulders, somehow that made him hear better and he followed the sound, [scratch scrachtety scratch getting louder] ‘The sound is coming from this door’ declared Pete to a still wiped out Pickles. And ‘This door’ was not your ordinary door, no, no, no, no, no.. This door was carved from stone, braced with a frame of iron and locked with, well with locks, but really big ones. Pete could not open This door and Pickles was all puffed out. They needed help, in a big way.

So scooping up his weary fairy friend he put her in his backpack, lucky he had put those bricks in cause taking them out left just enough room for the not as small as you’d imagine fairy Pickles. They headed down the winding stairs, into the mall, across the food court, through the soft play area and out the rear entrance, far far away from the kerfuffle but so so much closer to the help they needed. Now with his friend still in tow Pete went back across the lot of parking lots, under the thundering railway bridges, through the concrete towers of busy-ness  then he stopped, out of respect for Pickles, then Green light go they were off all the way to Pete’s house but they didn’t stop, instead he went all the way down  until he reached the big red door going from the ceiling to the floor on a house at the end of the street. Pete stopped, and  he knocked, he waited, and waited and that’s it, he got tired of waiting so he gave up and he walked away, the end. 

Wait a minute, that can’t be right, what about the adventure on top of an adventure, the kerfuffle, the scratch, scrachety, scratch. Are you going to just walk away and forget about ‘em! ‘Yep, I’m walking away, I’m fresh outta beans, plum tuckered out,’ said Pete. Well then that must be the end of our story unless…my listening friends I need your help, maybe if you all shout  ‘don’t give up’ on the count of three Pete might change his mind. Ready to say don’t give up in 1, 2, 3 ‘Don’t give up! … ‘Oh no we won’t,’ came a little muffled voice from the backpack. It was Pickles, you must have revived Pickles and she won’t let Pete give up! Yay, we’re back to our story then. Okay so Pickles prompted by you said ‘Oh no we won’t’ and then unzipped the bag herself and climbed out. To be honest, Pete had kind of forgot she was in there. A little taken aback Pete said ‘What can we do? I can’t open the castle mall door, you’ve used up all the juice in your engine and no one is answering the big red door from ceiling to floor.’  As those words came out of his mouth do you know what happened next?  Someone answered the big red door.  And not just someone but The Greatest Uncle Rick Ever To Be Seen In All The Universe. He’d been napping but pretending not to be.  You must’ve woken him when you shouted and revived Pickles. ‘Why hi there my young nephew and his not so young fairy friend,’ said The Greatest Uncle Rick Ever To Be Seen In All The Universe. He wasn’t being rude, he was just being accurate, Pickles was technically not so young, in fact she has the heart of a 10 year old but the mind of a hundred and 10 year old.  Seriously, she can tell you what colour the midwife wore on the day she was born but ask her where she left her glasses and she hasn’t got a clue. So Pete was the one who told his uncle all about the kerfuffle, all about the scratch, scratchey, scratch and boy did The Greatest Uncle Rick Ever To Be Seen In All The Universe get excited. ‘Maybe I can help,’ he said. Now for an ordinary uncle the answer would be ‘probably not’ but he ‘s no ordinary uncle. The Greatest Uncle Rick, well you know the rest, he is so large, he donates his old belts to the rodeo bulls when he’s finished with them.  So without blinking an eye The Greatest Uncle Rick flung Pete atop his shoulders and put Pickles in his shirt pocket and off they went through spaghetti junction, through the concrete towers of busy-ness, under the thundering railway bridges, across the lot of parking lots  then Bam, into the crowd again, still as thick as a brick wall.  ‘We walked away from the park and around the back of the mall last time to avoid the crowd,’ Pete told his uncle. ‘What ever for?’ said the greatest uncle Rick as he ploughed through the crowd like a bear through jelly. The threesome did not stop the see what the kerfuffle was all about the scratch, scrachety scratch seemed more urgent. Instead they went straight through the castle mall front doors, onto the escalator, past the food court and up the winding stairs to the top of the highest wall on the castle mall. 

Only then did The Greatest Uncle Rick set Pete down. It was manoeuvres just like that, that made him The Greatest Uncle Rick Ever To Be Seen In All The Universe. Pete, not remotely tired from being carried…yet again! went back to the spot where he first heard the loudest scratch, scrachtety scratch, this time with Pickles on his heels. ‘Listen’ said Pete. So Pickles listened but she didn’t just hear the scratch, scrachtety, scratch. With her little ears she heard something more. My listening friends, can you hear something more, [scratch scrachtety scratch] ‘Help me, please, help me?’ ‘There’s someone behind this door and they’re trapped’ declared Pickles. 

With that realisation the three of them leaped into action. TheGreatest Uncle Rick peeled off that frame of iron like it was toffee on a hot day. He crushed each lock in his hands like a cracker in a blender, crumbly, crumbly, crumble, they all fell to the ground and with that the door of stone creaked open and revealed…huh…a little slice of heaven, a miniature garden full of fresh vegetables with a tree in each corner loaded with fruit, and grape vines draped from the ceiling. Right in the middle of it all was a little patch of petunias and out from them popped the kindest face, with a sprinkling of freckles across her nose and hair the colour of carmel dripping down her back.  The Greatest Uncle Rick and Pete smiled, Pickles bowed because in a flick of a wing Pickles remembered what nobody remembers. 

They were in the presence of royalty. ‘Your highness,’ Pickles said with her head still bowed to the ground. ‘Why hello Picaloriana Master of the Royal Fairy Guard, protector of the rainbows and eater of all things blue. ” Pickles was surprised, ‘You remember me!’ ‘All I could do was remember, stuck in this cell for 15 years, well that and the suduko but that gets old fast.’ The Greatest Uncle Rick was stunned in silence. Pete was confused, mightily so, ‘I don’t mean to be rude but, who exactly are you?’ ‘I am the Fairy Queen of Spring,’ and as kindest face said those words a carpet of marigolds and daffodils rolled out the cell door. Pete, still a bit confused, said, ‘and what exactly does that mean?’ With the utmost patience the queen explained. ‘I bring forth the spring each year, then summer bursts on the scene, and autumn faithfully follows and finally nature has a rest in the winter.’ Pete was tempted to stop at this point, I mean all this questioning was getting embarrassing but he was still a tiny bit confused. ‘So you make spring happen, then why were you hiding in here?’ ‘Oh dear child, I wasn’t hiding, I was locked away by Mr Miester,’ then the queen sensing that Pete was still a fraction of a tiny bit confused, explained that long ago when nature was as it was designed to be, there were paths of camomile lined with cherry trees and fields of green dotted with violets. All brought forth by spring. People loved to pitter patter around the paths and frolic in the fields but Mr Miester was running out of places to pour concrete and the more concrete he poured the more money he made. So Mr Miester concocted a plan most sinister, to lock away the Fairy Queen of Spring so the spirit of spring could not flow out. And that’s just what happened but nobody remembered that because summer came on time, autumn followed and then the winter sleep set in and stayed and stayed and stayed. With the frolicking fields covered in frost week after week month after month, the grass faded away and only mud remained, who wants to frolic in mud? So Mr Miester offered to clean it up with a new skatepark of concrete. The people liked the skate park. Then there was the paths lined with trees in this deep winter, the trees had no leaves just brittle bones for limbs that became more and more brittle so that When the winter winds shook them those limbs would break right off , you never knew when bang a limb could whack you on the head or thump you’d cycle over a whopping lump of tree, so Mr Miester cleared away the trees and paved all the paths. Before people noticed Florabunda was only left with Bunda, like it was dipped in concrete. The queen added, ‘So here I stayed for all those years, digging away with my toothbrush trying to make my way out.’  Pete was once again a fragment of a fraction of a tiny bit confused. ‘Where did the toothbrush come from?’ ‘Well Mr Miester may be a miserable mayhem causing mongrel but he does value good dental hygiene.’

I don’t know if it was the dental hygiene comment or the final details of the story, but the Greatest Uncle Rick woke from his silent stooper and knew what he must do, he ran down the winding stairs, into the mall, across the food court, down the escalator, out the front doors, back across the lot of parking lots, under the thundering railway bridges, through the concrete towers of busy-ness  then he stopped, one of those towers is the Bunda Police Station where the Greatest Uncle Rick told them all about Mr Meister and his most miserable plan.  

Meanwhile back on the castle mall’s highest wall…word got out about releasing The Fairy Queen of Spring, so a crowd as thick as a brick wall gathered creating quite a kerfuffle. ‘Hey, what happened to the other kerfuffle, we never found out what it was all about,’ said Pete.  The Queen explained, ‘Well after 15 years of digging with a toothbrush, I managed to make the teeny, tiniest of holes under the solid stone door and a spark of the spirit of spring leaked out, found the first bit of soil and sprouted a single buttercup in a crack on the skate park floor.’ 

Hundreds had gathered all around at the smallest sight of spring, but there was so much more to come with the fairy queen of spring set free, the land of Bunda was well on it’s way to becoming Florabunda again with everyone doing their part to help;  even Mr Meister who kindly gave all his concrete riches to the campaign to restore the land while he got 15 years to think about what he had done.

Finally The fairy queen of spring laid on a spectacular spectacular to honor Pete, Pickles and the Greatest Uncle Rick for their heroic rescue. There were rivers of jelly, mountains of marshmallows, a bouncy floor and a velcro wall, joy in every corner of the grand castle hall formerly the food court of the Castle Mall but nobody remembers that.  The end.

Nanny Bea: Thank you Jules for that delightful story. Will you come back again with more Tales and Tea?

Jules: It would be my pleasure, I’ll have another one next week. 

Thomas: Go to www.nannybea.com 

Jules: Go there to find out more including how you can take part in the show.

 [Be on the Show jingle]

Mr Announcer: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for NannyBea.com.