Over the next couple of weeks I am going to share some of the Tingle Dingle chapters. These books are aimed at the age five to seven year olds. I loved writing these and have so many fun little ideas for this series. Anyway I hope you will enjoy them as much as I loved writing them. Just so you know my dad gets to illustrate them…
Learning About Treasure Is Such A Pleasure
Tingle Dingle was a lively little girl. At the grand age of seven, she liked to jump about, dance and run very fast in circles laughing at the top of her lungs. She loved to spin and spin until she found herself sitting on her bottom while her brain caught up. Josh, her little brother, who was five usually copied. That was just how he was. He liked to spin too, but not so fast and not for as long. He preferred playing with his trains and had a very good dinosaur collection. Lately he had come up with some brilliant roars that each dinosaur made.
On that sunny day of treasure discovery, Tingle ran backwards and forwards in the garden. The air smelled of freshly cut grass and the garden had a huge lawn with lots of flowers growing up the fences. There were fruit trees at the far end by the greenhouse. Tingle’s favourite tree was the butterfly tree because it had huge purple flowers and all the butterflies would flit around it. On that particular day she would spin and spin and spin and fall on her behind, giggle, then do it all over again.
‘Roarrrrr!’ said Josh as a Tyrannosaurus chased a Triceratops.
Auntie Joanna, an adventurous type with long curly hair, watched the two children with a smile. She gently swung on the tree swing close to the butterfly tree. Tingle and Josh’s parents sat on two sun loungers basking in the sun. Tingle’s mum was a cosy lady with a kind smile and Tingle’s dad was a laid back sort with a cheeky face and a beard.
‘Tingle do you want to hear the story about the treasure tree?’ Auntie Joanna asked. She glanced at Tingle’s mum and dad with a glint in her eye. Auntie Joanna glanced up at the branches above her as she remembered the story. Tingle’s parents watched Tingle shake her head and fold her arms. Josh looked up from playing with his two dinosaurs and made a little roar.
‘A treasure tree? I don’t believe you. Who puts treasure in a tree?’ said Tingle rolling and rolling sideways.
‘Who said someone had to put the treasure there? Maybe the tree grows its own treasure.’ Auntie Joanna held her necklace as she remembered. ‘Do you still have your treasure on your necklace?’ Auntie Joanna asked Tingle’s mum, Dianne. She smiled as she lifted her necklace to show a decorated piece of gold. ‘That is the best treasure there ever was.’ Dianne said stroking the treasured necklace.
Auntie Joanna sat back into the swing and smiled as she remembered. She quietly swung back and forth while a couple of golden butterflies flitted past. ‘They remind me of the little glows,’ said Auntie Joanna glancing at Tingle’s mum who nodded in agreement.
‘There are no such things Auntie Joanna! It is just one of your stories.’ Tingle laid on the floor watching her aunt curiously.
‘Oh really Tingle…’ Auntie Joanna raised her eyebrow. ‘Little glows do actually exist and if you are lucky then maybe one day you will see one. First you would have to find the treasure tree and learn what real treasure is.’ Auntie Joanna watched Tingle’s reaction closely.
‘But that is stupid! It is only pirates that find treasure,’ said Tingle. She stomped off and blew a raspberry before she folded her arms and sat heavily on the grass.
‘Tingle we have told you about raspberry blowing. It’s rude, now apologise to Auntie Joanna.’ Her mother Dianne, was not impressed.
‘Sorry Auntie Joanna. I just don’t think that a treasure tree is real,’ Tingle said.
With a deep breath Auntie Joanna called Tingle over to sit on her lap. ‘My darling you didn’t believe in the little mischiefs and the land of naughty. They visited you didn’t they?’
Tingle nodded, she had been told a story by Auntie Joanna about some naughty little creatures called the little mischiefs. She didn’t believe in them until they visited her one night after she had been really naughty.
Tingle climbed up on the swing beside Auntie Joanna and Josh climbed up onto his mother’s lap.
Auntie Joanna looked at the pair of them. ‘Do you want to hear the story she asked?’
Both Tingle and Josh nodded.
‘Yes,’ said Tingle in a small voice.
‘What do you say Tingle?’ said Tingle’s dad, John.
‘Yes please Auntie Joanna.’ Tingle said nicely.
‘Yes please… Yes please…’ said Josh. ‘Rooooarrrr!’ Josh waved the dinosaur.
‘So Tingle first of all let me ask you the question. What is treasure?’
‘It is gold and diamonds and…. And… gold and jewels and….’ she said thoughtfully.
‘Ah so that is what you think treasure is. No wonder you would not believe in a treasure tree.’ Auntie Joanna smiled a mysterious smile.
Tingle looked confused. ‘Auntie Joanna, pirates have treasure, and treasure is always gold and jewels.’
With a nod Auntie Joanna made a funny expression. ‘That is pirates… They always go for the obvious. You see all these silly pirates were chasing treasures that were boring. There is much nicer treasure than just lumps of metal.’
Josh glanced at his dad and mum. Tingle seemed confused. ‘Treasure can’t be boring…’
‘Let me tell you about the treasure tree Tingle, and then you will see what magic can come from a tree.’
Tingle sat back into the swing and yawned. ‘Auntie Joanna…’
‘I like treasure…’ Tingle said.
‘Okay so let me tell you about it. Josh… what do you think? Do you want to hear about the treasure tree?’ Auntie Joanna asked.
Josh nodded and waved his dinosaurs.
‘Josh do your dinosaurs want to hear about the treasure tree?’
‘Roarrrrr!!!!. Roarrr!’ Both dinosaurs clearly wanted to hear about the treasure tree.
‘Well my lovelies,’ said Auntie Joanna. ‘We live in Dorset where we have plenty of fairy doors. If you go to another county, which is a different part of England, there is a county called Somerset. You have to travel down some windy roads to a special place called Tarr Bridge.’
‘What is Tarr Bridge?’ asked Josh.
‘It is an old bridge that crosses the River Barle. It is like a normal bridge but it is made of huge rocks which were made smooth. The river made them smooth and the old river giants moved them into place to make crossing the river easy.’
‘Giants?’ Tingle screeched. ‘They have giants in Somerset?’
‘Oh Tingle, there are giants in most places. They just stopped being seen. Why would they let humans see them when humans want to hunt them down and capture them? They would end up like the dinosaurs Josh – all extinct.’
‘Giants are scary,’ said Josh. ‘Dinosaurs are scary too… Roar!’
Auntie Joanna shook her head. ‘Josh we have been told some nasty stories about giants. Some people even said they ate children. Just so you know they don’t eat children because children taste like farts to them. Imagine biting into a child and that raspberry sound coming out… Children taste like stinky cheese mixed with old sprouts to giants, and who really likes that?’
‘What so giants don’t eat children then?’ Tingle looked confused. She thought that giants feasted on small children.
‘Ah adults tell you that to scare you. Also children aren’t that tasty because they are usually too bony and those bones would get stuck between a giant’s teeth.’ Auntie Joanna pretended to pull a bone from her teeth and frowned. ‘So what else do you think they eat?’
Tingle grimaced as she thought hard. ‘Sheep?’
Auntie Joanna shook her head and glanced at Tingle’s dad, John. ‘What do giants eat John?’
‘Goats?’ he answered thoughtfully.
‘Ah that comes from the fairy stories John. You know what they eat…’ she said giving him a look.
‘Giants eat… ’ Auntie Joanna paused and waited for John to answer.
‘Oh they eat giant vegetables like giant pumpkins, giant parsnips and giant mushrooms because they like gianty stew.’ John smiled triumphantly and glanced at Dianne, who sniggered like a little girl.
‘Really?’ asked Tingle.
‘Giant pumpkins?’ Josh laughed. ‘Giant parsnips…’ He laughed again and held his stomach.
John tapped giant pumpkins into his phone and a picture of a giant pumpkin came up. He leant over and showed Josh and Tingle the picture of a small man standing next to a giant pumpkin that he had grown in a giant pumpkin patch.
‘Right Tingle and Josh, now you know what giants eat we can continue with the treasure tree story because treasure trees are protected by giants and the little glows,’ she said.
‘Auntie Joanna why are there river giants?’ Tingle asked.
With a big swing on their swing Auntie Joanna smiled, ‘There are all kinds of giants Tingle. The river giants are a specific giant race that look after the river. They protect it from bad people and they can stop people crossing if they wish. Plus if you think that river giants like big vegetable stews then they have plenty of water ready to boil their giant vegetables in.’
‘Can we hear about the treasure tree?’ Tingle’s mum Dianne requested.
‘Yes so the treasure tree is a special tree filled with treasure. Gold and silver coins grow from the bark. And when the money is ripe it falls to the ground. Piles of treasure form and only special people know where it is found. In many myths there is a treasure hunt. Not many succeed in reaching the treasure because they have to find a way to get passed the giants first. After that the little glows protect the tree.’
‘I don’t believe you,’ said Tingle.
‘Oh Tingle, we have been here before. Do you really think I would make up such a story ?’ Auntie Joanna sighed.
Tingle looked at Josh who was quiet.
‘Say to me that you don’t believe in the treasure tree three times Tingle and we will go on an adventure. I can tell you the story or we can go to Tarr Bridge, see the giants, walk the path and find the treasure tree.’ Auntie Joanna replied.
‘It is a two hour drive,’ said John. ‘You can either hear the story, or you will have to meet a giant.’
‘If we go then will we have to stop off at a farm that sells giant vegetables?’ asked Tingle’s mum with concern.
‘Can you fit a giant pumpkin in the boot of a car?’ Auntie Joanna asked thoughtfully.
‘No. We will go in my camper van and we can strap the giant vegetables to the roof rack. Imagine travelling with a giant mushroom and parsnip on the roof. Fun, fun, fun!!!’
Tingle and Josh studied Auntie Joanna and then their mum and dad. Were they joking?
‘Just say it Tingle… If you don’t believe us then we will have to go and find the treasure tree. When we were little your mum and I were taken to see it.’ Auntie Joanna glanced across at John, Tingle’s dad. ‘Did you go there John?’
John shook his head. ‘I was just happy with the story.’
‘So Tingle… just say the words I don’t believe in the treasure tree three times or that the giants don’t exist and we will go and find them.’ Auntie Joanna glanced at Dianne and John, who were ready for adventure.
Josh looked fidgety. Tingle jumped from the swing and looked at all the adults and folded her arms.
‘I don’t believe in the treasure tree or the giants three times,’ she said.
That was it… An adventure began.