jelly bean little and the rice pudding thieves

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  • Jelly Bean Little And The Rice Pudding ThievesBYCAROL DONOCKLEYILLUSTRATEDBYHELEN PARKHILL

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  • Chapter One

    Coo eck said the midwife as she tried and failed to straighten Jelly Bean out. Youre going to ave a right job feedin the poor mite if you aint sure where is mouf is! Mr Little, however, wasnt concerned. He knew about lots of things and was full of bright ideas.Mr and Mrs Little were very, very, happy when their son Jelly Bean was born. He had two arms, two legs and they thought that he might have a head. But they couldnt quite be certain. Jelly Bean you see, was neatly folded up like a concertina.

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  • Dont worry my dear, said Mr Little to his wife who was getting a bit anxious. Well soon have him sorted. Ill just peg him out on the washing line. Mark my words.Thatll do the trick.

    And it did. Jelly Bean blew in the wind and as he wafted backwards and forwards he began to unfold. Soon he was a bit longerthan a long cucumber. Then he was a bit longer than a long baby. Then he was a bit longer than a long car. And still he kept unfolding!What a shame, said the midwife. Ed ave made a great door stop.2

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  • Of course Jelly Bean wasnt called Jelly Bean to start with. At first he was just called Baby. Then Mrs Little suggested calling her son Margaret, Rose, Nelly, Monkeybundles but Mr Little wasnt too sure. He felt that Margaret, Rose, Nelly, Monkeybundles might be quite a nice name for a girl but it was a bit boring for a boy. So the midwife had a think. Maybe they could name the baby after her old dad? Well yes, said Mrs Little thoughtfully. I suppose Smelly Feet Little does have a certain ring to it. Then Mr Little came up with the most brilliant idea. I think we should call him after something we like. So they made a list. It had a heading. 3

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  • Things We Like.

    Watching The Telly Little.

    2. Going For A Walk Little.3. Creamy Rice Pudding Little.4. Bubble Bath Little.5. Warm Vest Little.6. Making A Snowman Little.7. Paddling In The Sea Little.8. Egg And Spoon Race Little.9. Black Bottom Cup Cake Little.And the midwife came up with the last one. 10. Anti-Bacterial Bathroom Wipes Little.Hmm, said Mrs Little. Difficult.Black Bottom cupcakes were Mrs Littles favourite cupcakes. 4

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  • She made them every second Wednesday. All gooey and chocolatey. The trouble was that bottom was often difficult for a boy to spell and school teachers were always VERY fussy about spelling. What if the new baby missed out a t from bottom when he was writing his name? It would be spelled botom.Thered be trouble at school.No, said Mr Little firmly. We cant risk that.

    All at once the new baby began to cry. His face went redder and redder and redder and REDDER!Oh dear, said Mrs Little. Whats the matter with him? Mrs Little was a new mother you see and new mothers always panic.Hes missing the washing line, said Mr Little.

    So they carried him outside and used him as a clothes prop. And Mr Little was right. As soon as they clamped the babys gums around the washing line he stopped crying.

    Thats better, said Mrs Little hanging out a HUGE load of washing. He must like rocking backwards and forwards. Bless him! His face isnt as red as a jelly bean anymore!5

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  • Then suddenly she stopped hanging out the washing. And Mr Little stopped watching Mrs Little hanging out the washing. And the midwife who wasnt really doing anything, just stopped. They all looked at each other. Theyd forgotten their most favourite thing in the whole wide world. Strawberry flavoured jelly beans! So thats what the new baby was christened. Strawberry Flavoured Jelly Bean Little but they called him Jelly Bean for short.

    Mr and Mrs Little got a book from the library all about babies. It told them all sorts of interesting things like when they should put Jelly Bean in his cot and when they should get him up. But for some strange reason there didnt seem to be a chapter about where to put your baby for a nap if he was longer than two buses.

    Mrs Little tried bending Jelly Bean, refolding Jelly Bean and even squashing him but the cot wasnt quite big enough. His legs always dangled over the side, spread through the bedroom doorway, wrapped round the banisters and ended up half way down the stairs. This wont do! exclaimed a fireman one day as he unknotted Jelly Beans legs for the seventeenth time. Well just have to drain the local swimming pool.6

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  • So they did but not everyone was happy. You see it was difficult to dive in when there was no water in the swimming pool and the bottom was full of baby.

    They also had a bit of a problem with Jelly Beans pram until Mr Little decided to make one from an old canal barge.

    Then he painted it mushy pea green because hed read that babies liked bright colours.

    Every afternoon at three oclock, Jelly Bean, much refreshed from his nap in the swimming pool, would set off with his parents for a long walk. Pushing the pram uphill was sometimes a teeny weeny bit difficult but hurtling back down again was always enormous fun. Mr and Mrs Little would hold on tight as Jelly Beans mushy pea green pram picked up speed then theyd jump on board and whoosh along.Weeeeeeeeeeee! squealed Mrs Little.Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! squealed Mr Little.7

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  • Goo,goo,goo, weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! squealed Jelly Bean.

    Jelly Bean absolutely loved his pram. There was a sort of roof which went over his head and this was very useful for three reasons. Firstly, if it was hot and sunny Jelly Bean was in the shade. Secondly, if it was blowy and rainy Jelly Bean was cosy and dry. Thirdly, if he was still hungry after forty two bottles of baby milk and the odd plate of custard creams, Jelly Bean could reach out and help himself to a dozen of the tomatoes and the odd lettuce which Mr Little grew in pots on the pram roof. 8

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  • The villagers would often stop what they were doing and wave as Jelly Bean and his mushy pea green pram went by. Sometimes this was because they wanted to say hello. Sometimes this was because they wanted to buy a few of Mr Littles tomatoes and sometimes they just needed a bit of help from Jelly Bean to clean out the odd gutter. Having Jelly Bean around was much more convenient than using a ladder and of course it saved the villagers an absolute fortune if they had a job which would have needed scaffolding. The village children, however, didnt come near.

    Now you might be wondering how Jelly Bean and his legs fitted into the house. It wasnt easy but Mr Little had one of his bright ideas.Well bash a hole in the walls, explained Mr Little getting out his sledge hammer. Then, because Mr Little was very polite and always considered others he added, Please go next door dear and have a word with Mrs Gringeful. Ask her if we can bash through her walls as well.9

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  • So Mrs Little did and Mrs Gringeful was delighted with the idea because Jelly Beans legs would be perfect for resting the telly on.

    Mr Gringeful, however, was a completely different matter. He was not at all delighted.Messing up my living room with a spare pair of legs, he complained to anyone whod listen. I mean they dont even match the new wallpaper. Then he wagged his finger at Mrs Gringeful and said in a voice full of doom. Mark my words. That Jelly Bean boy will bring nothing but trouble!10

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    Your mother or your Granny has probably told you that youre a growing boy. This is good because boys are supposed to grow. This is not good of course if youre a girl. In which case you need to make a sign and hang it round your ears. Make it stand out. Decorate it with glitter or your mothers favourite lipstick. It should say I am a girl. So there!Jelly Bean, who eventually stopped being a baby, was also a growing boy. To start with hed learnt how to crawl, which was very useful because his hair dusted the cobwebs from the ceiling. Then hed learnt how to walk, which was not so useful because his head kept crashing through the ceiling and spoiling the plaster work.We might have to move, said Mr Little one day but Mrs Little didnt want to. She and Mrs Gringeful had become great friends whilst chomping on cupcakes and watching the telly together on Jelly Beans legs. Jelly Bean didnt want to move either. Chapter Two

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  • I like it here, said Jelly Bean as he shook the pieces of ceiling from his hair. So Mr Little, who just happened to be good with cement, built an extension onto the house. Jelly Beans bedroom was quite large, which was handy if anyone from the airport needed to store the odd plane and if it was raining Mrs Little could ride her bike in it.One particular Sunday, Jelly Bean, who was now far too big for the washing line, was earning some pocket money blowing Mrs Littles sheets dry because her tumble drier had broken. Oh poosnankers! shivered Mr Gringeful as one of Jelly Beans blows came his way. Mr Gringeful was in his vegetable plot watering his prize winning cabbages. 12

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  • Oy, Jelly Bean! he shouted. Stop that right now and come here!O.K., Jelly Bean shouted back. Then he checked to see that the sheets were dry and bending down, handed them to Mrs Little through an upstairs window.Can I go next door? asked Jelly Bean excitedly. I think Mr Gringeful wants to play!Are you sure dear? asked Mrs Little doubtfully. I think so, replied Jelly Bean although he wasnt totally certain. You see everybody except Mrs Gringeful thought that Mr Gringeful was the most boring man in the village and boring pe