The Fictional Transporter
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Frankie eventually replied. “I didn’t see you both there.” Frankie ruffled Rudolph’s fur. Rudolph proceeded to lay
“Are you coming exploring with me and Rudolph?” said Sidney. Frankie didn’t look up. “Frankie? Frankie…?” Sidney called gently.
A small noise woke Sidney; it was Rudolph, the family’s dog, who was scratching at Sidney’s door, impatient to be taken for a walk. Adventures a firm priority, Sidney couldn’t wait to explore; gathering Rudolph’s lead they both bounded out of the house. It wasn’t long before they came across Frankie, who was sitting quietly in a small clearing in the wood, book on lap. “Wow! That was amazing!” exclaimed Sidney. “I could see the beach you described in my mind. I was in the water
Frankie began reading from the book, exaggerating events and using different voices for the various characters. Sidney’s eyes grew wider and wider as the tale went on. As Frankie read the last line Sidney jumped up.
Frankie smiled. “Why don’t I read the story to you and Rudolph?”
Sidney scoffed. “Reading books is boring. Exploring is exciting. Why sit in one place with a bunch of words when you could discover anything in these woods around us?”
on the ground, in the hope of a tummy tickle. “This is such a good book, Sidney, you should read it,” said Frankie.backwards.Me and Rudolph were dashing amongst the waves. I’ve never been bothered about books but now I see them as what they really are: transporters. They can take us to different times, different places, different situations. We could have explored this wood, but we wouldn’t have found anywhere near the number of things I’ve just imagined in my head! Do you have more books at home?”
Frankie laughed. “Of course. Let’s get some and bring them back here. Who knows what will be the next adventure we’ll go on…”
The ups and downs of friendship
Though they enjoyed all the elements of the playground, the seesaw was Frankie and Sidney’s firm favourite. It was the thing they headed to first whenever they went. “Come on, Sidney!” Frankie shouted, racing ahead
Frankie reached the seesaw and jumped on one end. “Come on, Sidney!” Frankie whined. “I want to be up in the air.”
“For you to be up in the air, I’ve got to be sat on the ground,” puffed Sidney, finally catching up. “I want to be up there. You sit on the ground!”
“No,” said Frankie, “I got here first. I should be first up there.” Frankie pointed to the sky.
“Well, I’m not getting on if you’re going to be like that,” said Sidney, a little upset.
Frankie watched Sidney walk away and felt a little ashamed. “I didn’t mean to be so selfish, Sidney. I’m sorry.”
Sidney stopped walking and turned around. “It’s okay. Let’s share the amount of time we’re up in the air, what do you think?”
Frankie nodded. “Definitely. That’s what friends do…they share.”
Sidney hopped on the seesaw, too. In that
Frankie sailed into the air. As Frankie descended Sidney rose into the sky. For the next instant.half-an-hour the pair took turns to rise and fall, with beaming smiles on both their faces.
Frankie, Sidney, and the sunset.
“Frankie, have you ever seen the sunset?” said Sidney.
“No, I haven’t,” Frankie replied. “Is it good?”
“Good?!” exclaimed Sidney. “I can’t explain it to you. Honestly, it’s just something you’ve just got to see for yourself.”
“How?” said Frankie. “Won’t the sunset happen after our bedtimes?”
Sidney nodded. “Yes, but we’ll sneak out…”
The mischievous pair discussed what they were going to do that evening. They planned to each say goodnight to their parents then half-an-hour later sneak back downstairs and out the back door. “Let’s meet there at 9.30pm,” said Sidney, pointing to the large oak tree that dominated the little copse by their homes. Frankie nodded.
Hours later, the pair met up at the oak tree. The light had already begun to dim as they settled down on a pink-coloured rock, preparing to watch the sun go down. It started to feel chilly, so they wrapped their arms around each other to stay warm.
The sunset was indeed spectacular. Frankie marvelled at how the yellow sun turned to burnt orange before dipping lower and lower in the sky. Owls hooted all around them and before long, they saw loads of tiny stars puncture the dark sky.
“We’d best get back,” said Frankie. “My mum will kill me if she finds that I’m not in bed!”
“Mine too,” said Sidney.
They snuck back to their respective homes. As Sidney crept through the kitchen Rudolph raised his head, as if to say, “Where have you been?!” Sidney patted Rudolph on the head. “Good boy, Rudolph,” whispered Sidney. “Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve just been to see the sunset!”
Rudolph snuggled back down into his basket, unconcerned. “It was out of this world,” Sidney muttered with a smile, before tiptoeing up the stairs.
Too hot to trot
It was a glorious day as Frankie and Sidney lay by the stream. They’d lolled about for a good few hours, having walked there barefoot, pretending to be castaways on a desert island.
Dragonflies zipped above their heads and the piercing summer sun made anything in the distance appear hazy. Frankie blew out the seeds of a dandelion clock and felt all hot and bothered. “Let’s carry on, Sidney. Let’s try and find somewhere in the shade.”
Frankie stood up then let out a little yelp. “Oh my god, Sidney, the grass is scorchingly hot!”
Sidney also stood up and was soon copying Frankie; they both hopped up and down as the heat of the ground scorched the soles of their feet. “Wow! You’re not kidding,” said Sidney, letting out a gasp. The floor really is lava!”
Squealing, the friends looked around them. Frankie noticed an old tin chest nestled under a young tree, in the only bit of shade as far as the eye could see. “Get off the floor!” shouted Frankie. It was quite a while before they cooled down. “How will we get home?” Frankie lamented. “Do we have to stay here until night-time comes?”
“No,” said Sidney. “We’ll figure something out.”
The minutes ticked by and the sun continued to beat down. “What if we run home?” Frankie thought aloud. “Our feet won’t be on the ground for as long than if we walked back.”
Sidney had been thinking too but had been unable to come up with a better idea. “Okay, let’s do it.”
The pair ran and ran, as fast as they could. They reached Sidney’s house first, where Sidney’s mum bathed their feet in lukewarm water. She put soothing cream on their feet, too, and told the duo to put socks on. Sidney lent Frankie a pair.
The next day it poured with rain. As soon as it cleared Frankie and Sidney, with shoes and socks on this time, returned to sit on their ‘safe place’ – the tin chest - and recalled the previous day. “Now I know what it would be like to live on a volcano,” said Frankie. “I don’t think I’ll be moving to one anytime soon.”
Chippy, or not chippy? That is the question…
Sidney looked jealous. “I
“We’re having fish and chips tonight,” said Frankie. “From the chippy.”likefish and chips – proper fish and chips, that is. But I prefer pizza.”
Frankie pondered for a moment. “I like pizza, too, but it’s not as good as my mum’s spaghetti Bolognese.”
Sidney snorted. “No, my mum’s roast dinners are the best. Can’t be beaten.”
The pair argued and argued about the best meal to eat at teatime. “Beans on toast,” said Sidney.
“Sausage and mash,” Frankie shot back.
They sat back to back, each refusing to admit the other may have been right. Neither spoke for a while. Interrupting the silence came the noise of Sidney’s tummy rumbling. Frankie smirked, which turned into a giggle, then a full-blown laugh. Eventually, Sidney joined in and the pair rolled on the ground with mirth.
Frankie sat up, still giggling. “Sidney,” said Frankie. “Would you like to come to ours for tea?”
Flea or frog?
“Let’s play leapfrog!” Frankie yelled, not waiting for a response and immediately jumping on Sidney’s back. Sidney could only wait until Frankie had finished leaping.
“My turn,” said Sidney. Misjudging how far to jump, Sidney made them both crash to the floor. “Sorry,” said Sidney, giggling.
Frankie laughed too. “You clumsy lump, Sidney! I’ll show you what to do. By the end of the day, you’ll be an expert leap-frogger.”
The pair took turns to leap and Frankie had to admit that Sidney was improving, though they still ended up on the ground more than a few times in the process. “Dip your head down more, Frankie,” said Sidney. “I can’t jump that high. I’m not a flea!”
On the next jump, Frankie’s head was tucked under completely. Sidney sailed over Frankie’s back without issue. “Yay!” said Sidney, bouncing up and down, hands in the air. “I did it! Am I a frog now?”
Frankie smiled. “Yes, Sidney, you may not be a flea, but you are a frog.”
Rudolph, the red-nosed…dog
Christmas had just passed in Sidney and Frankie’s households. After spending days playing with their Christmas gifts Sidney in particular was itching to get outside for some fresh air.
It had been snowing for the last few days. Sidney’s mum was unsure if it was too cold to go out, but she eventually conceded. “Okay, you can call for Frankie,” she said. “Take Rudolph with you, though – he’s not been for a good walk for days either.”
Dutifully, Sidney put Rudolph on his lead and they set off for Frankie’s house. After admiring Frankie’s Christmas presents the trio set out for a walk in the snow.
The whole village was white over and because the landscape looked different, it wasn’t long before the three of them were lost. “Sidney, where are we?” shivered Frankie. “I’ve had enough of the fresh air now. I want to go home and get in front of the fire.”
Sidney had no idea where they were, but being a good friend, didn’t want Frankie to know this. Sidney suggested turning around and following their footsteps. “That should lead us back home.”
It wasn’t easy to determine their prints from all the others who had traipsed through the snow but eventually they managed to separate two pairs of footprints with pawprints running between them. They followed this trail and were so relieved when they eventually saw Frankie’s house in the distance. By the time they reached Frankie’s gate all their noses had turned red – even Rudolph’s!
“Did you get plenty of fresh air, love?” Frankie’s mum asked once Sidney and Rudolph had headed home.
“Plenty!” agreed Frankie, silently vowing never to budge from the fire until the first signs of Spring showed…