This is a collection of stories that I made up for my two children, James and Sam, to stop them getting bored on long car journeys. They are mostly silly, inspired by whatever we were doing at the time.
All the stories are made up on the spur of the moment. There's no planning before and no changes after. They are just there to pass the time of the day.
I have forgotten some of the first ones I told because I did not write them down (so nobody will ever know the one about the giant or the one about the comet). That's why I decided to put them in a book – now I can easily tell them again, and maybe other children will enjoy hearing them too.
I have also included a few little illustrations. I'm afraid I'm not very good at drawing, but they should give you some idea of how I pictured the stories.
The Freshest Baker in the World
We thought this one up driving through Birmingham on a journey... can't remember why.
Once upon a time, in a big city not so very far from here, there was a small baker's shop. The rest of the city was full of giant superstores and hypermarkets, so it was very unusual to find small shops like this one.
However, this was a very unusual shop. The baker who owned the shop had magical powers that allowed him to bake the freshest bread in the world. He did not have cakes and loaves on display in the window like other bakers. Whatever his customers asked for, he would disappear out the back and return in just three seconds with whatever it was, freshly baked.
Bread rolls, muffins and chocolate cakes were easy, but the baker could also bake really unusual stuff. Once, a customer came in and asked for twelve pyramid-shaped bagels. “Just a moment!” said the baker, and disappeared out the back. Three seconds later, he returned with twelve fresh pyramid-shaped bagels.
Once a lady came in and asked for a baguette as long as a bus. “Certainly, madam!” said the baker. He disappeared out the back and after just three seconds, the end of a baguette appeared at the doorway. The lady grabbed that end while the baker held the other and together they carefully carried it out into the street.
Now just across the road from the bakers was a large supermarket, which was run by an evil supermarket witch. She hated small shops. She thought everyone should buy everything from huge supermarkets like hers.
One day, she was wondering why her supermarket never sold as much bread and cakes as the supermarkets that her friends worked at. She asked some of her customers where they got their bread from and they told her about the bakers. This made her very angry.
“I must stop people shopping there!” she screeched. So that night, she cast an evil spell on the baker.
The next morning, the baker was in his shop getting ready for the day's business. The first customer came in, a young lady in a red dress, and asked for a square doughnut.
“No problem!” the baker said, and disappeared out the back.
After three seconds, he did not come back. After three more seconds, he still had not come back. By this time, the young lady was getting worried. She was a regular customer and had never had to wait more than three seconds before.
Eventually, the baker came back, but looked very puzzled.
“I don't understand it,” he said. “I tried making your doughnut, but it was made from wood. So I tried again, and it was still made from wood!”. He sadly held up the two wooden square doughnuts.
“Harrumph!” said the young lady in the red dress, and went across to the supermarket to get some boring old round doughnuts.
The supermarket witch had been watching all this from a small window in her supermarket. She cackled and rubbed her hands together with glee.
The next customer came in, a man wearing a stripy hat, and asked for a banana-shaped loaf of banana bread. The baker looked worried, but went out the back. After three seconds, he came back, by now looking quite frightened.
“I don't understand it!” he said, holding a nicely varnished, wooden, banana-shaped loaf of banana bread. “You may as well have it,” he said, giving it to the man in the stripy hat.