Hi Cielo readers! I hope you’re all safe and well! Today a triple bonus! I am going to give you three different versions of the one theme, just to show you how ideas evolve. It is a simple concept, that something as small as an apple pip can produce a tree that brings so much purpose, imagination and joy. Each version would work fine, I believe, as a stand alone, but by presenting them like this, you can see the idea evolve. The last one has stolen my heart. Here’s hoping one of them steals yours. Matt x
When Babette was the age of one,
her mother decided to have some fun.
Fun, fun, in the sweet summer sun,
for Babette today, tomorrow everyone!
She got Babette to plant an apple pip!
So small, so simple, barely a blip!
“This seed,” she said, “well, it’s magic!
Watch it do an amazing trick!”
Magic trick, no wand or stick!
Watch it grow, grow, grow super quick!
“Wow,” said Babette, a few years on!
“This tree is growing big and strong!”
Big and strong, like King Kong!
Weed it, water it, before it’s gone!
Babette waited each night and day,
for the magic part to come her way.
Boring, fart, and then yawn,
no magic right through ‘til dawn.
Soon, the blossom was in full bloom!
Soon, its magic would meet the moon!
“Magic, magic, oh get here soon!”
Babette watched the bees work hard,
on the apple bloom within the yard.
Buzz, buzz, Buzz, honey, YUM!
Get that honey in my tum!
Then, she watched with baited breath,
as apples grew around its bird nests!
Tweet, tweet, tweet, from branches high,
singing songs that make you sigh.
When branches grew big and strong,
Uncle Bob then came along.
Hammer, hammer, saw, saw, saw,
a tree house built for one and all!
Babette sat in her cubby,
with her friends, Lulu and Chubby.
Dream, dream, pine away,
for magic to come your way!
Mermaids, gorillas, giants, too!
Fairies, pixies, lots of voodoo!
Wow, bam, wow! Just imagine it!
Singing sirens, pirates an their tricks!
They all ate apples and dreamed away,
having fun throughout the day!
Soon, some kid with a basket showed up,
“Mum planted an orange when I was a pup!”
Swap and eat, eat, eat! What a treat,
so many amazing new people to meet!
Honey, honey, nuts, fruit of all hues,
vegetables, pigs, and chickens, too!
“Where’s the magic?!” Babette shouted,
but not one griffin had been sighted.
Okay, quick, Babette made a plan!
A fancy dress picnic, for every clan!
Hurry, hurry, wowie, zoom!
Dress up silly, act like a loon!
Laughing, cheering telling fables,
feeding horses from the stables!
“Aw, Mum,” Babette moaned, “I’m so glum!”
“You promised magic, but there is none!”
“Are you bonkers?” smiled Mum. “Look around.
ALL THIS from one small pip
placed in the ground…”
“Oh wow..!” Babette gasped,
happy to find magic at last!
Little Babette was nice and sweat,
hungry for a breakfast treat.
Pancakes made, for her and brother Sid.
But such a thought flipped her kid lid!
She sang a song for all to hear,
loud, proud, and without fear!
“Yum, yum, get in my tum!
Then let me eat another one!”
The fact Babette would not share,
filled her mother with despair.
“Out, out! Be on your way!
That is all I have to say!”
Garden banished, feeling glum,
Babette cursed her lack of fun.
“Grow, glomp – the sound of my belly,
when eating stops before it’s ready!”
Its growing made such an annoying noise,
a magic wombat spoke with great poise.
“I will give you just one treat…
A piece of fruit laid at your feet.”
Babette was shocked and confused.
“Magic? Fruit? My mind is bruised.”
“I wish for a big, fat giant pear,
to eat in front of a hungry bear…”
“Or maybe a thousand small bananas,
to chew on with sneaky snake charmers.”
“Or how about a watermelon,
dropped off by an eagle’s talon?”
“No, no, no!” the magic wombat said.
“Oh, you are doing in my head!”
“Here…” it said, “This is for you.
“It comes with instructions too.”
“A pip? A pip? Are you serious!”
Babette shook a raging fist!
At first she just glared and stared at it,
so small and useless… “I mean… A PIP!?”
“Plant it,” the note duly insisted.
So Babette did, bitter and twisted.
“Now water it,” the note then said,
“And keep weeds from its bed.”
“Hmph, hrumf, ahh, no way!”
was all Babette had to say.
But, bored and hungry, soon she did,
what the magic notes insisted.
“Now,” it asked, “shoo all crows away!
And keep those wallabies at bay!”
“Live your life, but keep an eye,
on that small pip, so it won’t die.”
Sure as it said, a tree soon grew,
as fragile as morning dew.
But Babette warmed to her task,
watering it with her school flask.
Soon enough, there was Spring,
its flowers blossomed, bees did sing!
Bigger, bigger the tree got,
baby apples, starting off!
Babette wrestled away the crows!
Shooed them off with her hose.
“Back, back, now be gone!
Don’t you dare invade our lawn!”
Then, one day, down the line,
the tree was big, study and fine.
Apples here, there, everywhere,
enough for every child to share!
Slurp, slop! Crunch, crunch, crunch!
Nibble… burp… Munch, munch, munch!
Branches to climb in, toffee apples made,
an apple juice stand from which to raid.
Dunking for apples, letting them fall on your head!
Eating, farting right through ‘till bed!
“Get your apples!” Babette soon roared,
the furthest thing ever from bored.
She swapped them for honey, oranges and jam,
for smiles and songs sung into cans!
Then, with help of Uncle Mick,
a tree house was built, lickity split!
Hammer, hammer, saw, saw, saw!
A ladder, a pirate flag, a door!
Oh wow, oh wow, the stories told!
Funny, silly, stupid and bold!
They imagined everything up there,
more entertained than at the fair…
Never hungry, without fear,
grinning wide, from ear to ear.
Babette sat back, within the crowd,
of friends laughing proud and loud.
“So much to give, so fun!” she pondered.
“From one small pip, we have all bonded!
“Magic, indeed, mm-hm, yes!”
to the wombat Babette confessed.
Plant your seeds, plant them now!
Or build a moat, or save an owl.
Things will grow, that you’ve built,
good times be had,
owls will hoot.
It’s up to you to make this land!
Make it exciting, make it grand!
Babette was so hungry her belly sounded like lions fighting. Birds flew off. Kangaroos learned to tippy-toe. She mumbled and grumbled about being yelled at because she was too stubborn to share any of her pancakes with her brother.
“Out, then!” her mother had shouted before she could take another bite. “Out, out, out!”
Lying under a tree, Babette daydreamed of avocado on toast, and one, long never-ending piece of spaghetti.
“Ohhh…” she drooled.
Which made her belly rumble more.
“Enough!” she heard a voice moan, and a magic wombat waddled into view. Babette knew it was magic because it had a pink tutu on and little fairy wings. “Here,” it insisted, and gave her a magic apple.
Well, Babette assumed it was magic. Otherwise, she had just stolen the lunch of a strangely dressed marsupial!
“Poor wombat,” she said. “Now I feel guilty!”
It rolled over for a belly scratch.
“Actually, that apple is magic,” it said, between moans of pleasure.
All wombats love having their belly scratched.
“Wha!?” squawked Babette. “You talk?”
She looked at the apple.
“If it’s magic, why isn’t it giant-sized then?” she asked.
“You’d be full very quick, and the rest of it would rot,” the wombat said.
“Oh,” Babette said. “maybe it could be like, one thousand little apples, and I could eat them like jelly beans…”
“The crows would get them,” said the wombat. “Or ants.”
“Hmm, maybe every time I took a bite it would grow back,” Babette thought aloud.
“They taste terrible when you do that,” a bunyip said from behind a tree.
“And there’d be nothing to share,” said a giant looming above it.
Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, went one of several fairies.
“Woh…!” said Babette.
That was the thing with magic creatures – you met one, you met them all. Babette held the apple super close, worried a unicorn might show up. Surely, they loved eating magic apples!
“GROWL!” went Babette’s belly, causing all the creatures to run and hide. Wow, she was hungry!
“Actually, there are instructions,” the magic wombat said, scratching it’s ear with its hind leg. “First, eat the apple.”
“Oh,” said Babette.
Munch, crunch, crunch, yum, yum! It was the best, delicious! All that was left was a pip! It looked so silly and small.
Babette waited to grow wings that would take her to a pixie tea party, or some other kind of magic stuff.
“Now, plant the pip,” the magic wombat said, chewing on grass.
Babette planted the pip.
She watered it.
“Weed around it…”
She weeded around it.
“Okay, in the future, guard it from crows.”
“Hey!” protested the crows.
The giant shooed them away.
“And,” the magic wombat said. “If you keep doing that, in a few years, you’ll have all the apples you want, with enough to share, every summer, forever!”
“Oh,” said Babette.
“Where’s the magic in that?” she protested.
This was all a bit confusing. Maybe she should have just shared her pancakes with her brother.
“ARE YOU KIDING!?” shouted the giant. ‘THAT’S AMAZING! FROM ONE LITTLE PIP…? GEEZ! CAN I WATER IT?”
“The fairies can keep the crows away,” cheered the bunyip. “And I’ll build the tree house.”
“Tree house?” said Babette.
“SO COOL!” shouted he giant. “WE’LL PRETEND IT’S A PIRATE SHIP, AND YOU CAN INVITE US AND ALL YOUR IMAGINARY FRIENDS AND EVERYTHING!”
Babette didn’t have the heart to tell the giant maybe he was an imaginary friend. The big fellow seemed so happy!
So, for three years, Babette came out and watered and protected and weeded around her apple tree. After a while, she became quite protective of it, reading it stories, and chatting to it in the heat. But only when there was no one else around, of course.
Nobody else had seen the magic wombat. “No way am I going to let them think I’m bonkers!” she would mumble to the tree, then tell it another story. The way Babette figured it, magic trees needed that little bit extra.
“All I wanted to do was be less hungry,” she told it.
But, really, the giant was right. One small pip could turn into a tree that fed everyone for 100 years, that was pretty magical.
Those few years flew passed. Older, ready to build the most wicked tree house ever, Babette raced out to her garden in Spring to look at the bloom turn to little apples. Yet nothing happened.
She sooked and wailed so much the magic wombat came back.
“Phew,” Babette sighed, wiping away her tears. “I was starting to think I’d imagined you!”
The wombat still had its tutu on, but was now reading a book.
“Hello,” it said. “How have you been?”
But Babette was too worried about the tree to answer.
“Hmm,” the magic wombat mumbled, head buried in pages, eating each one as it read it. “It says in here you need two trees side-by-side to grow apples.”
“Huh? TWO!?” protested Babette.
“Yep, something to do with cross pollinisation. How cute! Apple trees need to be married!”
Babette didn’t understand any of it. “Polly-whatsy-ape-who?” she stuttered. “It will take me three more years to grow another tree!”
“Maybe I can help,” said the bunyip, digging up the tree, roots, dirt and all, and placing it in a cart.
“MAYBE WE ALL CAN,” boomed the giant, pulling the cart.
Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, giggled the fairies.
“Come on, slow poke!” insisted the bunyip. “Lets go find another apple tree to hang out with.”
Babette, bunyip, fairies, a giant and a magic wombat must have looked a sight, going from town to town with their apple tree cart. To pass time, the bunyip played a banjo and they all sung silly songs.
Magic kept being funny in its way. Now that Babette was hanging out with magic creatures, she saw more examples of it everywhere. Water monsters poking their heads out of local ponds, glimpses of sky dragons, sliding between clouds. From three blocks away, they saw a singing hippopotamus walking with eight kids on its back.
Soon, the fairies all began to swirl about! They pointed at a cart being pulled towards them by a magic crocodile. On its back was a little boy, some pixies, a bigfoot. In the cart was an apple tree in full flower.
Everybody awkwardly watched each other as the wombat twitched and the crocodile winked, causing bees to come from everywhere. Beautiful, buzzing, honey making bees! Babette watched, fascinated, as they went from one tree to the other, spreading the sweat, colourful pollen, so that apples might grow.
“LITTLE BEES!” clapped the giant. “MORE MAGIC! WOW!”
“BEES ARE THE BEST! LET’S MAKE HONEY!” the bigfoot ghawfed.
Everybody awkwardly said their good-byes, then the giant pulled Babette’s cart on.
At first, everything was wonderful! There was a little more rain here and there, as they drifted from small town to small town, waiting for the apples to grow. A fence post here, some old bridge pales there, each time they stopped, the bunyip and fairies would build a little more of the tree house. Oh, it was going to be excellent! It had windows and a door and even a small porch!
There was no way the giant could fit in it, but he could still lean against the tree and hang out.
When the first apple turned nice and red, Babette held it in her hand, admiring it, so smooth, so full of goodness… and took a big, fat, juicy bite!
“Ohhh…” she sighed.
Within a few days everybody dug in! Even the crows! They all ate, and ate, and ate.
All this from a tiny little seed. It did Babette’s head in! Maybe it was magic! For real! Maybe the giant was right.
For a brief moment Babette tried to imagine all the other small, everyday things she never noticed – a sewing needle, an old pair of shoes, a coin – and wondered about the mighty stories they inspired.
From here on they could make apple cake and apple tarts and apple juice and apple spread and toffee apples, and bob for apples, and let apples drop on inventors’ heads, and do all sorts of legendary stuff.
The giant let out a mighty apple fart.
“Cough, cough!” went Babette. She thought her nose might melt.
“Pee-yew!” protested the bunyip.
Then, pop, pop, pop, all the fairies did little fairy apple farts.
Then, ploosh, fwirp, ftts, it was Babette’s turn.
Bunyip just smirked, and everybody knew it did a secret, silent-but-deadly bunyip fart.
“What’s going on!?” wailed Babette.
“Apple farts,” said the magic wombat. “Egg farts, peanut butter farts, bean farts, that’s what happens when you eat too much of any one thing.”
“Oh,” said Babette.
As they continued to roam, moving from town to town, eating apples, farting, people started coming up with pegs on their noses, saying; “What have you got there?” and Babette would give them an apple.
It felt so good! The best ever! Giving something fresh and juicy and amazing to others that SHE had made, from a pip. Each time they crunched into an apple and rolled their eyes with delight and sighed she felt wonderful!
I did that, she thought. I made them happy! I can’t believe it! What good magic! Me!
Eventually, though, sitting in the tree house to shelter from a hot day, the bunyip said; “Hey, there aren’t enough apples on the tree for us, and to give away.”
Then it smirked as it did another silent but deadly bunyip apple fart.
Babette suspected the bunyip was right. If they were going to eat enough apples to not be hungry, they couldn’t give them away, too. She knew in her heart they couldn’t keep going on like this. The farts were the worst! And, as much as she loved her magic friends, she was lonely. She missed being around other kids.
The magic wombat had been eating an apple, while reading a book about how to surf. It watched Babette sigh a heavy sigh, and twitched.
“LETS GO THIS WAY!” thundered the giant, happily, taking them down a dirt road.
Half way along it, he eased to a stop, as another cart, dragged by a gorilla, with a kid and some elves on it, pulled up.
With an orange tree on the back.
“Uh… Hi…” said the kid, with a little orange fart.
“…Hello,” said Babette, popping off rotten apple.
“Awkward….!” The bunyip whispered to one of the elves.
“Oranges are my thing,” the boy shyly said. “They taste so much sweeter and juicier when you grow them yourself.”
Babette realised they were in the middle of a crossroads when a rusty old ute (truck) eased to a squeaky stop beside them. A farmer was driving, with his daughter’s head poking up beside him. On the roof was a minotaur and several cherubs. They had the tallest crop of corn growing in the tray.
From the other side came a dragon, peddling a bike that pulled a basket with a pair of twins and a big plum tree.
“Look!” called the bunyip. “Wowza!”
A hot air balloon was descending from above, steered by a small African kid and a Grootslang – a mythical giant elephant-snake. The balloon’s basket had dozens of ropes, each one dangling pot plants full of passionfruit vines and tomatoes.
“Super awkward…” said the bunyip.
“TOMATOES! I LOVE TOMATOES!” boomed the giant, as he reached for a pot and ate it.
“Uh-ho…” said the bunyip, covering its eyes.
“HEY!” roared the Grootslang. “That’s OUR food!”
It slithered down, raising dust, as it launched an attack!
“OI!” protested the giant.
The two of them crashed and thundered and roared! The earth shook, dirt flew through the air! This was the stuff of legends! Mythology.
And horrible danger.
“Look out!” cried the boy with the oranges, ducking as the Grootslang’s tale hissed by.
“Run!” shrieked the girl in the ute, as the giant stomped and wrestled.
“Far out!” the bunyip ran in circles, pulling at its fur. “Rival mythical being fighting! This could be the end of the world!”
It was so worried it scurried into the bigfoot, that wasn’t too bright, and they began to fight.
Babette watch the chaos through raised dust, as more and more people came; a group of kids on billy carts pulling a tray full of watermelon plants; a scientist’s son who had perfected an ice cream tree that had aliens sitting in its branches; a banshee holding the hand of a little girl with magic puppets sitting on her head and grape vines growing from her pockets.
The Grootslang tangled itself around Babette’s giant. They fell like empires, crashing down in the path of an Asian boy, leading a woolly mammoth with mermaids on its back, who were all in a bath, making sushi.
The woolly mammoth reared, the mermaids screeched, making everybody cover their ears. Everything stunk of apple farts and tomato farts and watermelon burps.
Each person and creature there was short tempered and hungry, sick of what they had been eating.
Geez, thought Babette. All this from a small apple seed…
“Do something…!” the bunyip yelled at her while wresting the gorilla.
The fight was so epic, cracks started appearing in the earth! Only the magical wombat looked calm, as if waiting, while casually reading a cookbook. It twitched.
Babette hungry stomach went “GRRRAAAWWWWLLLE!” so loud everybody stopped fighting to look a her.
“Oh,” she said, and did a little apple fart.
“Pew!” winced the gorilla.
Babette went up to the Grootlang, tangled on the ground with the giant.
“This is for you,” she said, holding out a handful of apples. “I’m sorry we ate your tomatoes.”
“Oh… uh…” fumbled the Grootlang. “That’s okay… Actually, I love apples!”
“What a good idea!” said the boy with the bigfoot. “Does anyone want an orange?”
Before long, everybody was swapping food, eating, laughing, trading stories. The mermaids made more and more sushi and sang beautiful songs of the ocean, from Irish waters and Russian waters, for everybody to dance to. The woolly mammoth dipped its trunk into a nearby creek and sprayed, making rainbows.
“Yeowie! This is the best! You beaut!” danced the bunyip.
Everybody gave! Everybody! And in giving, they received. It was beautiful!
The magic wombat sat back, chewing on its corn, giving Babette a little wink as she listened to the minotaur and African kid talking.
And Babette smiled a smile bigger than mountains.