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 A Special Day In The Shire

written by Dorothy Milnes Simm way back in the 1980's

Chapter One

 The sun was shining brightly through the window of King Peppers’ bedroom. The king sat on the end of the bed watching as the sunbeams bounced back off the mirror of his wardrobe, dust was trapped in the light and seemed to be dancing like little dust bugs.

King Pepper comes down stairs“Hm m” said the king stroking his beard, “today is going to be a beautiful day.”
   He smiled then jumped up off the bed and went into the bathroom; showered and cleaned his teeth, and when he came out again he was looking deep in thought. he dressed himself in his favourite blue suit, then placing his crown on his head; he combed his moustache and went downstairs for his breakfast.
Queen Pepper was sitting at the table in the dining room already eating her spicy sausages and fried bread. The King said as he sat down to the table opposite her and filled his plate with poached eggs and bacon.
“Nice sausages my dear,  its a lovely morning don’t you think?”
He smiled at the queen lovingly, how pretty she looked with her purple curls hanging down over her shoulders and her crown perched on the top of her head, a bit squint as usual.
“Yes Pepper,” the queen replied taking a sip of her tea, “and I do believe it’s going to
Queen Pepper stay like this all day,” she added smiling.
The king gave her a big smile, a twinkle appeared in his eyes,
To warm to let it go to waste, do you think then dear? he replied stroking the ends of his moustache again.
“Now I wonder what we could do with this beautiful day?” he pondered.

He finished the last of his bacon and eggs, helped himself to some toast and Peppercorn marmalade, then picking up his coffee cup, went over to the window seat.  
He stood there looking out over the rooftops of the town below the castle wall, it wouldn’t be long until the little town began to bustle with the days work and if he was going to plan a special event he would have to decide in the next few minutes what it was going to be.
The king’s eyebrows wrinkled together as he looked at the little red roofs of the houses that were glistening in the sunlight, the dew still wet on the tiles.
Beyond the town the fields stretched away to the mountains, the yellow of the cornfields blending in with the moorland. Then the sun reflected off the glass of the sports stadium.
the sports centre

“That’s it, that’s it Pepper my darling,” he said jumping up and down on the spot."
Queen Pepper didn't even raise her head. As usual there was a sudden thought and the day could begin.
King Pepper turned to the queen with a huge grin on his face.“I’ve got it! ” he exclaimed. “We’re going to have a Sports Day.” 
“Oh really Pepper, do you think we’ll have time to arrange everything? It’s a huge project my dear.” Queen Pepper was still smiling for she knew they would have time, they always did.  
        Every special day they had ever had in the Shire started like this with King Pepper waking up; seeing the sunshine and then deciding this would be the day for whatever it was they ended up doing.

“Poppycock, we’ve got plenty of time so long as we get Tommy in here straight away.” The king said as he picked up the bell and rang it. “Tommy can take his bike and be round the whole Shire before eight o’clock, I’ll make out the notice and have it ready before he gets here.”         Princess Cornflower

        Pepper was just about to ring the bell again when the door flew open. A pretty little girl came dashing in, almost knocking the king off his feet.
“Daddy, Daddy have you seen the sun, its going to be a fabulous day, can we do something special, please can we?” She said throwing herself round her fathers’ neck, but she was kissed on the cheek, patted on the head and put down firmly. "You'll have to ask your mother dear, too much todo I'm afraid, to much todo!"  And he was gone.
Princess Cornflower had been followed into the breakfast room by Minnie and Martha, they too almost bumped into the king as he
went bustling out into the corridor.
“Oops, sorry King Pepper,” they said at the same time, but the king didn’t seem to notice them.
“Oh no,” said Minnie looking at Martha and pulling a face. “Not again.”
“I’m afraid so.” Queen Pepper said smiling. “And it’s a big one so there’s no time to lose."
Only now did Cornflower seem to get her senses together “Come on then Mum, tell us what it is?” Cornflower said jumping up and down, “please?”
“Not just now my darling, you help the girls take the breakfast things into the kitchen and I’ll tell you all together so that Cathy can get the food started.”

Queen Pepper shook her head, picked up her glasses and made her way to the kitchen.
“Oh well, we might as well do as she says,” Cornflower said shrugging her shoulders. “Lets clear everything away.” she picked up the empty plates.
MinnieMinnie and Martha Speedwell were identical twins; they had not long turned seventeen and had been working at the castle since they left school. They had beautiful scarlet hair like their grandmother’s and the only way you could tell them apart was by the ribbons they wore in their hair. Minnie wore hers on the left side of her head and Martha on the right.  Together the girls carried the dishes through to the kitchen.

  Cathy Fern was stood at the table already taking down everything that the queen was saying on a piece of notepaper. Cornflower loved Cathy almost as much as her mum, she had been at the castle for as long as she could remember, and she never seemed to change not like Daniel Burnett, the butler whom Cornflower was sure must be at least a hundred years old, she still loved them very much, they were all part of her life in the castle at Peppercorn Green.
Barnaby Nettle and his wife Buttercup were the only other two Googlenok’s who worked in the castle full time keeping everything running smoothly, mind you nine times out of ten the whole of the Shire managed to get involved somehow or other, especially on days like today,Martha and there were many days like today, believe me!
Queen Pepper was just about to tell the girls what the king was planning for the day when the sound of a loud bell was heard in the courtyard below.
Everyone rushed over to the window, apart from Daniel who sort of shuffled slowly his shoes squeaking with every shuffle.
“Hush, hush, everybody,” said the queen, letting Daniel get past her to the window.  “Tommy will explain everything much better than I can so I’ll just sit down and have another cup of tea.”
She went over to the table and poured herself another cup of tea, there next to the teapot was the left over spicy sausages from breakfast, and Queen Pepper did like a spicy sausage with a nice hot cup of tea. 
The girls watched as Tommy Reed placed his bicycle up against the stable wall. He reached inside his coat and pulled out a large piece of paper, which he unrolled carefully, then taking his bell and giving it one more ring he began to sing very loudly.

Tommy ReedOYEZ!  OYEZ!  OYEZ!


Of course King Pepper knew that the whole of the shire would arrive sooner or later,Daniel Burnett and why because it always happened that way. Tommy Reed folded up his paper, jumped on his bike and peddled out of the courtyard. 
“My and wasn’t that a good song.”  Daniel said wiping a tear from the corner of his eye.

It was one thing having a town crier, but a town crier who was also the music teacher was even better.
“There can’t be many Shires that can boast a singing town crier, or should that be Shire crier.”  He added thoughtfully.
The queen put her empty cup on its saucer. “Well girls, now you know as much as me.  The King has decided on a sports day and a sports day we shall have, it is going to take some organizing so we had better get started straight away."
Princess Cornflower and the girls were still standing with their mouths open in shock.  “A
sports day,” spluttered Cornflower, “a sports day,” repeated the Minnie and Martha. 

“Come on girls it’s no good standing their with your mouths open catching flies, there’s a lot to do.” Cathy then handed pieces of paper to the queen, who glanced through them.
Cathy Fern“Minnie you can take this list to Stephen Barleycorn, and if he can have them all ready by eleven thirty, that will be fine. Hold on I think we had better put a couple of thick sliced loaves on here as well, then we can have some bacon butties at dinner time.”
“What a good idea the king does love his bacon butties on these occasions.”  Daniel
said smiling. “Martha you can take this one to Samuel Barberry, I shall need the oranges and lemons as soon as he can get them here so that Buttercup can start making the squash.” Cathy added, “nearly forgot about Samuel that will never do,” she pushed the note into Martha’s hand, “and do you think you could call on Kristine Spurrey and ask her if she could come and give us a hand in the kitchen, maybe she could bring Felicity with her.” 
“Oh yes and if its possible to have the onions early as well it would be very much appreciated.” The queen gave the princess the list for Dick Butterbur. “Now this one is for the meat and we will have to have it by ten o’clock at the latest.”
Queen Pepper looked at Cathy frowning. “I’ve got a good idea, if the girls ask everyone in the shops to have as much as they can ready by ten o’clock, Barnaby can pick the whole lot up in his cart. What do you think?”  
“A brilliant idea,” agreed Cathy nodding her head.  
“Mother, you’ve forgotten something on this list.” Cornflower said, something very important."
“I have.” said the queen, “ and what could that be?”
Barnaby Nettle

“Well its no good getting bread for the bacon butties if you haven’t got any bacon to go on them, now is it?” Queen Pepper took the note back off the Princess and added.
“ Three pound of best back bacon.” 
“Three pounds!” exclaimed Daniel, “ are you expecting to feed the whole Shire Ma-am?”
The queen laughed. “ That's the trouble Daniel, you never can tell.”  
It was just at that moment when Barnaby Nettle came into the kitchen, and found everybody laughing.“Ah well it is nice to hear you all having a bit of fun, I thought you would all be up to your eyebrows getting things ready for another of King Peppers crazy days by now.”
“Oh we are Barnaby, but crazy or not things go a lot better with a little laugh now and then.” the Cook said happily. “ And how is your back this morning, not playing you up I hope.”
“Don’t get a chance to rest it, even if it was.” Barny added.
He wasn’t really an old grump. It was just his way he moaned about everything. If the sun was shining he needed rain for his delphiniums, if it were raining he’d complain that there was never any sunshine in this darned Shire. But deep down inside he loved the Shire and all the folk in it, so everyone put up with his moaning.
Cornflower has a drink of juice“I suppose you’ve got a list a mile long for me to be doing?” he said with a small grin on his face,(only a small one mind.)“Whatever it is I must have me cup of tea first, so put that kettle on again Cathy,I can’t work with me mouth dry, I say.”
“What a wonderful idea Barny,” smiled the queen who as always never refused another cup of tea.  “Right girls, you get on your bicycles, and get down to the town as soon as you can.” Cathy said handing the girls a drink of orange juice. “ You had better drink this before you go its already quite warm out there.”
ueen Pepper with her cup of tea.

“Cornflower you had better go to the stadium and see how your father is coping after you’ve delivered your message.” Queen Pepper added. “Minnie, you and Martha can call for Felicity and Kristine on the way home and bring them back with you, try not to be too long dears.”   The girls left the kitchen; Cathy began to sing as she put the kettle back on the range.
“ Now for that cup of tea.” Queen Pepper said sitting down at the table and writing out yet another list for herself.

Chapter Two after this small break

 Traditional Peanut Brittle U.S. Style
A traditional holiday classic

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
2 cups raw    Spanish peanuts if possible
½tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter  2 tsp. baking soda

Cook CathyHeat and stir sugar, syrup and water in a heavy 3-quart saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add salt. Cook over medium heat to soft ball stage (234 degrees).

Add peanuts at 250 degrees.

Cook to hard crack stage (290 degrees), stirring often. Remove from heat.

Quickly, stir in butter and soda. Beat to a froth for a few seconds.

Pour at once onto 2 well-buttered 15½ x10½ x1-inch pans, spreading with spatula.

If desired, cool slightly and pull with forks to stretch thin. Break up when cold.

Yield: About 1½ pounds of peanut brittle.

Peanut Brittle Recipe
Original Message-----
Subject: peanut brittle, of course!

This is a very simple recipe from my husband's family. what makes it so delicious is how light and airy it is and not at all sticky.
You achieve this by adding the soda after you take it off the heat.

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
   ¼teaspoon salt
raw peanuts (however many you like)
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda

Put all the ingredients, except the peanuts and soda, in a deep sauce pan. Put on medium heat. stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
Now add the peanuts. Stirring at all times, take mixture to 290 on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat and stir in one heaping teaspoon baking soda (make sure baking soda is fresh).
Now pour out on a greased cookie sheet. do not tip cookie sheet to thin, this peanut brittle is best when thick which makes it more airy.

Ginny - Bradonton, Florida

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Chapter Two

Barny brings the cart and Prudence round to the front of the castle Queen Pepper and Barnaby finished their tea and said goodbye to Cathy and Buttercup, who had arrived just as they were leaving. Poor Barnaby, he often wondered if life in Peppercorn Green could be simple for just one whole week.
He hitched up Prudence to the cart and drove it round to the front of the castle. Queen
Pepper was dressed in a deep purple skirt and white blouse, she looked very summery.And all for a few games

“Now Barny I am going to have to call at Terry Stonecrop’s store first, I’ve got a huge list of things I need,” she added looking at her list. “ Sugar for the squash and candy floss, gallons of tomato sauce for the hot dogs and beef burgers, coloured napkins, and what on earth Cathy wants with three boxes of wooden spoons I dread to think, never mind.” she said shaking her head, “not to mention what looks like a mountain of paper cups.”
She took a deep breath. “Then I want to call and see if Gabby Willow can get some flowers over to the stadium to decorate the stands. Oh yes, and I’d like to call on Mary Lou to see if she can make me up some rosettes for the winners of the competitions.”

She read through the list making sure she hadn’t left anything out and turning to Barny gave him a huge grin. Barny just shook his head and growled at Prudence. Buttercup Nettle
As they drove along the little lane, Barny was thinking of the day he met Buttercup, his wife. It was a day just like today, the old king; King Pepper’s father had arranged a picnic down by the lake. He saw Buttercup lying on the grass trailing her fingers in the silver water and fell in love with her there and then. He was only sixteen, Buttercup a year younger; she was the dairymaid at the castle. Barnaby had applied for a job at the castle and it wasn’t long after he had started work there that he and Buttercup were married.  The dairy had moved to the town now, but Buttercup still helped with the work around the castle and he looked after all the odd jobs.
“That was over forty years ago,” he said out loud.
“What was that Barny.” Queen Pepper said.“Oh nothing, your Majesty, just thinking out loud.” Barny said smiling to himself.
Honesty and Hope  As they reached the town, it was obvious Tommy had already done his job. Everyone seemed to be dashing round doing this and that.
Two of the Sorrel triplets were sat in the post office doorway eating toast.
“That reminds me,” the queen said on seeing
Honesty and Hopethe children. “If you could get the candy floss machine and canopy out of the old dairy when we get back, I’d be very grateful Barny?”
Queen Pepper climbed down off the cart. “Now I’ll meet you outside Dick Butterbur’s at ten o’clock.
Are you going to the stadium to see if the king needs any help?”
“On my way my-lady.” Barnaby said as he turned the cart towards the stadium. “I’ll be back at ten, don’t be late we have lots to do as you said.” He was still mumbling as he turned prudence around and headed off down the lane towards the stadium. 

        The King meanwhile had arrived at the stadium ages ago and he began by drawing out a plan of where he wanted everything to go. Already things were being put in their right
food tent places. Both the Shires football teams were in the stadium when he arrived, they were training for next month’s football tournament, and as soon as King Pepper told them what he was planning they offered their help straight away. Peppercorn United started by erecting the big tent for the refreshments and drink stand, then they placed a smaller tent to the side of the Nurse Nancy Campionbig one for the district nurse, Nancy Campion to use as a first aid post, this was probably going to be the most used tent of the whole day. Peppercorn Rangers began by arranging the seats for Judge Orpine at the far end of the stadium; from there the judges of the competitions would be able to view the whole arena. They placed a small canopy over the table and chairs for shade from the afternoon’s sun.
Then there was the king and queen’s seats to be placed at the top end of the stadium, King Pepper thought the queen would like the green and gold canopy, not that she sat down for very long she always seemed to be dashing here and there doing something or other. Shortly after nine o’clock the two rugby teams arrived at the stadium it didn’t take long for the king to find them tasks to do. everywhere tents were being erected
Osian and Owen Bugloss of the Peppercorn Greenbacks took the handcart over to Henry Carline’s; the barbecues had been left in the Smithy since the last barn dance. The rest of the Greenbacks laid out
Gabriel Willowthe course for the tug of war and the marble ring. Whilst over the other side of the stadium the Cornpepper Daredevils roped off the show jumping arena.

King Pepper had just finished putting up the nets for the discus and shot-put when Barnaby arrived with the cart, they used it to bring out all the equipment needed for the field events and placed it in the right places. They only had one small hiccup and that was when no one could find the mattresses for the pole vault and high jump but that was soon sorted out when Barnaby remembered they had taken them to the castle, for the Princess Cornflowers birthday party, with out no more ado. daisiesPoor Barny was dashing back to the castle to get them.flowers, lots of flowers
“And all this before nine thirty,” he muttered as he jumped up in the cart and made for the gateway.
As he was leaving the stadium Gabriel Willow and his wife Mary Lou arrived to start arranging the flowers. Mary Lou didn’t stay long, she had to get back to the shop to start making the rosettes and of course, she must also make a daisiesbouquet for Queen Pepper.“I
flowers, lots of flowers think white lilies and marigolds will look nice for her majesty’s bouquet.” She said to Gabriel as they arranged huge white daisies and daisiesyellow marigolds all around the arena.“I won’t bring the rest of the flowers down till this afternoon,” she told King Pepper. “ We don’t want them to wilt in this heat, now do we?”

“Do you think you could call into the builders yard on the way back, and ask David Willowherb to send some sand down for the jumping pits.” King Pepper saiddaisies looking at the nearly empty sand pits. “It looks like the Sorrel triplets have been building sand castles again, the sand is everywhere but in the right place,” the king added smiling.

"Yes it was all going very well in the stadium just as he thought it would." King Pepper thought as he stroked his beard stroking his beard.    
 Princess Cornflower had delivered her list to Mr. Butterbur, said goodbye to the twins and then set off to the stadium, she was going to call for her friend Ann on the way.    

Ann Carline had been Cornflower's best friend all her life, they had gone to nursery schoolAnn Carline, Princess Cornflower's best friend. together, then on to infants and now they were in Pepper Corn High together.  They had so many things they liked to do together, they both loved horses, and they would both be taking part in the show jumping that afternoon.
Henry Carline, Ann’s father had moved to the Shire eleven years ago just after Ann’s mother had died. He was a very good blacksmith, and was liked by everybody in the Shire, especially Mrs. Hop the poniesthe landlady of the Golden Oak. Cornflower and Ann were almost certain that they were in love with each other, and being as Ann was an only child and Mrs. Hop had a daughter Christina, well it would mean that if they got married, Ann would not only have a new mum but an older sister as well.
Cornflower kept her pony in the same field as Ann kept hers, so the girls decided to give their ponies a quick brush down and polish their shoes before going on to the stadium. Ann’s father was going to bring them to the stadium paddock after dinner.
          When the girls arrived in the arena it looked like half the Shire was there already.
The boy scouts were busy filling in the long jump and triple jump pits with the sand from Mr. Willowherb's yard.
more buntingThe guides and brownies were putting up the bunting with the help of the fire brigadesbuntings ladders.
King Pepper and the Major were measuring out the ring for the marble shooting competition. King Pepper was the best marble player in the Shire, maybe even the whole of the world. In fact nobody could remember him ever losing a game and as he stood there with his hands on his hips surveying the ring it looked like he was definitely going to try and win the first ever Peppercorn Olympic title, though looking at Major Twayblade standing next to him, he looked like he wanted to win just as much as the King.  Opal Bennett the Gym Teacher
Opal Bennet the High School’s gym teacher was busy sorting out the discus and
javelins, she had come all dressed up for the job, wearing her shorts and tee shirt, Cornflower was certain that if Miss Opal was also competing in the javelin and discus, nobody else would stand a chance, she was very, very good. Henry had arrived with a few iron bars that were going to be used as thebar weights weights in the weight lifting competition, and being as he was the only one who could lift them, it was rather a safe bet that Henry himself would win that event.
Ann turned to Cornflower and smiled,
 “Gosh Cornflower, your Dad was right everything does seem to be going to plan.”
“Yea, if there ever was a plan” whispered Cornflower in her friends ear,”
sorrel tripletsI think it’s luck more than planning, myself.” 
The girls laughed and walked over to the barbecues, they had been lit early to get the coals glowing before Cathy arrived with the food. Messages had been sent to Mr. Rush the headmaster, Judge Orpine and Dorothy Willowherb asking them if they didn’t mind being the adjudicators.
Nancy Campion had brought quite a few bandages and plasters, some iodine and other bits and bobs in case there were any accidents. There usually were a few usually involving the Sorrel Triplets and she had an idea this event was not going to be any different from all the others.
This time she asked for a folding bed to be put up, just in case.
Sid SpurreySid Spurrey had offered to ferry the Shire folk to and from the stadium, free of charge obviously, and of course Tom Reed and his band would be providing the music. Sid's charabanc

The king looked round the stadium and smiled,
“Time for some dinner I think.” he said and jumping on his bike he made his way home to the castle.

Chapter Three Follows this short slideshow.

Buttercup making the juice      Chapter Three   

  Back At The Castle

  Cathy Fern had changed her pinny twice already so had Buttercup and Felicity; they hadn’t stopped since Tommy had come round singing his message. 
As soon as Barnaby had arrived back with the food it was non- stop cutting, peeling and crying. Kristine had volunteered to peel and chop the onions; she had stood at the table crying for over an hour, with Daniel bringing in cold flannels to put on her eyes.  
poor Kristine, her eyes were so sore

Buttercup must have squeezed a hundred oranges and lemons. Then she had to cut up all the peel and put it in the huge cauldron with the juice and sugar.“ If you had your black coat and a pointed hat on Buttercup.” Daniel said laughing, “ You could be mistaken for a witch.”
Buttercup smiled at Daniel and carried on stirring the pot to make sure all the sugar was dissolved. Then it was left to simmer for an hour, with Buttercup stirring it every twenty minutes.
Cathy also reckoned she looked like one of the witches in a fairy tale book but didn’t say anything.
Queen Pepper had arrived back with Barnaby and immediately vanished into the conservatory to make her candyfloss.
candy flossNot only was it rainbow coloured candyfloss made up of the seven colors of the rainbow; each colour had its own special flavor. The green was mint, the red tasted of wild strawberries, whilst the orange and lemon tasted just like oranges and lemons.
But it was the violet, blue and indigo that made people wonder if she had a magic spell. The indigo tasted of iced elderberry wine, the violet was like a succulent sherbet fountain and the blue, well you name your own favourite fruit and that's what it tasted of.
If you loved pomegranates then it tasted like pomegranates or if your fancy was for a knickers bocker glory, then that is what you felt as the floss in your mouth ran down your throat. 
King Pepper said the
Cathey with her two big, mysterious pots queen had the recipe handed down to her from her grandmother, and he reckoned his grandfather always referred to her as an old witch, so maybe that was why it was so magic.
Kayleigh Willowherb had asked her father to drop her off at the castle as he passed by on his way to the stadium to deliver the sand. She had really come to call for the Princess, but had ended up helping out in the kitchen.
Cathy had given her
Felicity fills the tomato sauce dishesall the bread rolls and baps to cut and butter, then she had to put them all back in the trays that Mr. Barleycorn had left. She could  never remember seeing so much bread in her life before. Cathy had been busy making bread as well, only two long rolls, but no one was allowed to know what they were for. She had also made two big pots of stew or something, put lids on them and put them on the range.
“ These won’t need any looking after.”  She said and that was that, there they sat bubbling away all morning. Felicity had the boring task of pouring bottles of tomato
Minnie with the green apples sauce into large plastic dishes and putting lids on them when they were full up.
“ It will be a lot easier to use a spoon than end up with tomato sauce on everything.” Buttercup said after she had shook a bottle and ended up with most of it in her hair.
Minnie and Martha were having great fun, Cathy had made some really sticky toffee
Martha with toffee applesand as Minnie stuck the sticks in the apples, Martha was dipping them in the toffee it seemed like there was more toffee on the twins than on the apples.

  “ You two are going to need a good scrub before you get to the stadium this afternoon, just look at the state of your shirts.” Cathy said shaking her head.
Buttercup had just finished slicing the last of the tomatoes as Queen Pepper arrived back from making her candyfloss.“ Time for those bacon butties I think,” she said pinching a slice of tomato off the plate.
Everyone looked up at the clock. “Goodness me its half past twelve already.” Cathy said wiping her hands on her apron. “ I’ll just get Daniel and Barnaby to take some of these trays through to the parlour and then I’ll put the bacon on.”
Cathy makes more bacon butties

“ Did I hear the word bacon”? King Pepper said as he came through the kitchen door. “ How are you all getting on, nearly finished my dears?”
“ Yes its almost done, just a few finishing touches here and there and we’ll be ready to take it all to the stadium.” Cathy said turning the bacon over as she talked. In no time at all they were all sat round the table tucking into their dinner.
“ I never realised I was so hungry,” King Pepper said as he finished off the last bacon sandwich.
Princess Cornflower and Ann could smell the bacon cooking as they cycled up towards the castle. They had met up with Jody and Heledd as they were leaving the stadium. All four girls jumped off their bikes and left them outside the stables before going inside. 
Queen Pepper butters more rolls.Cornflower just heard her fathers’ last words as they walked into the kitchen.“ I hope that wasn’t the very last bacon butty, father dear,” the princess said walking over to her fathers’ side. “ Oops, I knew we’d forgotten someone.” King Pepper said smiling, he still had bacon grease on his chin and the Queen wiped it away with her napkin.“ I can easily make you some more, my darlings.” Cathy said getting up from the table.“ No it’s alright thanks Cathy.” Cornflower said giving her a hug.
“ We stopped at Mrs. Barleycorn's as we came past and she gave us a cup of tea and all the doughnuts that had come out without holes in them, honest Mum I’ve never seen so many doughnuts in my life, she will need a tent just for hertea and doughnuts and the doughnuts.”
The girls helped sample somemore of Buttercup's squash, it was delicious.“ Are you coming back to the stadium with us now, Kayleigh?” Cornflower winked at Kayleigh. “ Or do they still need you for slave labour?”
“ Oh as if I would.” Cathy said going a pretty pink, “ You offered to help, didn’t you pet?”“ Yes, of course I did.” Kayleigh laughed at the cook. “ She’s only pulling your leg. In fact it was quite good fun, and you missed out on one of the funniest sights you’ll ever see in your life.” She took a glass of lemonade off Cathy and continued with her story.
“ It all began when Mrs. Nettle shook a bottle of tomato sauce which didn’t happen to have the lid screwed on proper, she was covered in it.
Her hair was red; blobs were running down into her eyebrows and onto her glasses. She
King Pepper's team was purplelooked like she's been in a fight with a combine harvester.”
“ It must have looked hilarious,” Felicity continued. “ For it even made Mr. Burnett laugh, and you know how often you see him laughing.”
“ Don’t be rude young lady.” Daniel replied, putting his hand over his mouth trying to hide the smile that spread over his face. “ You must admit it did look rather funny, Buttercup?”
“ Well you might have looked funny, Mrs. Nettle but your squash is definitely the winner of the competition.” Jody said smiling at Buttercup. “ And
Queen Pepper's sash was green talking of the competition Daddy, where is the list of competitors?”
Pepper spluttered into his cup of tea. “ Oh darn it, I knew I’d forgotten something.” “ Oh well that's it then, we’ll have to call the whole thing off.” Queen Pepper frowned, shaking her head in Pepper’s direction. “ Not a chance,” Cornflower said laughing, “ we knew you’d forget, you always forget at least one important detail,” she kissed her father on the forehead.“ But we have it all under control.” Heledd added.
“ We thought it best just to have two teams.  King Pepper can lead the purple team who will wear the  purple sashes and your team can wear the green sashes which we wore for the dance marathon last month.” she said to Queen Pepper.
lollypops “ Well,” said Pepper quite taken aback by the way the girls had arranged everything.
“ You seem to know what your doing, so I think the best thing to do is to let you get on with it, and we’ll see you at the stadium at three o'clock."

Chapter Four
Will follow after this short intermision

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