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The Adventures of the Wishing-Chair

Enid Blyton










  First Published 1937

  Second Edition 1939

  Third Edition 1940

  Fourth Edition 1940

  Fifth Edition 1942

  Sixth Edition 1948

  Seventh Edition 1950


  Dear children,

  When the first stories of the Wishing-Chair came to an end in Sunny Stories you were so sad that you wrote hundreds of letters to me, begging me to put all the tales into one big book for you, so that you might read them over again. So I did, and here they are!

  Since then you have had another Sunny Stories serial about Peter, Mollie and Chinky, and I have put this into a big book for you, too. It is called The Wishing-Chair Again.

  You will be glad to meet your old friends once more and go with them on their adventures. You will wish you had a Wishing-Chair too! I expect you have sat on every chair in the house to see if it is a wishing one. If you are ever lucky enough to find one, let me know!

  Love to you all, from your friend,


  1. The Strange Old Shop

  2. The Giant’s Castle

  3. The Grabbit Gnomes

  4. The Ho-Ho Wizard

  5. The Old, Old Man

  6. Poor Lost Chinky

  7. The Land of Dreams

  8. The Runaway Chair

  9. The Lost Cat

  10. The Witch Kirri-Kirri

  11. The Disappearing Island

  12. The Magician’s Party

  13. The Wishing-Chair is Foolish

  14. The Polite Goblin

  15. The Spinning House

  16. Witch Snippit

  17. The Silly Boy

  18. the windy wizard

  19. Mr. Twisty

  20. two bad children

  21. The Horrid Quarrel

  22. The Enchanter Clip-Clap

  23. The Strange Tower

  24. The Great Escape

  25. Big-Ears The Goblin

  26. The Snoogle

  27. The Snoogle’s Castle

  28. The chair Runs Away again

  29. The Land of Scally-Wags

  30. The Prince’s Spells

  31. The Last Adventure of All

  Original Illustrations

  What’s A Shilling?

  The Strange Old Shop

  THE adventures really began on the day that Mollie and Peter went out to spend three shillings on a present for their mother’s birthday.

  They emptied the money out of their money-box and counted it.

  “Three shillings!” said Peter. “Good! Now, what shall we buy Mother?”

  “Mother loves old things,” said Mollie. “If we could find an old shop somewhere, full of old things— you know, funny spoons, quaint vases, old glasses, and beads—something of that sort would be lovely for Mother. She would love an old tea-caddy to keep the tea in, I’m sure, or perhaps an old, old vase.”

  “All right,” said Peter. “We’ll go and find one of those shops this very day. Put on your hat and come on, Mollie.”

  Off they went, and ran into the town.

  “It’s a shop with the word ‘Antiques’ over it that we want,” said Peter. “Antiques means old things. Just look out for that, Mollie.”

  But there seemed to be no shop with the word ‘Antiques’ printed over it at all. The children left the main street and went down a little turning. There were more shops there, but still not the one they wanted. So on they went and came to a small, narrow street whose houses were so close that there was hardly any light in the road!

  And there, tucked away in the middle, was the shop with ‘Antiques’ printed on a label inside the dirty window.

  “Good!” said Peter. “Here is a shop that sells old things. Look, Mollie, do you see that strange little vase with swans set all round it? I’m sure Mother would like that. It is marked two shillings and sixpence. We could buy that and some flowers to put in it!”

  So into the old dark shop they went. It was so dark that the children stumbled over some piled-up rugs on the floor. Nobody seemed to be about. Peter went to the counter and rapped on it. A tiny door at the back opened and out came the strangest little man, no higher than the counter top. He had pointed ears like a pixie. The children stared at him in surprise. He looked very cross, and spoke sharply.

  “What do you want, making a noise like that?”

  “We want to buy the vase with swans round it,” said Peter.

  Muttering and grumbling to himself, the little chap picked up the vase and pushed it across the counter. Peter put down half a crown. “Can I have some paper to wrap the vase in?” he asked politely. “You see, it’s for my mother’s birthday, and I don’t want her to see me carrying it home.”

  Grumbling away to himself, the little man went to a pile of boxes at the back of the shop and began to open one to look for a piece of paper The children watched. To their enormous surprise a large black cat with golden eyes jumped out of the box and began to spit and snarl at the little man. He smacked it and put it back again. He opened another box.

  Out of that came a great wreath of green smoke that wound about the shop and smelt strange. The little man caught hold of it as if it were a ribbon and tried to stuff it back into the box again. But it broke off and went wandering away. How he stamped and raged! The children felt quite frightened.

  “We’d better go without the paper,” whispered Mollie to Peter, but just then another extraordinary thing happened. Out of the next box came a crowd of blue butterflies. They flew into the air, and the little man shouted with rage again. He darted to the door and shut it, afraid that the butterflies would escape. To the children’s horror they saw him lock the door too, and put the key into his pocket!

  “We can’t get out till he lets us go!” said Mollie. “Oh dear, why did we ever come here? I’m sure that little man is a gnome or something.”

  The little fellow opened another box, and, hey presto, out jumped a red fox! It gave a short bark and then began to run about the shop, its nose to the ground. The children were half afraid of being bitten, and they both sat in an old chair together, their legs drawn up off the ground, out of the way of the fox.

  It was the most curious shop they had ever been in.

  Fancy keeping all those queer things in boxes! Really, there must be magic about somewhere. It couldn’t be a proper shop.

  The children noticed a little stairway leading off the shop about the middle, and suddenly, at the top of this, there appeared somebody else! It was somebody tall and thin, with such a long beard that it swept the ground. On his head was a pointed hat that made him seem taller still.

  “Look!” said Mollie. “Doesn’t he look like a wizard?”

  “Tippit, Tippit, what are you doing?” cried the newcomer, in a strange, deep voice, like the rumbling of faraway thunder.

  “Looking for a piece of paper!” answered the little man, in a surly tone. “And all I can find is butterflies and foxes, a black cat, and—”

  “What! You’ve dared to open those boxes!” shouted the other angrily. He stamped down the stairs, and then saw the children.

  “And who are you?” he asked, staring at them. “How dare you come here?”

  “We wanted to buy this vase,” said Peter, frightened.

  “Well, seeing you are here, you can help Tippit to catch the fox,” said the tall man, twisting his beard up into a knot and tying i
t under his chin. “Come on!”

  “I don’t want to,” said Mollie. “He might bite me. Unlock the door and let us go out.”

  “Not till the fox and all the butterflies are caught and put into their boxes again,” said the tall man.

  Oh dear!” said Peter, making no movement to get out of the chair, in which he and Mollie were still sitting with their legs drawn up. “I do wish we were safely at home!”

  And then the most extraordinary thing of all happened! The chair they were in began to creak and groan, and suddenly it rose up in the air, with the two children in it I They held tight, wondering whatever was happening! It flew to the door, but that was shut. It flew to the window, but that was shut too.

  Meantime the wizard and Tippit were running after it, crying out in rage. “How dare you use our wishing-chair! Wish it back, wish it back!”

  “I shan’t!” cried Peter. “Go on, wishing-chair, take us home!”

  The chair finding that it could not get out of the door or the window, flew up the little stairway. It nearly got stuck in the doorway at the top, which was rather narrow, but just managed to squeeze itself through. Before the children could see what the room upstairs was like, the chair flew to the window there, which was open, and out it went into the street. It immediately rose up very high indeed, far beyond the housetops, and flew towards the children’s home. How amazed they were! And how tightly they clung to the arms! It would be dreadful to fall!

  “I say, Mollie, can you hear a flapping noise?” said Peter. “Has the chair got wings anywhere?”

  Mollie peeped cautiously over the edge of the chair. “Yes!” she said. “It has a little red wing growing out of each leg, and they make the flapping noise! How queer!”

  The chair began to fly downwards. The children saw that they were just over their garden.

  “Go to our playroom, chair,” said Peter quickly. The chair went to a big shed at the bottom of the garden. Inside was a playroom for the children, and here they kept all their toys and books, and could play any game they liked. The chair flew in at the open door and came to rest on the floor. The children jumped off and looked at one another.

  “The first real adventure we’ve ever had in our lives!” said Mollie, in delight. “Oh, Peter, to think we’ve got a magic chair—a wishing-chair!”

  “Well, it isn’t really ours,” said Peter, putting the swan vase carefully down on the table. “Perhaps we had better send it back to that shop.”

  “I suppose we had,” said Mollie sadly. “It would be so lovely if we could keep it!”

  “Go back to your shop, chair,” commanded Peter. The chair didn’t move an inch! Peter spoke to it again. Still the chair wouldn’t move! There it was and there it stayed. And suddenly the children noticed that its little red wings had gone from the legs! It looked just an ordinary chair now!

  “See, Mollie! The chair hasn’t any wings!” cried Peter. “It can’t fly. I expect it is only when it grows wings that it can fly. It must just have grown them when we were sitting in it in the shop. What luck for us!”

  “Peter! Let’s wait till the chair has grown wings again, and then get in it and see where it goes!” said Mollie, her face red with excitement. “Oh, do let’s!”

  “Well, it might take us anywhere!” said Peter doubtfully. “Still, we’ve always wanted adventures, Mollie, haven’t we? So we’ll try! The very next time our wishing-chair grows wings, we’ll sit in it and fly off again!”

  “Hurrah!” said Mollie. “I hope it will be tomorrow!”

  The Giant’s Castle

  EACH day Mollie and Peter ran down to their playroom in the garden, and looked at their wishing-chair to see if it had grown wings again. But each time they were disappointed. It hadn’t.

  “It may grow them in the night,” said Peter. “But we can’t possibly keep coming here in the dark to see. We must just be patient.”

  Sometimes the children sat in the chair and wished themselves away, but nothing happened at all. It was really very disappointing.

  And then one day the chair grew its wings again. It was a Saturday afternoon, too, which was very jolly, as the children were not at school. They ran down to the playroom and opened the door, and the very first thing they saw was that the chair had grown wings! They couldn’t help seeing this, because the chair was flapping its wings about as if it was going to fly off!

  Quick! Quick!” shouted Peter, dragging Mollie to the chair. “Jump in. It’s going to fly!”

  They were just in time! The chair rose up in the air, flapping its wings strongly, and made for the door. Out it went and rose high into the air at once. The children clung on tightly in the greatest delight.

  “Where do you suppose it is going?” asked Peter.

  “Goodness knows!” said Mollie. “Let it take us wherever it wants to! It will be exciting, anyhow. If it goes back to that funny shop, we can easily jump off and run away when it goes in at the door.”

  But the chair didn’t go to the old shop. Instead it kept on steadily towards the west, where the sun was beginning to sink. By and by a high mountain rose up below, and the children looked down at it in astonishment. On the top was an enormous castle.

  “Where’s this, I wonder?” said Peter. “Oh, I say, Mollie, the chair is going down to the castle!”

  Down it went, flapping its rose-red wings. Soon it came to the castle roof, and instead of going lower and finding a door or a window, the chair found a nice flat piece of roof and settled down there with a sigh, as if it were quite tired out!

  “Come on, Mollie! Let’s explore!” said Peter excitedly. He jumped off the chair and ran to a flight of enormous steps that led down to the inside of the castle. He peeped down. No one was about.

  “This is the biggest castle I ever saw,” said Peter. “I wonder who lives here. Let’s go and see!”

  They went down the steps, and came to a big staircase leading from a landing. On every side were massive doors, bolted on the outside.

  “I hope there are no prisoners inside!” said Mollie, half afraid.

  The stairs suddenly ended in a great hall. The children stood and looked in astonishment. Sitting at an enormous table was a giant as big as six men. His eyes were on a book, and he was trying to add up figures.

  “Three times seven, three times seven, three times seven!” he muttered to himself. “I never can remember. Where’s that miserable little pixie? If he doesn’t know, I’ll turn him into a black-beetle!” The giant lifted up his head and shouted so loudly that both children put their hands over their ears. “Chinky! Chinky!”

  A pixie, not quite so big as the children, came running out of what looked like a scullery. He held an enormous boot in one hand, and a very small boot-brush in the other.

  “Stop cleaning my boots and listen to me!” ordered the giant. “I can’t do my sums again. I’m adding up all I spent last week and it won’t come right. What are three times seven?”

  “Three times seven?” said the pixie, with a frightened look on his little pointed face.

  “That’s what I said,” thundered the bad-tempered giant.

  “I know they are the same as seven times three,” said the pixie.

  “Well, I don’t know what seven times three are either!” roared the giant. “You tell me! What’s the good of having a servant who doesn’t know his tables? Quick—what are three times seven?”

  “I d—d—d—don’t know!” stammered the poor pixie.

  “Then I’ll lock you into the top room of the castle till you do know!” cried the giant, in a rage. He picked up the pixie and went to the stairs. Then he saw the children standing there, and he stopped in astonishment.

  “Who are you, and what are you doing here?” he asked.

  “We’ve just come on a flying visit,” said Peter boldly. “We know what three times seven are—and seven times three too. So, if you let that pixie go, we’ll tell you.”

  “You tell me, then, you clever children!” cried the giant,

  “They are twenty-one,” said Peter.

  The giant, still holding the pixie tightly in his hand, went across to the table and added up some figures.

  “Yes—twenty-one,” he said. “Now why didn’t I think of that? Good!”

  “Let the pixie go,” begged Mollie.

  “Oh no!” said the giant, with a wicked grin. “He shall be shut up in the top room of my castle, and you shall be my servants instead, and help me to add up my sums! Come along with me whilst I shut up Chinky.”

  He pushed the two angry children in front of him and made them go all the way up the stairs until they came to the topmost door. The giant unbolted it and pushed the weeping pixie inside. Then he bolted it again and locked it.

  “Quick!” whispered Peter to Mollie. “Let’s race up these steps to the roof and get on to our magic chair.”

  So, whilst the giant was locking the door, the two of them shot up the steps to the roof. The giant didn’t try to stop them. He stood and roared with laughter.

  “Well, I don’t know how you expect to escape that way!” he said. “You’ll have to come down the steps again, and I shall be waiting here to catch you. Then what a spanking you’ll get!”

  The children climbed out on to the flat piece of castle roof. There was their chair, standing just where they had left it, its red wings gleaming in the sun. They threw themselves into it, and Peter cried, “Go to the room where that little pixie Chinky is!”

  The chair rose into the air, flew over the castle roof, and then down to a big window. It was open, and the chair squeezed itself inside. Chinky the pixie was there, sitting on the floor, weeping. When he saw the chair coming in, with the two children sitting in it, he was so astonished that he couldn’t even get up off the floor!

  “Quick!” cried Mollie. “Come into this chair, Chinky. We’ll help you to escape!”