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The Magic Faraway Tree, Page 2

Enid Blyton

  "The Land of Topsy-Turvy," said Moon-Face. "But I don't advise you to go there. It's most uncomfortable."

  "Oh, do let's," cried Dick. "Can't we just peep at it?"

  "We'll see," said Jo, giving him a Pop Biscuit. "Eat this, Dick." Pop Biscuits were lovely. Dick put one in his mouth and bit it. It went pop! at once -and he found his mouth full of sweet honey from the middle of the biscuit.

  "Delicious!" he said. "I'll have another. I say, Jo -DO let's take our lunch up into the land of Topsy-Turvy. Oh, do, do!"

  "What is Topsy-Turvy Land like?" asked Jo, taking another Pop Biscuit.

  "Never been there," said Moon-Face. "But I should think it's quite safe, really. It's only just come there, so it should stay for a while. We could go up and see what it's like and come down again if we don't like it. Silky and I and Saucepan will come with you, if you like." Moon-Face turned to the Saucepan Man, who was enjoying his fifth Pop Biscuit.


  Topsy-Turvy Land

  "Saucepan, we're going up the ladder," he said. "Are you coming?"

  "Humming?" said Saucepan, looking all round as if he thought there might be bees about, "No, I didn't hear any humming."

  "I said, are you COMING?" said Moon-Face.

  "Oh, coming?' said Saucepan. "Of course I'm coming. Are we going to take our lunch?"

  "Yes," said Moon-Face, going to a curved door that opened on to a tiny larder. "I'll see what I've got. Tomatoes. Plums. Ginger snaps. Ginger beer. I'll bring them all." He put them into a basket. Then they all went out of the funny, curved room on to the big branch outside. Moon-Face shut his door.

  Jo led the way up to the very top of the Faraway Tree. Then suddenly Dick gave a shout of astonishment.

  "Look!" he cried. "There's an enormous white cloud above and around us. Isn't it queer!" Sure enough, a vast white cloud swam above them -but just near by was a hole right through the cloud!

  "That's where we go, up that hole," said Jo. "See that branch that goes up the hole? Come on!" They all went up the last and topmost branch of the Faraway Tree. It went up and up through the purple hole in the cloud. At the very end of the branch was a little ladder.

  Jo climbed the ladder-and suddenly his head poked out into the Land of Topsy-Turvy! Then one by one all the others followed-and soon all seven of them stood in the curious land.

  Dick was not as used to strange lands as were the others. He stood and stared, with his eyes so wide open that it really seemed as if they were going to drop out of his head! And, indeed, it was a strange sight he saw. Every house was upside down, and stood on its chimneys. The trees were upside down, their heads buried in the ground and their roots in the air. And, dear me, the people walked upside-down, too! "They are walking on their hands, with their legs in the air!" said Jo, "Goodness, what a queer thing to do!" Everyone stared at the folk of Topsy-Turvy Land. They got along very quickly on their hands, and often stopped to talk to one another, chattering busily. Some of them had been shopping, and carried their baskets on one foot.

  "Let's go and peep inside a house and see what it's like, all topsy-turvy," said Jo. So they set off to the nearest house. It looked most peculiar standing on its chimneys. No smoke came out of them-but smoke came out of a window near the top.

  "How do we get in?" said Bessie. They watched a Topsy-Turvy man walk on his hands to another house. He jumped in at the nearest window, going up a ladder first.

  The children looked for the ladder that entered the house they were near. They soon found it. They went up it to a window and peeped inside.

  "Gracious!" said Jo. "Everything really is upside down in it-the chairs and tables, and everything. How uncomfortable it must be!" An old lady was inside the house. She was sitting upside down in an upside-down chair and looked very peculiar. She was angry when she saw the children peeping in.

  She clapped her hands, and a tall man, walking on his hands, came running in from the next room.

  "Send those rude children away," shouted the old woman. The tall man hurried to the window on his hands, and the children quickly slid down the ladder, for the man looked rather fierce.

  "It's a silly land, I think," said Jo. "I vote we just have our lunch and then leave this place. I wonder why everything is topsy-turvy."

  "Oh, a spell was put on everything and everybody," said Moon-Face, "and in a trice everything was topsy-turvy. Look-wouldn't that be a good place to sit and eat our lunch in?" It was under a big oak tree whose roots stood high in the air. Jo and Moon-Face set out the lunch. It looked very good.

  "There's plenty for everybody," said Jo. "Have a sandwich, Silky?"

  "Saucepan, have a plum?"

  "Crumb?" said Saucepan, in surprise. "Is that all you can spare for me-a crumb?"

  "PLUM, PLUM, PLUM!" said Moon-Face, pushing a ripe one into the Saucepan Man's hands.

  "Oh, plum," said Saucepan. "Well, why didn't you say so?' Everybody giggled. They all set to work to eat a good lunch.

  In the middle of it, Jo happened to look round, and he saw something surprising.

  It was a policeman coming along, walking on his hands, of course.

  "Look what's coming," said Jo with a laugh. Everyone looked. Moon-Face went pale.

  "I don't like the look of him," he said. "Suppose he's come to lock us up for something? We couldn't get away down the Faraway Tree before this land swung away from the top!" The policeman came right up to the little crowd under the tree.

  "Why aren't you Topsy-Turvy?" he asked in a stern voice. "Don't you know that the rule in this land is that everything and everyone has to be upside-down?"

  "Yes, but we don't belong to this silly land," said Jo. "And if you were sensible, you'd make another rule, saying that everybody must be the right way up. You've just no idea how silly you look, policeman, walking on your hands!" The policeman went red with anger. He took a sort of stick from his belt and tapped Jo on the head with it.

  "Topsy-Turvy!" he said. "Topsy-Turvy!" And to Jo's horror he had to turn himself upside-down at once! The others stared at poor Jo, standing on his hands, his legs in the air.

  "Oh, golly!" cried Jo. "I can't eat anything properly now because I need my hands to walk with. Policeman, put me right again."

  "You are right now," said the policeman, and walked solemnly away on his hands.

  "Put Jo the right way up," said Dick. So everyone tried to get him over so that he was the right way up again. But as soon as they got his legs down and his head up, he turned topsy-turvy again. He just couldn't help it, for he was under a spell.

  A group of Topsy-Turvy people came to watch. They laughed loudly. "Now he belongs to Topsy-Turvy Land!" they cried. "He'll have to stay here with us. Never mind, boy -you'll soon get used to it!"

  "Take me back to the Faraway Tree," begged Jo, afraid that he really and truly might be made to stay in this queer land. "Hurry!" Everyone jumped to their feet. They helped Jo along to where the hole ran down through the cloud. He wasn't used to walking on his hands and he kept falling over. They tried their best to make him stand upright, but he couldn't. The spell wouldn't let him.

  "It will be difficult to get him down through the hole," said Dick. "Look-there it is. I'd better go down first and see if I can help him. You others push him through as carefully as you can. He'll have to go upside down, I'm afraid." It was very difficult to get Jo through the hole, because his hands and head had to go first. Moon-Face held his legs to guide him. Dick held his shoulders as he came down the ladder, so that he wouldn't fall.

  At last they were all seven through the hole in the clouds, and were on the broad branch outside Moon-Face's house. Jo held on to the branch with his hands, his legs were in the air.

  "Moon-Face! Silky! Can't you possibly take this spell away?" groaned he. "It's dreadful."

  "Silky, what land is coming to the top of the Faraway Tree next?" asked Moon-Face. "Have you heard?"

  "I think ifs the Land of Spells," said Silky. "It should come to-morrow. But I'm not really s

  "Oh, well, if it's the Land of Spells, we could easily get a spell from there to put Jo right," said Moon-Face, beaming. "Jo, you must stay the night with me and wait for the Land of Spells tomorrow. The others can go home and tell what has happened."

  "All right," said Jo. "I can't possibly climb up the tree again if I'm upside down-so I'll just have to wait here. Mother will never believe it, though, when the others tell her why I don't go home. Still, it can't be helped."

  They all went into Moon-Face's house. Jo stood on a chair, upside down. The others sat about and talked. Dick was sorry for Jo, but he couldn't help feeling a bit excited. Goodness -if this was the sort of adventure that Jo, Bessie and Fanny had, what fun things were going to be! The others began telling him all the adventures they had had. Silky made some tea, and went down the tree to fetch some more Pop Biscuits. When it was half-past five Bessie said they must go.

  "Good-bye, Jo," she said. "Don't be too unhappy. Pretend you are a bat-they always sleep upside down, you know, and don't mind a bit! Come on, Dick-we're going down the slippery-slip!" Dick was excited. He took the red cushion that Moon-Face gave him and sat himself at the top of the slide. Bessie gave him a push.

  And off he went, round and round the inside of the enormous Faraway Tree, sitting safely on his cushion. What a way to get down a tree!


  The Land of Spells

  Dick shot round down the inside of the Faraway Tree on his cushion. He came to the bottom. He shot out of the trap-door there, and landed on the soft green moss. He sat there for a moment, out of breath.

  "That's the loveliest slide I've ever had!" he thought to himself. "O-o-oh -wouldn't I like to do that again!" He had just got up from the moss when the trap-door at the bottom of the tree opened once again, and Fanny shot out on a yellow cushion. Then came Bessie, giggling, for she always thought it was a huge joke to slide down inside the tree like that.

  "What do we do with the cushions?" asked Dick. "Does Moon-Face want them back?"

  "Yes, he does," said Fanny, picking them up. "The red squirrel always collects them and sends them back to him." As she spoke, a red squirrel, dressed in a jersey, popped out of a hole in the trunk.

  "Here are the cushions," said Fanny, and the squirrel took them. He looked up into the tree, and a rope came swinging down.

  "Moon-Face always lets it down for his cushions," said Bessie. Dick watched the squirrel tie the three cushions to the rope end. Then he gave three gentle tugs at the rope, and at once the rope was pulled up, and the cushions went swinging up the tree to Moon-Face.

  "I wish Jo was with us," said Dick, as they all went home. "Do you suppose Aunt Polly will be worried about him?"

  "Well, we'll have to tell Mother," said Fanny. "She is sure to ask where he is." Mother did ask, of course, and the girls told her what had happened.

  "I find all this very difficult to believe," said Mother, astonished. "I think Jo is just spending the night with Moon-Face for a treat. Well, he certainly must come back to-morrow, for there is work for him to do." Nobody said any more. The girls and Dick felt very tired, and after some hot cocoa and potatoes cooked in their jackets for supper, they all went to bed Bessie wondered how Jo was getting on at Moon-Face's.

  He was getting on all right, though he was very tired of being upside down. It didn't matter how hard he tried to get the right way up, he always swung back topsy-turvy again. The policeman had put a very strong spell on him! "You had better try to sleep in my bed," said Moon-Face. "I'll sleep on my sofa."

  "I suppose I'll have to stand on my head all night," said poor Jo. And that's just what he did have to do. It was most uncomfortable.

  Once he lost his balance when he was asleep, and tipped off the bed. He almost fell down the slippery-slip, but Moon-Face, who was awake, reached out a hand and caught his leg just in time.

  "Gracious!" said Moon-Face. "Don't go doing things like this in the middle of the night, Jo. It's most upsetting."

  "Well, how can I help it?" said Jo.

  "I'll tie your feet to a nail on my wall," said Moon-Face. "Then you can't topple over when you are asleep." So he did that, and Jo didn't fall down any more. When morning came he was most astonished to find himself upside-down, for at first he didn't remember what had happened.

  "I'll just peep up through the hole in the cloud and see if by any chance the Land of Spells is there yet," said Moon-Face. "If it is, we'll go up and see what we can do for you." So off he went up the little ladder and popped his head out of the hole in the cloud to see if the Land of Topsy-Turvy was still there, or if it had gone.

  There was nothing there at all-only just the big white cloud, moving about like a thick mist. Moon-Face slipped down the ladder again.

  "Topsy-Turvy has gone, but the next land hasn't come yet," he said. "We'll have breakfast and then I'll look again. Hallo -here's Silky. Stay and have breakfast, Silky darling."

  "I came up to see how Jo was," said Silky. "Yes, I'd love to have breakfast. It's funny to watch Jo eating upside down. Hasn't the Land of Spells come yet?"

  "Not yet," said Moon-Face, putting a kettle on his stove to boil. "There's nothing there at all. But Topsy-Turvy is gone, thank goodness!"

  They all had breakfast. Moon-Face cooked some porridge. "What do you want on your porridge?" he asked Jo. "Treacle-sugar-cream?"

  Jo couldn't see any treacle, sugar or cream on the table. "Treacle," he said, "please, Moon-Face." Moon-Face handed him a small jug that seemed to be quite empty.

  "Treacle!" he said to the jug in a firm voice. And treacle came pouring out as soon as Jo tipped up the jug. Silky wanted cream-and cream came out when Moon-Face said "Cream!" to the jug. It was great fun.

  Moon-Face went again to see if the Land of Spells had come. This time he came back excited.

  "It's there!" he said. "Come on! I'd better take some money with me, I think, in case we have to buy the spell we want." He took a big purse down from a shelf, and then he and Silky helped Jo to walk upside down up the branch that led through the hole in the cloud to the little ladder. Up he went with great difficulty, holding on tightly to the rungs of the ladder with his hands. At last he was up in the Land of Spells.

  This land was like a big market-place. In it were all kinds of curious little shops and stalls. All kinds of people sold spells. In some of the shops sat tall wizards, famous for magic. In some of them were green-eyed witches, making spells as fast as they could. Outside, in the marketplace, sat all kinds of fairy folk at their stalls-pixies, gnomes, goblins, elves-all crying their wares at the tops of their high voices.

  "Spell to make a crooked nose straight!" cried one pixie, rattling a yellow box in which were magic pills.

  "Spell to grow blue daffodils!" cried a gnome, showing a bottle of blue juice.

  "Spell to make cats sing!" cried another gnome. Jo could hardly believe his ears. How queer! Who would want to make cats sing?

  "Now, we must just see if we can possibly find a spell to make you stand up straight again," said Moon-Face, and he went into a little low shop in which sat a strange goblin.

  The goblin had blue, pointed ears, and his eyes sparkled as if they had fireworks in them.

  "I want a spell," said Moon-Face.

  "What for?" asked the goblin. "I've a spell for everything under the sun in my shop! Very powerful spells too, some of them. Would you like a spell to send you travelling straight off to the moon?"

  "Oh, no, thank you," said Moon-Face at once. "I know I look like the man in the moon, with my big round face-but I'm nothing at all to do with the moon really."

  "Well, would you like a spell to make you as tall as a giant?" said the goblin, picking up a box and opening it. He showed Moon-Face a large blue pill inside. "Now, take that pill, and you'll shoot up as high as a house! You'll feel fine. It only costs one piece of gold."

  "No, thank you," said Moon-Face. "If I grew as big as that I'd never get down the hole in the cloud back to the Faraway Tree. And if I did, I'
d never be able to get in at the door of my tree-house. I don't want silly spells like that."

  "Silly!" cried the goblin, in a rage. "You call my marvellous spells silly! Another word from you, stupid old Round-Face, and I'll use a spell that will turn you into a big bouncing ball!"

  Silky pulled Moon-Face out of the shop quickly. She was quite white. "Moon-Face, you know you shouldn't make these people cross," she whispered. "Why, you may find yourself nothing but a bouncing ball, or a black beetle, or something, if you are rude to them. For goodness' sake, let me ask for the spell we want. Look-here's a bigger shop -with a nice-looking witch inside."

  They all went in. The witch was knitting stockings from the green smoke that came from her fire. It was marvellous to watch her. Jo wished he wasn't upside-down so that he might see her properly.

  "Good morning," said the witch. "Do you want a spell?"

  "Yes, please," said Silky in her most polite voice. "We want to make our friend Jo come the right way up again."

  "That's easy," said the witch, her green eyes looking in a kindly way at poor Jo. "I've only got to rub a Walking-Spell on to the soles of his feet and he will be all right. The Walking-Spell will make his feet want to walk-and he will have to stand up the right way to walk on them-so he will be cured. Come here, boy!" Jo walked over to the witch on his hands. She took down a jar from a shelf and opened it. It was full of purple ointment. The witch rubbed some on to the soles of Jo's shoes.

  "Rimminy-Romminy-Reet, Stand on your own two feet! Rimminy-Romminy-Ro, The right way up you must go!" And, of course, you can guess what happened! Jo swung right over, stood on his two feet again, and there he was, as upright as Moon-Face and Silky. Wasn't he glad!


  Saucepan Makes a Muddle.