On a treasure hunt with Freddy Fit

What a performance!

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A Story with Freddy Fit by Larissa Herzl.

What a performance!

‘Freddy, let’s go on a treasure hunt!’, called Polly Plum happily. The two friends had been sitting for a while on the old floral sofa in Nana’s living room and were thinking about how they could pass the time. ‘And where, please, do you think we’ll find treasure in these old walls?’ said Freddy Fit tilting his head to one side and grinning at Polly. ‘I don’t think Nana is secretly a pirate in her spare time, carting gold from the mountains’. ‘That’s what you might well imagine’, smiled Uncle Prickly Pear, who had come into the living room at that very moment and heard everything. ‘But I think I know where she might hide her swag…’, he said, casting his gaze up to the ceiling.

‘The attic, we would have come up with that idea too!’, said Polly Plum, as Uncle Prickly Pear opened the attic hatch for the two of them and went up as well. ‘Will you be ok by yourselves? I will be down in the living room, so call me if you need anything’, he said, disappearing through the opening in the floor. Up here there were lots of boxes stacked up and in the sunlight, which beat through the little window, tiny dust particles were dancing. ‘Well, let’s find out whether Nana’s pirate treasure really does exist!’, said Freddy and the two of them then eagerly started opening boxes. And oh what they found!

Freddy’s old teddy bear which he thought he had lost, a worn-out porcelain tea service with chipped edges, a hammock that looked like it had been used by a few mice and a box with dusty books and notebooks. Polly wanted to take a closer look at this box. She took one book out at a time, wiped away a layer of dust on one of them and read the text on the cover, while Freddy Fit turned to a guitar that only had two strings left. ‘Nana really could throw a few of these things away’, giggled Freddy Fit. ‘Well, I am happy that she hasn’t thrown this away’, said Polly Plum. Her head was buried in a book with a red velvet cover and she was leafing through the pages with a smile on her face. When Freddy looked over, he knew immediately what book Polly was holding in her hand. ‘That is the notebook that Uncle Prickly Pear used to take everywhere with him to write notes for the theatre play he wanted to be performed all over the world, if he ever became famous. Funnily enough that was about treasure, so now we really have found some!’, he explained and sat down on the floor next to his friend. ‘Do you know what’, said Polly, looking right at Freddy, ‘I think this is a new project for us, Mr Director!’

Tucking the notebook away, Polly Plum and Freddy Fit whizzed past Uncle, who gazed after them, puzzled. Both of them grabbed a pen, a pile of paper and started to copy out the old script. After all, everyone who was to have a role in the play, needed their own text, so they could learn it by heart. The two friends wrote and wrote and only took a little break to eat a slice of delicious chocolate cake that Nana had baked. As the sun went down, they had almost written the last word, then they put down their pens and sat back, content with their work. ‘The only thing the play still needs is an additional role – a lady pirate, played by Nana’, said Polly, before the two of them burst into roars of laughter.

There was not one of Freddy Fit’s friends who were not immediately hooked when they heard about Freddy and Polly’s idea. And so it wasn’t long before everyone met for the first trial run. In the big garden in front of Nana’s house, Freddy had placed a big white table cloth on the ground. He had taken this down from the attic too, since nobody needed it any more. Now he set about painting it with his friends, hanging it over the washing line to use it as a backdrop. Klara and Kiara Cherry, Ronni Rhubarb and Simon Strawberry magicked up a wonderful backdrop on the sheet, while Freddy Fit and Polly Plum dragged a selection of finds from the attic across the lawn to complete the stage set.

To finish, Freddy pulled along an old folding chair, on whose rear was written ‘Director’ in scrawly lettering, along with a worn-out megaphone. He sat down, put the metal megaphone to his mouth and called: ‘Everyone take your seats please!’ ‘Stop! What is my role?’, which the friends suddenly heard from a well-known voice. Nana arrived from behind them, waving her arms wildly in the air: ‘I want to have a part too!’ Freddy Fit and Polly Plum looked at each other enthusiastically and knew immediately that they both had the same idea. ‘Nana, we just happened to be talking about you, saying that you would make a great lady pirate. What do you think?’

It was not long before the big day of the premiere arrived. For the performance, Uncle Prickly Pear had set up camping chairs in the garden and invited guests of honour, after all, today his text was finally being made into a real theatre play. Aunty Mandarin and Cousin Clementine had travelled by train the day before to be at the show. The guests took their seats and an excited murmuring could be heard, before Freddy’s voice rung out: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, Apples and Pears, Mandarins and Clementines! We present our play and hope you enjoy it!’ There was great applause and Klara and Kiara Cherry and Simon Strawberry tip-toed on to the stage. Palm trees were painted on the set behind them, upon which lots of coconuts were hanging. On the ground there were all kinds of blue things that were to represent the sea – blue rugs, outstretched jackets, maps and seat cushions, everything the attic had provided. The three friends held a treasure map in their hands and were looking at it fixedly, as they walked up and down the stage. ‘Where is this mysterious pirate treasure?’, Simon Strawberry asked the audience. ‘We have been looking for it for a week now, but we have still found nothing!’, called Klara Cherry. Then Polly Plum appeared on stage with Ronni Rhubarb. ‘We have been on this island for an eternity and have been looking for the treasure, I’m slowly starting to disbelieve in it. Don’t get your hopes up’, she said gloomily to Simon and the twins.

In the course of the play the two groups joined forces and went in search of the treasure together. ‘Ahhhs’ and ‘ohhhs’ came from the audience and then there finally came the part when the friends actually found the treasure.  A big old chest was opened, which had all kinds of glittering objects inside.

At this point Nana appeared. Dressed as a pirate, with an eye patch and golden knitting needles in her hand, she suddenly appeared on stage in a rubber dinghy. ‘This treasure belongs to me’, resounded through the air and Nana walked up to the friends, brandishing her knitting needles. Her role as pirate seemed to suit her. ‘No, you nasty pirate, the friends found the treasure!’, came an excited voice from the audience. Clementine leapt up and stormed on to the stage where she tried to pull the heavy chest back to Simon Strawberry and his friends. All the actors paused briefly and exchanged confused glances. Polly Plum peered across to Freddy Fit in his Director’s chair. ‘Freddy, this isn’t in the script!’, she whispered to him. Freddy needed to think for a bit, then he nodded in Clementine’s direction. ‘Do you know what, little changes are welcome too.’ A solution to Clementine’s problem was quickly found. After a brief pause for thought she said that the pirate should get some of the treasure too, otherwise it wouldn’t be called pirate’s treasure. And so on stage, the glittering objects were fairly distributed, as per Clementine’s wish. And with that, the first staging of Uncle Prickly Pear’s theatre play was a success, receiving roaring laughter and thundering applause from the audience.

Find out more about LARISSA HERZL …

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Fotocredits: (c)pixabay, family austria

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