One day after school, Mum took the children to the allotment. She wanted to weed the carrots before they got too big. She asked the children to pick some strawberries for tea. It was a very hot afternoon and the children soon got tired of picking strawberries and went to the blackcurrant bushes to sit in the shade.
Sam was lying on his back dreamily watching clouds pass overhead. George was playing with two sticks for a violin. Clara was watching ants and woodlice as usual.
Suddenly Sam flapped his hand. 'That was a big bee,' he remarked.
'Well don't flap at it,' said Clara, who loved insects, 'it will sting you. It won't do any harm if you leave it alone.'
'Well you're a fine one to talk...' began Sam when something large and red flew up and landed squarely on his nose.
'Don't move Sam,' breathed Clara. Sam didn't answer. He was afraid that if he opened his mouth the thing would fall in. Clara moved cautiously closer. 'It isn't a bee,' she said consideringly, it's a kind of a strawberry, but it's got wings. I've never seen one before.'
George looked up from his symphony. 'Ooh! What is that?' he exclaimed.
Clara was very close indeed by now. She looked up blankly. 'He says he's the king of the Strawberry Dragons and he wants to know why we are causing an earthquake.'
A few minutes later the three children were sitting attentively in front of the blackcurrant bush where the King had perched. They had to strain to hear him as he was small and his voice was difficult to pick out above the birds and insects humming all around.
'I can't be doing with this!' he was saying, you will just have to come to the Hall. Follow me!'
Obediently, the children followed him as he flew slowly towards the strawberry patch. As they got closer they noticed they were getting smaller, like Alice, and found themselves walking behind a suddenly person-sized Strawberry Dragon, as he waddled into an arched gateway hidden under a leaf.
To be continued...