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Picture Book 1 - Lost and Found Edit
One sunny morning, I was strolling through the meadow. As I approached a dead tree on my right, I noticed a boot in the middle of the path and a hat to the left. "I wonder who dropped these," I thought to myself. I decided I couldn't just leave them there.
I walked to a square with a plum tree in its center. Next to the plum tree, I saw a man frantically picking something up, so I said, "I'm looking for someone who has dropped some items. Have you noticed anyone who fits this description?"
The mustached man glanced at the items I was holding and replied, "Oh, so that's where my hat went! Thanks for returning it to me!"
"Take this as my way of saying thanks. It fell out of this plum tree," said the man while handing me a delicious-looking plum.
And with that, I continued strolling through the meadow. After a short time, I bumped into a girl, so I said, "I found this boot, and I'm looking for the person who dropped it."
The girl hesitated a moment before replying, "I can't help you, but there's a white house just up the path. Try asking over there." I said my thanks and hurried on.
Curious as to whether the boot belonged to someone in the white house, I walked over to it and knocked on the door. A kindly-looking woman opened it and said, "Hello there. Can I help you?" Peeking inside, I couldn't help but notice that there was a tasty-looking banana on the kitchen table.
"I found this boot, and I'm looking for its owner," I replied. "Oh, yes! That boot belongs to my grandson," said the woman. "Thank you ever so much!" Then she handed me the banana on the table as a reward.
It was a good day. I returned two lost items to their owners and received a delicious plum and banana as a reward. I was so happy thatI couldn't help but whistle, and I felt like I could walk all day long.
Picture Book 2 - Rainy Day Cafe Edit
I work in a cafe a little way out of town. One day, Auntie Lil had to go out for a bit and left me in charge.
On the way out, Auntie Lil said to me, "I'm counting on you today. I'll be back as soon as I can."
After seeing Auntie Lil off, I noticed that a raincoat had been left behind on the counter.
"Oh no!" I thought. "I don't even know where Auntie Lil has gone. I forgot to ask!"
A little while later, an old man arrived, the first customer of the day.
"What awful rain! I'll have a coffee, please. Make it piping hot", said the cutomer, taking a window seat.
I looked outside and saw that it had indeed started raining.
The door flew open once again, and I could hear the sound of the rain on the pavement as the next person came in.
"Brrr, it's just as they forecasted. The rain has chilled me to the bone. I'll have a tea please."
With that, the boy walked over to the corner seat.
Auntie Lil wasn't back yet, so I set to work making a hot coffee for the first customer and the tea that the customer in the corner had ordered.
"Oh no!" I thought. "I can't find the milk!"
The door opened again and someone stepped inside.
"Thank goodness! That must be Auntie Lil", I thought.
But when I turned around, I saw that it was actually an adventurer, a regular at the cafe, who came to sit at the counter as usual.
"Oof, I'm tired. But look at this mushroom I found! Lucky or what?! What was that? Oh, right, my order. I'll have a cocoa, please."
The adventurer leaned over, placed the mushroom on the counter and said, "Isn't it a beauty?"
"It certainly is. However, I'm afraid I can't make you a cocoa. There's no milk, you see," I said, deciding I had to be upfront.
Overhearing my apology, the mustachioed old man by the window said, "Oh, but I don't like plain coffee! One needs a dash of milk to make it palatable."
The boy sitting in the corner piped up, "Proper English tea can't be served without milk".
Then the adventurer by the counter joined in, glaring from behind steamed up glasses. "This is unbelievable! I came all the way here to enjoy a nice cup of cocoa!"
I was getting very flustered!
Just then, the door opened again, and in stepped Auntie Lil.
"Lots of customers today, eh? I'm glad you all came in here out of the rain."
I was very relieved to see Auntie Lil's pointy hat.
"I can't find the milk!", I cried. "I've looked everywhere!"
Auntie Lil's eyes went as round as saucers.
"What are you talking about?! Didn't you hear me when I told you I was going out to get more milk?"
The old dear was rather cross, but she wasted no time in making everyone hot drinks and then set to baking a mushroom pie. The customers were all delighted, and even I was able to relax a bit.
Doesn't this story make you want to visit a cafe on a rainy day as well?
Picture Book 3- The Missing Statue Edit
One day, I recieved a request for help from a friend of mine, the head of an old and venerable family. I promptly headed over to the family mansion.
At the entrance, I was ushered in by the butler, dressed in blue from head to toe.
According to' 'the baron, a valuable statue had recently disappeared from the mantelpiece.
As I was inspecting the scene, the young master whispered to me from the doorway, "Not many people come and go from the house. Someone who lives here must have hidden it."
He asked me to follow him to the study, where he'd tell me the whole story.
However, when we got to the study, there was already someone there.
"There you are, you little rascal!", said the cook. "Where- Oh! I see we have a guest. We'll talk later then." With that, the cook hurried out.
"Who was that?" I asked the boy.
"Can't you tell from his hat?", he replied. "I wonder what he wanted."
From across the room, we heard a small meow.
"Oh!" I exclaimed. "We're not alone!"
"That's right. My cat is the queen of the house!" said the boy. "Oh drat! It's time for me to study with my tutor now. He's the one with the small moustache."
I decided to investigate the dining room. Upon entering, I seemed to startle the gardener, causing him to drop the watch he was carrying.
"O-oh! Y-you must be a guest. Please don't sneak up on me like that!"
"Does that watch belong to you?", I asked.
"N-no. It belongs to the young master. I found it while working in the garden, so I thought I'd return it to him", he said.
"So why did you come to the dining room?"
"The young master has a voracious appetite. He's often in here looking for snacks."
I walked back through the hall to the big garden behind the house. There, I encountered the tutor.
Holding out a trowel, he said, "I'm looking for the owner of this. It belongs to the gardener, the one in the blue trousers."
Just then, the maid came out into the garden and spotted me. "Ah, there you are!", she said. "The master's looking for you."
"I see", I replied.
She turned to the tutor. "And as for you, it's time for the young master's lesson."
A look of panic flitted across his face. "Oh, my word, is it that time already?!"
"Meow", went the cat again.
"Bad pussycat! Your paws are all muddy! Have you been out in the garden again?" sighed the maid. She turned to me, and added, "The family doesn't know, but she likes to dig holes in the gardenand bury shiny things."
On the ground, next to the trail of muddy pawprintslay a silver fork. "What's this, then?" This must belong to the cook. When we saw him in the study, he seemed to be looking for something he'd lost", I thought to myself.
I asked the baron for details of the missing statue.
"Was it shiny?"
"Oh yes. It was a little statue of a goddess. Really magnificent silverwork."
"I see... I think I understand what's happened here", I said.
"My word! Really? Jolly good!"
The baron gathered everyone in the hall and I explained the situation.
"After the statue went missing, the gardener found something in the garden, which made him think that the young master must be up to his usual mischief.
What he found was the young master's watch buried in a freshly dug hole."
"The tutor also suspected some mischief. He found mud in the study, near the young master's desk and realised that something was not quite right. So he went out into the garden to look for evidence.
Had he looked a little more closely, however, he would have realised that the mud had actually come from the cat's pawprints."
"The cook also knew something strange was a foot. However, it wasn't the statue that was worrying him, but rather the disappearance of a silver fork.
He thought it had been taken by the young master as a joke. He's always hanging around the dining room, after all."
"You're all awful! You mean everyone suspected me?!
I didn't hide the statue, I didn't use the trowel to dig any holes and I didn't take the fork without telling anyone either!", said the young master, angrily.
"Actually, everyone was trying to cover for you."
The young master looked around and sighed, "Hmm... Well, I suppose so."
The baron looked down kindly and said, "Nobody here did anything wrong."
"That's right", I said. "The real culprit is over there."
"Meeeow", purrred the cat.
"She's very fond of shiny things", I explained. "A silver statue, a watch and a silver fork. She hid them all in the garden."
"Ah, so that's what happened!", exclaimed my friend.
"Another puzzle solved!", I said, smiling.