The Enid Blyton Society
Enid Blyton's Sunny Story Book
Back Book 4 of 8 in this category Next

Book Details...

First edition: 1945
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Illustrator: Eileen A. Soper
Category: Hodder Story Books
Genre: Mixed
Type: Short Story Series Books

On This Page...

List of Contents
Review by Terry Gustafson

  1. Jinky the Jumping Frog
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.162 Mar 1933
  2. The Kickaway Shoes
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.166 May 1933
  3. Thirteen O'clock
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.171 Aug 1933
  4. The Little Toy Stove
    Story: Sunny Stories No.31 Aug 13, 1937
  5. The Beautiful Cricket Ball
    Story: Sunny Stories No.29 Jul 20, 1937
  6. The Naughty Sailor Doll
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.173 Sep 1933
  7. The Quarrelsome Toys
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.174 Sep 1933
  8. Holes in his Stockings
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.175 Oct 1933
  9. He Didn't Believe in Fairies
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.179 Dec 1933
  10. Big-Eyes the Enchanter
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.180 Dec 1933
  11. The Clever Toy Drum
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.181 Jan 1934
  12. The Dog who would go Digging
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.182 Jan 1934
  13. Dame Thimble and her Matches
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.183 Feb 1934
  14. How John got his Ducklings
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.183 Feb 1934
  15. Goldie and the Toys
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.184 Feb 1934
  16. Muzzling the Cat
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.184 Feb 1934
  17. The Real Live Fairy Doll
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.185 Mar 1934
It's natural for frogs to jump and, as Enid Blyton has pointed out to us on more than one occasion, a sudden leap into the air can take an aggressor by surprise and allow the frog to make his escape. Jinky is a frog and therefore he jumps, but in his case it can be a bit of a nuisance because the other toys find it scary when he leaps around as he does so they shun him and Jinky is sad because he's fallen in love with someone who rivals Silky in sheer beauty. She's a fairy doll of course with a frock of finest gauze and shiny silver wings but poor Jinky can only worship from afar due to his current status, and also because he once scared the doll with a sudden jump. One moonlit evening a brownie invites the toys into the garden for a knees-up so they all troupe outside to seize partners and dance the night away - all except Jinky that is because he's generally left out of things. He sits on the side watching everyone enjoying themselves and completely unaware of what's happening above them. Jinky notices though. Looking up he sees a silver aeroplane circling around and then he shivers because in it is none other than Sly-One the gnome who hails from a far away place called Bracken Country. In a matter of moments the plane lands and Sly-One jumps out to grab the fairy doll who's dancing with the teddy bear. He throws her into the plane, jumps back in, and then shoots up into the air with his prisoner. The toys are furious and threaten the gnome with prison but he just laughs and buzzes them a few times before taking his captive away with marriage plans in mind - he wants to appraise the fairy doll's beauty while she's cooking dinner for him and mending his clothes. This story takes fourteen pages so a good deal of action follows and it'll suffice to say that Jinky manages to follow the plane and rescue the fairy doll by using his jumping abilities to their utmost. There are some narrow escapes and they also meet a policeman with red wings! Naturally, the toys' enmity disappears when he returns and a kiss from the fairy doll sends him jumping for joy all round the room. Another big "Hooray" is in order because Eileen Soper is the artist.

Two brownies named Skip and Jump end up with a pile of rubbish after spring-cleaning their cottage because they happen to reside in a village that doesn't have a dustman. How they'll get rid of all the stuff is a problem and then a sudden idea leads them to call on the Grumpy Gnome who owns a pair of Kickaway Shoes. Yellow whiskers and a long nose make the gnome rather an unpleasant looking individual but he allows them to borrow his special footwear for one piece of gold. The brownies pay him and go back home with instructions to return the shoes "tonight without fail." Whiskers, their cat, doesn't like the magic smell of the shoes and keeps well away when the brownies each put one on and start kicking away at the pile of rubbish. An old vase breaks into pieces and flies away as does a discarded bedstead, some candlesticks, and a few kettles. There's one last thing to go and that's an old basket. Give it a kick Skip, and away it goes but calamity strikes. Whiskers has curled herself up inside it so now she's flying through the air to Goodness Knows Where! The brownies sob bitterly when they think of their poor cat ending up in a place such as The Land of Rubbish and the only thing they can do is to report the incident to the Grumpy Gnome - he may have a spell to get Whiskers back. The gnome, true to form, is 'grumpy' because the brownies have woken him up from a nap and after all, he had told them to bring the boots back that evening and not before. However, when he hears what's happened his mind jumps to the money angle and he makes full use of the opportunity that has knocked. He requests a phenomenal amount but Skip and Jump have only 3 gold pieces between them. Alright, he'll take their lovely grandfather clock, and several other prized possessions instead so the brownies return home to fetch them because Whiskers is worth more to them than anything they own. On their way back to the gnome's cottage with the belongings in lieu of payment they meet Bron the head brownie who is quite shocked at their tale of woe. It appears that Skip and Jump still have the Kickaway Shoes because Bron puts them on and marches up to Grumpy's front door to dispense some of what could be called 'Rough Justice.' All's well that ends well of course and to become even more informed it's well worth spending 6/- for a copy of this book and that's far less than the grumpy old gnome demanded of the brownies.

A dandelion clock features in the next tale as well as a boy called Sandy who one day sees an extra fine dandelion waiting for its covering of seeds to be blown away. He picks the golden flower and puffs away while counting the hours off ... One o'clock, Two o'clock and so on but when he reaches Twelve o'clock, there are still a few seedlings left so a final blow equals thirteen. Thirteen o'clock! Strange things are about to happen because the clock/time system applying at that moment is different from our G.M.T setting. The sound of voices is heard and next moment Sandy spies a group of pixies who are looking up at him in astonishment. The reason for their concern is that Thirteen o'clock occurs only once in a blue moon and when it does, all the witches fly out to capture any Little People who are not in Fairyland. That would send shivers down anyone's back and Sandy feels quite alarmed when a pixie yells out that he can hear them coming and it would be a good idea if the little boy fled home. Sandy stays however in order to help the pixies if he can and, feeling a little exposed because of his 'bigness,' he asks to be made small. That's easily done so they give him a magic word to whisper with hands over ears and eyes tightly shut. In next to no time he's shrunk right down to pixie size and introduced to Gobbo and Twinkle who are now looking up into the sky to see if there are any witches visible. Where can they hide? Sandy has an idea - on his way home from school he'd seen a discarded saucepan in the hedge. They could all get under it perhaps, but there's a slight hitch. Twinkle has dropped his hanky and there it lies in full view for the witches to use as a clue to their presence. The owner rushes out to retrieve it, but it's too late. The hour of Thirteen o'clock is an astonishing time-frame because the sky is now full of witches on broomsticks, some with black cats sitting behind them. Suddenly one falls off and when the owner plunges down to rescue her pet, there's a 'broomstick crash.' Sandy performs a kind act, and the circumstances changes considerably before the final scene rolls along.

A toy stove was a welcome Christmas present in the Forties and Fifties. It allowed little girls to follow their true calling in life by heating up a little something for their husbands, or in the proper scenario - a handy brother or two. Angela has such a stove but unfortunately she's not allowed to light it because her mother thinks she might burn herself and this has made the girl rather unhappy. Mothers can be utter nuisances at times, but the order has gone out so that's 'That!' The setting is ready for a little intervention it seems and, sure enough, it happens one day when Angela is playing with her stove in the garden. The tiny saucepans and kettles are filled with bits of grass and berries standing in for vegetables and potatoes and then she suddenly hears a tiny voice calling her. Six inches equals about fifteen centimetres - and that's how high (or short) the lovely elf is that calls to her from behind a flower. She's dressed in blue and silver with long shining wings and a pointed face and, you've guessed it, she wants to borrow the stove. Angela is happy to oblige although she says that Mummy won't let her cook anything on it. The elf agrees with mother's ruling so maybe the maligned parent is not such a party-pooper after all because elves are pretty clued up. Angela is told that the stove will be in use from 9 o'clock onwards and if she likes, she can come and watch. What a treat that'll be and you can be sure the stove's owner is stealing downstairs in her dressing gown well on time that night.

A game of cricket has been arranged by the local lads who are, in no particular order - Peter & John (twins), Alec, Fred, Hugh, Ian, Jim and Tom. Any Enid Blyton reader worthy of his or her salt would anticipate a 'Harry' but not this time. No, wait a minute! A little boy runs up to them and asks if he can play too but Peter says he's too small and besides they have enough players. Yes, we have a 'Harry' and he's one disappointed lad on hearing this. The story is set at the beach and as Harry is not allowed to join the cricketers, he ends up helping his sister to build a sand castle. Meanwhile the lads are readying the pitch and Fred wows them all by bringing out a magnificent ball received for his birthday. The game begins and there's a lot of 'willow against leather' with the ball flying in all directions. Peter slashes out with the bat and hits Fred's prized ball over towards the rocks where it disappears and doesn't come to light despite a thorough search. There's nothing else they can do about it so an old one is produced and away they go again. Meanwhile Harry and Susan who have finished their castle, decide to fetch a couple of nets and search the rock pools for a few shrimps and prawns to have for their supper. They catch a tiny crab ... and something else!

Tilda, which sounds as if it's short for 'Matilda,' is a doll who owns a green brooch that originally came from a Christmas cracker. She loves her little trinket and when it is inadvertently loses an intense hunt takes place. All the toys are searching except for the sailor doll who can't be bothered to wind himself up with his key and join them - because he 'knows' something. It's not long before the toys learn from a mouse who lives in the wall that he spied the sailor doll pick up something green only the day before. Well, that's a lead if there ever was one and in two shakes of a duck's tail the alleged thief is being 'interviewed' O.K, he's been found out, but despite the toys' ire, he will not return Tilda's bauble and so another hunt commences while the naughty sailor doll sits in a corner grinning at them all. The brooch is not found so a meeting is held and the mouse suggests a rather good idea that involves 'stealing' of a type. The plan works marvellously and the toys can now be assured that a similar problem is unlikely to happen again.

In a nursery somewhere there exists a collection of very quarrelsome toys. They're split into a couple of factions - one side consisting of the wooden soldiers and the other comprising the bears, golly, a bunny, the dolls and a few others. Their owner has invited some of his friends to a party this afternoon and the nursery is gay with paper balls, flowers around the pictures, and an enormous balloon hanging from the ceiling. Right now there's the usual ill feeling because Harry (yes, 'Harry'), and his pals have been entertaining themselves with the soldiers all afternoon and now a little jeering has begun. The soldiers yell out, "Harry played with us so we must be his favourites, and no wonder, because you're all ugly ... and the golliwog should go and wash his dirty face." Well, that's not very nice at all and the toys make a sudden rush towards the soldiers to exact vengeance. The canary who lives in a cage hanging above twitters down to them that it's silly to fight because Harry loves them all. However the toys take no notice and continue bashing each other. What a terrible sight to see the soldiers slashing away with their swords and getting punched and smacked in return. If only the canary could wake Harry but the cage door is closed. Us your brains quickly, bird ... and that's exactly what he does.

Do you sometimes forget to mend the holes in your stockings? I'm not sure if that applies nowadays with all the throwaway stuff we buy but in Mister Ho-Hhum's time it was one of the everyday chores. Incidentally, Ho-Hhum is a curious Enid Blyton name and I can't really think of a similarly spelt one - the "Hh" is not a misprint. By golly, there is a similar name and it belongs to Mr. Ho Hhum's friend - Mister Hum Hho. Confused? Anyway, Mister Hum-Hho would often scold Mr. Ho-Hhum when he saw him sitting down with his shoes off. "Look at that dreadful hole with your toe poking out. I'm ashamed of you." I can't really think it's any of his business, and it's not as if Mr. Ho-Hhum takes his shoes off when he's out walking, so why worry? Why worry indeed - in fact Ho-Hhum states very emphatically, "I shall NEVER take my shoes off when I'm out." Anyway the two friends often go for a walk together and one Saturday they're strolling near the King's palace and hear someone crying in the garden. Pushing open the gate they enter to see what's up and find the Prince has tumbled out of his toy motor car and bumped his head. Ho-Hhum picks the little boy up to wipe away his tears while Hum-Hho rights the overturned car and then Ho-Hhum tells the prince that if he had a hammer he could fix the wheel back on. Prince Peronel has no hammer but then a thought flashes into his head - Mr. Ho-Hhum could use his big strong shoe to knock the wheel back on. Now that's an excellent idea but do you know, the suggestion is turned down and I think we all know why. Ho-Hhum tries using a stone but it breaks and a piece flies into the Prince's hand causing him to spill more tears. What an embarrassing situation and in the end, because of his holey socks, Ho-Hhum misses out on being invited to tea with the Fairy Queen herself - but his friend doesn't. Funny how things turn out.

If you don't believe in fairies you won't be able to see them. Farmer Straw is quite comfortable with horses, cows and sheep but mention dragons, witches, unicorns or pixies and he'll explode with laughter, calling you a 'ninny' into the bargain. Admittedly there's something to be said for the requirement of proof when a claim is made about invisible beings but in this story, Enid Blyton mentions that the fairy folk themselves often laugh when they hear people claiming they don't exist. Farmer Straw and his neighbours, Farmer Twinkle and Dame Busy, happen to own fine mushroom fields and in the autumn they get up early to pick their crops and take them to the market. One night the little fairy folk have a GRAND dance in Dame Busy's field with a grasshopper band playing the famous elfin tune that grasshoppers know so well - 'Rilloby-Rill.' Because it's such a wonderful party, the feasting and games carry on past cockcrow and that's a pity because when it finally breaks up there's a sudden rainstorm that sends the fairy folk scurrying for cover under some mushrooms that have sprung up in the night. Panic reigns when Dame Busy is seen coming out of the farmhouse to pick her crop because she's a believer and that means the little folk will be seen - something which is not really allowed. They all rush off to Farmer Twinkle's field and hide under his mushrooms but it's just not their day because Twinkle's door opens and out he comes. Oh Dear, what now? Well there's one last place to hide and that's under the mushrooms in Farmer Straw's field so off they go but it's no use - Farmer Straw emerges from his dwelling for a little picking as well. Now, it has to be remembered that this old man doesn't believe in fairies so what will happen when he starts picking his mushrooms? Let it be recorded that Farmer Straw receives quite a shock!

Moonshine, starlight, the roots of mountains, the footfalls of a weasel, the breath of a fish, and the smell of rain - stirred with the tail of a Hoodle-Bird and boiled on a piece of shining ice. Sounds like a recipe but what on earth is being concocted? Note this carefully - it makes the most powerful spell in the world. There are a lot of Enid Blyton enchanters, ones such as Snip-Snap, Clip-clap, Big-Brows and Mr. Spells, but are they clever enough to manufacture the world's most powerful spell? Well, Big-Eyes is apparently and the mixture possesses powers to make him the Enchanter King of all the Lands on Earth! A spell like that might be all right in the hands of someone like the Magician Greatheart but the thought of it being owned by a person such as Big-Eyes is a little frightening, because he's not very nice. Big-Eyes spanks every elf he meets and he hates fairies and children and animals and he doesn't even like to hear anyone laughing! This nasty character has plans. He wants to imprison all the animals underground and, worse, all children from the age of three will be required to come and work for him - and work hard. Anything else? Yes, all the Little People will be sent to the bottom of the sea. This would be terrible state of affairs and calling on the Army or Navy to counter this imminent threat would be useless because you can't fight an enchanter's magic with firepower. Big-Eyes has read his book of magic carefully and learnt that the spell will only work if used at exactly 5a.m. on Midsummer's Day. With this thought in mind he sets his alarm clock for 4.30am the night before. He retires excitedly leaving his servant to remain up stirring the brew all night to keep it sweet. Oh, what dreams old Big-Eyes has while sleeping the night away - he's the monarch sitting on a golden, jewelled throne while all the puppies, chickens, calves, kittens, and lambs are buried deep in the earth, and the children are slaving away to perform every task they are given. Time passes . . . and now 5a.m. is only an hour or two away.

The next story is about a toy drum that none of the toys like very much because he takes up a lot of room in the cupboard where they all live and he also makes such a noise. By and by, he ends up sleeping on the nursery floor, well away from the cupboard, because the white teddy bear keeps threatening to push him out. The drum can't help being what he is of course and it's very sad because he wants a few friends like Lucy Ann the golden-haired doll to whom he sometimes speaks but although she doesn't really mind him she follows the toys' cue and turns her back on the poor drum. It's party time now but do you think the drum had been invited? No! Instead, they push him into the middle of the floor, drape a table-cloth over his frame, and use him for a table. What an unkind thing to do but the toys are too busy eating and drinking to worry about any ethical side of their behaviour. The party continues with all kinds of goodies being consumed when suddenly everything's brought to an abrupt halt because Scamp suddenly enters the nursery having smelt all the lovely food. The toys make a mad dash to hide the eatables and then have to endure some roughing up as the angry puppy takes out his frustration on them all after failing to locate any of the grub. The toys need rescuing. If only Molly and Tony weren't fast asleep in their beds. If only!

Dickie and Joan Paget own the jolliest pup in the world - 'Pete.' If evidence is needed - here's it is: Pete will run for miles when playing 'Ball.' He'll let you catch him when playing 'He' which is just as well because dogs can run far faster than children, and when it's 'Walkies' he accompanies the children all the way there and back. Dickie and Joan love their little pet very much as do Mummy and Daddy but it's a bit of a strain to 'love' Pete when he's caught digging up the garden. Daddy is very proud of his pansies and forget-me-nots and wallflowers so he's quite put out to see the dog digging away for bones in the loose soil. Pete has to keep his old bones for chewing later on but sometimes the memory of where he put them tends to fade, hence the large number of holes in Daddy's patch. Unfortunately the vandalism gets worse and one week Pete digs up the garden EVERY single day! Candytuft seeds, poppies, pansies, you name it ... all ruined and even worse, he actually digs up Daddy's best rose tree. The obvious solution to this problem is not a pleasant one and it causes Joan and Dickie to go pale with fright when their parent states that if the children can't teach Pete to be good, he'll be given to the milkman. Why the milkman? Because Daddy happens to know he wants a dog. Dickie and Joan do their darnedest to stop the canine excavations but the time comes when they are out at a friend's place and Pete is left by himself. Once again he feels like a lick of an old bone and into the garden he steps. Once again the crime of hole-digging is committed, and once again Daddy is furious when he discovers his precious peas have been physically assaulted. Hard smack for the puppy, and the final decision is made - on Monday he goes. Dickie and Joan are terribly upset and tears aplenty wet their pillows that night. On Sunday, the family go on a bus ride to see the golden carpets of buttercups that have sprung up in the surrounding fields and Pete is left to his own devices which can be interpreted loosely as 'going to his larder!' We all know what's going to happen but may not be able to visualize the extent of Pete's attempt; there are various words for 'hole' such as burrow, cavity, crack, gap, aperture and the rest but this time it's Pete's Finest Hour. He works away by a lilac bush trying to get at what he thinks is a bone buried there a couple of days ago. It seems to have got bigger and is extremely difficult to get at. "Seeds and plants grow when they're in the ground," Pete thinks. "So maybe my bone has as well." 'Hole' is simply too weak a label for Pete's effort during his 'Finest Hour,' and seeing 'void, 'chasm' or 'abyss' might be a little over the top, we could maybe settle for 'pit.' There it is - a pit in the middle of Daddy's garden, waiting for him to appreciate when the family comes home. Pete couldn't get his 'bone' out because it's somehow become unexplainably enormous so he sits down to rest and that's where he's found when everyone returns. It looks as if Pete hasn't a snowball's chance in Hell of ever getting back into Daddy's good books and the only thing to look forward to is another smack, and free milk for life. However as this is an 'Enid Blyton' tale, you never know!

Story No.#13 is all about Dame Thimble who happens to live in an era that Enid Blyton seemed to favour - one where you light a lamp at night time. I don't think they had cigarette lighters like we do so matches were used and that's fine - as long as the matches can be located. Dame Thimble always loses them so the frustrated lady has to go through the ritual of 'Look For The Matches' every evening, and to further complicate her life, it always seems to be dark when she wants to light up. How can you search for something when there's no light? An idea finally comes - she'll keep the matches in her pocket and then all will be well, so that's where she puts them; however, the best laid plans don't always work. Everyone (except us) has done something stupid in their lives and now it's Dame Thimble's turn to act so. She has a busy day washing and ironing then sits down for a well deserved cup of tea and eventually dusk arrives. Time to light the lamp. A hunt commences and what a hunt it is. She searches in the cupboard and in the kitchen dresser then she feels along the mantelpiece and bangs her head on the bookcase because it's now dark. No use, her matches have disappeared so she'll have to borrow some from Mister Todd. She goes next door to ask and he's quite happy to oblige but could she do him a little favour first? If Dame Thimble could just pop along to the Bee-Woman for a pot of honey and bring it back, Mister Todd would be more than happy to lend her some matches. Off goes the Dame to knock on the Bee-Woman's door and now things become complicated because the Bee-Woman's ladder is broken and as the honey is up on the top shelf, could the Dame borrow some steps from Tomkins the cat who lives next door? Diddle the brownie makes an appearance in this tale as well and so does Tinkle the pixie but once Dame Thimble has completed all her little chores one might think it's now 'Plain Sailing,' No it isn't because more happens and the situation becomes nothing short of 'farcical!' In fact, stupidity reigns.

John has got the urge, as we all have at least once in our lives - he wants a pet. In one respect he's very lucky because his home is on a farm so, in a way, he can look upon Dobbin, Bessie, Daisy, Clover and Primrose as pets. There are sheep, hens, and ducks as well so he's never short of creatures to play with but it's not quite the same and John's desperate to have his own personal pet. His father won't hear of it however because they need a lot of looking after and John might forget to feed it or supply other necessities. While the farmer's reasons are sensible, I think that everyone would sympathize with the boy and if they know EB at all, will also believe the boy eventually acquires a pet of his own. At present John can only help to feed the animals or perhaps follow Jim the yard-man around when he goes to make the pig-meal or hen food. One day the little boy drags his wooden horse and cart over to a field beyond the duck pond to fetch some hay and when he's filled the cart and hauling it back the horse's stand cracks against a stone. That's a real nuisance and John ends up having to leave the cart where it is and take the horse back to Jim who says he'll fix it for him tomorrow. The hay is forgotten and in between the time of the accident and the time when John suddenly remembers where he left his cart and goes to collect it, something happens.

It's quite reasonable to call a canary 'Goldie' because of its yellowness and that's exactly what Eric and Hilda have done. Their feathered friend resides in the nursery but, as is the fate of most birds, Goldie is locked in a cage and can only watch the toys come alive and play around every night. He longs to join them but the toys won't let him out for fear he'll escape and if that happened, what a disappointment it would be for Eric and Hilda. After Christmas a green duck arrives to join the other toys and he takes a fancy to the canary. "Why can't he be let out of the cage? We're both birds and it would be nice to have him down here for a chat" - or words to that effect. Well, the big doll notes that the windows and door are shut so the canary couldn't escape if he was let out briefly and anyway, Goldie tells them that he doesn't want to escape. Why should he? So the clown climbs up to open the cage door and Goldie is at last able to experience the thrill of flying around and stretching his wings properly. The toys really know how to enjoy themselves because the next few hours are spent playing all kinds of games and dancing to the tinkling music box. Early morning arrives so it's time to break up the happy party and also for Goldie to fly back into his cage but he decides not to despite a promise he'd made, because it's too much fun being able to soar about the nursery. The toys are disappointed and the green duck particularly because Goldie had hardly spoken a word to him. Suppose the cat grabbed Goldie or what if he flew outside when the housemaid opened the door. He has to be caught somehow and put on hold until Hilda and Eric can place him back in the cage, so a meeting is held and the clockwork clown comes up with an idea. A good one.

Smoky is a cat and depending on one's point of view, he's either a reasonably well behaved animal, or a dangerous nuisance and the local birds go for the latter. Smoky has caught quite a few of their progeny so they're naturally anti cat - in fact, a meeting is called to see if something can be done about this threat to their well-being. Mr. Blackbird is 'In the Chair' and there's a great deal of twittering and chattering as the starling, wren, chaffinch, robin (who'd lost one of his youngsters only the day before), and sparrow, plus other birds no doubt, discuss the problem. Suggestions are made but they don't hold up and then the sparrow and starling both think of a solution and fight about who thought of it first. There's an old dog muzzle in the shed so why not put it on the cat? Now that sounds a very good idea indeed but of course no one wants to volunteer their services and finally the blackbird orders both the sparrow and starling to perform the muzzling operation seeing they each claimed to have thought of the idea. The question is this: Did the birds manage to muzzle the cat?

The prettiest fairy doll sits on top of a dazzling Christmas tree with brilliant candles set on the branches and lots of lovely toys as well. This is definitely what Yuletide is all about and I think Gwen and Peter would agree. They are the children of course and now Mummy and Daddy have gone upstairs after finishing their work and in the nursery all the toys admire the decorations and think the fairy is the loveliest toy in the world. Then a terrible thing happens - the doll suddenly slips off her perch and lands on the floor breaking both legs! Well, it's fortunate that toys have access to some of the more esoteric individuals who inhabit this planet and it's the golliwog who asks for help from an elf who lives under the nursery window. She dances in and after assessing the damage a decision is made - the little fairy doll will be taken to the Mend-Up Gnome who will have her legs all fixed up by tomorrow night. Now, that's not going to work out at all because it means the children won't have a fairy at the top of their tree for all of Christmas Day and that would be a great disappointment. The problem is solved however. After the elf has taken the fairy doll to the mender she will return and fly to the top of the tree as a stand-in for the doll? That is exactly what takes place and during their Christmas party the children have an unexpected treat when the grown-ups have left the room for a while to do whatever grown-ups do. Only trouble is that Gwen and Peter are unable to make Mummy believe their account of what occurred.

'Silky' as, referred to in the first story, is a very pretty elf who lives in the 'Faraway Tree.' There are several Enid Blyton books that inform all and sundry about this famous landmark which is located in The Enchanted Wood.

'Hop,' 'Skip,' and 'Jump' starred in The Book of Brownies so maybe Skip and Jump in the second story are connected. Whiskers the cat had actually retired to a corner of the garden because she was scared of the magic in the Kickaway Shoes but oddly, she ends up sitting in a basket right near the rubbish when it's kicked away. Grumpy Gnome wanted 50 gold pieces to get Whiskers back for the brownies.

'Thirteen o'clock' is a story that must ring bells in many quarters for some reason or another seeing it's often the subject of enquiry. "My daughter blew a dandelion clock the other day and I was telling her about an EB story called (I think) Thirteen O'Clock. It was about a dandelion clock that blew thirteen and made magic happen - kind of like the moon turning blue etc. - but I can't for the life of me remember where I read it (May,2007)." "Every time I go into a second hand book store, or any bookstore for that matter, I ask them if they have 'Thirteen O'clock,' not once did someone know what I was talking about. (I did not know who the author was). This book was one of my favorite books as a child and I never forgot it, I am so very glad that I remembered to look the title up. I am thrilled that I have finally found it. I am looking to buy this book from 1985 ( I will be watching ebay) if anyone knows of one for sale please let me know. (Feb, 2009)." The book's frontispiece is a picture of witches flying over a windswept field somewhere in England. The magic word that Sandy uses in the story to shrink himself is: "Hoona-looki-allo-pie" - you have to say it three times so try it and see.

The toy stove marketed many years ago could be used to simmer tiny pots of water by means of 'tablets' that were lit and placed below the utensils. They smouldered for a while and worked - after a fashion. There's no plot, as such (Story No. 4) so it can be revealed that Angela found some tippy-top pudding, poppity cake, and google buns in her little oven the next day - that's 'google' without a capital.

The canary who wanted to break up the fighting toys is named 'Feathers,' and I think a wary eye needs to be kept on 'Harry' because he keeps turning up all over the place.

The name 'Peronel' is usually given to females in the Enid Blyton world. A Princess Peronel can be found in 'The Book of Brownies' and the name apparently derives from Petronel or Petronella amongst others. You never know - as Georgina (Famous Five) prefers to be addressed as one of the opposite sex, Prince Peronel may also be that way inclined.

I think the majority of Enid Blyton's farmers would be blessed with the surname of "Straw."

Story No.10 Refs: 'Snip-Snap' can be found in Twenty-Minute Tales, 'Clip-clap' is in the first Wishing Chair book. Mr. Spells is in The Wishing Chair Again, and Big-Brows is in Rubbalong Tales. 'Tall and handsome' Magician Greatheart is one of Enid Blyton's kindest enchanters who can also be found in Adventures of the Wishing Chair. Trivia: There's a frog called Big-Eyes in the Yellow Story Book, and incidentally, the most powerful spell in the world brings thunder and lightning down before making everyone your slave. Wouldn't that be nice?

Lucy Ann is the drum's favourite amongst the toys. There's also a 'Lucy-Ann' in the 'Adventure' series.

Story No.12 follows a formula used in one or two other EB tales, and you don't get all that many surnames in the short stories but in this particular case it is as stated ... 'Paget.'

Dame Thimble took part in a familiar Blyton ploy - a person going through an absurd series of connected situations. There's also a little boy called Paul (Tales at Bedtime) who goes from disaster to disaster and finds out in the end that he'd simply started off with the wrong mindset. Interestingly, in the same book there's a fib-teller called Tommy who goes from bad to worse with each lie that he tells. The 'Bee Woman" also makes an appearance in one of the Enid Blyton 'Little Books' called Bed-time Stories. Can you imagine a couple getting married because of a box of matches? It can happen!

The plot of 'Muzzling the Cat' is also a fairly old one and seems to have originated with a fable about some mice who held a meeting where they discussed a proposition - 'To Bell the Cat.'