The sketch in the
background is of the Castle of Peppercorn Green in
are the five Googlenok friends who spend most
having adventures in
PEPPERCORN GREEN WITH
Princess Cornflower lay in
her bed watching the snowflakes
falling gently past her bedroom
window. She sat up in bed and pulled her dressing
gown round her
shoulders. She smiled as she heard the sound of the
far away in the distance, it would just
be entering the tunnel at Sleepy
closed her eyes and pictured the frozen pond that
lay at the other end of the tunnel
was to early in the morning for anyone to be out
skating, but it
wouldnít be long until all the children came out
with their skates and
sledges and began to enjoy themselves.
was bored, five
days she had been stuck in bed with marsh flu. Five
days of reading
books, running temperatures, drawing pictures and
runny noses, but
today she felt really great, she had eaten all of
her supper last
night, taken the last of the foul rhubarb tasting
medicine that Dr.
Cornel had prescribed for her, and done everything,
everything she had been told.
She had to be allowed up today or
she would go potty.
Cornflower climbed out of
bed, slipped on her slippers and dressing gown and
walked over to the
snow looked beautiful most of the footprints in the
courtyard had been
covered by the new fall of snow, only Minnie's and
Martha's could still
be seen. A few of the chickens were still trying to find the
corn that had buried itself in the snow.
wonder if their feet are cold" Cornflower thought,
but she didnít have time to find out
for just at that moment the door
of the bedroom opened and Minnie Speedwell came in
carrying the coal bucket.
" Oh Minnie you did give me a
fright, I thought it was my mother" she said
walking back over to the bed.
Its a good job it wasnít" Minnie said putting the
coal bucket by the
fire place, " You might have ruin your chances of
getting up today."
Minnie straightened the
quilt and puffed up the Princesses pillows.
Come on get back in before the Queen does come up
to see how you are."
Princess climbed back into the bed and watched as
Minnie put some coal
on the fire, Cornflower smiled as the flames began
to shoot up the
chimney, " Do you know Minnie your hair is almost
the same colour as
those flames, well the darker bits
Cornflower leaned back on the
" Do you
really think Iíll be allowed up today Minnie? I do
hope so Iím so fed up, up here on my
almost certain of it," Minnie replied as she stood
up and dusted the top of the
fireplace, " Iíve a feeling something is about to
happen, Cook has
given us a list a mile long to have finished as
soon as we can, and
your Mum keeps going round re-arranging things and
thatís a sure sign
something is up."
Oh I wonder what it could be," Cornflower said
jumping out of the bed
again " Have you got a clue, thereís only one more
week to Christmas
maybe someone is coming to
The door opened again and Martha came in
carrying the Princesses breakfast on a tray,
Cathy is wondering where youíve got to Minnie,"
Martha said as she put the breakfast tray on the
" On my way," Minnie said picking
up the bucket and making a dash for the door. She
went out then popped her head back
Now remember what I said, try and sit still till
after your motherís
been up, or youíll get cold and out of breath and
youíll be staying
here another day "
she closed the door and went
Princess sat on the bed and took the porridge off
the tray, it looked
delicious all hot and creamy, there was a
tangerine, two slices of
toast covered in peppercorn marmalade and a cup of
She began to eat her porridge. Martha went
into the bathroom.
" Do you fancy having a bath
this morning, you will feel a lot better if you
Cornflower finished her
porridge and picked up a slice of toast.
you think I should ask Mum first?" Cornflower
donít think your Mum is that worried, she seems to
be in one of her flaps over
something or other." Martha said as she came back
into the bedroom.
" She put a big bowl of water
on the dressing table
" Maybe you had better
just have a good wash, hurry with your breakfast
and Iíll do your hair."
Minnie seems to think someone might be coming to
stay for Christmas,
have you any idea who it might be Martha?"
Cornflower asked as she
peeled her tangerine
Martha took a clean towel
out of the cupboard and hung it over the end of the
Iím sure I donít know Princess, you know how mad
this castle is at the
best of times, it could be Father Christmas himself
for all I know.
" Does Daddy know Father
Christmas?" Cornflower said laughing.
I wouldnít be surprised." Martha said as she sat
down on the window
seat, "All I know is its like bedlam down there,
Cathy has had us
cleaning the kitchen since we arrived, loads of
extra food has been
ordered from the shops and your Mum is going round
re-arranging things, and
you know what that means."
" Hmm, that's what
Minnie said," Cornflower said as she took a drink
of her tea.
" Now who could it
picked up the stool and went and sat by Martha who
began to brush her
hair. She loved the young Princess very much and
everyone had been a
bit down in the dumps whilst she had been ill, she
bought laughter into
the old castle and even grumpy old Barnaby had been
worried about her
instead of his old backache.
Martha had just
about got the last knot
out of Cornflower's hair when the door burst open
and a tiny pink and
white ball of fluff came prancing through the
" Candy " Cornflower giggled as the ball
of fluff jumped up on her knee knocking the brush clean out of
" You'íll get shot if Cathy finds
you up here" Martha said as she picked up the brush
and as if hearing her name
Cathy Fern came bustling through the bedroom door.
Where is that little terror?" she said smiling "
Who gave you
permission to come up these stairs?" She caught
hold of the puppy with
one hand and collected the tray with the other and
bustled back towards
" The Queen is on the way up little
one, best jump back on
your bed," she said smiling. " You look more like
your old self this
morning, are you feeling better?"
Cornflower could answer
Queen Pepper came into the bedroom, she walked over
to her daughter and
gave her a huge kiss on the forehead.
" Well "
she said taking a
step back and looking at her daughter, " You do
look better, and itís a
good job for Iíve planned a special surprise for
" You have Mummy " Cornflower said
sounding surprised; she didnít want to spoil her
" Can I guess what it is?"
course you can darling, but youíll never guess in a
Cornflower put her head on one
side. " Are we having visitors for
The Queen nodded her head. " But you
donít know who, try and guess?"
Queen Pepper had
on her favourite orange skirt, the one with the
little acorns on it.
" My skirt should give you
a clue." She laughed
skirt, how on earth could that help me " Cornflower
" No I give up, youíll have to tell
No I donít think I will, I think Iíll make you wait
till your Father
gets home, then he can tell you," the Queen smiled
and turned to leave
" Oh Mummy, donít be so mean you know
I hate secrets," Cornflower said jumping up and
down on the bed.
" And if you donít sit quietly,
I wonít let you come down stairs." Queen Pepper
said as she walked out the door.
" Does that
mean I can come down then?" Cornflower shouted
after her Mother
" Yes, If you want to." came
the answer from the landing.
Cornflower was up and getting
dressed before you could say " Peppercorn
" Oh Martha I must be one
of the luckiest Googlenokís in the wholewide world,
no one could have so much luck as me."
deserve it my Princess," Martha said as she helped
Cornflower with her jumper.
There you look grand, youíve even got a few roses
in your cheeks,
though I dare say there there because of all the
excitement and not
with your feeling better"
" Oh they are Martha
they are," Cornflower said as she pulled on her
trainers and ran through the bedroom
CONTINUED AFTER THIS SHORT