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Authors: The Folk of the Faraway Tree

Enid Blyton

Faraway Tree 3

 

The Folk of the Faraway Tree

Enid Blyton.

 

I

Curious Connie Comes to Stay

 

One day Mother
came to the three children, as
they worked out in the garden, and spoke to them.

"
Jo
! Bessie! Fa
nny! Listen to me for a minute.
I

ve just had a let
ter from an old friend of mine,
and I am wondering
what to do about it. I

ll read
it to you."

Mother read the letter:

“DEAR OLD FRIEND,

"Please will
you do something for me? I have
not been well for
some time, and the doctor says
I must go away
on a long holiday. But, as you
know, I have a li
ttle girl, Connie, and I cannot
leave her by herself. S
o would you please let her
stay with you until I come back? I will, of course,
pay you well. Y
our three children are good and
well-behaved, a
nd I feel that their friendship
will be very nic
e for my little Connie, who is,
I am afraid, rather spoilt: Do let me know soon.

"Your old friend,

“LIZZIE HAYNES."

The three chi
ldren listened in silence. Then
Bessie spoke.

"Oh Mother! We

ve seen Connie once, and
she w
as awfully stuck-up and spoilt—and awfully
curious too, sti
cking her nose into everything!
Have we
got
to have her?"

"No, of course not," said Mother. "But I could
do with some extra money, you know—and I do
think that Connie might soon settle down and
stop being spoilt if she lived with us. It would
be good for her!"

"And I suppose we ought to help people if we
can," said
Jo
. "All right, Mother

we

ll have
Connie, shall we, and just teach her not to be
spoilt!"

"We shall be able to show her the Enchanted
Wood and the Faraway Tree
!" said Fanny.

"Yes—we used to have Cousin Dick, but now
he

s gone back home," said Bessie. "We

ll have
Connie instead! If you put
a little bed into the
corner of my room and Fanny

s, Mother, we can
have her in there."

Mother smi
led at them and went indoors to
write to her old friend, to say y
es, she would
have Connie.

The children looked at one another.
"We

ll soon tick Connie off if she starts any of
her high-and-
mighty ways here," said Bessie.

"And we

l
l stop her poking her nose into
everything too!
" said Fanny. "I say—what about
taking her up t
he Faraway Tree and letting her
peep in at the A
ngry Pixie? He

ll soon tick her
off!"

The other
s giggled. They could see that
they
would have a bit of fun with Connie. She was
always so curio
us and inquisitive about every
thing and everyone. Well—s
he would get a few
shocks in the Enchanted Wood!

"It will be fun showing somebody else the
Faraway Tree, and all the people there," said
Jo
. "I wonder what Curious Connie will think of
the Saucepan Man, and Silky and Moon-Face!”

"And I wonder what they will think of
her
!"
said Bessie. "What a lovely name for her,
Jo

Curious Connie! I shall always think of her like
that now
!
"

Curious Connie was to come the next week.
Bessie helped Mother put a
little bed into the
corner of the girls

bedroom. Connie wasn

t very
big. She was as old as, Fanny, but she had been
very fussy over her food, and so she hadn

t grown
as well as she ought to. She was a pretty, dainty
little thing, fond of nice clothes, and ribbons.

"Brush that untidy hair, Fanny, before you
meet Connie," said Mother. Fanny

s
hair had
grown rather long, and needed a trim.

The children went to meet the
bus. "There it
is!" cried
Jo
. "Coming round the corner. And
there

s Curious Connie on it, l
ook—all dressed
up as if she was going to a party!"

Connie jumped off the
bus, carrying a bag.
Jo
politely took it f
rom her, and gave her a welcom
ing kiss. The girls welcomed her too. Connie
looked them up and down.

"My, you do look country folk!" she said.

"Well, that

s what we are," said Bessie. "You

ll
look
like us soon, too. I hope you

l
l be very
happy here, Connie."

"I saw Dick the other day," said Connie, as she
walked demurely along the lane with the others.
"He told me the most awful stories!"

"
Dick
did! But he

s not a story-teller!" said
Jo
,
in surprise. "W
hat sort of stories did he tell
you?"

"Well, he told me about a silly Enchanted Wood
and a ridiculous Faraway Tree, and some stupid
people called Moon-Face and Dame Washalot
and Mister Watzisname, and a mad fellow called
the Saucepan Man who was deaf," said Connie.

"Oh! Do you think all those were silly and
stupid?" said
Jo
at last.

"I didn

t believe in any of it," said Connie.
"I don

t believe in things like that—fairies or
brownies or m
agic or anything. It

s old
fashioned."

"Well, we must be
jo
lly
old-
fashioned then,"
said Bessie. "Because we not only believe in
the Enchanted
Wood and the Faraway Tree and
love our funny friends there, but we go to see
them too—and we visit the lands at the top
of the Tree as well! We did think of taking you
too!"

"It wouldn

t be much use," said Connie. "I
shouldn

t believe in them at all."

"
What— not even if you saw them?" cried Fanny.

"I don

t think so," said Connie. "I mean—it
all sounds quite impossible to me. Really it does."

"Well, we

ll see," said
Jo
. "It looks as if we

ll
have some fun with you, up the Faraway Tree,
Connie! I should just like to see the Angry Pixie

s
face if you tell him you don

t believe in him!"

"Let

s
take her to
morrow!" said Bessie, with
a giggle.

"All
right!" said
Jo
. "But we

d better not let
her go into any Land at the top of the Tree. She

d
never get down again!"

"What Land? At the top of the
Tree
? A land
at the top of a tree!" said Connie, puzzled.

"Yes," said Bessie. "You see, the Enchanted
Wood is quite near here, Connie. And in the
middle of it is the biggest, tallest tree in the
wo
rld—very magic indeed. It

s
called the Faraway
Tree, because its top is so far away, and always
s
tick
s up into some queer magic land
there—a
different one every week."

"I don

t believe a word of it," said Connie.

"All right. Don

t, then," said Fanny, beginning
to feel cross. "Look—here we are, home—and
there

s Mother looking out for us!"

Soon Connie and the girls were unpacking Connie

s bag and putting her things away into
two empty drawers in the chest. Bessie saw that
there were no really sensible country clothes at
all. However could Connie climb the Faraway
Tree in a dainty frock? She ought to have some
old clothes! Well, she and Fanny had plenty so
they could lend her some.

"I suppose you are longing to show Connie
the Enchanted Wood!" said Mother, when they
went down to tea.

"Oh—
do
you
believe in it too?" said Connie,
surprised that a grown-up should do so.

"Well, I haven

t seen the Tree, but I have seen
some of the people that come down it," said
Mother.

"Look—
here

s one of them now!" said
Jo
,
jumping up as he saw someone coming in at
the front gate. It was Moon-Face, his round face
beaming happily. He carried a note in his hand.

"Hallo!" said
Jo
, opening the door. "Come in
and have some tea, Moon-Face. We

ve got a little
friend here—the girl I was telling you about

Connie."

"Ah—how do you do?" said Moon-Face, going
all polite as he saw the dainty, pretty Connie.
"I

ve come to ask you to tea with me and Silky
tomorrow
, Connie. I hope you can come. Any
friend of the children

s is welcome up the Faraway
Tree!"

Connie shook hands with the queer, round-faced little man. She hardly knew what to say.
If she said she would go to tea with him she
was as good as saying that she believed in all
this
nonsense about the Faraway Tree
—and she
certainly didn

t!

"Moon-Face, you have put poor Connie into a
fix," said
Jo
, grinning. "She doesn

t believe in
you, you see

so how can she come to tea with a
person she doesn

t believe in, at a place she
thinks isn

t there?"

"Quite easily," said Moon-
Face. "Let her think
it is a dream. Let her think
I

m
a dream."

"All right," said Connie, who really was longing to go to tea with Moon-Face, but felt she
couldn

t believe in him, after all she had said.
"All right. I

ll come. I

ll think you

re just a dream.
You probably are, anyway."

"And I

ll think
you
are a dream too," said
Moon-Face, politely. "Then it will be nice for
both of us."

"Well, I

m not a dream!" said Connie, rather
indignantly. "I should have thought you could
see quite well I

m real, and not a dream."

Moon-Face grinned. "I hope you

re a good
dream, and not a bad one, if you
are
a dream," he
said. "Well—see you all
tomorrow
. Four o

cl
ock,
in my house at the top of the tree. Will you walk
up, or shall I send down cushions on a rope for
you?"

"We

ll walk up," said
Jo
. "We rather want
Connie to meet
the people who live in the Tree.
She won

t believe in any of them, but they

ll
believe in her all right

and it might be rather
funny!"

"It certainly will!" said Moon-Face, and went
off, grinning again, leaving Sil
ky

s polite invitation note in Connie

s small hand.

"I

m not sure I like him very much," said
Connie, taking the last bun off the plate.

"What—not like
Moon-Face
!
" cried Fanny,
who really loved the queer little man. "He

s the
dearest, darlingest, kindest, funniest, nicest—"

"All right, all right," said Connie. "Don

t go
on for hours like that. I

ll go
tomorrow
—but I
still say it

s all make-believe and pretence, and
not really rea
l
!"

"You wait and see!" said
Jo
. "Come on—we

ve
time for a game before bed . . . and
tomorrow
,
Connie,
tomorrow
, you shall go up the Faraway
Tree!"

 

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