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Brighten Your Day With Sunny Soap

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The Enchanted Wood seemed unusually quiet as Jo, Bessie and Fanny made their way to the Faraway Tree.

"There must be a new land at the top," said Bessie.

"I'm surprised Moon-Face didn't let us know," said Jo. "He usually sends a message by the red squirrel."

"The trees will know," said Fanny. "Shall I listen?"

The leaves on the trees around them rustled invitingly. "Wisha wisha wisha!"

Fanny pressed her left ear to the trunk of the closest tree and listened carefully. After a few moments, she frowned and stepped away. "It doesn't make any sense," she said.

"What did it say?" asked Jo.

"Brighten your day with Sunny Soap."

Bessie patted Fanny's arm. "Do you think you may have misheard?"

Jo didn't comment. He chose a different tree. "All this one says is 'Brighten your day with Sunny Soap' as well. We should get to Moon-Face and Silky straight away and find out what they know about this."

"Maybe Dame Washalot is trying a new washing powder," exclaimed Fanny, pleased with her idea.

Jo laughed. "That's probably it, but we should hurry anyway."

There was no sign of the red squirrel at the foot of the tree, nor he did he come when Jo whistled. "No chance of a ride up in the basket today," he remarked as he swung himself up onto the lowest branches.

"I wonder what surprises the Faraway Tree will have in store for us," said Fanny. "I do hope there will be apples."

"I'd like cherries," said Bessie.

"It's grapes," called Jo, who had reached the first branches growing fruit.

After the children had shared a bunch of grapes, they climbed quietly past the Angry Pixie's door. The curtains were drawn, giving the appearance that nobody was home, however he often kept them closed, hoping that was enough to deter visitors. Nor did they didn't wish to disturb him should he be taking nap.

Outside the little yellow door to Silky's home, the grapes had given way to plums. Jo tucked a couple into the pockets of his shorts to give to Moon-Face. They rang Silky's door bell, but she didn't answer.

"She's probably with Moon-Face," suggested Bessie.

There was no sound of Mr Watzisname's extra loud snoring, or the Saucepan Man clashing of the pots and pans he wore around his body.

"Everyone must be visiting the Land at the top of the tree," said Fanny, after they'd found Dame Washalot's door tightly closed. There wasn't any wet washing spread on the nearby branches being held in place by baby squirrels as it dried either.

"Moon-Face, are you home?" called Jo after knocking on his door.

To the children's joy, Moon-Face flung open the door. "Oh, you're here. We were just about to leave." Silky peeped over his shoulder.

"Are you going to the Land at the top of the tree?"

"Which Land is there today?"

"Why didn't you tell us the next Land had arrived?"

The three all spoke at once.

"You'd better come inside and I'll explain," said Moon-Face, stepping aside.

"You see, we didn't think you would be interested," began Silky.

"As it is something you regular folk already have," continued Moon-Face.

"The mighty Wizard Electro has found a way to bring to make the talking picture box work in his land," explained Silky.

"And his cousin, Magician Soap-seer, has produced the first of many new spells for the fairy folk to try," Moon-Face added excitedly.

"We want to brighten our days with Sunny Soap," finished Silky. "We should leave. We don't want to miss out."

"If you're sure you won't be bored, perhaps you would like to come with us."

Jo, Bessie and Fanny clutched one another. "Television!" they cried.

"We don't have television at home," said Jo.

"We won't be bored," promised Bessie.

"Please," said Fanny.

Eagerly the children followed Moon-Face and Silky up the ladder outside Moon-Face's home and through the cloud into Electroland. They entered a long corridor that had a red carpet running down the centre to a doorway at the other end. Closed doors lined both walls. An elf waited behind a counter, while other elves led groups of brownies and other fairy folk who'd arrived before them to various doors and ushered them through.

"Welcome, welcome!" cried the elf, who was dressed in a blue suit decorated with a golden lightning bolt. "The mighty Wizard Electro offers his greetings and bids me to direct you to one of his most magical talking picture box viewing rooms. He is proud to offer a selection of pictures for your viewing pleasure."

"We'd like to brighten our days with Sunny Soap," said Silky. "It sounds most intriguing."

"Ah, the soap opera. Your timing is excellent as Episode One of 'The Guiding Light of Fairyland' is about to begin in Viewing Room One."

"And you're sure this will brighten our day?" asked Moon-Face.

"I think you'll find it will brighten all the days of your loves," responded the elf smoothly.

"Please, Mr Elf," began Fanny in her politest manner, "are there any cartoons?"

"Allow me to check." The elf picked consulted a crystal ball that sat next to his left elbow.

"Rimminey-ree, acrall-da-farray, tell me are there cartoons today?" he sang.

The ball glowed silver and then a blue number four appeared in the centre.

"Cartoons are showing in Viewing Room Four."

"We'd rather watch cartoons, if you don't mind," said Jo to Moon-Face and Silky.

"The cartoons will conclude at the same time as 'The Guiding Light', said the elf smoothly. "You may meet your friends back here at that time.

As Moon-Face and Silky didn't want to miss out on having their day brightened with Sunny Soap, they agreed to separate.

Jo, Bessie and Fanny returned to Viewing Room Four three times to watch more cartoons. Moon-Face asked the elf where he should go to sign up for a game show called 'What's my Spell?", while Silky discovered she could order ingredients for spells to be delivered directly to her door, relieving her of the frustration of waiting for the Land of Spells to come around to the top of the Tree if she purchased an Electro Viewing Box for her home. When she found the Electro Viewing Box wouldn't work outside of the Enchanted Forest, she promised the children they could come to her home and watch cartoons once a week.

In his room upstairs, Wizard Electro rubbed his hands together with glee at the thought of all gold he would soon have, while Magician Soap-seer made a list of things he would soon convince the fairy folk they couldn't live without and then he would have plenty of gold as well.

END