It is the early hours of the morning, and a pair of young lamp lighters named Jack and Crutchie are on their daily routine of dimming the lamps.
“When the early morning hours have come and gone.
Through the morning showers I greet the dawn.”
The two smile and wave to the people they pass by. Some people give Crutchie dirty looks as the two go by, but they look away when Jack stares at them. After Jack and Crutchie dim the lamps at their current stop, Jack folds his ladder and places it onto the bike as they continue onward.
“Though the lamps I’m turning down, please don’t feel blue.
For in this part of London Town, the light shines through.”
They bike by a fruit cart with a long and needy queue. Crutchie swipes an apple and tosses it to a child in line. Jack smirks, and Crutchie laughs at him. “There ain’t nothin’ wrong with being generous, Jack.”
“Don’t believe the things you’ve read,
you never know what’s up ahead.
Underneath the lovely London sky.”
They pass into an alley, and a street urchin helps the two shut off a lamp. Crutchie smiles and thanks them before the two of them leave.
“Have a pot of tea, mend your broken cup.
There’s a different point of view awaiting you
if you would just look up! I know..”
“Yesterday you had to borrow from your chums.
Seems the promise of tomorrow never comes!”
They make their way past a church, a few homeless people asleep on the steps, and the two sigh sympathetically. Before they had this job they were dangerously close to being one of those people on the steps.
“But since you dreamed the night away,
tomorrow’s here; It’s called today!”
“Count your blessings, you’re a lucky guy!
For you’re underneath the lovely London sky.”
They bike through the park, Jack rolling his eyes at the annoyed park keeper, making their way to Cherry Tree Lane. The two look up and see a rooftop modified to look like a ship, and soon enough the Admiral and his First Mate are there, and both of them salute.
“Listen, soon this slump’ll disappear, it won’t be long.
Sooner than ya think you’ll hear some bright new song.”
They pause at the lampost of 17 Cherry Tree Lane, as it’s their final stop. Two of the children of the home wave to them through the window, and they wave back.
“So hold on tight to those you love,
and maybe soon from up above..”
“You’ll be blessed so keep on looking high!
While you’re underneath the lovely London sky!
lovely London sky..”
Jack and Crutchie ride off as a black car pulls up to the house. A man in a suit and a woman in a formal-suit like dress exit the car and approach the home as Big Ben chimes, to the Admiral’s outrage. Everyone still present looks on in confusion as a scream comes from the home.
The housekeeper screams on as the kitchen door flies open, with water spraying into the room. She calls upstairs, visibly distressed. “Miles! Davey!” The pair of roommates come running, Davey nearly tumbles down the stairs in his panic before catching himself.
“What is it, Betsy?” Miles asks. “The bloomin’ sink’s exploded!” Miles pales, and Davey looks on in surprise. “Oh dear.” Miles takes off into the kitchen, and the girl and boy the lamplighters saw at the window, Winnie, Miles’ daughter, and Les, Davey’s brother, rush into the room. “Oh- Winnie, Les-” Davey begins, but is cut off by Winnie. “We heard, Davey! We’ll call the plumbers!” “I’ll turn off the water at the mains!” Les adds.
“Betsy, can you grab us a mop and some towels?” Davey calls, before heading into the kitchen to help his roommate. The third and youngest child, Miles’ son Thomas, comes down the stairs. “What’s going on?” “Don’t go into the kitchen, Thomas! Not without your wellies.” Winnie calls over her shoulder, calling and informing the plumbers of their situation.
There’s a knock at the door. “Betsy, can you get the door? The plumbers are here!” Betsy sighs, and opens the door, only to see the well dressed man and woman. “They don’t look like plumbers.” Winnie looks over. “I meant on the phone.” The man adjusts his suit tie. “We’re not plumbers, we’re lawyers.”
“Lawyers? Here’s me, hoping you’d be useful.” Les returns, with a proud look on his face. “Water’s off!” Davey returns from the kitchen, quite soaked. Thomas beams as he runs over, handing Davey a towel. “Don’t you have work, Davey?” Davey smiles. “We’re handing out breakfast at the union hall. I snuck away for morning hugs, come here!” He quickly pulls the three kids into a hug, before taking the towels and returning to the kitchen.
The door continues to be knocked, causing an annoyed sigh from Betsy as she opened the door again. “It’s barely eight on a sunday morning!” The woman smiles understandingly. “Excuse us, our workload prevents us taking weekends off.” “We would like to have a word with Mr. Tuck, if he’s available.” Betsy’s eyes widen as she sees the paper on the door. “‘Notice of.. Repossession’?”
The woman sighs and nods sympathetically. “Wait there.” Betsy says, going back inside. Miles emerges, even more soaked than Davey had been when he came out. He begins to take off his jacket, but Winnie quickly does it for him and takes it upstairs. Betsy disappears into the kitchen to make breakfast.
Miles goes and opens the door. “I’m sorry, we’re going through a bit of chaos this morning.” The man in the suit nods. “So it seems. Unfortunately, Mr. Tuck, our business cannot wait.” Betsy peeked out from the kitchen. “Excuse me, but how am I supposed to make breakfast with nothing but pickled herring and marmalade?” Miles slaps a hand to his forehead. “The groceries. I forgot.”
Les chimes in, “That shop across the park will be open! The three of us can go.” Miles lets out a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank you Les.” Thomas pouts. “But you said we would go to the park today!” Winnie hushes him. “We’ll cut through the park on our way, let’s go Thomas.” The kids disappear into the kitchen, and Miles invites the well dressed pair inside.
“Now, what is it I can do for you?” Miles asks. “I am Bunsen, this is Hannah. We are with the law firm of The World.” Davey muffles a laugh, and Bunsen gives him a look. “What?” “Nothing.” Bunsen eyes something peeking out of Davey’s bag. “‘SPRUCE’? Is that your gardening club?” Davey smiles. “No, it’s the ‘Society for the Protection of the Rights Underpaid Citizens of England’.”
“A union organizer? ..He’s a union organizer.” Bunsen whispers to Hannah as they make their way to the arm chairs. “Well, yes, but we also run soup-kitchens. It’s a never ending job these days.” Davey adds with another smile. “I’m sure it is, Mister Tuck.” “Jacobs, actually. I’m simply his roommate, the oldest little boy you just saw is my little brother Les.” Bunsen looks confused. “Why isn’t he with your parents?”
“They’re very busy and live far away, my sister only occasionally gets to visit, Miles- Mr. Tuck, is a family friend of ours. Plus Les gets to interact with kids his own age.” Bunsen nods. “I see.. but where is Mrs. Tuck, then?” Miles looks solemn. “My wife passed away earlier this year.” Hannah gasps. “That’s awful! Those poor children..” “Our deepest condolences.” Bunsen adds.
“I’m going to say my goodbyes and head out, see you later, Miles.” Davey calls, waving to him as he leaves. “So, what brings the two of you here this morning?” Miles asks. “Mr. Tuck, you took out a loan with The World Bank last year against the value of your home.” Davey stops, not quite out the door yet, looking at Miles in shock. “You did what? Miles!” Panic spreads across Miles’ face. “I had to, Davey! I didn’t have much choice, what with Rose- and the bills piling up-”
“Hard enough these days, isn’t it?” Hannah says quietly. “Yes, well, it seems you’ve fallen behind three months in payment.” Miles looks on in horror as Bunsen explains. “I am sorry. Rose- my wife, used to handle all our finances, you see, and I’ve been a bit off my stride.” He sighs, and walks to a desk. “How much do I owe you exactly?”
Bunsen answers straight forward. “Unfortunately, the bank is now demanding you pay back the entire loan in full.” Miles’ eyes widen. “The entire loan? That’s more than I make in a year! I couldn’t possibly-” Hannah gasps. “Oh dear!” Bunsen gets up to leave. “You have five days. If you are unable to pay in full by Friday at midnight, I’m afraid we will have to repossess your home, and you will have to vacate the premises.”
“But I work at The World!” Miles shouts. “Not as an accountant, I assume.” Bunsen answers. “No.. as a teller. I took a part-time position there this past year. You see, I’m really an artist- But my father, Angus Tuck, was a major partner there!” Davey looks up with an idea. “Didn’t your father leave you bank shares? You could use them to pay off the loan!”
“Do you have the share certificate?” Bunsen asks. Davey and Miles stare. “The what?” “The document proving you own shares in the bank.” Miles goes quiet, before answering. “I suppose it must be somewhere among his old papers..”
“Primed and ready, Mr. Binnacle?” called out the Admiral. “Ready and charged, sir!” Binnacle yelled back. They shoot off the cannon, thus causing everything inside the house to shake. “Are you housing anarchists?!” Bunsen yells in alarm. “No, that’s the Admiral. He fires off a canon to mark the hour.” Davey explains, and Hannah checks her watch. “But he’s over five minutes late!”
“Yes, I’m afraid he’s been running a little behind these last few years.” Miles says with a sigh. “As are we, this morning. You’ve been given notice. Come on, Hannah.” Bunsen states. “I hope you find that share certificate. I really do.” Hannah says as she’s following Bunsen out.
“Why didn’t you tell me you had taken out a loan, Miles?” Davey asks. “I didn’t want to worry you or the children. I kept thinking I would catch up. Rose always managed.” Miles shakes his head. “Of all the thick-headed mistakes.. I can’t lose this home, Davey. She’s everywhere here.”
Davey puts his hand on Miles’ shoulder. “Well then we aren’t going to let that happen. But Miles, you know neither of us have enough money between us, so we just have to find that share certificate. Do you have any idea where your father would have kept it?” “Up in the attic, I suppose..” “..I didn’t mean to drag you into all this.” Miles says under his breath. “Miles! I live here, and this is your family home and you’re about to lose it. So stop pretending everything’s fine.” “Are we going to lose our home?” Thomas says suddenly. Miles and Davey turn to look at him in shock.
“Oh, no, of course not, Thomas.” Miles says softly. “I was saying you won’t have to worry, because your father owns shares in the bank.” Davey responds, smiling. “But you said we don’t have enough money!” Thomas shouts. Miles grabs a paper and pen and starts sketching.
“Well, I can make more. I’m a banker now, aren’t I? That’s what bankers do, make money.” Thomas looks confused. “But you’re not a banker! You’re a painter.” Miles sighs. “Well, painters don’t make money, not these days.” He continues sketching. “Here, you see? The day has hardly begun, and I’ve already made you 10 pounds.” Thomas smiles brightly, taking the “10 pounds” from his father.
“We’d best be going.” Les says after checking his watch. “Let’s get your hats on, then.” Davey adds, handing the kids their hats. Miles hands Les a few coins. “Here, Thomas wouldn’t want to spend his 10 pounds on the shopping.” Betsy returns. “Off to the park now, I see.” “Yes, Betsy!” Winnie says with a nod.
“Shall we search the attic then?” Davey asks to Miles. “Don’t you have to go to work?” Miles answers. “Work can wait.” Les turns to Betsy. “We’ll make you lunch when we get back, Betsy.” The three children then leave as Davey and Miles disappeared up the stairs.
“Father didn’t give us enough, did he?” Winnie asks, and Les shakes his head. “Not nearly.” Winnie thinks, then nods with a idea. “We can ask for day old bread at half off, that’s what mother used to do.” Thomas tries to run off and wave to a lady and her dog, but Les grabs his sleeve.
“We don’t have time for this, Thomas.” Thomas sighs, but then he spots a lady sitting on a bench with balloons and beams. “The balloon lady! Can we get balloons?” Winnie shakes her head. “We don’t have enough for groceries as is.”
The park keeper shouts at Thomas, as the latter had cut through the grass to approach the balloon lady. “Keep off the grass! I don’t spend all day caring for it just to see my work get trampled on!” “Sorry.”
Les whispers to Winnie. “What if your father does lose the home?” Winnie sighs. “Then we’ll just have to figure out a way to get it back, I suppose.” Les nods. “That’s right, that’s what Aunt Rose would do.”
Miles walks into the attic, it’s a complete mess. Miles’ art supplies are all piled up in a corner. Miles starts searching through drawers and desks. He finds a box with jewelry and opens it, a melody begins to play. A necklace that belonged to his wife is in there and he gasps softly. “We haven’t spoken in so long, dear.. This year has gone by in a blur.”
“Today seems everything’s gone wrong here..
I’m looking for the way things were.”
Miles walks through the attic, holding the music box with a somber expression.
“I know you’d laugh and call me tragic.
For everything’s in disarray.”
“These rooms were always full of magic.
That’s vanished since you went away.”
Miles has a sad but fond smile on his face as he reminisces.
“This house is crowded now with questions,
and Les is a walking questionnaire.”
“And I could use a few suggestions
on how to brush our daughter’s hair.”
Miles slowly makes his way to the window, frowning.
“When Thomas needed explanations,
you always knew just what to say.”
“And I miss our family conversations-
It’s silent since you went away.”
He looks out the window, looking over the streets.
“Winter has gone, but not from this room.
Snow’s left the lane, but the cherry trees forgot to bloom.”
He pauses, remembering to keep searching. “The certificate..” He then continues searching the nooks and crannies of the attic.
“I’ll carry on the way you told me..
I say that like I have a choice.”
“And though you are not here to hold me.
In the echoes I can hear your voice.”
Miles feels the tears begin to form in his eyes, and he sits down by the desk where the music box was at.
“But still one question fills my day, dear.
The answer I’ve most longed to know.”
“Each moment since you went away, dear.
My question Rose is.. where’d you go?”
davey and les aren't related to the tucks, it's more or less based on how (atleast for me as a child) i'd refer to other adult family friends as aunt/uncle
Miles hears Davey approaching, and puts the jewelry and box away. “Nothing was in the wardrobe- oh goodness.” He takes a moment to take in the mess. “Yes, it’s quite a mess, isn’t it?” Davey looks to the art supplies and raises an eyebrow. “What are all your art things doing up here?” “I wasn’t using them anymore. I should probably get rid of it all.”
Miles looks through a desk and finds a snowglobe. “I honestly don’t know why we kept most of this stuff to begin with.” He ends up pulling out a kite with various holes in it. “I mean, why did we keep this old broken thing?” Davey snatches it from him, looking almost offended. “Don’t you remember that kite? We used to love flying that kite with our families. I still remember you teaching me.”
“Well, it won’t fly anymore. Out it goes.” Miles huffs, taking the kite back and putting it in the rubbish bin and carrying it to the outside of the house. A sudden gust of wind lifts it into the air, sending it hovering through the streets. Jack and Crutchie see the kite and look to each other, then to the sky, before following the kite.
“Hold on tight to those you love,
and maybe soon from up above..”
Les and Winnie are walking through the park, Thomas lagging behind. Thomas sees the kite, and takes off after it. “How long do you think it will take us today?” Winnie asks, not noticing Thomas. “Well, let’s see.. It’s a nine minute walk to the shop. If it takes about 10 minutes to purchase each item, we should be back home by-” Les gets cut off, though, as Jack and Crutchie go flying by on their bike. “Pardon us, comin’ through!” Crutchie shouts, clinging tightly to Jack.
“Thomas!” Winnie and Les shout in alarm, chasing after them, but the park keeper stops them. “Keep off the lawn!” He shouts. “But my brother!” Winnie shouts back. “You heard me, now!” Thomas eventually catches up to the kite, propped up against a rock like it was waiting for him.
He runs, holding onto the kite’s spool, but the wind intensifies, starting to pull him up and away. “Help!” Winnie and Les dash over the grass after him. “We’re coming, Thomas!” Jack and Crutchie stop their bike, and Jack takes off to grab Thomas, Crutchie not far behind. “Hold on!”
Jack manages to pull Thomas down safely, when suddenly the clouds part, revealing the kite..
..and the lady holding onto it.
She has a carpet bag in her free hand, and a parrot umbrella tucked under her arm. Jack and Crutchie look to each other starstruck before looking back to her. “As I live and breathe..” Jack stammers. Les and Winnie get over to the group just in time to see her land. “You need to be more careful when the wind rises, Thomas. You nearly lost your kite!”
She looks to the two children. “And you two nearly lost your Thomas. He might have got away completely had I’d not been holding the other end of that string.” She brushes herself off, then takes in the appearance of the two children. “My goodness, Winnie, what have you done to your clothes? You could grow a garden in that much soil, and Les, you’re just as filthy.”
“..How do you know our names?” Winnie asks questioningly. “Because she’s Medda Larkin, of course!” Jack shouts, and Crutchie tips his cap. “Might I add that ya look lovely as always, Miss Medda?” Medda smiles fondly at the two. “You really think so? It’s so nice to see you boys! C’mere and give me a hug!”
Crutchie and Jack don’t hesitate to hug her, Jack pulls away with a big grin. “You know we were just your age when we first met, working for a chimney sweep!” Medda smiles, taking off Crutchie’s cap to ruffle his hair. “How is dear old Denton?” Medda asks. “Traveling reporter, he is! Off to points unknown.”
“Well, now I am off to speak with the caretakers of these children. This family is clearly in desperate need of a nanny!” The kids look utterly surprised, but Crutchie and Jack smile. “Go on.” Crutchie says, nudging the older kids.
“Father! Uncle Davey! Come quick!
I was flying a kite and it got caught on a nanny!”
“I was flying a kite and it got caught on a nanny!” Thomas yells up the stairs, Miles and Davey come running. “Whatever are you talking about?” Davey asks, visibly out of breath. “Come look!” Thomas shouts. “Wait- where did you get that kite?” Miles asks with a confused look. “I found it at the park! She kept it from blowing away.”
Miles and Davey look to the front door in shock as Medda walks in, Miles dropping his papers. “Medda..?” Miles begins, “..Larkin?” and Davey finishes. Medda playfully rolls her eyes. “Oh, Miles. Close your mouth, we are still not a codfish.” Davey muffles a laugh, and Medda gives him a glance. “Davey Jacobs, still inclined to giggle, I see.”
Les and Winnie run in, closing the door behind them. “It.. it really is you.” Miles says, still a little in shock. “You seem to hardly have aged at all!” He adds, provoking an offended expression from Medda. “How rude! One never discusses a woman’s age, Miles. I thought I taught you better.” Miles’ face went red in embarrassment. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-”
“You came back!” Davey says excitedly as he continues. “I thought we’d never see you again.” Miles smiles warmly. “It is wonderful to see you.” Medda smiles, looking at herself in the mirror. “I suppose it is, isn’t it?” She begins to walk away, but her reflection remains to watch her.
“So you know her then?” Winnie asks, still trying to understand. “Yes, Medda Larkin used to be our nanny.” Miles says, with a hand on Winnie’s shoulder. “What brings you here after all this time?” Davey asks. “The same thing that brought me the first time; I’ve come to look after the Tuck and Jacobs children.”
“Us?” Winnie asks, bewildered. “..Oh yes, you too.” Winnie pouts. “We don’t need a nanny! Mother taught us to look after ourselves.” Medda rolls her eyes. “You did just misplace Thomas, I might point out.” Les crosses his arms. “Only slightly! We got him back.” “We can do anything a nanny can.” Winnie adds, standing beside Les.
“Miss Medda flew here on a kite, you can’t do that, can you?” Thomas points out, but Miles gives him a confused look. “What on earth are you talking about? Don’t be silly.” Davey laughs. “Oh, let him believe what he likes.” He then looks to the kids. “When me and your father were young, we used to imagine Medda Larkin could do all sorts of impossible things.”
“Actually-” Medda’s parrot umbrella begins, but she forces the beak shut. “Actually what?” Miles asks, not noticing. “Actually, I’d like to get back to the matter of my employment.” “Your umbrella talks!” Thomas shouts in excitement, Winnie grabs his arm. “Thomas, they’re having a grown-up conversation, let’s go upstairs.” “But it did talk!”
“I’m afraid Thomas sometimes suffers from an excess of imagination.” Miles explains. “As I recall, you had the same affliction yourself when you were younger.” Miles laughs dryly. “Those days are long behind me.” Medda raises an eyebrow. “Are they, indeed? So then, about my employment-”
“Yes, the truth is, I can’t afford-” Miles cuts her off, but soon she cuts him off too. “We can settle on terms later, honey. All I want for now is my old room if it’s still usable, and I want every second tuesday off.” Medda explains, her traditional motherly smile on her face. “But I’m afraid-” Miles begins. “Of course, Medda Larkin!” Davey cuts him off.
“Good. Now, if you’ll excuse me, the children have turned themselves into dustbins. My first order of business is to see them properly cleaned.” Medda states, heading upstairs. Miles grabs Davey’s arm and pulls him into the living room.
“Have you gone completely mad, Dave? I can’t afford to take on anyone else.” Davey huffs. “Medda Larkin isn’t just anyone! Don’t you see, Miles? No one’s hiring nannies anymore. The poor lady’s got nowhere to go.” “And neither will we by the end of the week!” Miles snaps.
Davey groans. “Don’t be so grumpy, you sound just like your father.” “I do not!” Davey rolls his eyes. “Give Medda Larkin a chance. You need help just as much as she does.” Miles sighs. “Oh.. very well. She can stay for the time being, I suppose.”
Miles smirks. “After all, she did ‘fly here on a kite’, after all.” The two laugh. “Those things when we were young.. they didn’t really..” Davey begins, “happen? No.” Miles finished with a raised eyebrow and knowing look. “Of course not.” “Ridiculous.” Unbeknownst to them, Medda is sliding up the banister behind them.
Medda slides along the banister past Betsy, carrying an armful of towels. “Oh, hello Medda Larkin.” Betsy says, entirely unphased. “Hello, Betsy.” Medda hops off the banister, her carpet bag and umbrella float to her side. “How did you do that?” Thomas asks as he approaches.
“Do what?” Medda says calmly. “And why didn’t father believe you flew here on a kite?” Medda laughs. “Because, dear, it’s complete nonsense, of course.” The parrot umbrella squawks again. “Grown ups forget, they always do!” Medda glares at it. “That’s enough out of you! Goodness, I should’ve just left you in that umbrella stand!” “Not with the canes!” it squawks, distressed.
When Medda walks into the nursery, Les and Winnie are whispering. “What are you two whispering about?” She asks. “Nothing!” They say at the same time. “Nothing is such a useful word, isn’t it? It can mean just about anything- and everything!”
“It’s just that-” Winnie begins, Medda smiles knowingly, taking off her hat. “-you don’t require the services of a nanny?” Les shifts in place. “Well, we have grown up a lot in the past year, after all.” Medda nods. “We’ll just have to see what can be done about that, then.” She notes. Medda straightens the items on their fireplace, adjusting a china bowl on the mantle.
“That was our mother’s! Be careful!” Medda turns around. “I am always careful.” Winnie pouts. “So.. you’re staying.” Medda nods. “I’ll stay until the door opens.” Les raises an eyebrow. “What does that mean?” “The door is always opening.” Winnie adds. “Not that door. Another one.” Thomas tilts his head to the side in confusion. “The bathroom door?”
“No, but a bath would prove useful. Come along, kids! Time for a good, clean start.”
“Our mother always had us take baths in the evening.” Winnie explains as Medda begins to draw the bath. “In my experience, the perfect time of day to have a bath is when one needs a wash. Thomas will go first.” Medda replies back.
“We are perfectly capable of drawing our own baths.” Les explains with his arms crossed. “How very helpful, Les. In that case, you may turn off the tap- But not yet, we still have to put in the bubbles.” Les pouts. “But I don’t like soap bubbles.” Medda laughs. “Well, then you must try to avoid them at all costs!” She looks to Les and Winnie, who don’t laugh, then to Thomas, who laughs along with her.
“We should get this done quickly, we still have to get to the grocers!” Winnie explains. “And it looks like it’s about to rain.” Les adds. “I know who you can ask!” Thomas shouts excitedly. “Her umbrella can’t talk, Thomas.”
Medda shakes her head. “The very idea.” Thomas pouts. “How do you know it can’t?” “Because it can’t. The very idea is ridiculous.” Winnie explains. “Exactly right, Winnie. It’s nonsense. Foolishness!” Medda remarks, Les stands by Winnie. “It makes no sense, and if it makes no sense it can’t be true!”
Medda stops suddenly. “Les, you’re right. It’s good to know you’re bright!” The kids look between each other in confusion. “For intellect can wash away confusion. Thomas sees, and Winnie agrees, most folderol’s an optical illusion!” Medda pours soap bubble formula into the tub, and it begins to bubble.
“You three know it’s true, that one plus one is two. Yes, logic is the rock of our foundation.” Winnie raises an eyebrow. “I suspect.. and I’m never incorrect, that you’re far too old to give into imagination!” A dolphin pops out of the tub, much to the children’s amazement. “No, not yet.” Medda chides.
“Some people like to splash and play, can you imagine that?
And take a seaside holiday, can you imagine that?”
The older kids are a little suspicious still, but Thomas is ecstatic. Medda smiles warmly as she goes on, adding various other toys.
“Too much glee leaves rings around the brain,
take that joy and send it down the drain!”
“Some people like to laugh through life and giggle through the day!
They think the world’s a brand new shiny toy!”
The kids watch as Medda pulls a decently sized toy pirate ship out of her bag and drops it into the tub. She then sprinkles in some coins like pirates would have.
“And if while dreaming in the clouds,
they fall and go kersplat!”
“Although they’re down and bent in half they brush right off and start to laugh!
Can you imagine that?”
Medda stops as though in thought. “On second thought, perhaps you’re right. It’s much too early to take a bath!” Thomas dashes over to her, grabbing her arm. “Wait! I want to take a bath!” Medda smiles. “Oh really? Up you go,” Medda picks up Thomas and walks to the tub. “and in you go!” and drops him in. Les’ eyes widen. “Thomas!” He jumps in after him, leaving Winnie in shock.
“What happened? Will they be alright?” Winnie asks in a worried tone. “Well, it is just a bath- but then again, it isn’t my tub..” Winnie gasps. “Aren’t you going to go in after them?” Medda shakes her head. “I had a bath this morning, thank you.” Winnie puts her hands on her hips. “Well, if you won’t, I will!” Winnie shouts, leaping into the tub, and Medda smiles. “Off we go..” Medda then follows them in.
The quad all sink into what appears to be the ocean, now adorning sailor styled outfits. The toys Medda put in are all now much larger. For instance the rubber duck she had put in was now the size of a bus, the kids are starstruck.
“Some people like to dive right in, can you imagine that?
And flap about in bathtub gin, can you imagine that?”
Medda and the children float pass various scenes with people they know from Cherry Tree Lane. The lady with the dog from the park passed them by, said dog doggie-paddling.
“Doggies paddling twenty leagues below!
Might seem real, but we know it’s not so!”
The pirate ship is now a full size shipwreck, and they see Betsy trying to cook, but all her ingredients keep swimming away.
“To cook without a recipe, can you imagine that?
And heaven knows what lives within that pot!”
A treasure chest sits nearby, the kids swim down to it as it opens to reveal coins that swirl around them.
“Some pirates follow treasure maps and wear a silly hat!
They search the world for buried gold..”
Thomas veers away from the group, looking through some seagrass, only to find the park keeper grumpily pointing to a sign that says “Keep Off The Seagrass”.
“..they won’t grow up and don’t grow old!
Can you imagine that?”
Medda grabs sponges from a nearby reef and tosses them to the children. “Be sure to scrub behind your ears!” Medda then floats to the surface as a school of dolphins surround the kids and create a whirlpool of bubbles. When it clears, the kids are squeaky clean, and captured in enormous bubbles that float to the surface.
Medda is sitting in their bathtub, holding a beach umbrella. She then pops the bubbles containing the children with the umbrella.
“Some answer when adventure calls..”
“Can you imagine that?”
“And sail straight over waterfalls..”
“Can you imagine that?”
The Admiral and Binnacle float by them in a rowboat. The quad salutes them.
“They see living as it’s own reward..”
Les tumbles over and falls off the boat, much to the alarm of Winnie and Thomas.
“Rock the boat and..”
The group quickly pull Les back onboard.
“Some people look out on the sea and see a brand new day!
Their spirits lift them high above the blue.”
“Yet.. some others wear an anchor,
and they sink in seconds flat. So..”
Medda looks to the kids with a cheerful smile.
“Perhaps we’ve learned when day is done,
some stuff and nonsense could be fun!”
“Can you imagine that?”
Miles is pulling books off shelves, and Davey is looking through the bottom drawer of the secretary desk, pulling out stacks of pencil drawings. “Anything?” Miles grumbles, to which Davey shakes his head. “No. Just your drawings, and bills, and nothing else.” Miles sighs. “Then it’s not here.”
As if on cue, the children come barreling into the room, Medda not far behind. “Father!” “Uncle Miles!” “Uncle Davey!” “You won’t believe it! It was incredible!” Thomas was giddy. “We went sailing!” Miles sighs. “Not now, please.” “But it really happened! Tell them, Medda Larkin!” Les calls, nudging her arm.
Medda raised an eyebrow. “I have no idea what you’re all talking about.” Thomas continues to ramble. “We swam through a pirate ship!” “Enough! Please! ” Miles shouts, causing the entire room to go silent. “You’re right, father.. We’re sorry.” Winnie grabs Thomas’ hand and begins to leave.
“No, wait, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be cross with all of you. I’ve just lost something very important.” Miles apologizes, looking guilty. Davey gently places a hand on his shoulder. “And we’ll find it. I’m sure your grandfather just tucked it away somewhere for safe keeping.” Davey pauses, as if realizing something.
“The bank! Didn’t your father have a safety deposit in the bank?” Miles’ eyes widen. “Yes, he did!” “Well, let’s go!” Miles gives him a look. “It’s closed, Dave.” “We’ll go first thing in the morning, then.” Miles raises an eyebrow. “Won’t we need a key?” “There’s a whole drawer of keys up in your father’s desk.”
Miles sighs, and he and Davey disappear out of the room. Medda rolls her eyes. “My goodness! You’d think by now they’d have learned to pick up after themselves.” She picks up a piece of paper and drops it into the trash, the other papers lift into the air, turning into a nice neat pile before floating inside the trash can.
“Cleaning is not a spectator sport, might I remind you. Les, Winnie, put the books onto the shelves. Thomas, take out the rubbish bin. Off you go, now.” Thomas smiles. “Yes, Miss Medda.” As Thomas carries out the bin, he spots a drawing that Miles did of their family. He smiles, and stuffs the drawing into his pocket.
@katherine plumber pulitzer i am so sorry
Miles looks through a safety deposit box, but he finds nothing. “Couldn’t Mr. Roosevelt give you more time?” Davey asks. “I’m sure he would, if he was still in charge. Joseph Pulitzer has been running things lately, I’m not sure he even knows who I am.” Davey huffs. “Well, it’s high time he finds out, don’t you think?”
Davey takes off to the office, Miles having to chase after him. “Dave! We can’t just charge into his office!” Davey goes inside anyway, greeting the lady at the desk. “Hello there Miss..” He reads the name on the plaque. “Plumber. I guess the man working here finally retired? He always had that jar of sweets we would raid as children-”
Joseph Pulitzer enters the room, sporting a recently trimmed beard. “I remember that jar- with those little toffees that stuck your teeth together. We must get you one of those jars, Miss Plumber.” She nods. “This wouldn’t happen to be your roommate, would it, Mr. Tuck?” “Yes, David Jacobs. Pleasure to meet you.”
“A pleasure indeed, Joseph Pulitzer. Do step this way.” Miles looks surprised, but Davey heads right in to his office, so Miles follows behind. Pulitzer sits at his desk. “If I had known Angus Tuck’s son had taken a loan with us, I’d have handled the paperwork myself. Unfortunately, regarding the extension, there’s very little I can do at this point.”
“My father did leave shares in the bank.” Miles remarks, and Pulitzer looks up, slightly surprised. “Oh, well. That is good news, isn’t it?” Davey nods. “Yes, it is, but the trouble is we can’t seem to find the certificate.” “You wouldn’t happen to have any records of my father’s shares, would you?” Miles adds.
“I would think so, Miss Plumber, would you bring in the shareholder’s ledger?” Pulitzer calls out. “What about your old co-worker, Mr. Roosevelt? He would know if his father received shares, wouldn’t he?” Pulitzer sighs. “I’m afraid Teddy is getting on in years, which is why I had to take over for him.” Miss Plumber returns with the book. “Thank you.”
Pulitzer flips pages, reading out names. “There’s no listing of Angus Tuck here. But don’t fret, you still have until Big Ben chimes his last on friday night to find that certificate. I’ll keep searching here as well.”
“Thank you, Mr. Pulitzer.” Miles says sincerely, and him and Davey get up to leave. Once they’re gone, Pulitzer grabs the page of the ledger for Angus Tuck and tosses it into the fire, swinging his pocket watch as it burns.
The children are already in their pajamas when Medda enters, Thomas is jumping on the bed. “Thomas! This is a nursery might I remind you, not a music hall.” Thomas obliges, but is still bouncing around. “Can we have another bath?” Medda rolls her eyes playfully. “Les, you’d best go downstairs and-” CRASH. “..help Betsy with the dishes.”
Les leaves to go help her, Winnie takes the clothes from Medda to put them away. “Thomas, dear, if you’re hoping I’ll let you take this sadly-neglected kite to the park tomorrow, you had better start patching it up this instant.” Thomas takes the kite from her, beaming. “Yes, Miss Medda!”
“Here let me help you with those.” Les calls to Betsy. “I only wish I could do something to help Miles save this house. “I could sell my broach and necklace, I suppose.. Matching set, my old mum gave ‘em to me.” Les looks at her in shock. “You’d do that for us?”
“Sell my prized possessions?” Les pales. “Oh, I didn’t mean it like that.” Betsy smiles. “Oh, don’t worry. I think they’re fake, anyway.” Les looks to the china soup tureen he’s holding and gets an idea, handing it to Betsy and taking off back to the nursery. “..What’s gotten into him?”
“Winnie! I know how to save the house!” Les calls with quiet urgency. “What do you mean?” Winnie whispers back. “If you two are going to keep up all this whispering, I would like you to practice doing so as loudly as possible. It will still be bad manners, but at least then we’ll all be in on the secret.”
Medda crosses the room to close the drapes of the curtain, but sees Jack and Crutchie outside polishing the lamps. She smiles fondly and opens the window. “Hello, Jack, Crutchie.” Jack and Crutchie grin. Jack helps Crutchie up onto the balcony, Medda helping him up once they reach it. “Miss Medda! How are you on this fine evening?”
“Settling in nicely, thank you.” Medda remarks, Jack climbs up and joins them. “You know when we were lads, we used to wave to the boys who were up here.” He adds with a smirk. “You mean Miles and David.” Jack and Crutchie smile fondly. “Ah, Davey Jacobs, that’s right. I see Mr. Tuck about now and again but it’s been ages since I’ve seen Davey.” Crutchie states.
Les and Winnie sneak over to the mantle, and continue to whisper. “He lives here still, you know. Just works on the other side of town, you two are bound to bump into him eventually.” Les takes the bowl off the mantle. “What are you doing?? We’re not supposed to touch that!” Les examines the bowl. “This is authentic royal doulton china, Winnie. Aunt Rose always said it was priceless, and I bet it’ll be enough to pay off your father’s debt.”
Winnie grabs the bowl from him, but he snatches it back. “That’s a terrible idea, Les. Mother loved that bowl.” Les huffs. “She’d sell it herself to save the house.” Thomas sees Les holding the bowl and runs over. “That was mother’s, put it back!”
Jack is sitting on the railing, Crutchie standing on the balcony beside him. “It’s a good thing you came when you did, Miss Medda.” Crutchie remarks, shortly after, as if on cue, the crack of the bowl is heard. “That didn’t sound good, now did it?”
the dog is replaced with a cat bc haha tuck animals, and i hc that the tuck's family cat was a bengal so yeah thats that on that
Medda, Jack, and Crutchie enter the room. Medda picks up the missing chipped off piece of the bowl. “Which one of you broke the bowl?” The kids quickly turn to face her, blaming each other.
“Actually, it was all three of them.”
The children look around bewildered, but Crutchie and Jack look to each other with a knowing grin. “Who said that?” Les stammers. Medda walks over and peers at the bowl. “Oh dear.” The illustration of the bowl has changed, the crack has caused one of the horse carriage wheels to fall off, thus causing the carriage to be tipped at an angle.
“It looks as though they’ve broken your carriage wheel.” Medda remarks. “That they have! It’s useless now.” Another mysterious voice says. “Useless as a chocolate teapot.” The first voice snarks. “The bowl is talking!” Les shouts. “And who do we think is gonna fix that?” The second voice points out.
“Them that broke it fixes it..” Crutchie remarks, getting a nod from Jack. “What do you think, Miss Medda?” Jack asks with a cheeky grin. “I suppose we have no choice.” “But how are we going to do that?” Les inquires. “I know a bit about fixin’ carriages.” Jack explains. “We can’t fix that carriage wheel, it’s impossible!” Winnie states with a huff.
“Everything is possible, even the impossible.” Medda remarks as she takes the bowl, setting it down on a small table. “Now gather round, everyone! Ready?” “Ready.” Crutchie and Jack answer in unison with determined expressions. Colorful leaves fly out of the bowl and surround the group, when they disappear, they are inside the bowl. While they are all real, everything around them is 2D.
“Where are we?” Winnie asks, eyes sparkling. Crutchie nudges the air behind him and nods to himself. “Looks like we’re in China, so to speak.” Medda and the group slide down a porcelain slope, the kids a little less graceful.
“Excuse me driver, would you help us?” Medda asks, and the driver turns around, revealing that he is a bengal cat in a uniform. “Well, Medda Larkin! Is it really you?” The cat remarks. “But he’s-” “That’s right, I’m American- also part tabby.” He meows. “How wonderful to see you, Ben. So sorry about all this. Can you help Jack lift the carriage while the children put the wheel back on?”
“With pleasure!” Ben meows back. “She’s talking to a cat!” Thomas cries out, amazed. “Well of course she can talk.” The horse snarks. Jack and Ben lift up the cart so the kids can put the wheel back on, and Medda ties it on with her scarf. “Back to the nursery we go.” “Already?” Winnie pouts.
“Can’t we stay in the bowl for a while?” Les asks, also pouting. “I want a carriage ride!” Thomas shouts. “I wouldn’t mind one m’self.” Crutchie adds with a small grin. “I suppose it wouldn’t do any harm. Ben, do you mind?” Medda inquires. “Not in the slightest. Climb aboard, everyone!” Jack courtly helps Crutchie on board, then the rest of the kids and Medda climb on.
“Where would you all like to go this fine day?” Ben chirps. “The Royal Doulton Music Hall, please.” Medda states. “Where?” “What’s that?” Les and Thomas ask. “We’re on the brink of an adventure, children! Don’t spoil it with too many questions.”
“In the nursery, you were never by yourself.
There was quite another world upon your shelf!”
“Hold on!” Jack calls to the group, pulling Crutchie away from the edge of the cart as they go upside down on the bowl.
“Where each day crowds make their way upon the sun’s descent!
To a mythical, mystical, never quite logistical tent!”
The cart is rightside up again, and Crutchie laughs, clearly enjoying the ride.
“Yes, in this dearly dynamical, simply ceramical royal doulton bowl!
There’s a cuddly and curious, furry and furious animal watering hole!”
A pair of hummingbirds land atop Jack and Crutchie’s heads, the two looking to each other and grin. Medda smiles warmly.
“Where the monkeys and hummingbirds
know the tunes and the words, every beast large and small..”
The hummingbirds fly away, and they pass by elegant families, beaks and snouts peeking out from under their parasols and top hats.
“..loves the very top drawer-able, always encore-able
Royal Doulton.. Music Hall!”
“Almost there, Medda Larkin!” Ben calls over his shoulder. Thomas makes his way to the front, sitting next to Ben. Jack and Crutchie are across from Medda.
“Yes, in this marvelous, mystical, rather sophistical royal doulton bowl!”
“..There’s a lotta birds queueing up..“ “A lotta hams chewing up..”
“Scenery they swallow whole!”
Medda laughs, watching Crutchie and Jack play off of each other. Thomas and Ben switch hats, both grinning.
“There are lotsa cats tuning strings!” “Nightingales in the wings!”
“Waiting for the big drum roll!”
The three were all laughing and singing together. Elaborate fancy gates open in front of them.
“At the simply sensational..”
“Royal Doulton.. Music Hall!”
They pull in, but the area is empty. “But.. where’s the music hall?” Medda stops, then laughs. “Oh, that! Silly me.” She lifts up her parasol, which spins around then transforms into a giant tent.
“Wow!” The kids said in unison. “How on earth did she do that?” Winnie asks, looking to Jack and Crutchie. “One thing you should know about Miss Medda- she never explains anything.” At the front of the tent, a snake is acting as a carnival barker, said snake has a pocket watch around his neck swinging back and forth. A badger and weasel stand behind him.
“Get tickets while you can for the one night and one night only- Medda Larkin! How wonderful it is for you to join us.” He says, with a seemingly innocent smile. “Thank you.” Medda responds curtly. “And who’s this I see? Why it’s Les Jacobs, Winnie and Thomas Tuck!” “You know us?” Les asks in surprise. “Of course! Everyone knows the Tuck and Jacobs children. Hurry along now, get yourselves some peanuts and candy floss and go right on in.”
“May we, Miss Medda?” Thomas pleads. “Yes. Just keep away from the edge of the bowl.”
The group all head inside, a group of flamingo showgirls are performing. Various other animals are seated around them. The kids, Crutchie, Jack, and Medda sit in the front row.
“At the highly-acclaimable, nearly untameable,
lavishly praisable, always roof-raisable, Royal Doulton.. Music Hall!”
The flamingos are met with applause, then the lights go out. A spotlight hits center stage, and the kids are surprised to see Jack and Crutchie, who were just with them, on the stage. “It is our great honor to introduce this evening’s renounced guest, the one, the only.. Miss Medda Larkin!” Medda gasped in surprise as Crutchie added. “Go on then, Miss Medda! Give us a show!” “Oh, I couldn’t!”
“C’mon!” Jack calls from the stage, a gleam in his eye. “Silly boys. D-flat major.” Medda calls to the orchestra pit as she makes her way to the stage. The kids cheered and Jack and Crutchie made their way backstage.
“Uncle Gutenberg was a bookworm,
and he lived on Charing Cross.”
“The memory of his volumes brings a smile,
he would read me lots of stories.. when he wasn't on the ‘sauce’.”
“Now I'd like to share the wisdom, of my favourite bibliophile
He said a..”
Medda looks to the audience and heads behind a podium, when said podium is raised she’s gained a new attire, ditching her blue get-up for a pink burlesque outfit.
“..Cover is not the book,
so open it up and take a look!”
“'Cause under the covers one discovers:
that the king may be a crook!”
“Chapter titles are like signs,
and if you read between the lines..”
“..You'll find your first impression was mistook!
For a cover is nice, but a cover is not the book!”
A quad of penguins peeked out from the curtain. “Miss Medda! Could you give us an example?” She laughed her boisterous, motherly laugh. “Certainly!”
“Nellie Rubina was made of wood, but what could not be seen was though
her trunk up top was barren, well, her roots were lush and green!”
“So in spring, when Mr. Hickory saw her blossoms blooming there.
He took root despite her bark, and now there's seedlings everywhere!”
Jack and Crutchie came out from behind Medda, wearing matchingly styled attire, Crutchie having traded in his crutch for a fancy cane, and the two grinned at the audience.
“Which proves a cover is not the book,
so open it up and take a look!”
“'Cause under the covers one discovers:
that the king may be a crook!”
“Chapter titles are like signs,
and if you read between the lines..”
“You'll find your first impression was mistook!
For a cover is nice, but a cover is not the book!”
The kids were hooked by the show. “Should we do the one about the wealthy widow?” Jack asked, and Medda laughed and nodded. “Oh, by all means!” “Always loved that one!” Crutchie chimes in, prompting Medda to playfully roll her eyes. “Well, go on then!”
“Lady Hyacinth Macaw
brought all her treasures to a reef!”
“Where she only wore a smile!”
“Plus two feathers, and a leaf!”
Jack’s line was accompanied by a suave, teasing voice.
“So no one tried to rob her,
'cause she barely wore a stitch!”
“For when you're in your birthday suit,”
“There ain't much there to show you're rich!”
Crutchie and Jack were playing up the flair, and while Crutchie couldn’t do much actual dancing, he made up for it with his now much more outgoing personality.
“Oh, a cover is not the book,
so open it up and take a look!”
“Cause under the covers one discovers:
That the king may be a crook!”
“Ta-ru-ra-lee, ta-ru-ra-la, ta-ru-ra-lee, ta-ra-ta-ta!”
“You'll find your first impression was mistook! (Ya-da-da-da!)
For a cover is nice, but a cover is not the book!”
“Oh, give us the one about the dirty rascal, why don’t ya?” Medda asks with a cheerful grin. “Isn’t that one a bit long?” Jack responds, with a raised eyebrow. “The quicker you’re into it, the quicker you’re out of it!” Medda shot back.
“Once upon a time, in a nursery rhyme:
There was a castle with a king hiding in a wing..”
“'Cause he never went to school to learn a single thing!”
Crutchie and Jack were doing fast raps almost flawlessly, and the audience was very impressed by them.
“He had scepters and swords, and a parliament of lords.
But on the inside he was sad-”
The entire audience was entertained, including the kids. Medda rolled her eyes fondly, for she loved those boys like they were her own children.
“Because he never had a wisdom for numbers-
a wisdom for words!”
“Though his crown was quite immense,
his brain was smaller than a bird's!”
“So, the queen of the nation made a royal proclamation:”
“To the missus and the messers!”
“The more or lessers- bring me all the land’s professors!”
“Then she went to the hair dressers!”
The kids were humming along to the song, watching their every move.
“And they came from the east,
and they came from the south!”
“From each college they poured knowledge,
from their brains into his mouth!”
The kids were so excited seeing how musically talented the two boys were, and how well they played off each other.
“But the king couldn't learn, so each professor met their fate.
For the queen had their heads removed and placed upon the gate!”
“And on that date; I state their wives all got a note
Their mate was now the late-great!”
The penguins behind them watched intently, though Jack had been prompted to nudge (more like gently kick) them out of the way a few times.
“But then suddenly one day, a stranger started in to sing.
He said: I'm the dirty rascal and I'm here to teach the king!”
“And the queen clutched her jewels, for she hated royal fools!
But this fool had some rules, they really ought to teach in schools!”
The penguins had formed a stairway of sorts, and Crutchie dramatically jumped into Jack’s arms as Jack then ran up the penguin-staircase.
“Like you'll be a happy king
if you enjoy the things you've got.”
“You should never try to be
the kind of person that you're not!”
“So they sang and they laughed,
for the king had found a friend.
“And they ran onto a rainbow for
the story's perfect end!”
Crutchie pointed to the audience with his cane, giving them all a wink.
“So the moral is you musn't let the outside be the guide,
for it's not so cut and dried!”
“Well unless it's Dr. Jekyll, then you better hide.”
“No, the truth can't be denied,
as we now have testified..”
“All that really counts and matters
is the special stuff inside!”
“They did it!” The audience cheered, and the kids yet again clapped enthusiastically. Medda wasted no time in rejoining the pair to finish the number.
“Oh, a cover is not the book,
so open it up and take a look!”
“Cause under the covers one discovers:
that the king may be a crook!”
“So, please listen to what we've said!”
“And open a book tonight in bed!”
“So one more time, before we get the hook!”
“Sing it out strong!” Jack called out to the audience.
“A cover is nice-”
“Please take our advice!”
“A cover is nice-”
“Or you’ll pay the price!”
“A cover is nice-”
“But a cover is not the book!”
The audience stood up and cheered, applauding the trio as they bowed.
you know the broadway backwards vids where akb jumps into the other guy's arms? that
Les and Winnie clap for the performers. Thomas is looking around, noticing his plush toy he keeps with him is nowhere to be found. He looks outside and sees the snake and his cronies, one of them is putting his toy onto a moving van.
As Crutchie, Jack, and Medda take their bows, Winnie notices that Thomas is gone. “Where’s Thomas?” Winnie asks, looking around. “I don’t know.” The pair look over just in time to see him disappear under the tent flap and rush after him.
“What are you doing?” Thomas cries out, seeing the trio putting their actual stuff into the van, his cry getting the attention of the trio. “Well, well. If it isn’t the boy who cracked the bowl. We’ve waited a long time for you children to come and visit us, so we could pay a visit to your nursery.” Thomas shook his head. “But those are our things!”
“Not anymore, they aren’t.” The snake hisses. “Give him back!” Thomas cries, going and grabbing his toy. The badger tries to grab it back, but Thomas won’t let go. “He’s mine! My mother made him for me!” Les and Winnie rush out of the tent over to them. “Hey! Leave my brother alone!”
The snake cranks the engine and climbs into the van. “Time to go!” The badger and weasel force Thomas and his toy into the back of the van before climbing in, and then the van takes off. “Winnie, help! Les!” Thomas cries. Les and Winnie take off after the van, but they can’t keep up.
“Let me go! I want to go home!” Thomas sobs. “What home? You’ve lost your home!” Meanwhile, Les and Winnie are gasping for breath, when suddenly a hand grabs the two and pulls them onto a carriage. “Ben!” Winnie exclaims.
“That’s right, it’s us!” Ben meows. “Let’s get your brother back!” The horse shouts. They take off after the van again. The carriage manages to get alongside the moving van. Les and Winnie brace themselves, leaping onto the wagon on the back of the van.
The badger and the weasel approach, and Winnie grabs a cricket bat from their belongings and throws it at the weasel, she misses, chipping the bowl. The chip sends the weasel and badger go flying off the wagon. Les crawl forward, pulling out the pin connecting the wagon from the van.
The snake grabs a shovel, and slams it into the bowl, causing a deep crack in the bowl. They reach the end of the bowl, and the children scream as they go flying off into the black.
Thomas is tossing and turning in his bed, Medda sitting beside him. “It’s alright, Thomas. You were having some nightmare, I must say.” Thomas sits up. “You were right, Miss Medda! A cover is not the book! We thought they were nice but they were mean!”
Medda raises an eyebrow. “Whatever are you talking about?” Thomas whimpers. “They tried to take my toy!” Medda smiles fondly. “He’s right here, sleeping, as you should be.” “But it was real! They stole our things, and the snake said we were never going to see our home again.” Medda gasps. “That’s absurd.”
Les and Winnie sit up in their beds. “But I had a nightmare like that, too.” Les states, “So did I. It seemed awfully real.” Thomas gets up and sits in his sister’s bed. “You see, Thomas? That’s why we wanted mother’s bowl. We were going to sell it to save the house.” Winnie explains softly.
“I miss mother..” Thomas sniffles. The room is silent for a few moments. “Listen to the three of you. You’re all worrying far too much. After all, you can’t lose what you’ve never lost.” Thomas looks at her confused. “I don’t understand.” Medda sits down beside him, smiling warmly.
“Do you ever lie awake at night?
Just between the dark and the morning light.”
“Searching for the things you used to know.
Looking for the place where the lost things go.”
Thomas leaned against her shoulder, smiling at her.
“Do you ever dream or reminisce?
Wondering where to find what you truly miss.”
“Well maybe all those things that you love so,
are waiting in the place where the lost things go.”
Medda then gets up, smiling at them.
“Memories you’ve shared, gone for good you feared.
They’re all around you still, though they’ve disappeared.”
“Nothing’s really left or lost without a trace.
Nothing’s gone forever, only out of place.”
She tucks Les into bed, then Winnie, smiling warmly as she does. Her touch gentle and kind.
“So maybe now the dish, and my best spoon..
are playing hide and seek, just behind the moon.”
“Waiting there until it’s time to show, spring is like that now,
far beneath the snow.. Hiding in the place where the lost things go.”
She leads Thomas back to his own bed, he gives her a tired smile. “Now, time to get some sleep. And in the morning, bright and early, we’ll take that bowl to my cousin and have it mended.” Medda then tucks Thomas into bed.
“Time to close your eyes, so sleep can come around.
For when you dream you find, all that’s lost.. is found.”
“Maybe on the moon, or maybe somewhere new.
Maybe all you’re missing lives inside of you..”
“So when you need her touch, and loving gaze.
‘Gone, but not forgotten.’ is the perfect phrase.”
Medda walks to the window, looking to a shining star in the sky.
"Smiling from a star that she makes glow..
Trust she's always there watching as you grow."
Crutchie and Jack are biking home. Miles is at his desk looking through papers again, Davey is at his side, with a gentle hand on his shoulder.
"Find her in the place where the lost things go."
Medda then walks out of the nursery, closing the doors that lead to her side-room behind her. Winnie sneaks out of bed and looks up at the same star Medda gazed at.
After a moment, Winnie is about to go back to bed, but she sees the bowl. “Les.. look! Medda’s scarf.. it wasn’t a dream!” Les gets up and joins her, gasping softly. “Should we tell her?” Winnie pauses in thought, looking to the doors before looking back to Les. “Better not. I suspect she already knows.” Unbeknownst to the two, Medda had been listening in, smiling softly.
Davey is walking down the lane, carrying his rally flyers. Crutchie and Jack are dousing the lamps in front of the house. The Admiral curses Big Ben’s timing yet again, Davey waves to him and turns around just in time to collide into Jack and Crutchie as the flyers go everywhere.
“Oh dear, I’m so sorry-” Davey stammers, helping Crutchie up as Jack begins to pick up flyers. “It’s alright, thank you.” Crutchie answers with a soft smile. Medda appears at the balcony of the nursery. “Good morning, Davey. I see you’ve bumped into Jack and Crutchie. The children and I are heading into town to get something fixed. Would you like to come with us?”
Davey shakes his head. “Work calls, I’m afraid. We have a rally today.” Medda hums in acknowledgement. “That’s right. You ought to give Jack and Crutchie one of those flyers.” She smiles, then disappears back inside. Jack hands Davey’s flyers to him. “You’re Mister Jacobs, aren’t you? I don’t know if you remember us, but we used to wave to you when we’d see you in that very window.”
“Of course! Jack and Crutchie, I remember. Please, just call me Davey.” Davey remarks with a nod. Crutchie smirks. “Course we were much younger then.” Davey laughs. “True, but your smiles haven’t changed a bit! Our rally is this afternoon, if you two can come.” Jack and Crutchie look to each knowingly.
“‘SPRUCE’, Eh? Good for you. All of us lamplighters know what a fine job you’re doing for the workers.” Jack says with a grin. Meanwhile, Betsy has been peering through the keyhole watching the trio. “Polishing the keyhole?” Medda remarks. Betsy shakes her head. “Look at that, Mister Davey’s chatting with those handsome lamplighters! Look like they’ve lit him up as well, huh? Not that anything’ll ever come of it, he says that ship has sailed.”
Medda hums. “And I say there is always another ship.” Miles rushes down the stairs in a hurry, and Medda takes his briefcase, handing it to Betsy. “I’m going to be late! That’s all I need.” Medda hands him his hat and umbrella, but not the briefcase. “You’re not late yet. Off you go!” Miles rushes out the door, past Jack, Davey, and Crutchie, nearly running into a boy passing them by.
“Miles!” Davey chides. “Nah, it’s fine.” The boy laughs with a smile, adjusting his cap. “I’m looking for number nineteen.” “It’s just two doors down.” Jack explains, pointing down the street. “Ah! Thanks, sometimes you just need someone standing at your side.” The boy smiles, laughing as he heads past them. “Miles! Your briefcase!” Betsy calls, shaking her head in annoyance.
Medda grins. “We’ll take it to him, we’re going that way on an errand. We’ll stop by the bank after.” Crutchie perks up. “We can give you a lift! Our rounds are done.” Jack nods, setting the ladder onto the bike. Winnie huffs. “But there’s so many of us! We can’t all fit.”
“Never you mind that, it’s all a matter of balance! Crutchie, get in front of me.” Crutchie sits down at the very front of the bike, and the kids all climb on. Jack and Medda get on last, Medda having put the briefcase in the front basket. “Ready everyone?” Jack calls. “Ready!”
“Pull over right ahead, thank you.” Medda calls, and they stop at a narrow alley. Crutchie looks around in confusion. “Never noticed this alley before.” Medda rolls her eyes. “Clearly you’ve never had a royal doulton bowl in need of mending before.” The group arrive at a repair shop with a door so small everyone but Thomas would need to duck in.
Winnie looks up at the sign on the door. “Topotrepolovsky’s All Repairs Large and Small Fix-It Shop.” Jack raises an eyebrow. “Looks like it’s just a small fix-it shop today.” “That’s just what we want. The bowl only needs a small fix, after all.” Medda pries open the letter box of the door.
“Cousin Topsy?” A groan is heard on the other side of the door, and a feminine voice with a undeterminable accent starts speaking. “Medda Larkin, no! For the love of all that is holy, do not come in! It is second Wednesday!” Medda pauses, seemingly in thought. “Oh dear, I’d forgotten. Still, 'today or never', that’s my motto.”
Medda then forces the tip of her umbrella into the keyhole and lock picks it. “So in you come. You do not listen to Topsy.” Suddenly everything in the workshop begins to rotate upside down. “Oh no, it has begun!” They see the source of the voice- Topsy, a woman with long fancy and curly ginger hair and strange attire.
Once everything’s rotated, Topsy is on the ceiling. “Now, what do you want?” Medda gives her a look. “You have guests, cousin. You might atleast greet them at the door?” Topsy gives an exasperated sigh. “And how am I going to do that, when I am down here, up on the ceiling?” Medda rolls her eyes. “Very well, we will make our way to you. Be very careful on the way.. up.”
“Why be careful? Leave it all for Topsy to fix. Climb on my shelves, step on the toys, kick the little china dolls in their faces-” Medda interrupts her with an annoyed huff. “This is my cousin.” “Second cousin. Many times removed.” Topsy correct with a smug look. “Tatiana Antanasia Cositori Larkson Topotrepolovsky.” Medda explains. “But you may call me Topsy.” She adds.
“That’s an unusual accent, where are ya from?” Crutchie inquires curiously, causing Jack to laugh. “Have you forgotten the way your cousin talks?” Crutchie huffs. “He does not sound like that!” Topsy butts into their conversation. “Well, it’s an interesting story-” “We have no idea.” Medda interrupts, getting a glare from Topsy. “We need you to fix this bowl, dear.” Topsy shakes her head. “It is as I have told you, the second Wednesday of the month, when everything is turning turtle.”
Winnie tilts her head to the side. “‘Turning turtle’? What exactly does that mean?” “It means my whole world goes flippity-flop, like a turtle on it’s back! And I don’t know my up from my down, my east from my west,” she turns and winks at Jack and Crutchie. “my Topsy from my bottoms-y.”
Medda rolls her eyes. “Yes, honey, I think we’ve all grasped the concept.” “Oh good! That’s quick for you.” Topsy replies smugly, then turns to the kids, holding a mish-mash badly repaired instrument. “You see, my little ones? Anything I fix on second Wednesday goes kerflooey. ” Medda rolls her eyes. “Kerflooey.”
“Yes! Kerflooey! ” Medda gives Topsy a look. “Please, cousin, you’ve always said you could fix anything.” Topsy huffs, and looks to Winnie. “Sweet girl, you tell Medda Larkin, who doesn’t listen, that any other day, Tatiana Antanasia Cositori Larkson Topotrepolovsky can fix anything. ”
“If you ring with something broken on a Thursday,
I’ll make new with my glue, pins and thread.”
“What you bring, when I’ve awoken, on a Friday,
I will mend, and then spend the day in bed!”
She looks to the children with a playful look on her face.
“Children, ‘Satur’, ‘Sun’ and ‘Mon’ days are just everything is fun days.
But in the second week I wear a frown!”
“For I know that after Tuesday comes the ‘Topsy gets bad news’ day!
It’s the dreaded second Wednesday!”
“When from nine to noon my life turns upside down!”
Topsy takes off past the children, spinning around the environment of her workshop.
“Fast is slow, low is high, stop is go and that is why-
Every second Wednesday is a hurdle!”
“From eight to nine, all is well, then I roll over on my shell,
and all because the world is turning turtle!”
Medda tries to hand over the bowl, Topsy waves it away. “No!”
“Day is night, dog is cat, black is white, thin is fat,
that is why I am loosening up my girdle!”
“I cannot help this charming troupe, don’t mock me because I’m in the soup!
And why? Because the world is turning turtle!”
She does an exaggerated dismayed face to entertain the children who laugh in response.
“Oh, woe is me! I’m as opposite as I can be!
I long for Thursdays when the world is drab.”
“When will it cease? Now my life resembles ‘war and peace’!
That tolstoy certainly had the gift of gab! I couldn't get through it.”
As she takes off again, hats go flying across the workshop, the rest of the group promptly switch theirs around.
“Bottom’s top, Yin is Yang, peace and quiet’s sturm un drang!
Tuesday nights, my blood begins to curdle!”
“East is west, in is out, and that is why I need to shout!
Oh no! The world is turning turtle!”
“If you had come some other morn, you wouldn’t have found me so forlorn!
But since the day that I was born, second Wednesdays is on the fritz!”
“I couldn’t mend this to save my soul, if this keeps up I’ll dig a hole!
You say life’s a cherry bowl, but Wednesdays is full of pits!”
Crutchie and Jack hold up a drum that’s seen better days. “Tell us, can you fix this drum?”
“Well, today is looking glum!”
Winnie and Les hold a cracked clarinet and a cracked bass. “Can you mend this crack?” “And broken string?” Topsy pauses. “Well perhaps if you all lend a hand.” The kids, Crutchie and Jack all look to her with big grins. “Our fingers are at your command!”
“A broken songbird still can sing!”
“Let’s do the turtle swing!”
They all “play” a jazz number, with the respective instruments they had showed her, while Medda conducts. As the music builds, Topsy floats up in the air and lands on her head, looking grim.
“Oh, woe is me! Now I’m on my head how can that be?”
“Well, you say ‘woe’ but I say lucky you.”
Topsy looks to Medda in utter surprise, “Lucky me?!” Medda nods with a wise look on her face.
Here on your head, ‘A’ is far behind and led by ‘Z’,
it’s good to get a different point of view!”
Topsy does as instructed and grins. “I love your shoes!” “You see? When your world turns upside down, the best thing is to turn right along with it!” Medda exclaims. “I do see! From here things look rightside up!” Topsy laughs, clearly delighted.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing things from that angle.” Jack points out, and Crutchie nods. “Yeah. A new point of view is exciting!” Les perks up. “Sounds like fun.” “Can we?” Winnie asks and Medda nods. “Very well. Flippity-flop!” Medda tosses her umbrella into the air, and everyone flips onto their heads.
“Near is..” “far is..”
“Here is..” “there!”
Jack and Crutchie look to each other while upside down and laugh.
“Turtles turning everywhere!”
“Things are getting clear!” Topsy exclaims, and Medda laughs. “Well, knock on wood, my dear.”
“When you change the view from where you stood,
the things you view will change for good!”
Topsy flips back onto her feet, and the others follow.
“I never thought of things that way!”
“She never thought of things that way!”
“Now Wednesdays are my favorite day!”
“Now Wednesdays are her favorite day!”
Topsy looks ecstatic, and the kids are having a lot of fun.
“Cause that’s the end of my dilemma,
and now thanks to Cousin Medda!”
“I have changed, to be exact, I love the fact..”
“The world is turning turtle! Turtle! Turtle!”
Topsy reaches for the bowl, and Jack hands it to her. “Come. Give your bowl to me. No more am I afraid with this new point of view.” Medda laughs. “Good!” Les tugs Topsy’s sleeve. “Do you have any idea how much our bowl is worth?”
“In money?” Topsy asks, examining the bowl. “Not much, I’m afraid. But that doesn’t make it any less beautiful.” Winnie frowns. “But our mother said it was priceless.” “Yes, I’m sure it was, to her.” The disappointment in the children’s eyes is evident. “Medda Larkin is right- for once. It is all in the way you look at things.”
“Thank you, cousin.” Medda remarks, then turns to the kids. “Now come along, get your hats.” The children grab their hats and head out. “And don’t you worry about mother’s bowl. I will fix and make perfect for you. So you come back maybe next second Wednesday!” Crutchie grins, waving goodbye to her as he joins the kids. “Nice meeting you, ‘Topsy Turvy’.” Jack calls, going to catch up with Crutchie. “‘Topsy Turvy’.. I like it! It’s catchy.” She states to herself.
“Now what do we do?” Winnie sighs. “I have no idea.” Les replies. Winnie thinks, then comes up with something. “Well, like Topsy said, maybe we should start looking at things differently.” Everyone looks back as they hear loud creaks and crashes behind them. Medda nods with a small smile, then continues walking. “Marvelous. It looks as though things are starting to turn around for my cousin.”
“Miss Medda, this is not the quickest way to the bank.” Les huffs. “Well, it is today.” Medda chides. “Look! There’s Uncle Davey!” Thomas calls. Davey is just ahead, flyers tucked under his arm. Jack pulls over beside him, the children waving. “Off to the rally, are you Davey?” Davey smiles. “Yes. Hello, everyone. All still here, thank goodness. No one fell off.”
“Say, we could come back and give you a hand with all that once we’ve dropped the others at the bank.” Crutchie remarks. “Oh, no, no. Please don’t worry. I’m perfectly fine, really.” Medda rolls her eyes. “Oh, nonsense. The bank is just around the corner, and the children and I have plenty of legs to get us there. Climb off, everyone. Ready, and jump!”
The children all hop off, Jack gets up and ties the banners and posters to the back of the bike. “Are you sure you two don’t mind?” Davey asks. “Of course not, we were hoping to stop by that rally of yours, anyway.” Jack answers. “Yeah!” Crutchie adds. Jack helps Davey on, and the three take off.
“There must be someone at this bank that can help us save our house..” Les murmurs. “I’m sure father has already asked.” Winnie answers. “Well, we haven’t. Maybe we can get them to see a new point of view.” Medda gestures for the kids to sit at a bench, then makes her way to the information desk. “Good afternoon, I’m looking for Mr.-”
Medda is interrupted by a postman chatting up the clerk, and Medda rolls her eyes. Medda then entertains herself by looking at her reflection in a lamp. Behind her, Bunsen and Hannah pass by. Hannah waves to Thomas, Thomas waves back, but his hand is promptly pushed down by Winnie. Hannah frowns with guilt.
“What did you do that for? You hurt her feelings!” Thomas remarks. “You know who those people are, right, Thomas?” Winnie answers defensively. “They’re the lawyers. She’s the nice one.” Winnie pauses, thinking. “Maybe we can get her to help us.” Medda is watching the children plot in the reflection of the lamp.
“Now, how may I help you?” The clerk asks, turning to Medda. “Finally. I’d like to see Mr. Miles Tuck..”
The children follow Bunsen and Hannah up the stairs, following them into Pulitzer’s office. Bunsen and Hannah are nowhere to be found, but Miss Plumber looks up in surprise, having been writing something on a notepad on her desk. “Is there something I can do for you?” Thomas smiles. “May I have a sweet, please?” She nods with a warm smile.
They overhear muffled voices from the office, talking about people evicted. “How many repossessions this month?” Pulitzer asks. “Nineteen, sir,” Bunsen begins. “and we have nearly that amount scheduled for next week alone.” Pulitzer smirks. “Who would have thought this Slump would be so good for business, eh?”
Hannah frowns, then raises her voice. “I wonder, Mr. Pulitzer, if, perhaps, as Miles Tuck is an employee, you might consider giving him a few more weeks to pay off his loan.” Pulitzer glares, voice in a growl. “And lose our chance to get that house?! I don’t like to lose, Hannah.” Pulitzer then hits the intercom. “Didn’t I ask for tea, Miss Plumber?”
“Yes, sir, right away.” Miss Plumber answers, then looks to the kids. “Why don’t you help yourselves?” She tucks her notepad into the pocket of her dress before leaving. Winnie reads the sign on the door. “‘Office of The Bank Chairman.’ We can’t go in there.” The kids peek through the crack in the door, none the less.
“It’s just that, well, his family has suffered tremendous hardship this past year, and-” Pulitzer glares yet again. “You’re not giving Tuck one second longer to pay off that loan, do I make myself clear?” Pulitzer waves his pocket watch, and Thomas gasps. “It’s the snake!” “Shhh!” Pulitzer smirks. “In two days, Tuck and Jacobs will be out on that street and the house will be ours.”
“Thomas, no!” Les yells as Thomas takes off. “You can’t steal our house! I’m telling my father!” Pulitzer gives him a blank look. “Steal your- who are you?” Hannah looks extremely nervous. “These are the Tuck and Jacobs children.” Pulitzer raises an eyebrow. “Are they? Come here, boy. I think you may have misunderstood-” Les grabs Thomas’ hand. “Let’s go, Thomas!” “Run!” Winnie yells.
The two older kids and Thomas take off out the door. “Fool! Stop them!” Bunsen takes off after them, but crashes into the door when it closes behind Hannah, who was ahead of him.
Miles comes out into the lobby where Medda is waiting for him. She hands him his briefcase. “Ah, there you are, Miles. The children and I brought your briefcase.” “Oh, thank you.. but where are the children?” Miles asks, looking around. “Father, help!” Thomas screams, running down the stairs with Les and Winnie not far behind him.
“What is it? What’s going on?” Miles asks, visibly confused. “He’s the snake trying to steal our house!” Thomas cries. “What on earth are you talking about?” Miles looks even more confused. “I’m afraid the kids burst into my office just now, Tuck.” Pulitzer explains, approaching the group with Hannah and Bunsen at his side, leaving Miles in shock. “What?”
Pulitzer smiles. “I was just seeing if anything could be done about extending your loan, when they came in claiming I was trying to steal your house.” “He was! We heard him!” Winnie remarks. “Mr. Pulitzer is trying to help us!” Miles huffs, visibly angry. “I am so sorry, Mr. Pulitzer.”
“Let’s just see that it doesn’t happen again.” Pulitzer states, forcing toffees into the children’s hands. “After all, you don’t want your father losing his position on account of you, do you?” The children aren’t happy. “Now, I know time is running short, Tuck, but I want you to have every chance to pay off that loan. I’ll stay in my office on Friday evening until the last stroke of midnight, you have my word.”
Pulitzer addresses his staff, and they leave. “But father, he really did it-” Winnie begins. “Not another word!” Miles shouts. “Take them home this instant. We’ll discuss this when I get back.” Medda frowns, pulling the children close. “Come along.” The group exits the bank, leaving Miles tense as he goes back to work.
A heavy fog settles over the area as Medda and the kids head home. The children walk ahead of her, conversing with each other. “Now we’ve done it, haven’t we? I don’t think I’ve ever seen Uncle Miles that upset with us before.” Les says with a sigh, and Thomas whimpers in response. “But we were telling the truth!”
Winnie frowns. “That doesn’t matter, Thomas. We got him into trouble, and he doesn’t even know that we broke mother’s bowl.” “Everything we’ve tried to fix we’ve only made worse.” Les remarks. The children, not paying attention, walk into the deep fog..
They come to a crossroads. Winnie looks around confused, the fog is getting so thick that it’s difficult to make out their surroundings. “Which way do we go, Miss Medda?” “Why would you ask me? The three of you are leading the way, after all.” Medda answers back curtly. “Us? But we were-” Les begins, “Walking around in a fog.” and Medda finishes.
“No- I mean, we are in a fog, but- we were just talking!” Winnie states matter of factly. “Yes, too focused on where you’ve been to focus on where you’re going.” Medda remarks. “But Uncle Miles told us to head straight home!” Les says with worry. “He’ll be furious if we’re late.” Winnie murmurs. “Are we lost, then?” Thomas asks.
“That depends on where you want to go.”
The kids look to the source of the voice. It’s Jack, with Crutchie beside him, smiling at them from a streetlamp on the archway above them. “Jack! Crutchie!” The kids exclaim. “At your service.” Crutchie remarks, tipping his cap. The pair make their way down to a ledge just above the group. “Say, what’s with all the glum faces?” Jack asks, and Crutchie adds with a smile. “Lost sixpence and found a penny?”
“We made a mess of everything.” Winnie explains, “Uncle Miles is furious with us.” Les adds, “And we can’t find our way home!” Thomas finishes. “‘Lost’? Are you, Miss Medda?” Crutchie remarks with a grin. “Hopelessly.” Medda answers with a straight, but amused face. “Well now, I’m no expert, but if ever I lose my way, I just look for a little light to guide me.” Jack explains, and him and Crutchie go back and forth.
“Let’s say you’re lost in a park, sure.. You can give into the dark, or..
You can trip a little light fantastic with me.”
“When you’re alone in your room, your choice is just embrace the gloom!
Or you can trip a little light fantastic with me!”
Jack and Crutchie hop down from the ledge, landing on a bin with a clang.
“For if you hide under the covers you might never see the day!
But if a spark can start inside your heart then you can always find the way!”
“So when life is getting dreary just pretend that you’re a ‘leerie’!
As you trip a little light fantastic with me!”
“What’s a ‘leerie’?” Les asks. “Why it’s what we lamplighters call ourselves, of course!” Crutchie remarks with a bright smile. Jack places a hand on Crutchie’s shoulder, giving him a determined look. “It’s time to send out the call to arms!” Jack and Crutchie make their way to a lamp post, flickering the lights in a rhythmic matter. “Leeries, trip the lights, and lead the way!”
Further down the street, the lamps begin to flicker in a similar manner, and the group begin to follow Jack and Crutchie’s lead.
“Now when you’re stuck in the mist, sure you can struggle and resist-
Or, you can trip a little light fantastic with me!”
“Now when you’re lost in a crowd, well, you can stamp and scream out loud-
Or, you can trip a little light fantastic with me!”
Lights continue to flicker on, leading and lighting their way. One by one, other leeries begin to appear out of the fog.
“And when the fog comes rollin’ in, just keep your feet upon the path!
Mustn’t mope and frown, or worse: lie down! Don’t let it be your epitaph!”
“So when life is gettin’ scary, be your own illuminary!
Who can shine their light for all the world to see!”
“As you trip a little light fantastic with me!”
Jack grins. “A leerie loves the edge of night, though dim, to him the world looks bright.” Crutchie wraps his arm around Jack’s shoulder. “He’s got the gift of second sight!”
“To trip a little light fantastic!”
“A leerie’s job’s to light the way.” Crutchie explains with a grin.
“To take the night, and make it day!”
“We mimic the moon, yes that’s our aim.” Jack adds, squeezing Crutchie’s hand on his shoulder.
“For we’re the keepers of the flame!”
The kids smile and greet the leeries as they pass. “Hello!” Les calls. “Thank you!” Winnie remarks as the leeries continue to lead them.
“And if you’re deep inside a tunnel and there is no end in sight.
Well, just carry on until the dawn, it’s darkest right before the light..”
The kids stop at a dead end with a singular lamp post. “Now what do we do?” Les asks. “Well, it’s just as they said. We follow the light.” Medda explains, tapping the lamp, which disappears into the ground, creating a unusually long lamp post. The kids make their way down like it’s a fireman’s pole.
“As you.. trip a little light fantastic!
Won’t you trip a little light fantastic!
C’mon! Trip a little light fantastic.. with me!”
The group arrive at an abandoned park, an unused fountain at it’s center. One by one, countless gas lamps flicker on, revealing leeries at each one, until the park is glowing with light.
The leeries all dance and do various tricks with the lamp posts, bikes, and the rest of their surroundings. Crutchie and Jack join in, Jack tipping his hat to a tall leerie with a cigar in his mouth, he smirks seeing the pair. All the leeries continue to show off with stunts, and when they finish, the same tall leerie bounds over to the group.
“Come along! Join us in a bit’a kick and prance!” The leerie exclaims. “What did he say?” Les asks, bewildered. “Kick and prance! It means ‘dance’, it’s leerie speak!” Jack explains, and Crutchie joins back up with the group shortly after. “You don’t say the words ya mean, you say somethin’ that rhymes, only..”
Jack, seeing Crutchie struggle with describing it, decides to intervene. “Here, I’ll show you how it works! Racer, give us your weep and wail!” Jack then turns to the kids. “To the rest of ya, that means ‘tale’.”
“I was short of a sheet!” “He was in the street!"
“Just to tumble down a sink.” “Just to get himself a drink!”
“Then I pinched what’s harder.” “He grabbed his ladder.”
“To smile and smirk..”
“Ya see, there’s nothing to it!” Jack remarks, and Race goes to join a boy with very ginger hair. “Can you speak leerie, Miss Medda?” Winnie asks, adjusting the cap a leerie had given her. “Can I speak leerie?” Medda repeats, as if it wasn’t even a question. “Course she can, she’s Medda Larkin!” Crutchie exclaims.
“Can we do it with you?” “Please?” The children plead. “Oh, very well then.” Medda says curtly, but she’s smiling.
“Children, tell us your sorry tale!”
“Give us your weep and wail!”
“Well, we had this bowl!”
“Rabbit in the hole.”
“That fell and broke!”
“So we took it to a shop!”
“Like a lollipop.”
“And went upside down!”
“That’s a circus clown.”
The leeries all gathered around, interested in their story.
“Then went to the bank!”
“Rattle and clank.”
“Got lost in a fog!”
“Lump on a log.”
“Till we found some friends!”
“To stand and defend.”
“Who took us on a trip!”
“Snap a horse’s whip!”
“And we tripped a little light fantastic!”
“Now that sounds a little bit bombastic.” Medda remarks with a hearty laugh. “But they tripped the light..!” Crutchie exclaims. “We tripped the light..!” The children echo.
“Let’s trip a little light fantastic!”
They start dancing again, this time the children join in. They dance around the fountain, with Medda watching from up top. Thomas dances with all the other leeries, and the remaining main group break into pairs with Crutchie and Winnie and Jack and Les, each pair laughing good naturedly.
The leeries then surround the fountain, looking up at Medda. “Join us Medda Larkin!” She’s lifted off the fountain, and promptly joins in the number, doing some elaborate bike spin and magically turning on the fountain. The leeries all grab torches as they head out, Jack crouches down for Crutchie to climb on his back, and then hands him a torch of his own.
Jack grins up at Crutchie, before turning back to the children. “You’ve got it, now let’s get you all back home!”
“Now if your life is getting foggy,
that’s no reason to complain!”
“There’s so much in store, inside the door..”
“Of 17 Cherry Tree Lane!”
Flash forward, they’re walking down the street, approaching the house.
“So when troubles are incessant, simply be more incandescent!
For your light comes with a lifetime guarantee! As you.. ”
“Trip a little light fantastic!”
“Trip a little light fantastic!”
“Trip a little light fantastic!”
Crutchie holds up his torch proudly. The children all chant their ‘weep and wail’ enthusiastically.
“Went to the bank! Rattle and clank!
Met with the boss! Pitch and toss!
Got lost in the fog! Lump on a log!”
“Trip a little light fantastic!”
Their fun comes to an end, however, when the door opens and Miles comes outside looking furious. “Where on earth have you all been?!” Miles then glares at Medda. “I told you to bring them straight home! I’ve been worried sick.” All the leeries, save for Jack and Crutchie, appear to have vanished into the fog. “We’re sorry we’re late, father..” Winnie begins. “It wasn’t Medda’s fault.” “We got lost in the fog.” Les explains.
“Jack, Crutchie, and the leeries lead us down the frog and toad!” Thomas exclaims, and Medda gives Miles a look. “He means ‘road’.” Miles sighs exasperatedly. “So you’ve been off filling the children’s heads with stuff and nonsense. I’ve heard enough, come in right now!”
“We best be taking our leave.” Jack explains, turning to Medda and Crutchie silently tips his cap. The two take off down the road, Jack tries to do a little heel click and nearly falls on his face, much to Crutchie’s amusement. Medda and the children quickly head inside, not wishing to anger Miles further.
“Don’t be too hard on them, they are just children after all!” Betsy whisper-shouts to Miles. “Yes. My children, and my best friend’s little brother. And I will deal with them as I see fit. Now leave us to it.” “Yes, sir.” Betsy answers, disappearing into the kitchen. Medda is about to head upstairs, but Miles stops her. “Not you, Medda Larkin. In here.” He glares. “Yes, sir.” Medda answers curtly, elegantly making her way to the parlor.
Miles stares at the children, taking a moment to get a grip on his emotions. “You could have lost me my job, do you understand that? A good position like mine is hard to come by these days. But there you all were, running about!” He then turns and gives Medda an angry look. “And you- I thought you were here to look after these children!”
“It wasn’t her doing, it was me.” Les begins, about to step forward. Winnie places a hand on his shoulder and he stops. “No, it was us. We thought maybe if we talked to Ms. Hannah, she would give you more time to save the house.” She explains. “We were only trying to help.”
“Well you didn’t help!” Miles snaps, then pauses, taking a deep breath. “Look, I know this has been a difficult year for our family, and I have done my best to keep the three of you from worrying, but I can’t do this alone. It’s too much.” He sighs, starting to pace. “I can’t even seem to remember my briefcase in the morning, and there is no more time, we’re about to lose this house-”
He gives a heavy sigh, resolve wavering. “And I can’t lose our home.. I just don’t know what to do anymore, I don’t know what to do.” His voice breaks, it seems he’s about to cry. “Everything has fallen to pieces since Rose, your mother.. Haven’t we lost enough already?” The kids look between each other, sensing the grief in Miles’ expression.
“We haven’t lost mother, not really..” Thomas says suddenly.
“Nothing’s gone forever, only.. out of place.”
Miles looks up at his son in surprise.
“So when we need her touch, and loving gaze..”
“‘Gone, but not forgotten’ is the perfect phrase.” Les says joining in, he loved his actual parents, despite not seeing them much, but Rose was like a second mother to him. “Smiling from a star that she makes glow.” Winnie says with a small smile.
“Trust she’s always there.”
“Watching as we grow.”
“Find her in the place..”
“Where the lost things go.”
Miles is silent, deeply moved by their statements. He gives a sad but hopeful smile. “When did you all get so clever?” “Last night, Miss Medda told us-” Thomas begins, but Medda raises a finger to her lips, gesturing for him to not finish. Miles gets up, and kneels in front of the children. “I hope I’m as clever as you when I grow up.”
He ruffles Thomas’ hair and smiles warmly. “You were right, of course you were right, Thomas. Mother’s not gone, she’s in your smile.” He turns to Les, who gives a nervous smile. “And in your walk, Les.” He turns to Winnie, who has a happy tearful smile. “And Winnie’s eyes.” He pulls the three close. “She’ll always be with us, wherever we go.”
“Go on now, wash your hands for dinner.” The children hug him tightly before leaving. He stands up and looks at Medda. “Did you have something to do with them trying to save the house?” She gives him a knowing smile. “I never said a word. It was all the children’s idea.” Miles pauses silently. “This whole time I’ve been looking after them, they’ve been looking after me. I had it all.. backwards.”
Medda hums. “A Tuck family trait.” Miles shakes his head. “What was I thinking?” Medda chuckles. “Some people think a great deal too much. Of that I am certain.”
A few hours later, the family is packing. Jack, Crutchie, and the leeries are helping load the possessions into a van. As Davey comes out of the house with a box, Jack hurries over to help. “Here, Dave, let me help you with that.” “Thank you. No luck, huh?” Davey responds, gesturing to the van. Crutchie shakes his head and Davey frowns. “We can look through everything again if ya’d like.”
“There’s no point. It’s nearly midnight, we tried our best. Thank you, Jack, Crutchie. And thanks to your friends for helping us.” Davey replies. “Anything for you.” “No matter what, we’ll be there.” Crutchie and Jack respond.
Miles stands in the entryway, the furniture is gone, curtains taken down. Davey puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder as the kids and Medda come downstairs with suitcases. Betsy exits the kitchen. “Good riddance to that old kitchen, I could never figure out that stove. Miles smiles. “Well then, we’ve spent every last moment we can here. Goodbye, old friend.”
“Goodbye, old friend!” The rest of the family echo. They all then head out, surprised to find friends and neighbor waiting there. The dog lady and the milkman are there, as well as the Admiral and Binnacle. “What are you all doing out here so late?” Miles asks plainly.
“We’ve been waitin’ to see you off!” Binnacle explains. “We’d be here no matter what the hour.” The milkman adds. “If you and your family should ever need a place to stay, Willoughby and I would be happy for the company.” The dog lady offers. “Thank you, Davey’s sister Sarah has graciously offered us to stay in her flat for the time being.”
“For as long as we’d like, forever if we have to.” Davey corrects. “I wish you’d come with us, Betsy.” Betsy shakes her head chidingly. “Oh, don’t you worry about me! I got a nice room fixed up at my sister’s.” Winnie tugs Medda’s sleeve. “You won’t leave us, will you Miss Medda?” “Oh don’t be silly!”
“She says she’s not leaving until the door opens!” Thomas repeats. Miles smiles, a little perplexed. “In any case, your home is with us. I’m pleased she got caught on your string, Thomas.” Thomas’ eyes go wide. “My kite! I forgot my kite!” Miles looks shocked, and kneels down beside him. “Very well, but be quick about it.”
Thomas takes off inside to get his kite. “The Admiral has something he’d like to give you, Mr. Tuck, sir.” Binnacle cuts in, and the Admiral hands Miles a ship in a bottle. “The H.M.S. Glad Tidings, I commanded her myself. May she guide you safely into port.” Miles smiles warmly, saluting. “I’ll take good care of her.”
Thomas returns with his kite, since he last had it, he’s patched it up with the drawing he kept. “I’m not sure that will get off the ground, Thomas. It looks more glue than kite.” Miles pauses, examining it further. “Did you patch this up with one of my old drawings, Thomas? It looks like you’ve done a fine job there.”
Miles and Thomas look at the kite, and he reminisces. “Look, see, that’s all of us together, in front of the..” Miles pauses, eyes widening. The drawing was on the back of the bank certificate share. “This is what we’ve been looking for! We have to get to the bank! What time is it, anyone?!” He asks, panicked.
“Seven minutes to midnight.” Les answers back quickly. “It’s not enough. We have to get to the bank by midnight.” Miles stammers. “Take the van!” Crutchie intervenes. “You still won’t make it in time!” Les answers dejectedly. “What can we do?” Davey asks. “Nothing. We can’t turn back time.” Miles responds with a frown.
“Why not?” Winnie begins. “Anything is possible, even the impossible.” Les looks to Medda. “Can we do it then? Can we turn back time?” “I don’t see why that couldn’t be arranged.” She answers with a grin. “That’s ridiculous.” Miles blatantly states. “Indeed it is, Miles. It’s nonsense.” Medda replies. “Foolishness!” Winnie exclaims. “It makes no sense, and if it makes no sense..” Les begins.
“It can’t be true!” The children shout. “What are you all talking about?” Miles asks, confused beyond belief. “Never you mind that. Just get to the bank as fast as possible and leave the rest to us.” Medda answers, giving him a look. “But how will you-” Miles begins. “GO!” The children exclaim. Miles and Davey get in the van and take off, leaving Medda, the kids, and the leeries.
“We’re going to need a lot of help you two.” Medda begins. “Good as done! Racer, gather the leeries!” Jack exclaims. “Right!” Race responds, hurrying the rest of the leeries to their bicycles. The rest of the group head to Jack and Crutchie’s bike. “I’ll be driving this time, time is of the essence.” Medda explains.
They all get on the bike, and it rockets down the lane, with Medda leading the leeries- and not needing to pedal. They’re speeding through London, countless other leeries joining in.
“A good week’s work, both of you.” Pulitzer says with a knowing smirk. “Looks as if Tuck won’t be joining us tonight.” He remarks. “He does have a few more minutes. You said you’d wait until the last stroke of midnight.” Hannah points out. “Of course. I know that. So we’ll wait. I’m a man of my word.”
The leeries are racing towards Big Ben, even more groups of leeries joining.
“How much time do we have?” Miles stammers. “There’s only five minutes left, I think!” Davey explains.
Roughly twenty leeries, Medda, and the kids stand on the rooftop of Parliament next to Big Ben. Les gestures to one of the leeries for his cap. “Good. Now over to the tower!” Jack exclaims to the group. Les, now adorning the cap, picks up a ladder and goes to follow the leeries. Jack takes it from him. “Sorry, Les. this is as far as you go.” Crutchie remarks from beside him.
“What will you do, Crutchie? Your leg..” Winnie begins. “I’ve done a bit of climbing before, even after my leg ended up like this,” he pauses, looking to Big Ben. “but I think this might be too much a hurdle, even for me. I guess I’ll wait here with you.”
“Back in a flash.” Jack explains, crossing his fingers, Crutchie crosses his as well in response. “C’mon.” Jack calls, hurrying to the tower and throwing his ladder to Race. Jack begins to climb up the wall. Race splits the ladder and hands the top half to Jack, who jams it diagonally against the wall.
Race throws another ladder, and Jack places that one in the opposite direction to the first, beginning to climb it. It is a ridiculously dangerous stunt that looks like it’ll end in disaster. Jack climbs up to a ledge, where a pidgeon rushes at him causing him to drop the ladder and lose his balance, dangling from the edge.
“I can’t watch!” Winnie stammers, burying her head into Medda’s dress. “You’d think they’ve never done this before.” Medda states, almost annoyed. Jack manages to climb onto an arch, having nearly reached the face of the clock. He looks up, and realizes the overhang will prevent them from reaching it.
“What are we going to do?” Race calls up. “I’ve got an idea. Ladder!” He calls down to the leeries, who climb up with ladders, and eventually Jack forms a diving board of sorts. Jack then bounces, flying into the air and landing on the ledge beneath the clock’s face.
He opens a small hinged window and heads inside and turns off the gas lamps lighting the clock dial. Then climbs back out. “You can turn back time now!” Race calls. “How? I can’t reach the hands!” Jack shoots back. “They better hurry, we have less than a minute to go.” Les points out.
“We’re too late, Jack!” Race shouts. “There’s got to be a way!” He exclaims. “Look!” Thomas shouts, pointing upward. Medda appears, floating before the clock face, holding her umbrella. As she descends, she pushes the minute hand back by several minutes.
“Three, two, one, and..” Pulitzer begins, but pauses as Big Ben doesn’t chime. “My watch never runs fast. What is going on?” He growls. “Big Ben’s gone dark!” Bunsen exclaims.
Meanwhile, Jack rushes back inside to relight the clock.
“Look! They’ve relit Big Ben.” Hannah points out. “But that time is wrong, the clock must have stopped.” Pulitzer glares, then glances out the window and sees Davey and Miles. “He’s made it in time!” Hannah cheers. “Not yet, he hasn’t. See that he doesn’t get inside till that blasted clock strikes twelve.” “But sir-” Hannah begins, “Now!”
Miles grabs the kite from the van, and him and Davey sprint towards the bank. On the other side, Hannah and Bunsen rush to the door and lock it. “Hello! Let us in! We need to get in!” Davey and Miles shout.
Miles looks at the kite in his hands, then to the window. “Davey, let’s go fly a kite!” The two get the kite into the air, and attempt to get it into the window. “It won’t work! He’s never going to see it!” However, Medda floats to the kite, and gently blows, causing a gust of wind to open the windows and send the kite flying in.
Hannah finally opens the door, and Miles and Davey rush past her to the office. “Hurry, Mr. Tuck!”
“What is this?” Pulitzer exclaims as Miles and Davey rush in. “It’s what we’ve been looking for.”
Meanwhile, the Admiral nearly weeps in joy when Big Ben rings in time with his cannon, Binnacle nods, and squeezes his hand.
The lawyers, Jack and Crutchie, Medda and the kids, are all in the office now, watching Miles put the pieces together. “Thomas, there was one more piece, a corner piece with lots of signatures. Do you remember it?” Thomas’ face falls. “I must have thrown it away.. I’m sorry father.” “Oh, it’s alright Thomas-” Pulitzer gets up. “No, it isn’t. Withouse those signatures, you have no shares, no house, you have nothing.”
“What?” Miles stammers. “But he knows you have the bank shares!” Winnie exclaims. “He’s been planning this all along!” Les shouts. “Take the children out of here, Tuck. I’ve heard enough of their lies.” Miles steps forward, staring right at Pulitzer. “Don’t you dare insult these children. Don’t you dare! They’re not lying, and you know it. I only wish I had believed them sooner.”
Miles pulls the children close, Davey putting his hand on his shoulder, then glares at Pulitzer. “Take the house, go ahead! I have all I need right here.”
“He’s got you there, Joseph.”
A double door that leads into an adjacent room swings open, and in comes Theodore Roosevelt. “Roosevelt? What are you doing here?” “Oh, Joseph, Joseph, Joseph. A little bird told me you’ve been trying to cheat the Tuck and Jacobs family out of their shares in The World.” “That he has, we heard him.” Crutchie adds softly, getting a glare from Pulitzer, Jack pulls him closer.
“I also hear you’ve been telling the whole of London I’ve gone loony. The only loony thing I did is trust you to look after this bank.” Pulitzer stared in angry shock. “You can’t be serious! I’ve nearly doubled the profits of this bank!” Roosevelt raises an eyebrow. “Yes, by wringing it out of our customer’s pockets! Their trust in us built this bank, and now you’ve squandered every last bit of their good will. So I’m back, and you’re out!”
Hannah and Bunsen escort Pulitzer out, much to his chagrin. “You’re not fit to run this bank!” Roosevelt chuckles to himself. “We’ll see about that. I may be circling the drain, but I still have a few steps left in me. So, when they tell you that you’re finished, and your chance to dance is done..”
“That’s the time to stand, to strike up the band!
And tell them that you’ve just begun!”
“So when life’s a real pea-souper, you must choose to be a trooper!
For your light comes with a lifetime guarantee! As you..”
Roosevelt dances his way onto the top of his desk, having a hearty laugh as he does.
“Trip a little light fantastic!”
The children parade around him gleefully.
“Went to the bank! Rattle and clank!
Met with the boss! Pitch and toss!
Got lost in the fog! Lump on a log!”
“Trip a little,” Medda begins, “Trip a little,” Crutchie and Jack repeat, “Trip a little!” and Miles repeats a final time.
“Trip a little light fantastic!”
“So glad to have you back, Mr. Roosevelt.” Miles says, still amazed. “Thank you, Miles. And by the way, those shares of yours? Perfectly fine- save them for your family!” Roosevelt responds back. “I don’t understand..?” Miles asks with a tilt of his head. “I’d like to tell you a little story..” Roosevelt begins, all the children gather around him.
“Once upon a time there was a man with a wooden leg named Smith-” He pauses, and laughs. “Oh no, no, no. Not that one. This is a story about a little boy named Miles who wanted to give his tuppence to a bird lady, but in the end, and after a little persuasion, he decided to give it to his father instead. Miles’ father- your grandfather, gave that tuppence to this bank and he asked us to guard it well. We did just that, and thanks to several quite clever investments, if I do say so myself..”
“That tuppence has grown into a large sum!” He finishes, with a huge smile. “Really?” Miles says, almost beaming. “Really. Enough, in fact, to pay off that loan you took. The house is yours.” The children rush to hug Miles, and Medda grins to herself from the sidelines.
The next morning, spring has arrived, cherry blossom petals flowing in the breeze. “What a beautiful day to be going back home again.” Miles remarks, he and the rest of the family are now adorned in colorful clothes. Betsy nudges Davey’s arm. “What about you and those handsome lamp lighters?” “No, no! We’re just friends!” Davey answers flusteredly.
“What’s this?” Miles asks suddenly, at the gates to the park ahead, colorful tents are set up in the center, food carts, games of chance, and even a small ferris wheel is there. “The Spring Fair! It’s today, can we go?” Les asks excitedly. “I don’t see why not.” Miles responds warmly.
The family all head in, Medda slows, and watches as they go on without her. Many familiar faces are in the crowd, Race and the redhead from before are playing a ring toss game of sorts, and Race is definitely cheating somehow. Thomas looks around, and his eyes widen.
“Life’s a balloon that tumbles or rises,
depending on what is inside!”
“Fill it with hope, and playful surprises,
and oh, dearie ducks, then, you’re in for a ride!”
“Look inside the balloon and if you hear a tune,
there’s nowhere to go but up!”
“The balloon lady! May we have balloons?” Thomas asks, tugging his father’s sleeve. “Of course we can. Let’s go.” The family run to where the balloon lady waits.
“Choose the secret we know, before life makes us grow!
There’s nowhere to go but up!”
They approach the balloon lady, and Miles hands her some coins. “We would like some of your finest balloons, please.” The balloon lady takes the coins and smiles warmly. “That you shall have. But choose carefully, my dearie ducks. Many have chosen the wrong balloon- be sure to choose the one that’s right for you.”
“Which one would you like, Thomas?” Miles asks, but before Thomas can ponder it, the lady turns to him. “Why don’t you go first, sir?” Miles hesitates. “Me? Those days are long behind me, I don’t think I’ve held a balloon since I was a child.” “Then you’ve forgotten what it feels like.” The balloon lady remarks.
“..To hold a balloon?” Miles asks, amused but also puzzled. “To be a child!” She explains wisely.
“If your selection feels right, well then dearie, hold tight!
If you see your reflection, your heart will take flight!”
“If you pick the right string, then your heart will take wing!
And there’s nowhere to go but up!”
Miles then picks out a balloon, then, much to everyone’s surprise, it lifts him into the air. He looks around as pure delight fills his face.
“Now I feel like the boy with a shiny new toy!
And there’s nowhere to go but up!”
“Miles!” Davey calls between laughs.
“Just one day at the fair has me waltzing on air,
and there’s nowhere to go but up!”
Miles looks to Davey, overcome with joy. “Davey! I remember! It’s all true! Every impossible thing we imagined with Medda Larkin- it all happened!”
“Now my heart is so light, that I think I just might
start feeding the birds and then go fly a kite!”
“With your head in a cloud, only laughter’s allowed!
And there’s nowhere to go but up!”
The kids all quickly pick balloons, lifting up into the air like Miles.
“We’re zigging and zagging, our feet never dragging,
we might take a ride to the moon!”
“All this bobbing and weaving all comes from believing..”
“The magic inside the balloon!”
Jack and Crutchie come through the crowd, approaching the balloon lady. “The past is the past, it lives on as history, that’s an important thing.” Jack sings softly, and Crutchie grins. “The future comes fast! Each second a mystery, for nobody knows what tomorrow may bring!”
Jack sneaks past Crutchie, and grabs a couple balloons, sunny yellow and bright blue respectively. “These ones look like you.” He says with a smirk. “How do you know?” Davey asks with an amused face. He then takes it and lifts into the air, gasping as he does. Crutchie follows, then Jack.
“Don’t you lose them, son!” The Admiral calls as he and Binnacle enter the crowd. “I won’t, sir!” Jack yells back. The three float together, all laughing happily.
“Up here in the view, it’s a marvelous view!”
“Side by side is the best way to fly!”
“Once we just looked above..” Jack sings, wrapping his arm around Crutchie’s waist. “But now we are part of..” Crutchie sings back, holding Jack’s hand with his free one.
“The lovely London sky!”
Down below, Pulitzer approaches the balloon lady. “Would you like to try one yourself, sir?” She asks. “I’ll give it a go.” Pulitzer answers quizzically. "Choose carefully." The balloon lady advises. He picks out a balloon, but it immediately falls to the ground. “Well, nowhere to go but up!” She points out with a knowing smile.
“When the clouds make a muss, well I won’t make a fuss!” Betsy calls, soaring past the family.
“But I’ll polish the stars!”
“Betsy, better let us!”
Hannah and Bunsen float, Hannah holding a balloon and Bunsen hanging onto her.
“Give a lift to a foe, for you reap what you sow!”
“And there’s nowhere to go but up!”
The Admiral takes a balloon, and lifts up out of his wheelchair. He gasps in delight. “I’ve set sail!” He turns to Binnacle, who’s joining in. “Set a course, Mr. Binnacle!” “That I will, sir!” He calls back.
“If your day’s up the spout, well there isn’t a doubt.
There’s nowhere to go but up!”
“And if you don’t believe, just hang onto my sleeve!
For there’s nowhere to go but up!”
“As we fly over town, it gets harder to frown!
And we’ll all hit the heights if we never look down!”
Jack, Crutchie, and Davey are all smiling. Miles smiles even more brightly watching the three. “Let the past take a bow, the forever is now!”
“And there’s nowhere to go but up, up!
There’s nowhere to go but up!”
Medda stands in the park beside the balloon lady, gazing at the people floating above. “Of course the grown-ups will all forget by tomorrow.” The balloon lady remarks sadly. “They always do.” Medda replies. “Only one balloon left, Medda Larkin. I think it must be yours.” She then hands Medda a pink balloon. “I suppose it must..” She gazes at her reflection and smiles. “Practically perfect in every way.”
Miles, Davey, Betsy, and the children all land in front of their house. “Welcome home, everyone.” Miles says. “It’s nice to be back.” Davey states, momentarily surprised by Les running up and hugging him. “It is.. I never thought I’d feel this much joy and wonder ever again. I thought that door was closed to me forever.” Miles remarks, but as he says that, a strong gust of wind blows the front door open.
The same wind sweeps across the park, blowing Medda’s balloon away, she momentarily reaches out for it, but sighs in acknowledgement. “It’s time.” She opens up her umbrella and lifts into the air.
“She’s gone, hasn’t she, Miles?” Davey points out, a sad smile on his face. Miles nods. “Thank you, Medda Larkin. Goodbye.”
Jack and Crutchie have tied their balloons to their bike. They look up and see Medda floating away, the two grin and wave their caps to her. “We won’t forget, Miss Medda.” Jack states, and Crutchie squeezes his open hand. “We promise. ” The two then get onto the bike, Crutchie in front of Jack.
“So hold on tight to those you love,
and maybe soon from up above..”
Crutchie turns and smiles at him, and Jack smiles back before looking ahead as they pedal off.
“You’ll be blessed, so keep on looking high!
While you’re underneath the lovely London sky..”
Medda floats high above them all, briefly looking back down. She smiles to herself. Her work here is done.