Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Matilda and her magical keys – Geoffrey the Giraffe

Something a little different from me today, trying out a little fiction writing. Would love any comments, good or bad.

Matilda was just an ordinary little girl. Like many little girls she was a tiny bundle of energy, always on the go and always talking at a hundred miles an hour. She lived with her younger brother Henry, her mum and dad and their dog, an English Springer Spaniel called Bracken, in the rolling green hills of the English countryside.

Everyone that met her could see that she was an intelligent girl, but that almost white blonde hair and cheeky smile hid the truth about her real talents. For you see Matilda was the owner of some magic keys.

These magic keys were always with her, tucked away in her rucksack, never more than a few metres from her at all times. She carried them on her pushchair as she played in the house and hung them on the end of her cot while sleeping. They sat by the toilet while she had a bath and on the end of the table while she ate dinner.

Matilda knew she needed those keys close by in case her nemesis, Geoffrey the Giraffe, appeared. Geoffrey was tall even by Giraffe standards, with a thick strong neck and teeth as sharp as a lions. He was the ruler of the toys; he lived in a secret cave hidden behind the puzzles and wooden train set.

All the other toys lived in fear of Geoffrey, never straying too close to his cave and hiding under a book whenever they heard him coming. But Matilda wasn’t scared of Geoffrey, she didn’t know the meaning of danger and besides she knew that whenever she was in trouble she always had her magic keys.

One day Henry and Matilda were in the lounge playing, they’d built a den from 2 chairs and an old duvet cover. Bracken was of course playing too, if you count snoring in the dark corner of the den playing. But that added to the fun, Matilda liked having a guard dog even a sleeping one. As she chased Henry in and out of the den she would stop to poke his nose or grab his ears just to make sure he was doing his job properly.

Suddenly Bracken’s ears pricked up, there was a noise coming from the playroom next door. It was a strange noise, a scratching scraping noise that was getting louder and louder. Matilda noticed Bracken’s head pop up and she too heard the noise. “What is it Bracken, what’s that noise?” she said, “go see”. But Bracken didn’t want to go and see, that noise didn’t sound like it was going to be fun and it certainly wasn’t going to be something to eat.

But Matilda wanted to know what it is, it wasn’t her dad as he was out at work and she could hear her mum talking on the phone in the kitchen. However before she had chance to get up to go and investigate the sound started getting louder and she could tell that it was moving towards her.

The scratching noise was now replaced with what sounded like hooves on the ground, just like the horses in the field behind the house. Suddenly, in the doorway, appeared Geoffrey and one look at his face told Matilda that he was not happy.

“WHO’S STOLEN THE BUILDING BLOCKS FROM MY PLAYROOM” he bellowed. Matilda laughed, she knew full well where the blocks were but there was no way she was going to tell Geoffrey. As he advanced on their den she grabbed her rucksack and dived for the back of the den dragging Henry with her. They fought their way under the duvet and out of the back of the den just in time leaving Bracken to fend off Geoffrey.

They rushed down the hall into the kitchen with the sound of Geoffrey’s angry shouts in the background. They ran around the kitchen table searching for a place to hide, but all the cupboards were locked. Then Matilda spotted the cardboard box in the corner.

They climbed into it and pulled the flaps shut just in time as Geoffrey came round the corner. As they huddled quietly in the box they could hear him slowly trotting around the kitchen searching for them. They heard him stop outside the box, the sound of his heavy breathing just a few centimetres from where they were sitting.

Then he started to walk away back towards the playroom and his cave, his footsteps getting quieter as he went. But 2 small children can only stay still for so long and at that moment Henry had had enough of Matilda holding him, he let out a squeal and wriggled away from her.

Geoffrey was back next to the box in an instance and he began to pry the flaps open. Matilda and Henry were trapped, there was no escape and soon they would feel the full force of Geoffrey’s anger. Thinking fast Matilda’s hand dived into her rucksack and pulled out her set of keys, she grabbed the small silver one on a ‘we love New Zealand’ key ring and pushed it into the back of the box.

The back wall of the box swung open like a door, “quick” said Matilda to Henry “get out here before he opens the box”, Matilda and Henry crawled out and slammed the door behind them. Geoffrey was now inside the box scrabbling at the sides shouting in disbelief at where they had gone to. He couldn’t believe that they’d managed to evade him after he’d cornered them like that.

Quick as a flash Matilda shut the flaps of the box and told Henry to sit on top of it quickly. Geoffrey was trapped inside and despite his best efforts he couldn’t budge Henry off that box. He was still shouting and fighting to get out when Mum walked into the room.

“What’s going on kiddies?” she asked, “Henry climbed on the box” said Matilda “silly old Henry”. “yeah silly old Henry” replied mum wryly knowing full well that Matilda wasn’t the innocent party she was making out to be. But there was nothing unusual about Henry climbing on something so mum lifted him down and opened the box.

There lying on the bottom of the box was the children’s Giraffe hand puppet, mum picked it up and seeing the nervous look on Henry and Matilda’s faces took it back into the playroom and placed it on the top shelf.

They never had been a fan of that toy.


  1. I think this is lovely and that you have a gift. I was captured all the way to the end.

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