Testing testing… by Claire
Thinking about the theme for this weeks story - hobnobbing- the thing my mind takes me is to biscuits. But that would be obvious, everyone is going to write about biscuits aren’t they? Of course, hobbnobbing means something else first – it means gadding about with posh people – possibly whilst eating biscuits. So maybe that’s what this story should be about? Then the naughty voice in my head starts getting all vaudeville on me, hobbKNOBbing – a rich vein of innuendo right there. Then I google “hobbnobbing” - and see that it is actually spelt with 1 b (well I mean 3 in total, rather than 4)– to hobnob. In which case does hobbnobbing mean something else entirely? Is it the name of a fairy tale dragon, Hobbeknobbin’ - a knobbly crusty one that looks a bit biscuity? Or could it be the name of a mischievous magician - Knobby Hobbins, who makes biscuits appear from his battered old felt hat. Maybe it is the name of a lame pony called Hobblydobbins, all skinny and unkempt, with no tail and fleabitten ears.
Perhaps the magician owns the pony and they live together in a house made of biscuits and get attacked by the crusty dragon? Actually though the story arrives and of course it’s all about biscuits and it goes like this…
Percival Smythe took the biscuit from the biscuit barrel when Nanny wasn’t looking. He had not eaten all day, so naughty had he been that he was banished to the nursery with only water. He had cut the tail off Elspeth’s toy pony and Nanny (the crusty old dragon) had marched him upstairs by the lobe of his ear. He was now officially as starving as the poor children from the broken-down cottage who sometimes played plantation owners and slaves with him – if they were lucky. Nanny had brought Elspeth to the nursery for her afternoon tea and the biscuit barrel had been momentarily put within his reach. His hand was in and out in a flash, the nobbly biscuit in his mouth and scoffed faster than a wizard’s spell could have made it disappear.
When Nanny looked around he sat innocently, all big blue eyes and dark curls. However, nestled at the top of his bow tie was a great big crumb – a giant nobbly tell-tale, signalling to Nanny what perfidiousness had taken place. Nanny was short sighted though and didn’t see it at first. But Elspeth did, she walked over to Percival as Nanny watched, picked the crumb from his bow tie and put it in her mouth. Percival realised that the game was up and was overwhelmed with rage at the betrayal – he pushed Elspeth so hard she fell headfirst against the corner of a particularly fine piece of Chippendale and died immediately. Percival was sent to a boarding school a long way away where biscuits were disapproved of. He didn’t eat another for 30 years until, on his very belated wedding day to a wealthy Russian widow, he took a ginger biscuit to soothe his nausea and choked to death on a piece that lodged in his gullet.