The Story of How they Met
Not so long ago, in a small rustic hotel in the centre of Paris, a Pomplemousse and a Munchkin became the best of friends. It was going to be a long and exciting friendship which would see them through some super fun times, some not so fun times, and some side-bendingly funny times! But, from even the beginning and every step of the way, they both knew they were destined to be friends for life.
It was a Saturday morning in spring 2015 and Pomplemousse had checked into her favorite little quaint hotel in the most romantic city in the world, Paris. She was meeting up with a friend that day and was determined to look her best, so, after unpacking her bags and setting aside her asthma inhaler (which she never left home without), she decided to take a bubble bath. She could smell the fresh scent of spring wafting through the small French bay window which opened out onto a tiny balcony and she felt so relaxed she drifted into a long, deep sleep. Not so long later, she awoke to find a tallish, grey, fluffy weasel standing on the side of the bath. ‘Gosh, it’s a good job there are enough bubbles to cover me up’ she thought and she blinked over and over again to see if she had had too much berry juice on the trip over. The small grey weasel looked friendly enough to her, but she must have frightened his little life out of him for the next thing she knew, he had run behind the shampoo pot!
Now before I continue, let me explain a little about Pomplemousse in general. She is a small rounded bear like creature who finds the most boring things interesting and is so inquisitive it often gets her into all sorts of trouble! And promise me, if you are ever lucky enough to come across Pomplemousse, you won’t comment on her height… promise!? You see, if you can imagine the size of a tennis ball this is the similar height of Pomplemousse. She hates to admit it and gets very upset by the fact that she is the smallest bear in the world or so she has been led to believe. She is convinced that she could easily take on a football sized bear or even a rugby ball size and won’t hear anything more about it!
She is a rather fun bear who enjoys being outside and always getting mucky, but most of all, her favorite hobby is to laugh! If it were up to Pomplemousse she would laugh and laugh and laugh until her tummy hurt so much she had to drink some water to be able to breath.
“Hello” she whispered “I won’t hurt you, I’m Pomplemousse” she explained, but to no avail. She waited for a few minutes before catching site of her watch and realising it was 5 minutes until she had to be in the patisserie across town to meet her beloved friend Ellie. “I’m terribly sorry to have scared you, only I simply must get out of the bath now and get ready for lunch. You see I haven’t eaten in a few hours and I think my coat is losing it’s shine, I’m going to…” but before she could finish, the little grey weasel had run across the bath, out the door, across the bedroom, jumped onto her bed and had hidden under her duvet!
“I’m not coming out” squealed the little creature, “you’ve invaded my home and I’m not coming out until you leave”.
“This is most certainly not your home” replied the Pomplemousse “and I will most definitely not be going anywhere until you tell me who you are.” There was a long, drawn-out pause, neither of the little creatures wanted to give in they were both quite clearly as stubborn as each other… until finally…. the Pomplemousse couldn’t wait any longer and got dressed in seconds and left the premises.
She ran down the streets of Paris searching for the patisserie where she was to meet her friend until finally she heard a sharp shrill voice calling out across the Champs-Elysees, “Pomplemousse, Pomplemousse, Pomplemoouuuuse, I’m hereeeee” from across the large busy street Pomplemousse could see Ellie the Mouse – the friend she had travelled so far to meet. Dressed impeccably, Ellie was wearing a French beret, a striped blue and white dress and shoes as tall as the Eiffel Tower. Pomplemousse had always envied the way Ellie the Mouse always looked so amazing but since she had moved to Paris after they had left school her style had most certainly flourished and now she had been made editor of The French Animal Times she just looked gorgeous. Pomplemousse managed to cross the street looking both left and and right, she always got confused how across the English Channel the cars seemed to drive on opposite sides of the roads. Why she thought? Why do they have to confuse things?
“Pomplemousse, you took terrible darling” shouted Ellie, “why is your shirt buttoned all the wrong way and your laces are untied?”. Pomplemousse suddenly remembered the rush in which she had left the hotel and knew she’d have to explain her encounter with the little grey weasel. She was rather dubious and scared about telling Ellie, perhaps she had been imagining things all along and there was no creature in the bathroom which was now hiding in her bed calling her hotel room his ‘house’ – the cheek!
“Umm, I’m not sure how to tell you this, I hope you don’t think I’m dotty” said the Pomplemousse whilst rushing to redo her shirt and laces “let’s have a cold glass of berry juice and I’ll explain everything”.
They sat down outside the little patisserie, the weather in Paris was always so warm and yet there was a refreshing breeze brushing past the table.
“You will never believe this…” and Pomplemousse proceeded to tell the story of the little creature in the bathroom.
“Wow, how exciting. Do you think he was lost? Perhaps he broke in… maybe he is a fugitive, do you think he is dangerous?” Ellie was always full of questions and shared Pomplemousses chase for excitement. Being a writer and editor, she tended to exaggerate A LOT and enjoyed adding a thrill to even the most tedious story.
“No, I don’t think he is a fugitive and I didn’t get the impression that he was dangerous, to be honest, he seemed quite scared.”
They gossiped, talked, giggled and ate French delights for almost 4 hours until they were feeling quite sleepy and both agreed to retire for the day. Although Pomplemousse was only staying in Paris for one night they decided to meet again in the morning, mainly so Ellie could hear what happened with the little creature when Pomplemousse got back to the hotel!
Pomplemousse strolled down the small cobbled streets apprehensive about what she may find back at her hotel. She entered the small cardboard door of the hotel and immediately bumped straight into Patrick, the manager of the hotel. “I’m terribly sorry missy” mummbled Patrick in his best English, “I did not see you there, I do hope you are enjoying your stay at Chez Louboutin.” The hotel had red painted walls; she had been told that it had been carved from the most expensive shoe box in France, but this she couldn’t quite believe and convinced herself that it was a myth. “No problem Patrick” she replied “I was just on my way up to my room, but I must take this opportunity to tell you I simply love staying at this fine establishment I always find it quite difficult to leave!” Pomplemousse had learnt over the years that flattery makes people feel quite special and loved to see smiles on peoples faces. “Ahh mon amie, merci merci. We must see you again soon” and with that he minced out of the door.
When Pomplemousse reached the door of her room, she opened the door to find the entire room turned upside down! There were towels on the bed, the duvet was spread across the floor and her suitcase had been completely knocked off the chest of draws… what the devil had happened, she thought!
“Little creature… little creature, please come out. What have you done to my room. I’m sorry to have scared you earlier but this is simply outrageous! What have I done to deserve this!?”
“Hmmm, Ummmm I’m sorry. What do you mean? I took a shower and was doing some reading, sorry about your suitcase it just fell off on it’s own!”
“Fell off on it’s own? Are you joking? Right that is it. You are going to tell me what you are doing here and who exactly you are, otherwise I will call Patrick the hotel manager and get all this mess sorted out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he threw you out and we never saw you again.”
Totally panicked and a little taken aback the creature ran up to Pomplemousse and gave her the biggest cuddle! “I’m sorry, please don’t do that. Let’s sit down and I’ll tell you everything.”
“You see I was so happy where I used to live. It was so warm and cosy until one day a little girl picked me up and packed me in the biggest case you have ever seen. She told me it would be fun where I was going and not to worry. It seemed like an awfully long journey and when I awoke I was here in this weird country where I don’t understand what people say and there is a strange smell of onions in the air. I have tried to hang honeysuckle up but that smell never goes away!”
He took a deep breath and tried to compose himself.
“I don’t know how long I’ve been here for, but I don’t like it and I’m planning on leaving just as soon as I can work out a plan of action”
Pomplemousse suddenly felt very sorry for the little creature. “Well who are you? What is your name?”
“Munchkin” he replied
“Do you like sweet berry juice, England and playing in the rain?” she exclaimed
“I looooveee sweet berry juice, England and playing in the rain” shouted Munchkin jumping up faster than a grasshopper!
“Would you like me to take you back to England and you can live with me? I mean it isn’t a very large house, but I do live in a tree house though so there is no danger from dogs…” continued Pomplemousse
“Really? Really? Really? Can I?” Munchkin was now jumping up and down, so excited he could hardly contain himself
“Of course – what are friends for!”
And that is how the Pomplemousse and Munchkin became the very bestest friends in the whole world.
The next morning Pomplemousse and Munchkin packed their clothes and checked-out of Chez Louboutin. Pomplemousse had explained to Munchkin that they’d have to stop off to see Ellie before they made there way to Pelican Crossing and Munchkin was more than happy. He had calmed down so much now he knew that the Pomplemousse wasn’t a threat and he was so excited about the prospect of actually having somewhere to live again with real friends that he was quite content to do anything she asked.