The Great Pretender


“I can’t BELIEVE IT, the LAST person I want to see is the FIRST person I’m looking at!” Obby  looked towards the shore to see Gugu standing there.“Maybe she hasn’t seen me,” he said to Elphick.

“I can see you Obby” Gugu shouted from the shore. “I’m not blind.”

“Hi Gugu,” he shouted back, pretending he hadn’t seen her as he waved from the whale’s tail.

“ WE’VE YOU BEEN?” She stood there with her hands on her hips, demanding answers. You’ve been gone a V E R Y long time, and you’ve M I S S E D a lot of school.”

Gugu of course, loved school. In fact,  she was the only person Obby knew who didn’t like the school holidays, and when it was the school holidays she made Obby and his friends play school, and of course she was the teacher.

“I’ve been on a LONG LONG adventure he replied, in fact I’ve just arrived from England, isn’t that right Elphick, he said to the Southern Right Whale. He especially came to pick me up.”

“You mean he went out of his WAY for you, are you sure you weren’t in any trouble Obby, because everyone knows that trouble finds you.” Gugu said to Obby.

“No, trouble didn’t find me.” He gave Gugu a cheeky smile.

“I can’t hear you” Gugu shouted from the shore. Tell Elphick to swim closer.”

“He can’t the water is too shallow, he will get stuck.”

“So how  far is England from Hermanus?” she asked him.

“It’s FAR FAR away,” he answered.

Gugu rolled her eyes.

“Is England North or South of the equator?” She asked.

“It’s West of the Horizon,” he replied, with a big smile.

Gugu shook her head.

“What’s their national flower?”

“The Sunflower” he answered, “The Big Yellow One.”

Gugu sighed, LOUDLY.

“And their national bird?”

“Mr Big Bird”he answered.

Gugu looked  up to the sky and shook her head.

Obby was enjoying the questions, “ Ask me more, this is fun.”

“No you didn’t get one question right.” She rolled her eyes again. “ I SUGGEST you get off the whale’s tail and come with me to the library so you can look up some facts about England!”

“She’s very bossy,” Obby whispered to Elphick and ANYWAY I knew all the answers.”

“Really?” Elphick said in total surprise,  “So what are they young man?”

“Hermanus to England is  13,524.8 km. England is North of the equator. The national flower of England is the rose, and the national bird of England is the Robin.”

“Why did you pretend you didn’t?” Elphick asked him.

“Because I like it when she takes me to the  library and we read books together. I learn a lot. That’s why I’m so clever.” He liked to blow his own trumpet.

“You’re a great pretender,”said Elphick.

“Thank you.” Obby liked compliments.

“Why are you whispering Obby, it’s very rude.” Gugu shouted from the shore.“ Hurry up and swim to shore,  I haven’t got all day.”

“I better go,” said Obby, otherwise she won’t take me to the library,” and with that he dived into the water and swam happily towards the last person he wanted to see first, so he said- The Great Pretender.


The End.


















School on Thursday


“Every child deserves a champion- an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” –Rita Pierson. Thank you to the Principal  and Staff of Hawston Primary-you are all true champions.

Chapter One

It had been such an exciting day. Cyril couldn’t wait to tell Obby all about it. But Thursday was school day for Obby, so he just had to wait. So he waited and waited. For one whole long hour in fact.

Finally, he arrived with a big smile on his face. He always looked extra happy on a Thursday- school day! In fact everybody knew it was school day for him- because he told everyone.

“It’s Thursdays, I must get ready for school.”

“I mustn’t be LATE for school, it’s Thursday.”

“It’s Thursday-school day.”

“It’s school next Thursday.”

“I’ve got homework to do before next Thursday.”

“It’s only Wednesday, I wish it was school day Thursday.”

‘Blah,Blah, Thursday, Blah, Blah… Thursday…Blah, Blah…’ It was quite annoying! But Cyril never told him that because he knew how much Obby liked school.Obviously!

He liked learning new things ‘At School-On Thursday-Ever Thursday- Once a week-four times a month, approximately forty-eight times a year-with NO School Holidays…’ Cyril had heard this all before, again and again.

But today, this Thursday, Cyril had lots to tell Obby. So before Obby could talk about his day at SCHOOL he told him about his day.

“Obby”,he said, “I’ve had the most exciting day.”He started talking before Obby had even said ‘Hello’.

He told him that he was sitting on the cliff path near the New Harbour, when he saw two bus loads of children, “There were more than a 109”, he said. Cyril stopped counting at 109, that was the highest number he counted to-Why? Nobody knew.Not even the doctor.

“They walked along the cliff path”, he said, “From the New Harbour to the Old Harbour, 5 km’s in fact. Some complained it was too far,others complained it was too short.”

He told Obby he thought it was some type of educational outing and when Obby asked him why he said, “Because they kept pointing at me,and one little girl thought there were 36 of me’s but really it was only me she saw 36 times. I also walked the 5 km’s. Look at my sore little feet, they need a good soak in salt water”.

“Dip them in the sea”, Obby said, “It’s full of salt.”

Cyril pretended not to hear, he did that sometimes when he didn’t want to hear certain things, and he certainly didn’t want to hear about him and his toes being in the ocean-the sea and him weren’t friends ever since he had slipped off the rocks and landed in it with a big fat SPLASH!

He carried on telling Obby about all the children, and how the teachers walked with them all the way to make sure they were safe, and about the Sir Principal  and his Big Boom Box and how he rapped a song and Elphick jumped out of the water to see who the new whale crier was.

He told Obby about the delicious lunch they had, and how Mr Boom Box Principal and all the teachers made sure -doubly sure- that nobody had been left out. “There was one teacher”, he said, “She was a magician because she stretched that bottle of tomato sauce from Hermanus to Cape Town. Magic at its best”.

After lunch Sir Principal  and Lady Teacher, asked the children lots of questions.

“What type of questions?”asked Obby.

“Now that I think of it”,Cyril said, scratching his head, “They were about you.”

“Me?”said Obby,acting all surprised.

Cyril suddenly went very quiet and looked around to make sure they weren’t being watched and then whispered, “I think somebody is writing stories about you and all your adventures.”

“Really” said Obby, with a mischievous glint in his eyes, “I think you’ve had too much sun”.

“I think you’re right”,said Cyril,rubbing his head, “Because  I thought I saw an Obby puppet too!”

The End.
















Tall Story



“Hide” says Obby

“Why? asks Cyril.

“It’s Gugu, she’s walking in our direction.”

“Why must we hide from her?”asks Cyril.

“Gugu likes to ask lots of questions.” Obby says.

“I don’t think Gugu is like that at all,and its not nice to hide away from friends.” Cyril tells him.

“It’s too late anyway,” says Obby, “She’s seen us- look she’s waving.”

“Hello Gugu,” Obby  greets her with a big smile.

He didn’t want her to think they weren’t pleased to see her.That wouldn’t be very nice. In fact it would be rude.

“Good morning boy’s,” she stops to greet them, putting down her bag full of books.

“That’s a heavy bag,” Cyril comments.

“It’s full of library books, I’ve taken out another four books,” she says.

They knew Gugu was a keen reader and loved spending time in the library-because she told everyone!

“What books you’re reading?”she asks them.

Cyril froze, “Oh no, maybe they should’ve hidden after all,” he thinks.

Obby not wanting to be out done by Gugu answers, “I’m reading four books too.”

Cyril looks at Obby in complete surprise with raised eyebrows.

“That’s good,” Gugu says, “What are they about?”

“One is about the Southern Right Whale, the other is about the Northern Left Whale,and the third one is about the Eastern Right Whale, and the last one..”

Gugu is looking at him with her mouth pulled to the side and rolling her eyes, with one hand on her hip. She couldn’t stop herself from interrupting… “Let me guess,” she says, “It’s about the Western Left Whale.”

“Yes,” says Obby, “Have you read it?”

“I don’t have words, I just don’t have words,” says Gugu.

“She always has words,” thinks  Obby.

She then turns to Cyril and asks him what he’s reading.

Poor Cyril, not one for being good  under pressure can feel his cheeks getting hotter and hotter.

Obby looks at him with a mischievous grin, “Tell her Cyril what you’re reading.”

Cyril speaks without thinking, “I’m reading five books.”

Gugu is impressed.

“That’s great Cyril,” she says, “What they’re about?”

“They’re about fish,” he says, “Southern Right Fish,Northern left Fish , Eastern Right Fish and Western Left Fish,” he says.

“And the fifth book?” Gugu asks getting impatient.

“It’s a Fishy story,” he says.

Gugu looks at them with narrow eyes, shakes her head and sighs before picking up her bag and says to them, “You both should read TALL STORIES, you will enjoy it!” and walks off books and all.

“What did she just say?” Cyril asks.

“Something about reading Tall Stories,” Obby replys.

“Maybe we should go to the library and take it out,” says Cyril.

“That’s a good idea, and we can say Gugu recommended it,” says Obby.