The disappearing author: Enid Blyton’s characters call a midnight feast to discuss her whereabouts

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Summer holidays have finally arrived and it is time for all the characters from the Enid Blyton books to meet at Seaside Cottage. On a nice sunny morning, the Famous Five, the Secret Seven, the Five Find-Outers, Noddy, Amelia Jane, Elizabeth Allen (called the Naughtiest Girl in the School for short), the girls at Malory Towers and St Clare’s schools, and the three golliwogs reached Tally-Ho Cottage. Oops, wrong cottage! Lucky it is not the Burnt Cottage, they laughed.

Timmy, one of the Famous Five, wagged his tail for he was a dog. ‘I have the animal lovers on my side,’ he barked. George, who is really Georgina and hates frocks, scowled: ‘Everyone is waiting for me to come out.’ Fatty of the Five Find-Outers wrote in invisible ink, ‘I am the pin-up for plus-size people.’ The golliwogs muttered they had applied for a name change. Loony the spaniel said he was tired of being asked how he was doing by the mental health authorities. Amelia and Elizabeth groaned; the ‘naughty girl’ tag attached to their name was sure to mislead future employers. Anne, who had begun to wonder if domestic chores came her way only because she was a girl, announced it was always easier to drink lemonade than make it. Noddy smiled sadly. Ever since Noddy and the Magic Rubber was published in 1954, it was the birth control department that mailed him the most.

Ginger beer was served warm and flat, and all slept soundly around the campfire in the Enchanted Wood. Everyone knows feasts begin only at midnight – not a minute earlier. At sharp 12, up they got, chattering excitedly. When it came to picnics in the middle of the night, the bar was high. Freshly baked bread to make tomato sandwiches, egg and sardine sandwiches, cold ham, buttery scones, shortbread, new potatoes with melted butter … Wait, that’s too much carb, said the schoolgirls with eating disorders. Pineapple chunks in tins, chocolate squares, liquorice candy, humbug, barley sugars, treacle pudding and jam tarts for dessert. Er, said the diabetic.

‘There are dark whispers,’ began one of them, ‘I mean, there are just whispers, not dark or anything.’ Somebody cut in, ‘Dude, there is CCTV in Toyland.’ Somebody else wailed: ‘They are suing our parents, you know. Apparently, we are always alone in strange places solving mysteries and cases without parental supervision.’ A hush fell. Mr Meddle, Mr Twiddle and Mr Pink-Whistle snored softly. ‘The real mystery,’ everyone agreed with a yawn, ‘is why are they still reading us?’

Source – timesofindia

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