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Max and the Goggle-Eyed Monster - Part One

posted 21 Jun 2018, 13:03 by Fran Brady   [ updated 24 Jul 2018, 11:07 ]

Aliida, Max and Grandma Frances were shopping. Aliida tried on some bunny ears. ‘Easter!’ she cried. ‘Can I have a hundred Easter eggs? And an Easter bunny? And …’

‘Hang on,’ said Grandma Frances, ‘I’m not made of money.’

‘What are you made of?’ asked Aliida.

 ‘Sugar and spice and all things nice.’

 Aliida thought about this. ‘Is that what I’m made of too?’ 

 ‘Of course, all little girls - and big grown-up ones too - are made of just exactly those two lovely things.’

‘Was that what Mummy was made of?’ asked Aliida.

 ‘Absolutely!’ said GF. Lots and lots of sugar with a big pinch of spice.’

 ‘What about Daddy?’

 ‘Ah, well,’ said GF. ‘That’s quite another matter. Little boys - and big grown-up ones too - are made of slugs and snails and puppy dogs’ tails.’

‘Ugh,’ said Aliida. ‘What a shame. I don’t think I want to hug Daddy anymore if he’s made of slugs. I don’t mind snails, and I love puppies, but slugs!’ She screwed up her face and made a funny, pulled-down mouth.



‘No, it’s all right,’ said GF, wisely. ‘Big grown-up boys who are loving and kind, 

and become good daddies, gradually get rid of the slugs and snails until they are just pure puppy dogs’ tails. 

I had a word with Charlie about that and he confirmed this is the case. Daddy and Charlie are practically made of the same stuff now.’   


Max didn’t think much of this idea. He thought it would be a lot better if daddies - and mummies and grandmas - were made of little bears like him. Much nicer. But, he thought, at least no one is made of cats.That would be too horrible for words.’

He had a sudden picture in his mind of a particularly horrible cat, one who lived in his house. Katy Price! Fancy being made of stuff like her! Ugh!


They bought the bunny ears and a quite small Easter egg, because Daddy said Aliida must not eat too much chocolate. ‘Wise daddy,’ said GF. 

Max did not really agree with this. In his opinion, there is no such thing as too much chocolate.


They were strolling through the big shopping mall, when something very strange happened. Suddenly, lots of people were running fast, running hard, right past them. One of them almost knocked Max out of Aliida’s arms. As they ran, they shouted: ‘Quick! The monster’s coming.’ Of course, Aliida, Max and GF all turned around and looked behind them, to see what all the fuss was about. 


‘Holy Koala!’ exclaimed Max. He clutched the lapels of Aliida’s coat and tried to hide himself in its folds. 

Coming through the mall, with enormous strides, was a huge, strange creature with the most enormous eyes.

‘Run,’ cried Aliida, but GF pulled her back.

‘It’s OK’ she said, laughing. ‘It’s just Beyoncé Big-Eyes. She’s harmless.’                        

Max peeped over Aliida’s shoulder. The THING did not look harmless to him. It - she - was at least twice, if not three times, bigger than him. Bigger than Monty. Bigger than Katy Price. Maybe even bigger than Aliida. He began to tremble. He could hear, in his head, Monty calling him ‘chicken’ and ‘scaredy-cat’. Max hated both those names because he knew he was not a chicken and certainly not - never in a million years - a cat. 


GF turned around and actually began walking towards the THING. Max prayed that Aliida would not follow her and his prayer was answered. Aliida did not run away, but she did not move towards it either. The two of them just stood watching the THING and GF get closer and closer. It was like those scary scenes in a film that make you feel very afraid something awful is about to happen. Max could almost hear the creepy music …


Wait! That was music Max could hear. Really scary, creepy music! And it was getting louder and louder. It was coming from behind them.  Aliida whirled around and Max turned his head, out of the folds of her coat, and dared a peep. He was scared but he was also curious, and curiosity won - just. 

Coming towards them was the cutest girl teddy bear that Max had ever seen. She was wearing pretty pink shorts and a sweet little tiara on her head, between two adorable pink ears. She was carrying a little radio and the creepy music was coming out of that. 

Max thought she was simply a VISION! He forgot his fear, forgot the THING, forgot GF whom he had last seen walking towards the THING, even forgot Aliida who might be in mortal danger from the THING. 

He leapt out of Aliida’s arms, stood up nice and straight, and smoothed his shirt collar, feeling glad he had on his favourite striped shirt. He took off his spectacles, polished them, and put them back on again slowly. 

He strode manfully towards the VISION. He held open his arms. ‘Have no fear’, he declared. ‘I will protect you.’ 

But the VISION simply ignored him! She did not even look at him. She broke into a gentle run, crying, ‘Mummy! Mummy!’

 Aliida and Max watched in amazement as she ran towards the THING. They were also dumfounded to see that GF turned towards the VISION and smiled. ‘Hello, Poppy Pink-Ears,’ said GF. ‘Have you lost your mummy? Don’t worry, pet. She’s right here.’ She stepped aside.

 Aliida and Max stared as the THING and the VISION ran into each other’s arms …