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Max and the Museum

posted 26 Nov 2017, 16:33 by Fran Brady   [ updated 26 Nov 2017, 16:46 ]

‘Is it McDonald’s?’ asked Aliida.

‘No’, said Grandma Frances.


‘No, silly. That’s the name of your school and we’ve just left there. Think again. We’re going somewhere that Max Bear has never been before.’

‘What about lunch? I’m hungry,’ said Aliida.

‘We can get lunch there.’

‘So, it IS a restaurant. I knew it! Are you sure it’s not McDonald’s?’

‘Positive. There is a restaurant there but so much more; so much to do and see.’

 Aliida screwed up her face and thought very hard. ‘What do you think?’ she asked Max, who was sitting quietly on the back seat beside her schoolbag and coat. But he was no help. No help at all. He just kept on looking out the window and humming a song he had recently heard, called ‘I just want to be your teddy bear’. He liked that song a lot.

 ‘Come on,’ said GF. ‘We’re almost there. It begins with M.’

‘Marks and Spencer’s? Monkey Face? Mince and Tatties?’

‘Now, you’re really being silly. You’re not going to get it. It’s …’

‘I know. The Moon!’

GF roared with laughter as she drew the car into a parking place. ‘Look behind you.’

 Aliida jumped out of the car and spun round. Of course. The Museum! The wonderful Museum of Scotland, full of interesting things to see and exciting things to touch and do.

‘Brilliant! Come on, Max!’

Max had never been in such a huge building. Looking up into the roof made him feel dizzy.

He held on very tightly to Aliida and closed his eyes as she carried him up a stair.

When he opened them again, he was glad to see that they were in a café. He knew cafés: you got nice food in them. He sat down with his back to the balcony rail and pretended that the long drop behind it wasn’t there.

Just as they were finishing their lunch, there came the sound of a clock starting up, getting ready to strike two. 

‘Come on!’ Aliida jumped up, grabbing Max quite roughly, and they all galloped down the stairs, GF puffing along behind carrying coats, scarves and bags. ‘What a fuss over a blooming clock,’ thought Max.

  But then he saw it! 

A fabulous clock, so tall that Max had to lean over backwards to try and see the top.

He leaned and he leaned; he still couldn’t quite see … Oops! He had done a backward somersault!

 Somersaulting always made him giggle. ‘Sshh,’ hissed Aliida. ‘Look.’ 

Max looked and immediately stopped giggling. You can’t really giggle when your mouth is wide open and your eyes are popping, can you?

Inside the clock, on many levels, were lots of tiny figures. They began to move: first one level; then the next; then the one above; and so on, until even the ones at the very top were joining in and the whole clock was alive. As they moved, they stuck with tiny hammers and other tools, creating beautiful, delicate sounds.  It was enchanting.

‘Close your mouth, Max,’ said Aliida. ‘You’ll catch a fly in it.’ Max hadn’t realised that his mouth was still hanging open. He hastily shut it and flicked his tongue over his teeth to check for flies. Phew! There were none. 

Next, they went to the transport section and saw so many trains, cars and planes that Max couldn’t take it all in. ‘I’m tired,’ he said, pulling at Aliida’s sleeve. ‘Me too,’ she said. 

GF took them into a quiet children’s place where there were comfy cushions in tents with books to read. 

So, they had a nice little rest.

 Time was getting on and soon they would have to leave.

‘One more place,’ said GF. ‘What’s it to be?’

Space,’ said Aliida, firmly. ‘I want to be an astronaut. Don’t you, Max?’ 

Yes, please,’ he replied. 

Of course, he had no idea what an astronaut was. But he soon learnt!

He couldn’t wait to tell Monty about it.  Next time Monty started ordering him about like a Sergeant Major, Max would just remind him that he was an astro … astro … a spaceman!