Silly plotos and the gol.., p.2
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       Silly Plotos and the Golden Eggcups, p.2

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  “Congratulations, Senor Silly. You have gained the admiration of myself and my people. Go in peace!” exclaimed the King.

  As a token of respect for Silly’s bravery and agility, King Albondiga gave him and his friends some famous Spanish tapas and chorizo sausage to keep them going on the next leg of their expedition: “Good luck on the rest of your quest,” he said.

  The bull groggily stumbled back towards the tunnel. The four friends triumphantly walked out of the arena to rapturous applause, and more importantly, with another Eggcup safely recovered.

  Chapter Four

  The next stage of their voyage took them to Italy! They travelled east from Madrid and bought a small boat at the seaside. They sailed uneventfully for days and nights across the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and arrived unscathed to Italy’s west coast. They sold the boat and finished off all the food that had kindly been given to them back in Madrid. Just a few hours walking and they would finally reach their third destination: Rome!

  The city and country was ruled by Emperor Rigatoni. He was the most arrogant egg in all of Italy. He spent his days discussing politics and plotting military campaigns with his closest advisors in the Senate building, which was on top of a small hill near the city centre. Our English travellers went straight there. The cobbled roads were as straight as arrows and the trees were tall and thin. The views over the city around them were breath-taking as they looked down on all the streets and buildings. In the background, green hills meandered into the distance. Silly and the others were halted at the entrance by the Emperor’s legionnaires. Our heroes were tired and weary from their travels, but they wanted to speak to Rigatoni as soon possible. The soldiers marched our voyagers up the grey marble steps towards the Senate room, passing sculptures and statues of the proud Emperor on virtually every corridor. As they entered the white chamber, Silly said his piece:

  “My name is Silly Plotos. These are my friends Lloyd, Goif and Gwaf. We have come to take something that belongs to us: a Golden Eggcup that was taken from our village many years ago.”

  The plump Emperor, wearing a white toga and a crown of laurels, swivelled and glared at the four intruders. His brown sandals swept across the pristine floor as he drifted towards them. The Senators watched on with interest.

  “You’ve shown great courage to come in here and interrupt me like this,” he said in his squeaky voice. “Your Eggcup is in one of our treasure rooms along with all the other glorious riches this Empire has won over the years. If you wish to have it back, you shall have to complete a challenge!”

  After a moment of consultation with his colleagues, he turned to Silly and the others:

  “I demand a painting competition! Not only am I the greatest Emperor this country has ever seen, I am also the finest painter! If you defeat me, you may take your Eggcup. If not, it stays here, and you will be going home empty handed!” He sniggered and the Senators laughed with him.

  Silly, Goif and Gwaf stared at Lloyd. This would be his moment! All those hours spent painting back at home in England would now come in very handy. Lloyd looked back at them nervously, but knew it was he who had to take on the Emperor. The Emperor invited all the Senators and politicians to watch him humiliate the foreigners and send them on their way defeated; Lloyd would be able to showcase his amazing talent to a great audience!

  “We accept your challenge, Emperor Rigatoni,” announced Silly. “My best friend Lloyd will be painting against you.”

  “May the Gods be with you,” replied the Emperor, smiling. “Now be off with you! I have meetings to attend. Get some rest; you’ll be on your way home very soon.”

  That evening, after our heroes had been given time to recover, Emperor Rigatoni took to the stage with his paintbrushes in a great outdoor amphitheatre near the Senate building. Thousands of stars glinted like fireflies and the moon shone bright in the clear night sky. Lloyd, the chosen challenger, joined his rival. They sat on their stools with their easels and blank canvasses. A large bowl of spaghetti bolognaise was placed on a table in front of them. The hour long painting competition had begun!

  The audience chatted quietly as the Emperor and Lloyd started to brush away. Silly, Goif and Gwaf sat silently in the front row, surrounded by Romans. Gwaf licked his lips and rubbed his tummy as the smell of the food wafted towards them from the stage. The two competitors were deep in concentration as they observed and painted. Emperor Rigatoni was determined to show he was the greatest painter in the land, and Lloyd was determined to win back the Eggcup and not let his friends down. After an hour of intense effort, both eggs were finished.

  The Emperor was first to turn round his canvas, smiling smugly as the crowd warmly applauded at the sight of his work, which was uninspiring at best! Next, Lloyd slowly picked up his picture, which was almost the same size as him. He turned it around and raised it like a trophy, with both hands elevating it above his head. It was far more imaginative and impressive than the Emperor’s! The audience screamed and burst into thunderous cheers as the Roman’s expression turned to one of horror. Silly, Goif and Gwaf jumped from their seats with joy. Lloyd was bursting with pride. He had defeated Emperor Rigatoni and completed the challenge! The Emperor was livid that his Senators and politicians had preferred his rival’s work to his own.

  Eventually, however, the Roman grudgingly accepted defeat.

  Lloyd’s friends joined him on stage and they celebrated wildly as the sounds of applause continued to echo around the auditorium and into the open air. The Emperor handed them the Golden Eggcup and apologised for his arrogance. He offered them the use of his servants’ quarters to sleep and celebrate in that night. He trudged off with his head bowed as Lloyd placed the relic inside the woollen sack.

  As a token of respect for Lloyd’s skill and talent, the Emperor gave him a valuable picture, worth its weight in gold, as a memento of his great painting victory: “Good luck on the rest of your quest,” he said.

  The next morning, Lloyd and the others were still overjoyed from the previous night’s events. It had been a successful evening. A troop of the Emperor’s soldiers accompanied the four friends out to the edge of the city as they continued to celebrate Lloyd’s remarkable performance. Another Eggcup had been won back, and they were another step closer to completing their mission.

  Chapter Five

  Our heroes had already travelled across much of Europe, and now they were going even further from home. Food and drink was scarce, so they fed off the land as much as they could. Carrying the Eggcups and now a great big painting was also making things harder, but the group were as determined as ever to reach the next place on the list. They travelled for weeks and weeks across mountains, plains, rivers, forests, seas; every possible terrain imaginable. They eventually arrived in the Far East and the fourth country of their quest, Japan, and its capital city of Tokyo!

  They snaked through the hills just outside the city and the pathway thinned as they went higher and higher into the mountains. The blossom trees were pink and red in the early evening Japanese sun. Tokyo’s lights and pointed rooftops could barely be seen far below as the shadow of the mountains stretched over the city. Eventually, Silly and the others arrived at a small village just below the clouds. It was here that they would find their next opponent, and another missing Eggcup. The opponent was Hidetoshi Hu, the great Samurai master. They climbed the final few steps to his house, with its curved roof, surrounded by small round bushes and a thin stream of trickling water. This seemed like heaven, not the house of a deadly swordsman!

  Silly knocked on the great door, made of solid oak, and it slowly squeaked open. There stood Hu. He was old, with white hair and a long white moustache. He was noble, respectful and wise. His black and red Samurai outfit was impressively decorated with images of dragons and flames, and seemed as good as new. Dozens of Samurai swords of all shapes and sizes lined the walls. Addressing his adversary, Silly declared:

  “My name is Silly Plotos. These are my friends Lloyd, G
oif and Gwaf. We have come to take something that belongs to us: a Golden Eggcup that was taken from our village many years ago.”

  “Welcome to Japan. You must be tired from travelling,” replied Hu as he led them to his dining room, where a chef was preparing sushi and noodles. In a flash, Hu had brandished one of his Samurai swords and chopped up the sushi in a matter of seconds. The visitors’ jaws dropped in wonder at the speed and skill of what they had just witnessed.

  Hu continued in his calm voice: “I knew someone would eventually come for the Golden Eggcup. I have been waiting for this day. Our contest will be my last as a Samurai warrior. One on one. My sword against yours.” He pointed towards Silly and his great sword Eggscalibur.

  Offering them a platter of the food, he added: “Eat and drink what you want. Tomorrow morning, as the sun begins to rise, Mr. Silly and I will have our duel.”

  Dawn arrived only a few hours later. As Lloyd, Goif and Gwaf struggled to get out of bed, Silly was stretching his muscles and practising his sword skills, preparing to take on the great Samurai. Hu’s Samurai pupils lined the dusty courtyard where their master and Silly would do battle. The rising sun arched over the horizon to the east. A white circle was painted around the two fighters – the first to step out of this circle would lose the duel. The Golden Eggcup was perched on a small column on the edge of the courtyard. Lloyd, Goif and Gwaf felt uncomfortable as they watched on. How would Silly and Eggscalibur fare against such a legendary sword expert?

  The duel began, and Silly’s direct, powerful style was in stark contrast to the elegance and grace of his elderly opponent. Hu barely broke sweat as Silly swung his weapon wildly. They fought bravely – Eggscalibur was more than a match for Hu and his chosen sword, its black and silver blade flashing like a lightning bolt in the early morning sunshine. They fought for what seemed like an age, with neither fighter showing any signs of weakness. But suddenly, the two swords clashed so hard that both fighters lost grip and the weapons ended up on the ground. Silly had to seize the opportunity whilst his opponent was unarmed. He lunged at Hu and kung-fu kicked him as hard as he could! The Samurai’s pointed helmet flew off as he soared through the air and landed in a plant pot on the edge of the battleground, outside the painted circle. Silly was the winner!

  Hu’s pupils rushed to pick up their Master. He was dazed from Silly’s ferocious kick, and slowly got back to his feet. Silly picked up Eggscalibur and raised it to the skies, victorious. Lloyd and the twins celebrated on the side lines, knowing yet another Eggcup would be retrieved. The Samurai master had more than matched his younger opponent, whose great sword was one of the toughest he had ever come up against. Hu and his apprentices bowed as Silly picked up the Golden Eggcup. Graciously accepting defeat, the Samurai congratulated Silly on his bravery and strength.

  “Thank you,” replied Silly. “You are a great man and an even greater warrior. It was an honour to fight you.”

  As a token of respect for our hero’s sword fighting ability, Hu gave Silly and his companions one of his oldest and most special Samurai swords, and also a mound of fresh sushi and noodles for them to take with them as they set off on the next part of the journey: “Good luck on the rest of your quest,” he said.

  The great Samurai warrior waved goodbye as our band of friends marched victorious down the hill away from the village, their bags full to the brim with food. The sun had risen fully and shone brightly on the hundreds of miles of landscape below. Goif and Gwaf took turns to hold the Samurai sword and imitated Silly’s kung-fu kick all the way down the mountain. Four Eggcups were now safely in the sack; there were only two more to go!

  Chapter Six

  Our heroes jumped aboard a boat from Tokyo that evening. From the port they set sail with some other travellers who were also heading east from Japan across the Pacific Ocean. After days and days of eating sushi and noodles on the boat, they couldn’t stand it anymore, and the boredom was driving them mad. But fortunately, no sooner had the last piece of Japanese food been eaten, the shores of their next destination came slowly into view. America!

  They navigated their way through mountainous forest and across winding rivers, until the terrain gradually flattened into vast open plains. The wilderness seemed to stretch on forever. It had been weeks since they left Tokyo but they finally reached the penultimate stop on their list: the camp of a native Red Indian tribe! The North American sun beat down on the prairie as they approached the small settlement. Dozens of painted wigwams surrounded Silly and his friends, with a smoking campfire in the centre of the clearing. The tribe’s fearsome leader, Big Chief Huppuluh, came out to meet them. His tanned face was etched with lines, and his charcoal coloured beard and hair were braided with coloured rings. He wore a necklace made of bones and his bare chest was covered in war paint. His impressive headdress was made from white and black feathers that sprung upwards. He seemed far from welcoming. Red Indian eggs circled the foreigners with puzzled expressions as Silly, in his now customary way, addressed them:

  “My name is Silly Plotos. These are my friends Lloyd, Goif and Gwaf. We have come to take something that belongs to us: a Golden Eggcup that was taken from our village many years ago.”

  In basic and broken English, Big Chief Huppuluh replied: “You want treasure back? You must do challenge. Bow and arrow.”

  Silly accepted. They walked towards a cluster of trees on one edge of the camp. The English eggs were experts with a bow and arrow since it was a popular and effective weapon back home, not least for hunting. But competing against Red Indians was another matter! All four of them would take part. The Chief’s son, Little Chief Lutrulluh, who was the spitting image of his father, would also join the competition.

  The rest of the tribe gathered round as the contestants lined up a fair distance away from the row of trees. Three circles had been scratched and painted into the bark of each tree so they could be used as target practice for the Red Indian warriors. Silly, Lloyd, Goif and Gwaf, Big Chief Huppuluh and Little Chief Lutrulluh would each fire five arrows. Those whose arrows landed closest to the centre of the targets would continue, and those furthest away would drop out.

  After two rounds of arrows, just three competitors remained. Silly was neck and neck with the two Red Indians. Lutrulluh then narrowly missed, which produced a look of disappointment from his father. Silly and the Chief hit the centre of the target yet again. The two could not be split with one round of arrows to go! They decided to move further away from the targets, in the hope of finding a clear winner.

  The Chief drew back his bow one last time and released his arrow, which hit the second ring of the target, just inches from the centre of the bullseye. He growled with rage as warm applause rippled from the intrigued onlookers. If Silly could better his rival’s shot, he would be victorious. Being a hunter, he was skilled at aiming from distance. If he could hit moving animals in the forests around Beautrosville he could surely hit this target too! He steadied himself and breathed out slowly. The arrow rocketed through the air. Splinters of bark flew from the tree as it landed in the centre of the bullseye. The Red Indians gasped in horror. Triumph for Silly!

  As usual, our gang’s celebrations were wild. They jumped with joy as Big Chief Huppuluh snapped his bow with anger. The Golden Eggcup was brought out from one of the wigwams and placed in Silly’s hands. After a few moments, the Chief was more calm. He was impressed, and surprisingly gracious in defeat, considering his unfriendliness throughout the afternoon. He still didn’t manage to break into a smile, but congratulated his opponents and invited them to stay for dinner in his tent.

  That evening a feast of meat was prepared. The English travellers sat and ate with their hosts, and danced round the campfire. Goif and Gwaf splattered themselves with the Indians’ war paint. Silly and Lloyd showed the Chief and his son the Samurai sword from Japan and the valuable painting from Italy. The next day, after the party and a good night’s sleep, everyone gathered outside the Chief’s wigwam to say goo

  As a token of respect for their bow and arrow skills, Big Chief Huppulluh gave Silly and the others two of his best horses, as well as a pair of Red Indian headpieces for Goif and Gwaf: “Good luck rest quest,” he said.

  The Red Indians waved and let out their famous war cry as our friends galloped away on their new horses. Goif sat behind Silly, and Gwaf behind Lloyd. The woollen sack, strapped to one of the horses, was now bulging with Golden Eggcups. The feathers on the twins’ headpieces blew in the wind as they raced towards the mountains in the east. Their journey back towards Europe would be much quicker now, and they had just one more relic to collect!

  Chapter Seven

  Our friends’ quest was nearing its end – the incredible journey was nearly complete and soon they would be able to return home to their beloved Beautrosville. The horses given to them by the Red Indians had carried them all the way to the east coast of America. They sold the horses at the seaside, and used the money to buy a boat that would take them across the Atlantic Ocean. Another lengthy sea crossing lay ahead, so they stocked up on as much food and drink as possible and piled it into their vessel. After days and days at sea, they arrived at the final stop on their journey. They were now on shores much closer to home: Scotland!

  They trekked through highlands and marshes before arriving at a barbarian stronghold high up in the cold mountains. The leader of this horde of fierce warriors was the terrifying Stocky McFella. He was possibly the scariest egg they had ever met. He towered over them. Messy orange hair and a thick beard surrounded his scarred face which was smeared with bright blue war paint. His giant axe rested over his shoulder and he wore a blue chequered kilt. Silly and the others approached him outside his hut:

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