This is for Michael in Cambridge.

Now Michael in Cambridge has just pointed out to me (and he’s right) that so far, we have not met Colonel Crackpot.

So where is he? Good question.

While the Minimice were having the best afternoon of their lives on a desert island, painting and swimming and eating ice cream, worrying things were happening back at Hildegard’s cottage.

Hildegard herself was completely unaware of anything because she was in the greenhouse refereeing this year’s three-legged race for the runner beans. Peregrine and Griselda were completely unaware because they were under a tree discussing mice and invaders, and the Megamice (Arnold, Dorothy, Marigold) and the dodo were completely unaware because they were staring at the roof. (I’ll tell you about the roof in a minute). The thing is, none of them were paying any attention to what was going on just over the garden wall.

This was slightly surprising, because the thing that was over the garden wall was making a truly spectacular amount of noise. It was a roaring sort of noise, followed by a splutter.

Which then stopped.

There was a moment of silence.

And then …. an IMMENSE, and I really mean IMMENSE explosion. (Not just immense, that wouldn’t really describe quite how COLOSSAL, MEGA, EPIC, MAMMOTH and SUPER this explosion was. This was a proper capital letters type event.)


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Everybody stopped what they were doing and looked round….






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