The Ammonyte Goes To Town

Once upon a time in a little village in the country, there lived an Ammonyte, who loved nothing so much as bimbling down country lanes, whistling a merry tune. Many miles away in The Big City, the BFG (Big Friendly Gary) lived in a palace resplendent with verdant courtyards that sang to the sound of running water. The BFG and his Princess looked into their magic seeing-glass and viewed the Ammonyte bimbling through the lanes, and felt sorry for the poor creature who had not looked out to the Shining Towers of the East. So they sent a message to the Ammonyte, via a network of silvery ether, using a Terribly Clever Postman, and the message said “Come to the Big City and dine with us in the gardens in the sky and gaze out to the Silvery Towers in the East, and feast your eyes upon the Chasing of the Snickers* whereby so many people scurry all day long in search of small bottles of water”.

Well! The Ammonyte was fit to burst! For he had long dreamed to look out to the Silvery Towers of the East and watch the Snicker being chased. So he gathered up his belongings in a large spotted handkerchief which he tied up to a stick, hoisted the bundle over his shoulder, and set off to the railway station. There, large metal caterpillars roared noisily about, and the Ammonyte was scared, until he noticed people were able to get in and out of these noisy wriggly things. A kind man took away a lot of the Ammonyte’s pennies and gave him what he called “a ticket”, which he said would allow the Ammonyte to ride in the Big Wriggly Caterpillar to the Big City. Just then, another shiny caterpillar pulled into the railway station and with much trepidation the Ammonyte climbed inside. To his considerable surprise it was much larger and quieter than he imagined, and within a surprising short time the Shiny Wriggly Caterpillar arrived in the Big City.

The Ammonyte skipped quickly from the station, eager to explore the Big City, he walked across a big park that had trees just like home, where people gamboled and played upon wide open pastures, sat around ponds and lakes and gazed at multi-hued fields of tulips. Other people moved around in tiny versions of the caterpillar that had brought the Ammonyte to The Big City. There were so many of them, that people who just wanted to bimble, had to wait at special places until little green lights said it was safe to cross from one side of a lane to another.

It was after crossing a Very Big Lane, that the Ammonyte came to a Very Big House that seemed to be preparing to host a party. “Surely the BFG must live here?” thought the Ammonyte. So he asked a policeman with a Very Large Gun. The Policeman told him that the BFG must live somewhere else, and that the party was in fact, the End of the Chasing of the Snicker, and was organised by a lady called “Flora” “What an odd name for a hunter” he thought. So the Ammonyte bimbled on, he passed a very tall clock, which had a lot of angry people shouting at it. They didn’t sound happy, so he quickly moved on until he came to a wide river. The Ammonyte knew that the Shining Towers of the East, were close to the river, so all he would have to do was follow the river to the East. There were an awfully large number of people who had come to see the river, and many spoke in funny ways that the Ammonyte did not understand. There was a Big White Wheel and many many bridges all much larger than the ones the Ammonyte used to play Pooh-sticks from, back home in the wild woods.

Eventually he came to a narrow lane, and there before him was a large house where water ran down beside the steps. And the Ammonyte remembered the description of the palace of the BFG and his Princess and realised that he must have arrived. Pressing the bell, he was surpriesed that the BFG knew who was at the door! With a “swoosh” the door slid open and the Ammonyte ventured into a verdant courtyard, where a small stream ran down the middle. The Ammonyte had to press another button before he was finally admitted to the palace of the BFG and his Princess. And What A Palace! It was evrything the Ammonyte imagined such a place to be, light and airy, with gardens in the sky (the BFG seemed especially keen of his kitchen garden).

Unfortunately the Princess was a bit poorly, because someone had left a pea under her mattress and it had hurt her back, but she was sure the wizard Chi-Ro-Practor would be able to put it right, in the meantime she was taking plenty of special medication and asked the Ammonyte to try some, which he did. It tasted very nice and made him feel quite funny. Soon some more people arrived. There was Greg from somewhere so very very very far away that the Ammonyte wasn’t sure it really existed at all. And Lou who did something very clever on sailing boats and Janet who did something in “television” (no, the Ammonyte hadn’t heard of that either), and by the time Debbie and Steve arrived the medication was making the Ammonyte quite forgetful. He remembered feasting and laughing and drinking nice medication, and then they all (except for the poorly princess) went up to the roof to gaze at the Shiny Towers of the East, all lit up in the dark.

The next morning the Ammonyte felt poorly with a pain in his head and a funny taste in his mouth. “It must be a strange sort of medication that makes you feel this poorly” he thought. Then noises from outside. “This must be the ‘Chasing of the Snicker’ ” he decided, as he skipped down the stairs and out into the street. First came people in little chairs with wheels on, whizzing down the road, followed by ladies running improbably fast, and then men running even faster. He went back to tell the BFG and the Princess what he had seen. “Oh there will be many more people soon, but first have some medication which will make you feel better after yesterday’s medication” It was yummy and the Ammonyte felt a lot better. So the Princess, the BFG and the Ammonyte went back outside and watched as thousands of people hurried by, some dressed in special clothing made especially for Chasing the Snicker. “It must be really hard to Chase a Snicker dressed like that” thought the Ammonyte as a person dressed as a Rhinoceros went by. The more people went by, the slower they were moving, until even an Ammonytes’ bimble would have been faster.

Eventually the BFG and His Princess grew weary of watching the procession, so they all retired, to feast upon various meats, which the BFG called “Brunch”. Finally it was time for the Ammonyte to leave to begin the long journey home. The BFG and the Princess escorted the Ammonyte to the boundaries of their realm, and passed many discarded small bottles of water, and finally bid farewell upon the shores of the great river in sight of the Shining Towers of the East. The Ammonyte retraced his steps along the riverbank, past all the bridges, the Big White Wheel and the Big Clock (The Angry People were still shouting at it). Near the Big House he could still see some people finishing their Chasing of the Snicker, and thought he recognised some he had seen passing the BFG’s palace. There were still many people in the park, and many in the Station waiting for Shiny Wriggly Caterpillars. The Ammonyte was surprised how soon a caterpillar arrived to take him home, and sooner than you could collect a thousand acorns the Ammonyte found himself bimbling wearily along familiar lanes, back to his nest in the Woods, where he curled up and slipped into a deep sleep, and dreamed of Caterpillars and Shiny Towers, Angry Shouty People, Princesses, and Rhinoceroses.

The Hunting of The Snickers:-

Some of the amazing sights that the Ammonyte saw:-

*Once upon a time there was a chocolate and peanut confection called “Marathon” until an evil wizard cursed it and it changed into a Snicker.

~ by @mmonyte on April 28, 2009.

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