When Victoria Stayed Home all by Herself

 

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Everybody had gone out, just Victoria had stayed home all by herself.
“When they’re all gone the house is full of magic!” said Victoria.
She went to the bedroom of Mummy and Dad and looked under the blanket. A big brown bear looked at her.
“Oh dear!” said Victoria.
“Give me a present!” said Victoria.
So the bear left the room and brought back daddy’s hat. Victoria put it on. Then she tucked the bear in nice and warm.
Victoria looked into Mummy’s bed-side table. There was a big toad sitting there with golden eyes.
“Oh dear”, said Victoria. “Give me a present too!” said Victoria.
The toad hopped outside and brought back mother’s shoes. Victoria put them on. Then she closed the bed-side drawers.
Victoria looked into the cupboard. She heard something throb. Victoria searched among the clothes and dresses. There was daddy’s big coat. The throbbing came from inside the coat. Victoria climbed on a suitcase to see what was throbbing. In the inner pocket there was a dark red heart, that was beating.
“O dear!” said Victoria.
In the outer pocket there was a golden key and in the other one a bean.
“Are you giving me that?” Victoria asked the heart and the heart beat. So Victoria took the key and the bean.
Victoria wandered through the house, and the house was so big.
In the study there was the desk, and on the desk there was a book. Victoria climbed on the chair and had a look at the book. But there were no pictures in it, just little black squiggles.
“Now let’s see”, said Victoria.
She touched the book with the golden key. And the little squiggles began to move. They became little people who were dancing.
“Oh I see!” said Victoria and had a look at the next page. There the squiggles became a pond. In the pond there were little bubbles.
Victoria touched the bubbles with her key. Little tadpoles came out of the bubbles, swam around and grew, lost their tails and turned into frogs.
“Oh I see”, said Victoria and opened the next page.
On this page there were little worms. Victoria touched the page with her key. Beetles came along and ate some of the worms. Birds came along and ate some of the beetles. Foxes came along and caught some of the birds. But one fox choked on a bone and died.. So the worms came along and ate the fox.
“Oh I see”, said Victoria and turned over the page.
On this page there was a forest. Victoria touched the forest with her key. People came and cut down the trees. From the trees they built houses and a city to live in. A fire broke out and the city was burned. The people packed their belongings and moved on. Wind came and brought seeds from the woods. And a forest grew again.
“Oh I see”, said Victoria.
Victoria closed the book and took it wih her.
Victoria went to the kitchen. In the compartment under the sink there were mother’s flowerpots. Victoria took the biggest one and carried it into her room. She put the bean in the pot and put soil on it.
“Now let’s see!” said Victoria and touched the flowerpot with the golden key.
The soil began to move and a beanstalk came out. It grew and grew and grew higher and higher.
“Oh dear!” said Victoria.
So Victoria climbed up the beanstalk.
“There will be no room left for it!” said Victoria.
But the beanstalk grew and grew and grew. She climbed and climbed and climbed, and the room was high as a tower.
Among the leaves a lion appeared. He opened his jaws and roared.
“Now let’s see!” said Victoria and touched the lion with the golden key. Right away the lion was tame as a kitten.
“Oh I see!” said Victoria and went on climbing.
Then wolves came running howling and whining. But Victoria touched them with the golden key, and right away the wolves were tame just like dogs.
“That’s the way!” said Victoria and she climbed on.
Strange people came running, yelling and shouting, but Victoria couldn not understand what they said. So she held out the golden key to them, and when the people touched the key, Victoria could understand what they said.
“At last you have come, Victoria”, the strange people said. “We are glad that your’re here.” And now they weren’t strangers any more.
“Thank you”, said Victoria.
And the people showed her their houses and flats and said: “If you want a house just chose one!”
“Thank you so much!” said Victoria, “maybe later!” And she climbed on.
And she climbed and she climbed, and high over the bean tree, she saw the moon. And right on top on the highest branch there were Mummy and Daddy sitting at a table. They had lighted a candle and were holding hands.
“Today the moon shines so bright”, said Mummy. ā€˛Would you like to sit here with us?”
“Oh yes!” said Victoria.

Cover illustration by Simone Klages

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