'Mrs. Armitage and the Big Wave'

Story Time

June 13, 1999|By Quentin Blake

Editor's note: Mrs. Armitage and her dog head out surfing, but keep thinking of outlandish things they need and return to shore. For other books about the sea, see Page 10M.

Mrs. Armitage was on her way to the beach. She was wearing her surfing gear and she carried her surfboard under her arm. Breakspear the dog ran alongside.

When they got to the beach, they walked across the sand and into the water.

"What we have to do, Breakspear," said Mrs. Armitage, "is swim out to sea and wait for the Big Wave."

But while they were waiting for the Big Wave, Mrs. Armitage could see that Breakspear's little legs were getting tired. "What we need here," said Mrs. Armitage, "is something to keep a faithful dog afloat."

So she swam back to the beach and bought an inflatable desert island.

When she got back, Breakspear climbed onto the desert island and they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

But it was a hot, hot day and soon Mrs. Armitage was sweating and Breakspear's tongue was hanging out. "What we need here," said Mrs. Armitage, "is something to protect us from the sun's powerful rays."

So she swam off and came back with a cap with a yellow plastic brim for herself and an umbrella with pink spots for Breakspear; and they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

Now they were nice and cool, but soon they began to feel rather hungry, as one does at the beach. "What we need here," said Mrs. Armitage, "is a selection of light snacks to keep us going."

So she swam off and got a plastic duck and an empty box, tied them together with string, and filled the box with tasty items.

When she got back, Mrs. Armitage ate an avacado burger and Breakspear had some crunchy dog biscuits and they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

After a while a breeze sprang up and blew briskly along the shore.

"This is delightful," said Mrs. Armitage, "but what we need here is something to show us Wind Force and Direction."

So she swam off and came back with a wind sock and a string of flags, and she fixed them so that they blew in the breeze. Then Mrs. Armitage and Breakspear went on waiting for the Big Wave.

A wind surfer passed them at high speed. "Hi there, gorgeous!" she shouted.

"What we need here," said Mrs. Armitage, "is something we can hail fellow sportsmen with."

So she swam off and came back with a red megaphone. She brought a horn as well because it's always a good thing to have a horn.

Then she gave a few shouts and hoots and they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

By now all kinds of fish were popping their heads out of the water to find out what the fuss was about.

"I hope there aren't any sharks," said Mrs. Armitage.

So she swam off ...

... and came back with a sturdy boat hook. "Now we can give a prod to any shark that wants to bother us," said Mrs. Armitage, and they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

And then the Big Wave came.

At the same moment, they noticed a little girl named Miranda who had swum out too far and was in trouble.

"Pah-hee-hah-hurgh," went Mrs. Armitage on the horn. She hooked Miranda with the boat hook and off they went.

They did a California slither, a Bali swerve, a Waikiki flip and ...

... landed on the beach right in front of Miranda's parents.

They all went to the beach cafe to celebrate. "There's still time, Breakspear, for us to have another go," said Mrs. Armitage.

"But what we really need is ..."

Illustration and text from MRS. ARMITAGE AND THE BIG WAVE, copyright (c) 1997 by Quentin Blake, reproduced by Permission of Harcourt, Inc.

Pub Date: 06/13/99

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