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epilogue
chapter 23
chapter 22
chapter 21
chapter 20
chapter 19
chapter 18
chapter 17
chapter 16
chapter 15
chapter 14
chapter 13
chapter 12
chapter 11
chapter 10
chapter 9
chapter 8
chapter 7
chapter 6
chapter 5
chapter 4
chapter 3
chapter 2
chapter 1

The Famous Five: The Final Adventure.
A Tribute to Enid Blyton.

Chapter 5.
Every Dog Has His Day.

Wandle Robert trotted briskly down Constitution Hill pulling a carriage full of high-spirited children.
   "I want to be a Coldstream Guard, ride a black stallion, wear silver armour and have coloured plumes on my helmet."
   "Wouldn't it be great to be the Drum Major, leading the parade and tossing that huge mace."
   "I would like to be a Princess." This brought forth howls of laughter.
   "How can you be a Princess, silly? You have to be born a member of the Royal family."
   "I can marry a Prince," protested Anne, indignantly, "then I might end up as The Queen of England."
   This created a further outburst of laughter.
   "Yes, Queen Anne, that does have a certain ring to it," teased Dick, ducking a well-aimed swipe from Anne.
   The driver turned to Julian. "Would you like me to drop you off at the Hotel, Sir? Or is there somewhere else you had in mind?"
   "What do you suggest, driver?" replied Julian, remembering the day was only halfway through.
   "Well, I am taking Wandle Robert back to the stables at Wandsworth, but I pass through Kensington. You might like to lunch at Harrods, then maybe go to the museums in the afternoon."
   "Oooh! Lunch at Harrods. What a smashing idea," squealed Anne.

The driver dropped the children off close to Harrods. They all thanked him very much for such an exciting morning. Anne gave Wandle Robert a final pat and rubbed his velvet nose.
   The five children and Timmy headed for the main entrance, but found their way barred by a burly doorman. "I am very sorry my young friends, but I am afraid dogs are not allowed inside the store."
   George scowled fiercely, but the other children, especially Anne, could not help the disappointment show on their faces.
   The man took Anne gently by the arm and led her down the steps.    "Don't worry little Miss," he said, kindly, "Harrods caters for the needs of everyone. If you take the next street on the right and walk to the back of the store you will eventually come to a door marked 'Pets Parlour'. Inside you will find a young lady who would be only too pleased to look after your dog while the rest of you do the shopping."
   George grumbled loudly as they went off down the street. "I think it's a damn cheek that Timmy is not allowed in this crumby store."
   "Don't be such an ass, George," said Julian, firmly, "Harrods has a famous food hall. Just think of the chaos Timmy would cause if he decided to run off with a huge joint of meat."
   The thought of Timmy running off with a leg of lamb and being chased by a hoard of shop assistants brought a smile to George's face. "Yes, perhaps you are right as usual," she relented.
   They eventually came to the door in question. A large iron handle hung down from an overhead porch. Dick gave the handle a sharp tug. A bell could be heard ringing inside and almost immediately the door was opened by a young woman in her early twenties. She wore jeans, knee length boots and a man's checked shirt with its sleeves rolled up to the elbows. Her curly, spun gold hair framed a smiley face and laughing eyes.
   "Surprise eyes," remarked Anne, later. "You know, eyes that seem to see things for the very first time."
   "Hi!" said the smiley face. "I've been expecting you. Wilf, the doorman, rang through and said you were on your way. My name is Kelly. Won't you come into my office." The voice was as remarkable as the eyes. Faint cockney, yet musical, like a skylarks song tumbling from high on a warm summers day or the gurgling of a mountain stream bubbling through granite rocks.
   Julian introduced everyone, including Timmy.
   "Ah! Timmy," said Kelly, kneeling down ruffling his neck. "So you and I will hang out together while the others go off shopping, eh? Well I think I might be able to rustle you up a big juicy bone. Would you like that, Timmy?"
   "Woof, woof," bone was a word Timmy could definitely relate to.
   Vivien was busily inspecting the office, finding the various books and pictures of exotic animals very interesting. "Is looking after customers' pets your only job here, Kelly?" she asked, finally.
   "Goodness gracious me no!" exclaimed Kelly, in surprise. "George, grab hold of Timmy's collar and follow me. I will show you something truly amazing."
   Kelly led them over to the corner of the room and through a doorway covered by hanging plastic slats. Beyond was the most extraordinary conservatory any of them had ever seen. Firstly it was of massive proportions. The right hand side was a good sixty-foot high, taking in four-floors of the Harrods department store. Huge plate glass windows allowed customers a fine view at each level.
   And what a view!
   The children gasped with sheer amazement. "Gosh! Look at all the coconut palms and tropical ferns."
   "And butterflies. I have never seen so many. So colourful, and some as large as birds."
   As if on cue, a flock of dazzling parakeets swooped from a tree above and, screeching loudly, flew to the far end of the conservatory. High above, massive, brilliant white, cast-iron girders curved down and disappeared behind the distant foliage. Between the girders a multitude of square windows allowed an abundance of natural light to flood in.
   "Don't forget to hold onto Timmy's collar, George," reminded Kelly, "There are hundreds of small creatures in the undergrowth. Follow me."
   She led the way through the miniature tropical forest, pushing aside giant leaves dripping with condensation, eventually coming to a small lake. The centre of the lake tapered in allowing a Japanese style bridge to span the narrowest point.
   "Don't stand too close to the edge," warned Kelly. "There are two crocodiles in the lake and are now so large we will be releasing them back into the wilds of Thailand soon."
   Anne immediately took a large step back in fright.
   Kelly threw her head back and laughed out loud. "Don't worry, Anne, I fed them this morning."
   "Let's stand on top of the bridge," suggested Dick. "It looks much safer up there."
   The children's feet made a loud clattering noise on the bridge frightening a bright red and yellow frog sitting on a water-lily leaf at the waters edge. Hop, hop, hop... plop. The little frog jumped from leaf to leaf, dived into the water and swam to the bottom, for safety.
   "What happens to all the animals?" enquired Vivien. "Do you sell them to zoos?"
   Kelly folded her arms, leaned back on the rail behind her and surveyed the scene. "We belong to a small conservation society that has a dozen or so members dotted around the world. Our aim is to breed various endangered species and return them to the wild."
   "Look! Look! There's a crocodile," shouted Dick, leaning over the rail. Dick was pointing to what at first glance appeared to be a long, half submerged log but Anne gave a shiver when the creature gave a flick of his tail and headed for a small island at the far end of the lake.
   Julian glanced at his watch. "I think it is time we went to eat before they run out of food."
   "Run out of food!" exclaimed Dick, a look of mock horror on his face. "What a dreadful thought."
   They all laughed as George solemnly gave Kelly instructions on how to take care of Timmy while they were away.
   "Come on George. You are forgetting that Kelly is an experienced animal keeper."
   As if in agreement Timmy walked around behind Kelly and sat up straight like a soldier next to her, facing George.
   Anne beamed in delight. "Oh George, he is saying 'go off and enjoy yourselves. I am quite happy staying here with Kelly.' "
   With that, all the children left leaving Kelly and Timmy alone.
   "Well Tim, it's just you and me. My vote says for starters I give you a nice big dinner. What do you say to that, Tim?"
   "Woof, woof," barked Timmy, in agreement.
   "What I will do is prepare you something special to eat now and wrap up a bone for you to take away. How does that sound?"
   "Woof," agreed Timmy, again.
   The dinner Kelly prepared for Timmy was simply splendid.
A   s he was licking up the last scraps of this fine meal, Kelly eyed him with a professional interest. "Timmy, I think your fringe needs cutting. You would then be able to see what you were eating. Indeed, I do believe we have the time to give you the full works. No person entering Harrods has ever been known to leave in under two hours."
   She led Timmy into a room tiled from floor to ceiling and containing a special animal shower. Timmy is renowned for not being particularly fond of baths but this experience turned out to be far removed from any ordinary wash.
   Kelly carefully set the shower for temperature and pressure before thoroughly wetting Timmy's coat. She then applied a special shampoo and expertly massaged it in, taking extreme care to keep the soap well clear of his eyes. All the time Kelly spoke softly in her melodic voice. "Let me rinse you thoroughly and rub you down with this big, soft, white towel. There that is really nice isn't it Timmy. Now for your trim."
   She gently combed his fringe forward and snipped across with a pair of long sharp scissors. Kelly then proceeded to go through the whole of his coat, combing and snipping at lightning speed.
   Soon the floor around Timmy was covered in discarded damp fur.
   Kelly picked up a large hairdryer. "This is especially designed for drying animals," she explained, "the temperature is set very low and will feel similar to a warm breeze."
   Her deft fingers effortlessly manipulated the comb and, together with the dryer, formed masses of light curls on the top and sides of Timmy's coat. His underbelly and tail were combed until the fur simply shimmered in the sunlight that filtered through the side window.
   Kelly stood back to admire here handiwork. "I do believe you look good enough to be entered for Crufts."
   "Woof, woof," Timmy had thoroughly enjoyed this experience. He felt totally relaxed and somehow lighter.

Almost an hour elapsed before there came an impatient ringing of the doorbell. Timmy stood up and barked. Kelly laid a reassuring hand on his head. "Don't worry Tim. That is probably your friends returning."
   Indeed it was.
   George pushed her way passed Kelly. "Timmy, Timmy. Are you al..." She stopped dead in her tracks, mouth gaping wide open. Timmy stood facing her. His mouth was open also, but in a kind of grin. His new tail swished back and forth.
   Anne was following quickly behind. "What's wrong, George?" she then caught sight of Timmy. "Oh Timmy!" She exclaimed. "You look absolutely beautiful." Anne knelt down and put her arms around his neck. "And how soft you feel. Julian, Dick. Come and see Timmy."
   Julian, Dick, Vivien and Anne gathered around Timmy making complimentary noises.
   "George! What is the matter?" asked Dick, seeing George standing transfixed, eyes vacant and mouth still open.
   George blinked and shook her head. "I don't know," she stammered. "It's just that... it doesn't look like Timmy."
   "Of course it's Timmy. And look how he is enjoying himself."
   It was true; Timmy was prancing around showing off like a young puppy.
   Vivien laughed. "He has suddenly developed springs in his legs."
   Kelly was looking on in amusement at George's reaction. She put a hand on her shoulder. "I can assure you, George, all the jet-setters bring their dogs here for clipping and stripping. The treatment I have given Timmy would normally cost a small fortune. But don't look so worried, if you do not like the curls just dampen his fur and they will simply fall out."
   George seemed to brighten up at this news.
   Soon it was time to leave. Everyone said their goodbyes to Kelly and thanked her for giving them a splendid time.
   Kelly stopped them at the last second. "Hold on," she cried, "I have something for Timmy." She went to the fridge and fetched out a huge juicy bone, carefully wrapped it in muslin, and handed it to George. Timmy's nose twitched and his tail wagged in delight. "Oh my! What a wonderful day."

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