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Book 3. The Little Pink Ant's Travel Adventures

CHAPTER 13—The Little Pink Ant begins to travel

When Anastasia finally stopped running and was still, the Little Pink Ant peeked out from the top of the locket. Anastasia seemed to be in a very strange place, and the place seemed to be moving. The Little Pink Ant did not understand what was happening.

“How long will this taxi take to get to the airport?” Anastasia asked her father.

“Not long”, he said.

“Taxi!” thought the Little Pink Ant. She had seen a car with the word “Taxi” on it one day when it had come to take Anastasia’s father somewhere. Now she understood. She was in a taxi, she was in a motor car and it was moving.

The only other time the Little Pink Ant had been out of the garden was when the Parrot took her to talk to the Frog next door. She knew that she would be safe if she stayed in the locket and that Mapuf would look after her, but it was still scary leaving the garden in a motor car.

It was not long before the taxi stopped and Anastasia and her father were walking inside a very big building. Hanging on tightly, the Little Pink Ant peeked out of the locket. She could see many people walking around, and it was very noisy. Anastasia was talking all the time to her father. She seemed very excited.

“Daddy, I can’t wait to fly in the aeroplane”, said Anastasia.

“Fly!’ thought the Little Pink Ant. “How could Anastasia fly in something?” Then the Little Pink Ant was suddenly very scared. If Anastasia is going to fly in something, it must be inside a bird – a very, very big bird. “We are going to be eaten”, she thought.

The Little Pink Ant quickly put her head back inside the locket. She was very worried. Even Mapuf would not be able to stop a big bird from eating her. Only after a very long time did the Little Pink Ant again peep out.

For a moment the Little Pink Ant thought that they were in the taxi again. Anastasia and her father were sitting next to each other, and there were people in seats in front of them. “This taxi is very big”, thought the Little Pink Ant who was very happy that at least they were not inside a bird.

“So, how do you like flying in an aeroplane”, Anastasia’s father asked her.

“It’s cool”, she said.

The Little Pink Ant did not really understand what was happening and what an aeroplane was, but she knew that Anastasia said something was “cool” when she liked it. The Little Pink Ant now felt better because if Anastasia liked it, so did she.

She also felt very tired after all the excitement, and the Little Pink Ant was soon asleep in the pink locket.


CHAPTER 14—The Little Pink Ant visits an English garden and solves a small problem

When the Little Pink Ant woke-up she was very hungry. She looked out the top of the locket to see what was happening. Anastasia was sitting at a table talking to a girl and a boy. They were eating some delicious looking cakes.

The Little Pink Ant decided that, even though she was very hungry, she must wait until they had finished eating so they she could get some lovely food crumbs. In the meantime, she listened to their conversation.

“Do you like England, Anastasia?” asked the girl.

“Yes, very much”, said Anastasia, and she told them that she was very glad there were children in this house that she could play with. “And, my Dad says that your garden is very beautiful and that he wants to help make it even more beautiful.”

“Well, let’s go and play in it”, set the boy.

“At last!” thought the Little Pink Ant as the children left the room, because she could now eat some of the small cake crumbs that had fallen on the floor.

When she had finished eating, the Little Pink Ant went out of the house and into the garden. The first creature she saw was a black ant. “Hello”, she said, “I am the Little Pink Ant.” The ant just looked at her, cried out and then ran away on six legs.

Soon there was a crowd of ants looking at the Little Pink Ant, but they seemed afraid to get too close. They were all black and walked on six legs. Finally one of them said: “You can’t be an ant! You are pink and walk on two legs. However, I must admit that in all other ways you do look like an ant.”

“I know that it seems strange”, the Little Pink Ant said, “but it is true. I am an ant.” She did not tell them why she was pink and why she walked on two legs because she thought they would not believe her.

Gradually the ants came closer to look at her. Just then, a cry for “help” was heard. All the ants went to see what was happening.

On the grass near the pathway, the Little Pink Ant saw a bee standing on a big half-eaten colorful lollipop. “Help, please help”, said the Bee. “I thought this was a pretty new flower, but when I landed on it I got stuck, and I cannot get off.”

Other garden creatures soon came to see what all the fuss was about. They all discussed what could be done to help the Bee, but none seemed to have any good ideas.

“I wish they would hurry up and get the Bee off the lollipop”, said one of the children black ants, “then we can eat it”.

The Little Pink Ant, who had also been thinking about eating the lollipop, suddenly had an idea. “But we can eat it now”, she said. “If we eat it all, then there will be nothing for the Bee to be stuck too.”

“Yes, yes”, cried all the ants, and particularly the children. It was not long before the lollipop was completely eaten and the Bee was free.

The Bee was very happy, and very grateful to the Little Pink Ant. However, not all the ants were so happy because some of them ate way too much and had stomach pains.

The Little Pink Ant now found that she had many new friends and she spent to rest of the day talking with and playing with the black ant children.


CHAPTER 15 – The Little Pink Ant helps solve the big problem in the English garden

The next day, however, some gloom returned to the garden.

The garden was very big and in one corner there was a lovely pond. Most of the creatures used it to have fun, some in the water and some just near it.

The man who lived in the house had come to the edge of the pond with Anastasia’s father. They stood there for a long time talking, sometimes nodding and looking at pieces of paper which the man held in his hands. Later that day, a big truck came with a load of sand and tipped it all out all next to the pond.

All the creatures in the garden began to discuss what was happening. Those creatures which could fly outside of the garden, particularly the birds, said that they had seen it all before! They said that the pond was going to be filled in.

The Butterfly fluttered around the garden telling everyone about the disaster. “The pond is going to be filled in, the pond is going to be filled in”, she called out to every creature in the garden. “What will happen to all of us?”

“Silly Butterfly”, said Ladybird to no-one in particular. “I suppose that in every garden there is a butterfly like her – she does not want to think, she only wants to flutter, flutter, flutter and talk, talk, talk.”

Yet, the Ladybird was worried. “The birds may right, it might be the end of the pond”, she thought.

It was then that the Ladybird saw the Little Pink Ant coming out of the house by slipping under the front door. The Ladybird had watched as the Little Pink Ant told the garden creatures how to get the Bee unstuck from the lollypop, and she had been impressed. This was a clever ant, she thought, even if she was pink and walked on two legs.

“Hello Ladybird”, said the Little Pink Ant.

“Hello”, said the Ladybird. The Little Pink Ant could tell that the Ladybird was worried and asked her what was wrong.

“Ah”, said the Ladybird, “we seem to have a problem in this garden. The pond might be filled in. And then so many of the garden creatures will have no-where to live or to have fun.”

“But why?” asked the Little Pink Ant.

“I don’t know”, said the Ladybird, “Creatures cannot understand what people say”.

“I can!” exclaimed the Little Pink Ant.

“What do you mean?” asked the Ladybird. “That is impossible! Creatures and people cannot talk to each other.”

The Little Pink Ant, who very much liked ladybirds, told her about what had happened in her own garden.

“That is impossible”, said the Ladybird again, “It could never happen!”

The Little Pink Ant’s feelings were hurt, because she was trying to help, so she just said “Good-bye” and went to talk to some other creatures.

The Ladybird watched her go. “Maybe the Little Pink Ant is telling the truth, maybe she could help solve the problem of the pond”, she thought. The Ladybird decided that she wanted to talk to the Little Pink Ant again.

But in the meantime, after talking to many creatures on the way, the Little Pink Ant had wandered down to the pond and was standing at its edge.

The Frog was sitting nearby. The Little Pink Ant did not quite know what to think of frogs. She was very happy that the Frog who lived next-door to her garden had saved her from the bad Spider, but she felt unhappy that the Spider had been eaten. The Little Pink Ant understood that the Spider was bad because he wanted to hurt Anastasia, but it still worried her that he had ended up in the Frog’s stomach – even if it was a big stomach!

“Hello Frog”, she said. The Frog looked up at the Little Pink Ant, and she could see that he was not happy.

“I’m going to lose my pond”, he said. “What will I do? Where will I live?”

Just then something whizzed past in air just above the Frog and the Little Pink Ant. “What was that?” exclaimed the surprised Little Pink Ant.

“Ah, that’s only the Spider having some fun swinging on one of his spider-webs”, said the Frog glumly. “He doesn’t care about the pond.”

The Little Pink Ant was suddenly afraid. “A spider!”, she thought, “I must get away.” She was just about to run away when suddenly the Spider was standing on his eight legs right in front of her. She was trapped! The Spider then leaned forward and opened his mouth.

The Little Pink Ant was just about to call out for Mapuf – her magic propeller-umbrella flower – to help her, when the Spider said: “Hello. I am the Spider in this garden. You look afraid! You should not be. I am not going to hurt you. And the Frog is wrong – I do care about the pond.”

The Little Pink Ant could see that this spider was different to the one who had tried to bite Anastasia. He did not look as fearsome, and he even had some nice colors on him.

Just then the Ladybird flew down to join them. She had decided to try and find out more about this Little Pink Ant and her very strange story about her own garden. “The Little Pink Ant says that she can understand what people say”, said the Ladybird to the Frog and the Spider.

“Ah, that is very funny”, said the Spider, while the Frog just sat there looking glum.

The Little Pink Ant felt a bit upset. She could see that the Ladybird did not believe her and was trying to get her to admit that it was not true.

Meanwhile, the Bee had flown by and wondered what was going on. “Hello everybody”, the Bee said as she landed next to them to ask what was happening. “And, a special hello to you Little Pink Ant”, she added.

The Ladybird the told the Bee and the Spider what the Little Pink Ant had said about understanding people talk. “Well, yes, I think that it is possible”, said the Bee. This made the Little Pink Ant feel better, because a creature was believing what she said.

“There is a way to test this”, said the Ladybird. “The Little Pink Ant should listen to what the people in the house are saying about the pond, and tell us.”

The Frog was now interested in the conversation. “Yes, that is a good idea. Can you do that, Little Pink Ant?”

“Of course”, said the Little Pink Ant. “I will make sure that I am in Anastasia’s locket at dinner time, and I will listen to the conversation very closely and tell you tomorrow.” The Little Pink Ant said that she must go, so that she had enough time to get in the locket.

The next morning, the Little Pink Ant came out of the house and saw the Frog, the Spider, the Ladybird and the Bee waiting for her next to the pond.

“Well”, said the Ladybird. “Tell us what you know.” The Little Pink Ant could see that the Ladybird still did not believe her.

“I listened very closely”, said the Little Pink Ant. “The man in the house talked about building a swimming pool for the children. He told Anastasia’s father that it was a pity about the pond, but that one-day he might have another pond made.”

“Swimming, children!” exclaimed the Frog. “The children could swim in the pond!”

“Yes, they could”, added the Spider, hopefully.

“Don’t be silly’, said the Ladybird, “those children will not want to swim with a frog!”

All the creatures were suddenly quite. The Frog looked very glum. The Ladybird knew that she had said the wrong thing and had upset the Frog. “I am sorry”, she said, “but you know what I mean”. This only made the Frog feel worse.

The Bee tried to change the conversation to happier things. “Let’s look on the bright side”, she said. “The man said he might make another pond one day.”

The Frog was not impressed. “And, where will I live in the meantime”, he asked.

“You could move to another garden”, said the Bee trying to be helpful.

“But I like this garden, and the creatures in it”, said the Frog.

The Little Pink Ant had been listening to the conversation, but she had also been thinking. “Maybe there is something we can do”, she said. She then told all of them the story that she had already told the Ladybird – about how she was pink and walked on two legs because Anastasia had imagined it.

The Ladybird was the first to understand what the Little Pink Ant was going to suggest. “You mean that we need to get one of the children in the house to imagine that there will always be a pond?” she asked.

“Yes”, said the Little Pink Ant.

The Frog now smiled, which the Little Pink Ant had not seem him do before. “You think I can keep my pond?” he asked.

“Or, get a new one at the same time as the children’s swimming pool is built”, added the Spider who was starting to enjoy the conversation.

All the creatures suddenly felt excited. But then the Ladybird asked a question. “How will we get one of the children to imagine this?” The other creatures all looked at the Little Pink Ant. The Little Pink Ant did not know what to say, because she did not have the answer to this question.

The creatures were now quite. “We must all think”, the Little Pink Ant finally said.

“Yes”, said the Ladybird. “We must all think. Let us all go away and think and then meet here tomorrow and make a plan.”

“Yes”, they all agreed.

The next morning, the Frog, the Ladybird, the Spider, and the Bee were gathered in a group, each talking about their own idea.

The Spider was enthusiastic. He was looking forward to some fun. “I will scare one of the children into wanting a pond”, he said.

“And, just how would you do that?”, asked the Ladybird, who clearly thought this was a silly idea.

“Well, I … I ….”, said the Spider, who had nothing more to say because he could now see that his idea was indeed silly.

“What we must do”, said the Little Pink Ant, “is make one of the children think very good things about the pond and want to keep it. Then if the little girl or boy who lives in the house goes to bed one night imagining a pond, then there will be a pond – and there will always be a pond!”

“We must make one of the children love the Frog”, said the Bee, “and thus want a pond.”

The Spider suddenly laughed. “Yes”, he said, “and the Frog might become a little pink frog, just like the Little Pink Ant”.

The Frog looked at the Spider in horror. “No. No. I am green and want to stay green.”

“And, slimy too”, quipped the Ladybird, who was often unable to hold her tongue. The Frog was about to say something bad about the Ladybird, but changed his mind. He knew that the Ladybird was trying to help him. She was also right—he was slimy.

“Please, stop this”, said the Little Pink Ant. “We must concentrate our minds on what needs to be done.”

“But, which child, the girl or the boy?” asked the Bee.

“I think the girl”, said the Ladybird. “The Little Pink Ant is a girl, and Anastasia is more likely to play with the girl than the boy—and I am a girl.”

“What’s you being a girl got to do with it?” asked the Spider. “Is it because you think you are smarter than the Frog and me?” The Ladybird looked at the Spider, but did not say anything. The Spider was right, of course.

The Little Pink Ant wished the creatures would stop saying hurtful things about one other. She knew that deep down they all liked each other and wanted to help solve the big problem in the garden.

“I think that the most beautiful thing about the pond is the water-lily”, said the Bee, who loved flowers.

“And the pond has some pink as well as white ones”, added the Ladybird. “Somehow, we need to get the girl to come down to the pond and see the water-lily and want the pond to stay.”

“I know”, said the Spider, “the Butterfly can let the girl try to catch her and quickly flutter down here.” The other creatures looked at the Spider! The Spider was usually only interested in fun, but now – very strangely – he had come up with a good idea.

“But what if the girl catches the Butterfly, she might put it in glass jar”, said the Bee.

“What is more”, said the Ladybird, “we will need to convince the Butterfly to do this.”

“No. No. No.”, said the Butterfly when all the creatures went see her. “No glass-jar for me. No. No. No.”

The Little Pink Ant knew how the Butterfly felt. She had been chased by the bad Spider in her garden, and she thought it would be terrible to be chased by a girl with a glass jar. “I think”, she said that we will have to take the lily to the girl. “But how?”

All the creatures looked at the Frog. He was the only one big enough to carry a lily into the house. And so he did! Because he was too big to fit under the door, he had to wait until one of the people in the house left a door open for a moment. With the help of the Little Pink Ant he found the girl’s bedroom and put the lily near her bed. The Little Pink Ant was not sure that this would work but right now none of the creatures had a better idea.

But then disaster struck! Just as the Little Pink Ant and the Frog left the girl’s bedroom, the boy saw the Frog. He yelled out, “A frog! There is a frog in the house. Quickly! Get me something to put it in.”

The boy put his hand over the Frog, so that it could not get away, and soon both the girl and Anastasia came running with a glass jar. The Little Pink Ant watched in horror. The Frog was now where the Butterfly was afraid she might be – in a glass-jar!

The boy put the jar on a table in his bedroom and looked at it.

“Where did it come from?” asked the girl.

“I don’t know”, said the boy, “but I think that I will keep it.”

The Little Pink Ant had followed the children into the bedroom and could see that the Frog was very scared.

“He must have come from the pond in your garden”, said Anastasia.

“Yes”, said the girl, “The one that Daddy is going to make into a swimming pool for us.”

“So, where will the frog live?”, asked Anastasia.

“In this jar”, said the boy.

“What will it eat?” asked the girl.

“I don’t know”, said the boy, “I will look it up on the internet.”

“Let’s go to the pond and see what food is there”, suggested Anastasia.

So the three children ran down to the pond, leaving the Frog in the jar on the table. The Little Pink Ant climbed up onto the table next to the jar. The Frog was trying to push the top off, but it was on too tight. The Little Pink Ant could see that he was screaming out, but she could not hear him because of the glass.

The Little Pink Ant knew that she was too small to push the lid off the jar, but knew she must try. She called out for Mapuf who quickly lifted her to the top of the jar. But it no use, the lid was on tight.

The Little Pink Ant soon heard the children coming back and she used Mapuf to fly to the top of the boy’s wardrobe.

“That is a nice pond’, said Anastasia as the three children came back into the room.

“Yes”, said the girl. “I think I will ask Daddy if he can put the swimming pool somewhere else so that we can keep the pond.”

The boy reached into his pocket and pulled out some grass. “Here frog”, he said as he took off the jar lid, “I brought something for you to eat.” The Frog tried to jump out of the jar, but the boy pushed him back in along with the grass.

The Little Pink Ant knew that she had to get help. Luckily the window was open, and while the children were looking at the Frog, she flew with Mapuf back to the pond. The other creatures had gathered there because they had seen the children come to the pond.

The creatures were very happy, and excitedly talking to each other. The strange sight of the Little Pink Ant flying through the air under a magic propeller-umbrella flower only added to the sense of excitement.

“Very good”, said the Spider to the Little Pink Ant. “You and the Frog made the children come to the pond. Now one of them might imagine that there will always be a pond – and then there will be! The Frog must be very happy.”

The Little Pink Ant then had to explain to the creatures that the Frog was “not happy” because he was in a glass-jar.

After she has explained how he got there, the Spider said; “What a mess! Before we had a Frog with no pond. Now we will have a pond with no Frog?”

“We will have to rescue the Frog”, said the Ladybird. “But how?”

“We will have to carry the glass jar here”, said the Tortoise, who had finally arrived to see what all the excitement was about.

“But then what?”, asked the Ladybird. “He would still be stuck in the jar.”

“But we have no choice”, said the Bee. “Let’s make a plan!”

So for the next hour there was much talk as the creatures discussed how to bring the Frog to the pond. Eventually they had a plan.

The Spider would weave a very strong thread like that in a spider-web and this would be stuck on onto the jar by the Little Pink Ant with the help of Mapuf. The thread would go up the top of the window and down to the ground outside. The Tortoise would then pull on the end of the thread that was near the ground so that the glass-jar was lifted from the table and swung out through the open window. The jar, with the Frog in it, would then be lowered to the ground by the Tortoise. The Tortoise would then roll the jar to the pond.

Everyone agreed that this would be very hard work and take all night. So the Bee was given the job of making sure that all the creatures had honey biscuit snacks so that as they worked they would remain strong.

The only creature who was not happy with this plan was the Ladybird. She had nothing to do, and this made her feel that she was not important. “I know”, said the Little Pink Ant to the Ladybird. “You can work out what we do when we get back to the pond. We will still have to get the Frog out of the jar.” The Ladybird knew that this was an important job, so she was happy.

When night came, all the creatures that could not fly climbed onto the back of the Tortoise for the journey to the house. There was no laughing or talking, because they all knew they had a serious job to do.

Luckily, when they got to the house they could see that the boy’s bedroom window, which was on the second floor, was open. The Little Pink Ant was already there waiting for them. They all quickly got to work.

The Spider weaved a very strong thread, and the Little Pink Ant attached it to the jar. Soon the surprised Frog found himself and the jar swinging out through the window.

But then things went wrong. The jar swung too far and the Spider’s thread got caught in the tree branch. The Tortoise could not lower the Frog and the jar down to the ground. So the Frog and the jar just swung from side to side.

The creatures in the garden could see that they now had a problem that was even bigger than what they had before.

But it was then that the power of imagination, and Mapuf, came to the rescue! Mapuf lifted the Little Pink Ant onto the sleeping boy’s nose, and then lifted her off again.

The boy woke-up a little bit. When he looked out the window he saw a frog in a glass-jar hanging in a tree. “Ah, a dream”, thought the boy as he fell back to sleep. “Frogs don’t live in trees, they live in ponds”.

Suddenly, the glass-jar was empty!

The creatures looked at the jar in amazement. The Frog had disappeared. The Little Pink Ant turned to look at the boy, and then flew with Mapuf down to the creatures who were all now with the Tortoise.

“What happened to the Frog”, asked the Spider. “He was there one moment, and then he was suddenly gone. The lid is still on the jar. How did he get out?”

“Quickly Ladybird”, said the Little Pink Ant. “Fly down to the pond and tell us what you see.”

The Ladybird was confused. “But why”, she asked. Then suddenly she understood why the Little Pink Ant wanted her to go to the pond, and she hurried off.

The other creatures just kept asking each other, “What happened to the Frog?” They were still talking in amazement when the Ladybird returned.

“The Frog is in the pond”, she excitedly told the Little Pink Ant.

The other creatures hurried down to the pond to see if this was true, although some got there a long time before others. The slowest was the Tortoise. When he finally arrived, the Little Pink Ant told all the creatures what she thought had happened.

“The boy was only half-awake”, she said, “and the he saw the Frog in the glass-jar hanging in the tree. He could not believe it was true, and went back to sleep imagining the Frog in the pond. And so it happened – the Frog was no longer in the jar, but in the pond!”

All the creatures thought about this for a while. Then the Spider said: “Girls like pink, and that is why the Little Pink Ant is pink. Boys like blue, so will the Frog soon turn blue?”

All the creatures except the Frog laughed. “I don’t think so”, said the Little Pink Ant. “If he was to be blue, he would already be blue.”

Still, the Frog was worried. Every morning after this, the first thing he did was to check that he was still green – and not blue!


CHAPTER 16—The Little Pink Ant conducts an orchestra of garden creatures

All the creatures were very tired after the rescue of the Frog, but they were also very happy. They decided that next day they should have a party. The Spider’s joke about the Frog becoming blue led the Bee to suggest that the party should be a fancy dress party. All the creatures agreed that this would be great fun.

The Little Pink Ant decided that she would dress up as penguin. She knew what a penguin was because she sometimes watched television when Anastasia did. The Little Pink Ant, however, knew that the creatures in the garden would not know what a penguin was because the garden was not cold enough for one to live there. She thought it would be fun to surprise the creatures and tell them what a penguin was.

When she got to the party next morning she saw that most of the creatures had worked very hard to make their costumes. The Bee came dressed as a lollipop, the Spider had weaved a shiny web around himself so that it looked like he was in a glass-jar, and the Tortoise came as a blue frog.

The Little Pink Ant could not understand what the Butterfly was, and when she asked the Butterfly she did not seem to know either – she just fluttered a little. The Little Pink Ant thought that the Butterfly was “dizzy”, just like the butterfly in her own garden.

The one creature which had not dressed up very much was the Ladybird. All she did was to paint a moustache on her face. The Little Pink Ant thought that the Ladybird took herself very seriously. “Maybe, she wishes she was a Manbird”, she wondered.

The funniest creature of them all was the Frog. He had a little white dress and walked around on his toe-tips. The Little Pink Ant did not know what the Frog was supposed to be, but then he explained. “I am … well, I am what the girl in the house is when she sometimes wears something like this and walks down the path on her toes.” The Frog was in very good humor because he was not in a jar and because he could keep his pond.

The Little Pink Ant suddenly realized what the Frog was. “You are a ballet dancer”, she said with a big laugh.

Of course, a party is not a party without music and dancing. Because the Little Pink Ant was dressed-up as a penguin she looked like an orchestra conductor. So she conducted the creature orchestra.

The Spider played the threads which had weaved around himself like a guitar. The Bee made sounds like a piano by hitting small and large petals on the flowers. The Ladybird beat a wood chip like it was a drum. And Mapuf sung songs with his twirling petals.

The music was very good and all the creatures were enjoying themselves very much.

The Tortoise and the Frog decided to dance. With a little of help from the Frog who stood up on his back legs, the Tortoise also managed to stand on his two back legs. While they danced very slowly, it was very funny. But then the Frog made a mistake. He tried to do a twirl. Suddenly the Tortoise had no-one to hold up his front legs, and down he fell – right on top of the Frog!

The orchestra stopped! All the creatures thought that the Frog had been squashed. But not the Frog. When the Tortoise finally lifted himself off the Frog, the Frog just laughed. “It’s all-right”, he laughed. “I am not in a jar and I have a pond”.

So, the party went on all day and late into the night.


CHAPTER 17 – The Little Pink Ant visits a tiny garden in the sky.

When she was not in her own garden, the Little Pink Ant always made sure that she went back to Anastasia’s locket to sleep. When she woke-up after the long party, she knew that Anastasia was walking. The locket was swinging from side to side, but not enough to stop the Little Pink Ant peeking out to see where they were. She was surprised, because this garden was so big that she could not even see where the fence was. It just went on, and on, and on. And there were also many people in it.

“Don’t you think this is a lovely park”, Anastasia’s father asked her.

“Yes”, said Anastasia. “It is so huge, just like a gigantic garden”. “Are you going to help change this garden?”

Her father laughed. “Yes, it is just like a gigantic garden.” But, “no”, he said, “today we are going to look at a very small garden. There is a building at the edge of the park in which many people live. The building has many levels, and many apartments. The apartment at the top has a very small garden. The lady who lives there wants to keep it small but to make it very nice.”

The Little Pink Ant was very interested to see a garden on top of a building. The lady who lived there was in a wheel-chair. She told Anastasia’s father that it was not easy for her to go to the park to admire the plants, animals and birds in it. So she wanted to make her small garden on top of the building as pretty as possible.

The lady said that she had a grand-daughter about the same age as Anastasia, and that she did not live far away. “I will telephone her, if you like”, the lady said to Anastasia, “so that she can come and play with you while your father and I talk about what to do with my garden.” Anastasia told the lady that this would be very nice, and it was not long before her grand-daughter was there to play with Anastasia.

Whenever the Little Pink Ant visited a new garden, its creatures were usually not very friendly to her. This was because she was so different. “An ant! You can’t be an ant”, said the Spider in this garden. “Who has ever heard of an ant walking on two legs – and pink to boot”.

But the creatures in this garden soon liked the Little Pink Ant and they were began telling her about the big problem in this small garden. The lady in the wheelchair, they told her, often brings a can and sprays all the plants with something. It makes the plants very wet, and it makes many of the creatures very sick.

“I only come to this garden to visit my friends”, said the Ladybird to this group of creatures, “but I would come to live here if the lady would stop spraying so much.”

The Little Pink Ant told the creatures that she would go and listen to what the lady and Anastasia’s father were saying, to see if there was a way to stop the lady from spraying the plants. While the creatures thought it very strange that the Little Pink Ant could understand what people said – and the Spider did not even believe that she could – they all wanted any help that they could get.

“My plants are always getting eaten”, said the lady, “so I must often spray the garden”.

“You must have many aphids”, said Anastasia’s father. “It’s a pity that you do not have a Ladybird to eat them.”

The Little Pink Ant listened to this talk with mixed emotions. She knew that aphids were creatures just like ants, and many ants liked aphids a lot. She did not really want to see the aphids get eaten. But she also knew that some creatures ate other creatures so that they could live. One day when she was watching television with Anastasia, the Little Pink Ant had seen how some big fish eat little fish. So, the Little Pink Ant knew that sometimes life was a bit cruel.

The Little Pink Ant flew with Mapuf went back to tell the meeting of creatures what she had heard. Luckily there were no aphids at the meeting. They were probably too small to attend. If they were not too small, they would have all been too scared of the Ladybird – and, besides, they were too busy eating the plants in the roof-top garden.

The Little Pink Ant was surprised when the Butterfly in this garden quickly came up with a good idea. After all, she thought that the butterfly in her garden was “dizzy” and the butterfly in the English garden where she helped save the Frog’s pond was also “dizzy” – flutter, flutter, flutter, and not much else.

“The Ladybird must quickly fly up in front of the lady”, said the Butterfly, “so that she can see that there is a ladybird in this garden”.

“Yes”, all the creatures agreed.

Within seconds, the Ladybird was flying around in front of the lady’s face. The Ladybird was so keen to show the lady that there was a ladybird in the garden that she flew straight into the lady’s glasses.

“A ladybird!”, said Anastasia’s father.

“Yes, how strange”, said the lady. “Just when I was wishing that there would be a ladybird in this garden – there is one!”

“This means that you do not have to spray the plants”, said Anastasia’s father. “The ladybird can eat the aphids.”

“Oh, I am so relieved”, said the lady, “I never did like spraying. I worried so much that I might be hurting harmless insects.”

The creatures in the garden were very happy when the Little Pink Ant told them what had happened. “You will one day become a famous Little Pink Ant, I think”, said the Bee, who had up until now said nothing.

“Thank-you”, said the Little Pink Ant. “But I must now rush to get back into the locket before Anastasia and her father leave”, she said.

“Bye, Little Pink Ant”, all the creatures called out: “Thank-you so much for your help. We will always remember you. Bye.”

And, the Little Pink Any said “good-bye” as she went to her next adventure.


CHAPTER 18 – The Little Pink Ant helps Albert

Anastasia and her father were visiting a garden in which there was a large house. Anastasia was very excited because she was going to meet her cousin Violetta and her Uncle Tudor for the first time. But the Little Pink Ant was more interested in meeting the creatures in the garden and it was not long before she found a partly opened window.

The first creature she met was a snail. He was climbing up the glass and seemed a little worried. The Little Pink Ant thought that he was probably a very serious snail which thought a lot about things and did not spend a lot of time with the other creatures in the garden.

“Of course”, thought the Little Pink Ant, “it is not easy for a snail to mix with other creatures.”

Snails could not move very quickly. If they saw another creature that they wanted to talk to, the other creatures would probably have already moved somewhere else by the time the snail got even half-way to where they were.

This snail told the Little Pink Ant that his name was Albert. He spent a lot of time on this window because he thought that the man who worked in this room was very interesting. But Albert did not know anything about the man because Albert could not understand what people said or read what they wrote.

But the Little Pink Ant did. She had heard Anastasia’s father tell her about her uncle. “His name is Tudor”, said the Little Pink Ant, “and he is very interested in how people work together or, sometimes, not work well together. He also wonders why some people let other people tell them what to do. He writes about this a lot.”

After the Little Pink Ant explained what “writing” was, Albert said: “He should write about this garden. It seems that people are very much like garden creatures.”

“Yes, you are right”, said the Little Pink Ant. “He sometimes writes about big animals, but he would probably find it interesting if he knew more about us small creatures.”

“I wish I could help him”, said Albert. “I do not spend a lot of time talking to the other creatures in this garden, but I can look down from this window and see what they do – the good things and the bad things.”

The Little Pink Ant thought for a while. “It might be possible for you to help him”, she said, “but it will not be easy. Tudor must want you to help him.”

Albert did not understand how he could help, but he did what the Little Pink Ant said he must do. He glided over the glass leaving a slimy trail. The Little Pink Ant told him in which direction to go and when to leave slime and when not to leave slime.”

It took a long time, and the Little Pink Ant kept wishing that Albert could move faster, but eventually Albert had finished. The Little Pink Ant looked at the message that was now on the window and read it to Albert. It said: “HI. MY NAME IS ALBERT. I WANT TO HELP YOU IN YOUR WORK.”

Albert did not understand how this could happen, but the Little Pink Ant said that he must wait. The Little Pink Ant then went to visit other creatures in the garden.

The next morning the Little Pink Ant returned to the window where Albert was still waiting. He looked a little sad.

“Has anything happened?” she asked.

“No”, said Albert. “Tudor came into the room this morning and looked at the message on the window. He looked at it for a long time, but then he scratched his head and went away.”

The Little Pink Ant was a little disappointed, but she did not tell Albert this. She was about to tell Albert that he must wait longer, when Tudor came back into the room. He looked at the message on the window and then looked at Albert, and he again scratched his head. Tudor could not see the Little Pink Ant – Anastasia was the only human who could see her – but she watched him intently hoping that his imagination would work.

Tudor again scratched his head, and then said then said the words that the Little Pink Ant wanted to hear: “I imagine that Albert could help me a lot if he could understand me.”

“Yes! It has worked!” thought the Little Pink Ant as she turned to look at Albert.

Albert had a surprised and excited look on his face. “I can understand what Tudor is saying”, he said.

“Yes”, said the Little Pink Ant. “This is the power of imagination. Tudor imagined that you could understand him, and because of this you can. You can now write messages to Tudor on the window, and he can talk to you.”