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Book 4. The Little Pink Ant fights the "Bad" Imagination

CHAPTER 19 – The Little Pink Ant, Violetta and Mapuf

Like many little girls the Little Pink Ant sometimes just liked to have fun. This is the story of one of those times.

The next day the Little Pink Ant heard beautiful music coming from inside the house. Violetta was playing a huge piano. The Little Pink Ant had seen and heard people playing a piano in some of the other houses that Anastasia had visited, but she had never seen a piano like this. It was not very high, but it was very long – it was almost as long as the room!

The music was so beautiful that the Little Pink Ant thought that there must be something special about this piano. “Maybe it is a magic piano”, she thought.

That night when everyone was asleep in the house, the Little Pink Ant called out “Mapuf”. As was always the case when she called to him or needed his help, Mapuf appeared suddenly. The Little Pink Ant did not know where Mapuf went when she did not need him – he just disappeared!

The Little Pink Ant did not need to tell Mapuf what she wanted. Because he was magic he already knew what the Little Pink Ant was thinking. He picked her up and flew with her through the house to the room where the piano was. The door was closed but there was still enough room for them to squeeze underneath.

The Little Pink Ant wanted to play this “magic piano”. She jumped from one key to the next, from black to white, from white to black and back again. She then tried jumping from one white key to another, and then to another. But whatever she did, she could not create the beautiful music that she had heard when the girl played. Even Mapuf seemed to understand this. He had turned himself into a strange shape as if he were trying to cover his ears.

The Little Pink Ant then began to understand that the piano was not magic. What was magic was the beautiful playing of Violetta, the girl she had seen through the window. The Little Pink Ant understood that she would only be able to play the piano like Violetta if Anastasia imagined it.

But, how could she make Anastasia imagine this? She thought and thought, but she could not think of a way to do this.

As she was about to give up her thinking, the Little Pink Ant saw that there was a computer sitting on a small table in the corner of the room – and it was turned-on. The Little Pink Ant had never used a computer, but sometimes she had watched from the locket as Anastasia did. The Little Pink Ant smiled to herself. She was going to use the computer to do some “research” on how to make Anastasia imagine her as a beautiful piano player like Violetta.

So Mapuf picked up the Little Pink Ant and flew her to the computer key-board.

But where to start? The Little Pink Ant had never done her own “research” on a computer, and she did not know what to type in by jumping on the keys. She thought for a while, but no ideas came to her head.

While she waited for an idea, she decided to type in Mapuf’s name – the letters M (for magic), A (for Anastasia), P (for propeller), U (for umbrella), and F (for flower) – just for fun!

The computer suddenly lit up. “Mapuf”, it said, “is the special helper of The Little Pink Ant”. He is a “sundew” – a type of flower which “eats insects”.

The Little Pink Ant was shocked. She looked at Mapuf, who was hovering nearby, and asked him: “Is it true? You eat insects?”

Mapuf now seemed to be trying to cover his eyes – although it was impossible to see where they were – as if he were ashamed.

He then began to spin again, and soon words could be heard: “Yes, sundews normally do eat insects. But this is why Anastasia chose a sundew to help and protect you. She wanted to be sure that no other creatures could ever hurt you, and the best flower to do this was a sundew. But, now I do not need to eat insects to live because Anastasia made me ‘magic’.”

The Little Pink Ant had now forgotten about Violetta’s “magic” piano playing. She understood that Anastasia did not want her to play the piano like Violetta. Instead, Anastasia wanted her – with the help of Mapuf – to fight the “bad spiders” in the gardens of the world.

The next day, the Little Pink Ant again heard Violetta playing the piano. The Little Pink Ant now wanted to be Violetta’s special friend. So, that night Mapuf flew the Little Pink Ant back to the computer. She had decided that she would send an email to Violetta.

The Little Pink Ant had never sent an email before, but she had seen Anastasia do it. Luckily, the computer was still switched-on. It took a long time, but eventually the Little Pink Ant had written the email message to Violetta. It said:

“Hello Violetta,

I am The Little Pink Ant and I want to tell you how much I like your music. I would like to be your special friend from the world of imagination. Would you like to be my special friend from the world of people?

When I visit gardens all over the world with Anastasia and her father I try to help the creatures in the gardens solve their problems. I am not very big or strong, so I can only solve problems by thinking and using my imagination. Maybe, one day I can help you! If you have a problem, please let me know.

Please write to me.

Your special friend from the world of imagination,
The Little Pink Ant”

The next night the Little Pink Ant went back to the computer to see if Violetta had replied. She had!

Violetta’s email message said:

“Dear Little Pink Ant,

Thankyou so much for writing to me and thankyou for telling me that you like my music. I do not have any problems right now, but I will send you an email if I need your help.

I heard Anastasia’s father talking to the man who lives in the garden next door. They were discussing some strange problems in that garden, but Anastasia’s father does not know how to fix it. Maybe you could help make things better in that garden?

Your friend,

The next day Mapuf picked-up the Little Pink Ant and flew her through the air to the garden next door. This was the beginning of her greatest adventure and one which would make her famous for saving gardens all over the world.


CHAPTER 20 – The Little Pink Ant learns about the “Bad” Imagination

Mapuf lowered the Little Pink Ant into the garden next door. At first all seemed normal, but then something almost as big as she fell to the ground next to her. At first the Little Pink Ant thought that is was some sort of nut from the tree branch above her, but she then realized that it was a stone.

Little Pink Ant looked up and saw two ants looking down at her. Just then another stone hit the ground next to her.

“What are you doing? Come away from there”, called a spider who came running toward her, and the pulled her away. “Didn’t anyone tell you that it is dangerous to go near this fence. We are at war with the next garden.”

Little Pink Ant was very surprised. Not only was she being saved from falling stones by a spider, but what was a “war with a garden”?

The Spider explained that the creatures in the two gardens used to be friends but things had now changed. He told the Little Pink Ant that the creatures in the garden next door did not like their garden and wanted to live in “our garden”. “They are doing everything they can to make us go away so they can move in to our garden”, he said.

“But the ants in the tree are just normal ants”, the Little Pink Ant said, as she looked back up at the tree branch. “If their garden is so bad why don’t they just ask you if they can come and live with you.”

“Their garden is not so bad”, said the Spider. “They just want our garden. We don’t know why. Some of our creatures say that our garden has an older house and that it is better for finding places to live in, but I don’t really know”, he said. “They are just bad and want our land.”

A ladybird had arrived and had been listening to the Spider. “They want to kill you”, she said to the Little Pink Ant.

“Why?” she asked, somewhat shocked.

“Maybe because you are an ant which walks on two legs and who is pink. Maybe they think that you are our new secret weapon,” said the Ladybird.

“New secret weapon!” exclaimed the Little Pink Ant. “What was the old secret weapon?” she asked.

“We have never had one”, explained the Butterfly, who had joined the conversation, with a slight smile. “But maybe you are our first.”

“You should tell them that I am not”, said Little Pink Ant. “You should tell them now!”

“We do no talk to them”, said the Ladybird, in a forceful tone that surprised Little Pink Ant.

“And, maybe if they think we have a secret weapon they will leave us alone”, added the Butterfly.

The Little Pink Ant did not know what to think or say. She thought this was a really strange situation.

“Squark! Squark!” A large shadow suddenly appeared above the Little Pink Ant. Both the Spider and the Ladybird had disappeared.

The Little Pink Ant felt some-thing strong take hold of her and almost immediately she was being whisked through the air. She was very afraid and wanted to call out to Mapuf, but no words came out of her mouth – she was so terrified!

But in a moment she was on the ground again. Two strong black ants gently held her arms and a large bird stood not far away. Soon a group of ants approached her. The Little Pink Ant could see that they were carrying something. It looked like – and the Little Pink Ant could hardly believe it – a large lump of sugar.

The ants put the large lump of sugar in front of her, and then backed away. They did not turn around, but actually walked backwards on their six legs! The two ants holding her arms also moved away.

“Welcome”, said all the ants together. One of the ants then stepped forward. “I am Loss, the leader of the ants in this garden”, he said. “We welcome you. But we do not understand why you visited the other garden. Maybe you do not understand what they are like. But, we can see that you are a magic ant and will help us and not them.”

The Little Pink Ant was no longer afraid, but she was very confused. Who was “them”?

Loss continued to talk. “We saw that you flew into the other garden with a flower”, he said. “We have spies!” he added, with a touch of pride.

“But we also understand that what happens in the flower world is not related to our world. The flower just landed in the wrong human house, so we had to correct the situation”, he said. “That is why we told the bird to bring you to us.” The other ants nodded.

The Little Pink Ant suddenly realized what was strange about this garden. Normally, when she visited a new garden there were many creatures of all types to meet and talk to. But in this garden there seemed to be only ants – and the big bird!

“Where are the other creatures in this garden?” she asked. All the ants looked at each other in surprise. “They are living happy lives”, Loss said, “while we ants worry about how to make sure that they stay happy. We understand what is good for them, and we work very hard to help them.”

The Little Pink Ant thought for a moment. “Can I meet them?” she asked.

“Of course”, said Loss. “But we first need to discuss how to defeat the creatures in the next garden.” “Do you know”, he asked, “that the ants in that garden are treated terribly by the other creatures. They are treated like slaves, and must do what the other creatures tell them.”

“Yes”, said the bird, who so far had said nothing. “The ants lead this garden and help the other creatures,” the bird said.

“And they help us get worms”, said a voice from behind. It was another bird that spoke. It looked just like the first bird – in fact, it appeared to be a twin of the first bird. This bird then stood next to the first bird, but did not speak again. In fact, neither bird had anything more to say.

“What we need”, said Loss, “is for you to use your magic powers to make them weak for a while. We will then go next door and make sure that they stop behaving badly toward us.”

The Little Pink Ant was about to ask “what magic powers”, but the thought better of it. She knew that she had no magic powers, but she wanted to hear what the creatures in the other garden had to say about this situation.

Of course, the idea that Little Pink Ant had nothing to do with magic was not true. She knew that she was pink and that she walked on two legs because of the magic of Anastasia’s imagination. And then there was Mapuf! He was pure magic!

It was then that Little Pink Ant had an idea. If these ants wanted her to use her “magic powers” to help them, then she would use her “magic powers” to help the creatures in both gardens and to stop their war.

“Mapuf”, she called as calmly as she could, but also loudly enough so that all the ants could hear it.

Mapuf suddenly appeared. The Little Pink Ant did not have to tell him what do do. He knew what she wanted—a demonstration of magic and power!

Instead of going straight to the Little Pink Ant, Mapuf swept slowly over the heads of the assembled ants two times so that they could clearly see what he was, and then he picked up the Little Pink Ant so quickly that it seemed that she has disappeared in a flash of lightening. The ants stood there with their mouths open.

Mapuf lowered Little Pink Ant gently to the ground in the other garden. A large crowd of creatures had gathered. The Little Pink Ant explained what had happened. But as she did so, she suddenly realized that there were no ants in the crowd. “Are there any ants in this garden?” she asked.

“We have had to defend ourselves”, said the Spider. “We are not like them”, he added, “but we make sure that our ants cannot help their kind in the other garden and …..” The Spider stopped without finishing the sentence. He seemed to suddenly remember that Little Pink Ant was also an “ant”!

“The ants in other garden help the birds find worms so they can eat them”, said a worm in the crowd. We are much better than they are. A murmur of approval swept through the crowd.

“Yes, we are”, said the Ladybird who had spoken with Little Pink Ant just before the bird picked her up. “I am Bloss. I told the creatures time and time again what must be done. Finally, they listened to me. The ants in this garden are not allowed to come this close to the fence, and they must not leave their homes at night.”

The Little Pink Ant looked at Bloss. She had met many ladybirds in her travels, but this one seemed a little strange. She seemed so serious and confident.

“So, now that you understand the situation you will help us?” asked the Butterfly. “You, and your magic propeller umbrella flower, are our secret weapon!”

“They are not a secret anymore!” exclaimed the Spider.

Then he turned to Little Pink Ant and asked: “But, as a weapon, is your magic stronger than the powerful beaks and wings of their birds?”

Everything was now clear to Little Pink Ant. She was expected to end this ‘war of the gardens’ – as she now began to think of it – by using her ‘magic’ to bring victory over the enemy. Her ‘magic’ was to be used only for fighting.

The Little Pink Ant had never been asked to decide such a problem before, but she knew she must try. She knew that this is what Anastasia would expect her to do, and she knew that Mapuf would be there to help her.

“We must have a peace conference”, said Little Pink Ant.

“What is a ‘peace conference’?” asked the Spider.

This question surprised Little Pink Ant and she did not quite know how to answer it. The truth was that she did not exactly know, but when watching television from Anastasia’s locket one day she had seen and heard something about a “war” and a “peace-conference” to end it.

“Well,” she said, “it is ..er .. talking to each other to end the war!”.

“It would do no good”, said Bloss, “no good at all. It would make them think that we are weak and can no longer defend ourselves. They would only want more.”

“More of what?” asked the Little Pink Ant.

“More of .. er . er …. ” It was now the Ladybird’s turn to be unsure of what she was saying. “More of our garden”, she finally blurted out.

“She is right!” “Yes. We agree.” The crowd agreed with the Ladybird.

The Little Pink Ant again looked at the Ladybird closely and decided that she did not like her. This was very strange because the Little Pink Ant nearly always liked ladybirds in other gardens

“Maybe she is right”, came a voice from the back of the crowd. The voice seemed like it was from a creature that was old.

The crowd was now quite, and it parted to two sides so that there was a gap in the middle. A snail made his way, ever so slowly, toward the Little Pink Ant. He, indeed, looked very old.

One he reached the Little Pink Ant he turned to face the crowd. “This war causes problems for everyone in our garden, including our own ants who are our brother creatures in our garden. I now think that there is a way the Little Pink Ant can help us end it. You think that she will help you defeat the garden next door. I think that she will not do this.”

The Snail turned to look at the Little Pink Ant for a few seconds. The Little Pink Ant could see that the Snail wanted some sort confirmation or sign of agreement. The Little Pink Ant was not quite sure how to react in this very unfamiliar situation, but she instinctively shook her head.

This was clearly the reaction that the Snail wanted. His voice became a little stronger. “Although she is very young, she is also very smart. We have become fixed in our ideas and views. She can help us think in a fresh way.”

“The Snail is old. He thinks in old ways!” a voice declared. It was the Bloss, the Ladybird.

Little Pink Ant could see that she was angry. “She is an ‘ant’!” Bloss declared. “She will take their side. If we trust her we put the future of our garden at risk.”

Little Pink Ant could see that the crowd did not know who to believe – the Snail or the Ladybird?

“Yes”, said the Spider, “Bloss is right. We cannot let the Little Pink Ant help the ants in the other garden.”

The Spider looked at the Ladybird who nodded her head a little. Suddenly the Spider had hold of the Little Pink Ant with two of his legs and his mouth was open to bite her.

But Mapuf appeared just as fast! His petals spun quickly and at the bottom of his flower stem appeared two big leaves. These leaves had big sharp teeth and took hold of the Spider. Mapuf lifted the Spider into the air.

The Little Pink Ant could see that the Spider was terrified. When Mapuf put him back on the ground he ran away as quickly as he could, as did all the other creatures in the garden.

The Little Pink ant was nearly as surprised as everyone else. She had never seem Mapuf like this before. Where did the leaves come from? And the huge teeth?

Mapuf’s teethy leaves now disappeared and he picked the Little Pink Ant up with his stem and flew over the gardens back to Anastasia’s locket.

“Remember”, his spinning petals said as he put her down, “I am a sundew.” Mapuf then totally disappeared.

The Little Pink Ant did not sleep well that night. She had been given a big scare. In the morning she decided she must find out more about more about the gardens at war.

Little Pink Ant asked some of the creatures in Violetta’s garden if they understood what was happening in the next two gardens.

“We have heard about these problems”, said the Ladybird in Violetta’s garden, but we try to ignore them. “You should ask the Owl in this garden. He flies around at night and I think that he will see many things in all the gardens.”

“Strange things are happening in those gardens”, said the Owl. “But not only on those gardens, but many other gardens as well. In these garden one creature is telling all the others what to do. And, in some of those gardens this creature uses other creatures to help boss others – just like Loss and the ants next door.”

The Owl thought for a moment and then said: “It is strange, but in every garden which has this problem the boss creature has a name that ends with ‘oss’ – just like Loss and Bloss.”

“So all the problems are connected?” asked the Little Pink Ant.

“Yes, I think so”, said the Owl, “but I do not know how”.

That night the Little Pink Ant was in Anastasia’s pink locked when she and her father had dinner with Violetta and her parents.

Anastasia’s father said: “I do not understand it. In all gardens the creatures have specific roles – something like jobs – but in many gardens the creatures are behaving very strangely and not doing what they normally do. At first I thought that there was a problem – maybe a virus – being transmitted by birds. But the problem is now in many countries. I know that some birds fly from one country to another, but this virus is spreading too quickly. And, why are some gardens affected and not others?”

That night the Little Pink Ant returned to Violetta’s computer to do some research. While Mapuf watched she tried to find some answers to all these questions about the gardens, but even by mid-night she did not have any answers.

As Mapuf flew her back to Anastasia’s locket, the Little Pink Ant said to him, “I think could be like a computer virus”.

Mapuf suddenly spun around and flew back to the computer. “Why have we come back to the computer?” the Little Pink Ant asked.

Then suddenly she understood. Somebody could put a “bad” idea in to a computer and it could spread to other computers. Mapuf moved his petals in a nodding fashion. “And if someone had a ‘bad’ idea or imagination about a garden, that imagination could be spread by computer to people in other gardens. The ‘bad imagination’ would spread like a computer virus.” Mapuf was now nodding very quickly.

The Little Pink Ant continued to think aloud. “So, the only way to stop the ‘bad imagination’ taking over all gardens is to find the person who first had it and convert it to a ‘good imagination?” Mapuf nodded even more quickly.

“But how?” asked Little Pink Ant.

Mapuf now stopped nodding – he did not know the answer to this question.

The next night Little Pink Ant decided to discuss her problem with the Owl. He did not really know what a computer was, but he had seen people talking to each other on mobile telephones and so he understood that one person could tell many other people in other gardens about what they were imagining.

The Owl thought for a long time. A boy lives in the house in the garden with Bloss, and he does not seem to like the garden because he never plays in it. The next house, where Loss is, there are no children – but a boy sometimes visits.

“I think that there is only one way to begin to solve this problem”, said the Owl. “You must go into the house next door and try to read what is on the computer.”

The Little Pink Ant was afraid that the Owl would say this. She had already thought about doing this, but she was hoping that the Owl would have a different and better idea.

“Thank-you Owl”, said Little Pink Ant. “Computers are very difficult for an ant to use, but I know that I must try.”

Mapuf then flew Little Pink Ant to the house next door. They eventually found the computer in a room, but it was not turned on. But she soon found the switch, and after jumping up and down on it for some time the computer screen lit up.

“Now what?” she thought. “What do I do now?” She looked at Mapuf, but he did not know either.

The Little Pink Ant now remembered what had happened when she typed Mapuf’s name into Violetta’s computer and pressed “Search”. What would happen if she typed in the words “problems in gardens” into this computer, she wondered.

She typed in these words and pressed “Search”. Many pieces of information appeared on the screen, about trees, about flowers, and about various types of creatures—but none of them said anything about Loss and Bloss or a bad imagination. So Little Pink Ant typed in the names of Loss and Bloss.

There was only one article and it said: “Loss and Bloss are creatures in the story of ‘The Little Pink Ant and the Bad Imagination’. The story is not finished yet, but we know that Bloss is a ladybird who is boss of the other creatures in her garden because the boy who lives there imagined it. The boy imagined this because his friend Timothy sent him a email telling him about Boss Frog in his garden in Sydney.”

This last sentence then disappeared. In its place was another new sentence: “Ooops! We should not tell you this because we do not know it yet!”

The sentence about Timothy had come and gone so quickly that Little Pink Ant wondered if she had really read it, or was it her imagination? And, what did it mean?

The Little Pink Ant was now feeling very tired so Mapuf flew her back to Anastasia’s locket where she soon fell asleep.


CHAPTER 21 – The Little Pink Ant defeats the “Bad” Imagination

The Little Pink Ant awoke in the morning to the motion of the locket swinging on Anastasia’s neck as she walked with her father. He was telling Anastasia that he did not know what to do about the problems in the gardens. “Even Timothy’s parents have having a problem in their garden”, he said.

“Timothy”! The Little Pink Ant was suddenly very alert.

“We will return to Australia tomorrow, so you will need to say goodbye to Violetta in the morning. When we are home I will go next door and look at the garden – but I do not know how I can help.”

The Little Pink Ant was now thinking very hard. The remembered that there was as a boy in the house next to her garden in Sydney. Was he the Timothy she read about? And who was Boss Frog? Was he the same frog who saved her from the Bad Spider by eating him?

The next morning Anastasia said good-bye to Violetta and gave her a hug, and she was soon on the way to the airport with her father. The Little Pink Ant was in Anastasia’s locket. As for Mapuf ? Little Pink Ant did not really know where he was. He always seemed to be near her, but the Little Pink Ant did not know where he went when he disappeared or how he travelled. He just seemed to magically do it.

The Little Pink Ant was very happy to be back in her own garden, and especially happy to see her parents. And her parents were even happier to see her because they had been very worried about what had happened to her. And her mother gave her lots of food because she thought the Little Pink Ant was looking too thin. The Little Pink Ant told them about her adventures, although she did not tell them everything about the “bad imagination”.

“Yes, there is a similar problem in the garden next door”, her father said. The frog is being very bossy and telling all the other creatures what to do.”

“Is it the same frog who eat the Bad Spider”, asked the Little Pink Ant, who was still surprised about what she was hearing.

“Yes”, said her father.

Little Pink Ant was also very pleased to see her Ladybird friend. When she told her about Bloss she was very surprised. “I did not know that ladybirds could act this way”, she said. “You must talk to the Owl tonight”, said the Ladybird.

“It is strange’, said the Owl, “that Anastasia created the ‘good imagination’ and you, and that Timothy in the next garden created the ‘bad imagination’ and Boss Frog. There must be a connection. Anastasia must have told Timothy about you, and he decided to use his own imagination.”

“How do I get him to change his imagination?” asked the Little Pink Ant.

The Owl thought for a while, and then said: “I don’t think you can. Only Anastasia can do it. You must get her to tell Timothy to have a different imagination, and then Boss Frog, Loss, Bloss and all the other ‘…oss’s’ in gardens all over the world will become normal again.”

The next day Little Pink Ant went to see her friend, the Ladybird. She had a worried look on her face.

“What is wrong?” asked Little Pink Ant.

“Parrot says that he has seen a new Spider next door – and he looks very nasty”, she said. “Boss Frog does not like spiders. So why has he let a spider move into his garden? Maybe Boss Frog is planning to make war with our garden?”

“I must go to the garden next door and find out what is happening”, said the Little Pink Ant.

Ladybird was horrified. “No, it is too dangerous”, she said.

“I will be safe with Mapuf”, said Little Pink Ant.

This did not make Ladybird feel any better. She thought that Mapuf’s was only a pretty flying flower – and she could not believe what Little Pink Ant had told her about Mapuf’s teeth.

The Little Pink Ant called out to “Mapuf”. He was next to her in an instant, and he already knew what was to be done.

The Little Pink Ant thought that Mapuf sometimes liked to show-off by letting people see him. But not this time! He flew very low over the fence where there were many bushes so that no creatures could see them. He changed direction many times like he seemed to be searching for something. Mapuf then landed behind some flowers.

“Why have we landed here?” she quietly asked him.

Suddenly the Little Pink Ant realized why. She could hear the voice of Boss Frog. She peered through the flowers and could see Boss Frog talking to a nasty looking spider. He looked very much like the Bad Spider that Boss Frog had eaten when he was a normal frog and helping her to save Anastasia.

The Little Pink Ant had difficulty hearing exactly what Boss Frog and the new Spider were talking about, but she did hear Boss Frog say: “And so, you must bite Anastasia.”

The Little Pink Ant was shocked. This was the same frog who had helped her save Anastasia from the Bad Spider, and now he wanted the new Spider to bite her!

Boss Frog and the new Spider now moved further away from the flowers while talking and the Little Pink Ant could no longer hear them.

The Little Pink Ant and Mapuf flew back to the Ladybird who had been anxiously waiting for them.

After the Little Pink Ant told Ladybird what she had heard, she said: “I think that Boss Frog is afraid of you. He understands that he is the result of a ‘bad imagination’ and that you – who are the result of a ‘good imagination’ – are a threat to him.”

The Little Pink Ant thought for a while. Finally she said: “There is no frog to help me protect Anastasia, but now I have Mapuf – and he is better than any frog! I will tell him to bite the new Spider with his big leaf teeth.”

But Mapuf, who had not disappeared as he usually did, seemed to be shaking his head – or at least his six petals! The petals then began to spin and the whirling noise soon turned into words: “Anastasia created me for the protection of the Little Pink Ant. My magic can only protect the Little Pink Ant. I cannot protect Anastasia.”

The Little Pink Ant and the Ladybird now understood that there was now a big problem.

After the Little Pink Ant had explained the problem to the Owl that night, he thought for a while and then smiled. “You were once very brave in saving Anastasia, and you will need to be brave again. Mapuf cannot protect Anastasia, but he can protect YOU! You must make this new Spider want to bite you, just like the Bad Spider did. Then Mapuf will be able to use his big leaf teeth on the new Spider.”

The Little Pink Ant looked closely at the Owl and said: “You are very smart”.

“Not really”, said the Owl. “You could have easily thought of this, but you did not because you are too emotional about the situation.”

“But there is one more thing”, said the Owl. “Protecting Anastasia from the new Spider does not solve the problem of Timothy and the ‘bad imagination’. The ‘bad imagination’ will still exist.”

The Little Pink Ant went to bed feeling very unhappy. There always seemed to be a problem that needed to be solved. And if that problem was solved, there was another problem and then another problem! It never seemed to end!

The Little Pink Ant felt better in the morning. She was growing-up and mornings were a time to solve problems.

Suddenly the Ladybird landed next to her in a flap.

“What is wrong?” asked the Little Pink Ant.

“The new Spider was in THIS garden last night. The Snail was asleep and the new Spider trod on him.”

“Mapuf!” called out the Little Pink Ant. “You know what we must do.”

They flew over the fence to the garden next door and landed right in front of Boss Frog and the new Spider.

“You are a spiderly coward”, said the Little Pink Ant to the new Spider.

The Spider lunged at the Little Pink Ant so he could bite her – but Mapuf was quicker. Huge, sharp teeth appeared and suddenly the new Spider was running as fast as he could to the garden fence—and this garden was once again without a spider.

Boss Frog was clearly shocked – and afraid! “What do you want?” he asked the Little Pink Ant.

“I want the ‘bad imagination’ to end”, she said.

“You mean the imagination that is opposite to you?” asked Boss Frog.

“Yes”, said Little Pink Ant. “You were once a nice frog.”

“It is too late”, he said. “I was once just a nice, fat frog in a pond. But you changed that! I saved Anastasia from the Bad Spider and became ‘somebody’ – and not just the fat frog in the pond. Anastasia told Timothy what had happened and Timothy was very proud of me. He imagined that I was ‘boss’ in his garden.”

“And Timothy told other children about his imagination”, said Little Pink Ant. All over the world, creatures whose name ends in ‘oss’ have became dictatorial in their garden – and only because their name ends in ‘oss’!”

“I cannot help that”, said Boss Frog. “People and creatures in other gardens make their own decisions. And Timothy did not imagine anything bad!”

“You are right!” said Little Pink Ant. But, the results of his imagination were ‘bad’! And I want to change his imagination.”

“And I will once again be a nice, fat frog in a pond”, said Boss Frog. “In some ways I like this idea. I was happier in the pond.” Boss Frog then asked: “Can we talk about this more tomorrow?”

“Yes’, said Little Pink Ant.

The Little Pink Ant flew back with Mapuf back to the Ladybird. After she told the Ladybird that Boss Frog was not so bad, the Ladybird said nothing. But, later that night the Owl just shook his head and said: “Be careful.”

The next morning the the Little Pink was awakened by creature shouting. She ran outside and saw that creatures from the garden next door were in her garden and fighting the creatures in her garden.

“Stop!” she called many times, but no-one was listening to her.
The Little Pink Ant knew that she must do something quickly! But what?

It was then that Little Pink Ant had her most brilliant idea. With a huge effort she imagined that she was again a black ant walking on six legs.

Suddenly, everything went into reverse. She was no longer pink and walking on two legs. The ants in her garden again walked on six legs, all the creatures from the garden next door were back in their own garden and Boss Frog was a normal frog in his pond. In the English gardens, Loss became a normal ant again and Bloss a normal ladybird.

The Little Pink Ant had sacrificed her magic and pinkness for the benefit of the creatures in her garden, the garden next door, and gardens all over the world.