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Mrs Budd's Apple Jam

Apple Jam

A book for Jackson James

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The big, runny, yellow sun sent his warm beams down to the fruit trees to clean and shine the plump, rosy apples in the garden.

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It was Mr Budd's garden and he lived with Mrs Budd in a white washed walled cottage in the little village of Oakapple.

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Mr Budd's garden was the finest in the street.  Indeed it was the nicest in the village and the most lovely garden in the shire said some. It was the most beautiful garden in the country thought Mr and Mrs Budd.

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The rooster perching on a gate outside the cottage puffed out his chest, brushed down his feathers and cleared his throat, "Good Morning", he cock-a-doodle-dooed. Mr Budd woke up.

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Mr Budd stretched and yawned. He pulled his legs over the side of the bed and scratched his head. He looked out at the sun through the window and whistled a little tune to himself.

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Mrs Budd was very busy in the kitchen. As Mr Budd came downstairs, he could smell his favourite breakfast cooking. Sausages and mushrooms were sizzling with the eggs in the frying pan.

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" The sun has polished my apples and they are ripe and ready to be picked," he said looking out of the window at the finest apples, the biggest apples and the most juicy apples that ever grew on a tree.

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While Mr Budd went into the garden to begin picking the fruit, Mrs Budd hurried down to the village to buy some sugar to make her own very special apple jam.

As she hurried home from the village with her shopping she stopped for a minute to chat to the postman and the farmer, and to the milkman and the vicar.

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Birds were singing from the trees and in the fields cows were chewing and mooing. Mrs Budd could smell the fragrant mint in the meadows and caught a hint of the coming autumn in the air.

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As she got home she saw the fruit in her own little garden. She watched Mr Budd who was very busy gathering the apples, pears and plums.

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After gathering the fruit Mr Budd was tired. He had a busy day so after tea he snoozed in front of the fire in his favourite chair.

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Mrs Budd was now quite alone so she took from round her neck a ribbon on which hung a key. She unlocked a lock and found her special wand and a book. It was a secret that Mrs Budd was a witch, but she was the happiest, most gentle and kindly witch you could ever wish to meet.

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Mrs Budd poured the cooking fruit into jars but before putting on the lids she looked at the yellow moon and she knew it was time.

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It was dark outside. Mrs Budd opened the small window over the sink where she was making her jam. The jars were sparkling and clean, the fruit was stewed and was ready. She had not noticed that a friendly old owl had flown from his tree and was sitting on the window sill.

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She picked up her wand and said her magic rhyme....."Book of spells and wand and key, weave your magic now for me".  Little moon beams suddenly flew down from the sky, passed the owl, came through the window and straight into the jam pots, lots and lots of sparkling stars.

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The jam Mrs Budd made was the finest, the most tasty, the most mouth-watering jam because it was made from the finest, the biggest, the most juicy apples grown in the finest, nicest, most beautiful garden you will ever find. It also had a little touch of magic.

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And only we know why, the owl, you and I!

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Peter R. Mason 2018