Read Harriet Bright in a Pickle Online
Authors: Claire Craig
Harriet Bright had to run away from home.
But first, she wrote her mother a note.
Harriet Bright tiptoed out of the house with her backpack. Her mother was dozing on the sofa.
Melly Fanshawe was standing at the front door, wearing a bright pink dress and a silver tiara. She was waving a wand at Mr Hazel's cat, which was snoozing in the driveway.
âHello, Melly,' said Harriet Bright. âWhat are you doing?'
âI'm practising my fairy godmother
said Melly Fanshawe. âI've been looking everywhere for a mouse. I found one in the pet shop but they wouldn't let me turn it into a Peruvian pelican. They said there wasn't a big demand for those.'
She waved her wand above the cat's head and said some back-to-front words in a loud voice.
The cat's tail went straight up in the air and it
down the street in a hurry.
Melly Fanshawe sat down on the grass. âI think this magic stuff is harder than I thought,' she said.
She looked at Harriet Bright's backpack. âWhat are you doing, Harriet?'
âI'm running away from my wicked stepmother,' said Harriet Bright.
âBut Cinderella didn't run away from her wicked stepmother,' said Melly Fanshawe.
exhausted,' said Harriet Bright. âAnd I've s
got chores to do.'
âI'll help you,' said Melly Fanshawe, standing up and gathering her pink folds around her.
The fairy godmother washed the outside of the kitchen windows and Cinderella washed the inside.
Then they weeded the flower garden at the side of the house.
âI think you're pulling out flowers, Cinderella,' said the fairy godmother. âWeeds are green.'
âWell, I think it looks much better without all those flowers,' said Cinderella.
Then Cinderella emptied the rest of the dishwasher, and the fairy godmother swept up the pieces of Aunty Beryl's plate.
Soon, the windows were gleaming, the garden was neatly weeded and the kitchen floor sparkled.
âIt's just like magic,' said the fairy godmother.
When the wicked stepmother woke up from her afternoon sleep, she stretched her arms and legs out wide.
âYou two have been very busy,' she said, looking pleased. âI'm going to make us date scones with raspberry jam and whipped cream for afternoon tea.'
Harriet Bright smiled. The really wicked stepmother sounded
like her mother again.
Melly Fanshawe and Harriet Bright were eating their sandwiches in the courtyard.
âI'm too nervous to eat,' said Harriet Bright. âBut Mum said you shouldn't act on an empty stomach.'
âYou'll be the best Cinderella,' said Melly Fanshawe.
âAnd you'll be the best fairy godmother,' said Harriet Bright.
They looked at each other and crossed their fingers at the same time.
Then Paul Picklebottom scampered past chasing a cat.
âHe's auditioning for the four white mice,' said Melly Fanshawe. âHe ate cheese all Saturday.'
Then Polly Manning walked towards them, flicking her ponytail.
She was auditioning for a mother-and-daughter hair commercial after school.
âHarriet Bright and Melly Fanshawe,' said Polly Manning. âEating as usual.' She crinkled up her nose as she looked at their sandwiches. Polly Manning ate sushi on Mondays.
âI guess you both want to be an ugly stepsister,' she said. âIt's a good thing there are two in Cinderella because I really don't know which of you would be best.'
She smiled sweetly and kept walking.
âShe's too nasty to be Cinderella,' said Melly Fanshawe.
Harriet Bright nodded.
Then she looked at Polly Manning's long blonde hair shining in the sun.
It was Cinderella hair.
Harriet Bright could feel an anti-Polly poem forming in her head.
It was going to be full of P words because Mrs Glossia was teaching them all about alliteration.
She said that
letter because it had
Harriet Bright was just about to think of a really ex
losive P word when, suddenly, she had â¦
She knew what it was because her mother had them all the time. Her mother said that sometimes they kept her awake at night.
A revelation, said her mother, was like a light suddenly switching on in your head, showing you what you really wanted.
And it was true. Because, just like that, Harriet Bright knew exactly what she wanted.
She didn't want to be:
Â Â x
Â Â Â Â x
dressed in rags.
Â Â Â x
She wanted to be:
eating fine food
Â Â Â â
drinking cups of tea
snoozing on the sofa.
Â Â Â Â Â â
She wanted to shriek and carry on â just like her mother had.
She wanted to order Cinderella around all day â thinking up
new chores for her to do.
Harriet Bright didn't want to be Cinderella anymore.
She wanted to be â¦
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â stepmother
Wash the dishes, dry the dishes, scrub those floors.
You've only done
Don't stand there idly dreaming of a prince.
My hair's all soapy and ready for a rinse!
Harriet Bright could see it all clearly.
The wicked stepmother was the one having a
Harriet Bright would have
Especially if Polly Manning was Cinderella!