As a TREAT we have persuaded children’s author and friend of Pagel: Xanna Eve Chown to write a story to share with your kids. Enjoy!

Mia and the Three Bears

‘Look out of the window, everyone!’ said Dad. ‘We’re nearly at Pagel!’

‘It’s going to be such an amazing holiday,’ said Mum. ‘Are you excited yet, Mia?’

Mia shook her head. How could Mum be so sure that they were going to have a great time? she wondered. Mum hadn’t even been to Pagel before!

It was almost as if Mum could read Mia’s mind.

‘Your Auntie Sarah had an amazing holiday at Pagel last year,’ Mum said. ‘She saved heaps of money, and said that it was the most relaxing holiday she’d ever had – with the children that is,’ she added with a grin.

Mia sighed, and rummaged around in her bag for her favourite teddy bear. Where was he? She pulled out a colouring book, a sheet of stickers and a half-eaten packet of biscuits, but she couldn’t feel Teddy’s comforting fluffy fur.

Suddenly, Mia began to panic. ‘Teddy’s not here!’ she shouted.

 

‘Did you forget to pack him?’ asked Mum, worriedly.

‘Where did you see him last?’ asked Dad.

‘In the bathroom at home, when I was cleaning my teeth,’ said Mia. ‘I left him sitting on the windowsill! We have to go back!’

‘I’m sorry Mia,’ said Dad. ‘It’s a bit too far to go back home now.’

As he spoke, they pulled up outside a beautiful stone house.

‘We’re here,’ said Mum. ‘Oh Mia, I’m sorry about Teddy. Why don’t you explore while Dad and I unpack?’

‘I don’t want to do anything without Teddy,’ said Mia sadly.

‘He’ll be waiting for you when you get home,’ said Mum. ‘And you’ll be able to tell him about all the exciting things you’ve done, won’t you?’

‘I suppose so,’ mumbled Mia.

‘I’ll set you a challenge,’ said Mum, with a grin. ‘Run into the garden and find three fun things we can do this week – then come back and tell me what they are.’

Mia set off through the garden. The first thing she saw were lots of chairs, tables and umbrellas, perfect for eating lunch outside, which was something she always enjoyed.

‘That’s one fun thing,’ she thought, allowing herself a small smile.

She kicked off her sandals and felt the warm grass under her toes. She couldn’t help noticing that there were lots of lovely shady trees to climb.

‘That’s two fun things,’ she thought, beginning to feel a bit excited.

Then she saw the swimming pool, huge and blue, sparkling in the sun, and her heart leaped for joy. It was amazing! Far bigger than she could have ever imagined and with a giant inflatable duck wearing silly pink sunglasses bobbing around on the water. She could see even more exciting pool toys and floats piled up at the far side of the pool.

All thoughts of her missing Teddy went out of her head in an instant. She couldn’t wait to jump in! Of course, she knew that she was only allowed in with Mum or Dad – she wouldn’t be able to unlock the pool gate without them, but she knew that they would enjoy splashing about in the water just as much as she would!

‘Mum!’ she shouted, forgetting about Mum’s challenge as she raced back to the car. ‘Dad! Where’s my swimming costume? I want to go swimming right now!’

‘Wait a second, Mia,’ said Dad, laughing. ‘Don’t you want to see where we’re staying first? It has a very special, magical name. It’s called Goldilocks Cottage.’

‘Why is it called that?’ Mia asked.

‘You’ll see,’ chuckled Dad.

He took Mia’s hand and led her to the front of a beautiful wooden cabin, with a long balcony that almost seemed to be floating in the trees. It really did look like something out of a fairytale – and it didn’t take long for Mia to work out how the cabin had got its name.

‘I can see the three bears!’ she squealed.

Mia let go of Dad’s hand and raced up to the carved wooden bears that stood guard at the front of the cabin, throwing her arms around the littlest ones.

‘I guess this means you must be Goldilocks,’ said Dad with a smile.

There were more bears on the terrace, enormous soft, fluffy ones, sitting on big carved wooden chairs, and more again in Mia’s room, smaller cuddly ones, sitting on the little bed beside stacks of books and games.

‘I don’t think you’re going to miss Teddy too much, are you?’ said Mum.

‘No,’ said Mia, picking up one of Goldilocks Cottage’s smallest bears and giving it a squeeze. ‘I’ve got lots of bears to look after, right here! And when I get home, I’ll have so many things to tell Teddy, he won’t believe his ears!’

Mum smiled. ‘That’s my girl, ‘she said. ‘Now come on, Goldilocks. Let’s unpack our swimming things, and our magical holiday can begin.’

 

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