Nosey Neville

In which Nosey Neville comes to a sticky end

As every child knows, big people are sometimes quite strange, especially in what they eat. Not only don't they like melted vanilla icecream or tomato sauce sandwiches, they actually sometimes like to eat things that actually hurt.

One of these things is called chilli powder, a name which is some big person's bad idea of a joke, because chilli powder isn't chilly at all. It's hot. Boiling hot. But do big people call it boiling hot powder? Oh no. They call it chilli powder instead.

Just one tiny little pinch of this so called chilli powder is enough to make you cry. And for your nose to run. And for you to want to drink a big glass of cold water. Big people use it in their cooking sometimes, because as I said before, they are often quite strange.

But this is not a story about chilli powder. It is a story about painting pictures. Both Little Miss Have A Chat, who was only four, and Little Miss I Can Do That, who was just two, were very keen amateur artists. There was nothing they liked to do better, except perhaps eating chocolate, than painting pictures.

Little Miss Have A Chat would always paint pictures of people dancing and talking. Little Miss I Can Do That liked to paint pictures of intemal combustion engines. Naturally, when they painted pictures, the favourite colour they liked to use was red. The reason they liked to use red was simple. If you were to dance and talk at the same time for say ten minutes, your face would be red, and that's how Little Miss Have a Chat liked to paint her people, red. And as far as Little Miss I Can Do That wasconcemed, even though most internal combustion engines are a sort of black-grey colour, fire engines are definitely very red.

Both Little Miss I Can Do That and Little Miss Have A Chat would take their paper, paints and brushes to the play park whenever they could, and find a nice spot under a shady tree, and paint lots and lots of red pictures. It was the most perfect way to spend a day, except for the presence of Nosey Neville.

Nosey Neville lived on the other side of the playpark to where Little Miss Have A Chat and Little Miss I can Do That lived. There was nothing he liked better than hiding behind a tree until the girls pictures were nearly finished, then giving a big yell, and running right over the pictures, so that the paper got all tom and crumpled. He was the nastiest, meanest boy you could imagine, and Little Miss Have a Chat and Little Miss I Can Do That would cry because their pictures were all tom. Neville would laugh and call them sissies, then run away.

Now you can imagine that having your lovely painting all trampled over by a naughty boy made Little Miss I Can Do That and Little Miss Have A Chat very cross.

"I do wish you would desist from these childish antics. Why don't you go and collect snails, or play with some dirt, or whatever it is that the other boys do, and leave us alone?" Little Miss' Have A Chat would say.

"Naughty, naughty boy" Little Miss I Can Do That would say. But it would have no effect on Nosey Neville. He would just stand there laughing and sneering, and then do something revolting. Something so revolting it was the reason he was called Nosey Neville.

Because when Nosey Neville wanted to be particularly naughty, and to show that he didn't care if someone was cross at him, he would pick his nose. With two fingers. One up each nostril. And then he would slowly lick his fingers clean. It was disgusting.

One day, Little Miss Have A Chat and Little Miss I Can Do That were sitting in the park, painting with their favourite colour, red. Little Miss Have A Chat had just completed a particularly stunning portrait of her favourite orator, Sir Winston Churchill, and Little Miss I Can Do That was just putting the finishing touches to a superb rendition of a Titan Rocket with solid fuel engines in full throttle. She was just about to add some red billows of flame to the tertiary combustion chamber when stomp stomp, Nosey Neville, yelling and waving his arms, stomped on her picture and Little Miss Have A Chat's picture.

Little Miss Have A Chat was so upset she burst into tears, and tried to hit Nosey Neville. But Nosey Neville jumped out of the Way, tipped over all the paints, climbed a tree, and picked his nose, while laughing.

"Sisssy Sissy Sissy, ya can't get me" he yelled. This upset Little Miss Have A Chat so much she just sat down and started sobbing.

Little Miss I Can Do That went over and gave her sister a hug.

"No worry sister. I got a plan," Little Miss I Can Do That said, with rather a mischievous look in her eyes.

That night, when everything was dark and their mummy was asleep, Little Miss I Can Do That shook her sister awake.

"Plan time," she said, and took Little Miss Have A Chat by the hand, and led her to the kitchen.

"There sister, look. Hot. Get it for me," Little Miss I Can Do That said, pointing to a huge jar of red chilli powder. Little Miss Have A Chat got down the jar, and told her sister to be very very carefull.

Carefully, Little Miss I Can Do That poured out some of the powder into a plastic jar. To the powder she added a little bit of oil, and then a little bit of water. She stirred the mixture very slowly, being extra careful not to spill any, or get any on her hands. Soon the mixture was the consistency and colour of bright red paint.

"Very dangerous paint. That is my plan" said Little Miss I Can do That, her eyes gleaming.

Little Miss Have A Chat looked at her sister in astonishment. "I say, that's fiendishly clever. It just might work. But we have to be very careful. If we get just one drop of that on us....," said Little Miss Have A Chat.

They put the lid on the mixture and went back to bed.

Early the next morning Little Miss Have A Chat and Little Miss I can Do That sat in the park ready for their plan. They didn't do anything for a while, because they were waiting to see if Nosey Neville was hiding somewhere.

Eventually Little Miss Have A Chat saw something move behind a nearby bush, and the something give a sort of little boy giggle.

"It's time. Let's start," said Little Miss Have A Chat. Little Miss I Can Do That solemnly handed her sister a pair of goggles and a snorkel, and put her own on. She then handed Little Miss Have A Chat the rubber gloves and out her own on. Then carefully, she opened the jar of chilli paste, dipped her brush in it, and started painting.

"What wonderfull red paint this is," said Little Miss Have A Chat.

"It's a good thing that naughty boy Neville isn't around, or he might try and steal it, and then I would cry," she said in a loud voice.

Behind the bushes there was the faint sound of someone sniggering.

"You're painting a beautiful picture, little sister," Little Miss Have A Chat said, again in a loud voice.

"It's a good thing that Neville Boy isn't here or it would get ruined."

Just then there was a yell and out of the bushes came Nosey Neville. He charged up to the girls and trod all over their pictures. He then picked up the paint pot and scooped out all the red with his hands.

It was then that he noticed the girls weren't crying, but staring at him. With goggles and snorkels on.

"Hey you creeps. Why ya got those things on?" Nosey Neville said.

"Safety precaution," said Little Miss I Can Do That, still staring at him.

"You creeps. You sissies. Why aren't you crying. Go on, cry you little cry babies," Nosey Neville yelled.

"Boo hoo," said Little Miss Have A Chat, staring intently.

"Well take this then," said Nosey Neville, and shoved two, chilli stained fingers up his nose, swiveled them around carefully, and then stuck them in his mouth.

He looked at the two girls and saw, even after that, they were both smiling.

"You creeps. I'll do it again. That'll make you feel sick."

Nosey Neville was just about to pick his nose for the second time when he stopped. There was a warm, tingling sensation in his nose, and his tongue was starting to feel funny. The tingling sensation was getting rapidly worse, and both his nose and mouth were getting hotter and hotter. Neville's eyes grew slowly wider.

"What's happening to me?" he screamed, as the huge dollop of chilli powder he had shoved up his nose began to reek its awful effect.

"We've decided to spice up your rather mundane existence," said Little Miss Have A Chat. "For once we're turning the heat up on you."

Nosey Neville was feeling so hot, he felt tears well up in his eyes. He tried to brush them away, but that only made matters a whole lot worse.

"You're not crying are you Neville? Goodness me, what a sissyl" Little Miss Have A Chat said.

Neville's bottom lip began to tremble. He stuck his fingers in his mouth, and sobbed even louder.

"It's never a good idea to put your fingers in your mouth unless you have washed them," said Little Miss Have A Chat.

"I want my Mummy, I want some water," Neville said, and clutching his now burning mouth with two chilli encruisted hands, ran off crying.

Little Miss Have a Chat and Little Miss I Can Do That took off their goggles.

"I don't think he'll sabotage our artistic efforts ever again. And she was right, because he never did. And he never ever picked his nose again.