Orange, then green, it slowly began to cover her fingers...
The little girl squealed with delight and watched with awe as it grew and grew into large mitten shapes over her hands.
“Look at this grandpa, it’s brilliant!” she cried as it now turned bright blue in colour.
“So far, so good.” Said her grandpa, rubbing his hands together gleefully. This was a crucial moment, because he was sure that he had invented something ‘utterly fantastic’ this time.
Professor Edward Bumble loved to invent. He had been doing so since he was a small boy and when he was a young man, his wealthy aunt died and left him with more money than he could imagine, which meant that he didn’t have to work and so spent all his time inventing.
Throughout his life he had worked on many ‘utterly fantastic’ ideas that included such things as smellyvision (television with real smells), remote control walking shoes and the solar powered torch. Unfortunately not everybody shared his enthusiasm for his inventions.
Un deterred though, like an intrepid explorer he kept pressing on toward his goal, to invent something ‘utterly fantastic’ that would bring great happiness to people and of course make him a world famous inventor.
Yet he did have one love that was even greater than his love for inventing and that was his little six-year-old granddaughter Chastity. He doted on her and she adored him.
Chastity loved the weekends because she got to stay at her grandfather’s and help him in his laboratory. He had even got her a white lab coat just like his.
Professor Bumble was always buying his granddaughter gifts. Every week that she came, he would always have some nice surprise for her, some new toy or something that he had made. She used to say it was like having her birthday every week but he would say ‘why wait for a silly birthday to show someone that you love them. If you love someone, give a gift when your heart tells you to. I just want to give you a gift every time I see you.’
This weekend was no exception. As soon as Chastity and her mother (who was Professor Bumble’s daughter) arrived, he was there with a present for his ‘favourite granddaughter,’ (actually she was his only granddaughter). He also had some latest inventions for her to try. Roast dinner flavoured chocolate bars and some flavourless chewing gum that would never lose its flavour (because it had none in the first place). Neither gained Chastity’s smile of approval.
Professor Bumble though had every confidence in his latest invention. This was the one that would be ‘utterly fantastic’ in every way, he could feel it in his gums. Every child on Earth would surely find this irresistible. It was sheer genius, clothes that were sweets! Instead of having to carry them about when you were too hot, you just ate them. His Magic Mittens would be the first in a long line of edible attire.
It had taken him a number of years to develop the formula for this latest invention. The difficulty had been to get it to form the right shape and change colour but now he had finally got it right.
“It’s stopped growing now grandpa.” Said Chastity, her face still beaming with delight.
“How does it feel?” asked her grandpa.
“Warm.” She replied.
“And it is not sticky?”
“No grandpa, it feels soft like wool and they look just like real mittens!”
“Excellent! Excellent!” cried the professor jumping up and down and clapping his hands with excitement.
“Do you think that your friends would like them too?” asked the professor.
“Oh they’d love them!”
The little girl looked at the fluffy blue mittens that had miraculously grown over her hands.
“Now, try a bite.” Said her grandfather as he watched with bated breath. This was the moment of truth.
“Ugh!” she said, spitting the contents of her mouth onto the floor, “It tastes like cabbage!”
Professor Bumble put his hand over his face and sighed. ‘Oh well,’ he thought, ‘back to the drawing board.