Mr Pops And The Magic Coin
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Percy Popplegate is a Postman.
In fact he's the only postman in the village of Wicky Wacky.
Wicky Wacky is a small seaside town in the borough of Blobberington.
Percy has been working as a postman in Wicky Wacky since he was a young lad.
Everyone in the town knows him.
They know him so well that many years ago a small group of boys and girls saw him coming towards them in the street and called out,
"Hello there Mr. Pops, any post for us?"
And so the name stuck and 'Mr. Pops' is how Percy Popplegate has been called for the last twenty odd years.
At one time when he was very small he thought about becoming an Airline Pilot.
Then he wondered what it might be like to be a Travelling Salesman.
Then a Scientist.
Then a Footballer.
Percy Popplegate was a day dreamer with an oversized imagination!
He dreamed a lot when he was young, but after his dreaming sessions were over he realised that if he decided to become any of those things, then he would have to leave Wicky Wacky to do them.
The very idea of him leaving his beloved village behind him changed his mind.
No, if he wanted to stay in his village then he must do a job that would keep him there.
Eventually his father, Percy Popplegate Senior suggested that to fill in the time, while he decided what he wanted to be, why didn't he take the job that was going in the village as local postman.
So the young Percy took up his father's advice and now, twenty years later, he has been Wicky Wacky's local town postman ever since.
In the village there are lots of tradesmen.
There's Billy Boyle the popular Baker.
Barny Banks the cheery Butcher.
Cora Craddock the well respected Candlestick Maker.
Flora Flaherty the giggling Fruit and Veg grocer.
And of course, good old Mr. Horace Plump, who sells the most wonderful sweets and ice creams in the whole of Wicky Wacky.
All of them are proud to call themselves close personal friends of Mr. Pops the Postman.
On this sunny day Mr. Pops was out on his round delivering his post.
He strode out of Fruitcake Road and turned into Cherry Icing Lane.
As he sauntered along the lane, in and out of the quaint houses, up and down their paths, he thought he saw something glinting and glittering in the sunlight on the pavement.
As he got closer, his eyes seemed to play tricks on him.
The object looked quite small but it was round and it certainly was shining very brightly.
He approached carefully and he realised, with some excitement, that the object was a small silver coin.
It was a five penny piece and it looked so shiny and new, he wondered if anyone he knew had dropped had it and what on earth it was doing lying unclaimed on the pavement glistening in the sun.
Suddenly, as he got closer to the coin, he stooped to pick it up from the pavement and he jumped back with fright.
With a spin and a spring the coin stood up on its edge and started to roll down Cherry Icing Lane.
A small voice that seemed to come from somewhere inside itself shouted, 'Follow Me!'
Mr. Pops stood rooted to the spot, mouth agape.
Just as soon as he had caught his breath and recovered from his shock, the coin carried on rolling down the road.
He ran after it as fast as his postman legs would take him.
The coin gathered speed and rolled down Cherry Icing Lane and round the corner into Muddy Waters Road.
Mr. Pops lost sight of it.
The coin slowed down to help him catch up.
It rolled along the pavement and Mr. Pops, who by then was puffing and blowing, tried his hardest to keep up with it.
Then, just as suddenly as the coin had started to roll, it came to a halt, spun round twice and lay down on its side again.
A breathless Mr. Pops came alongside the coin.
He stopped and took a long hard look at the coin now laying quietly and silently on the pavement.
Had it all been a dream?
Had he heard a voice asking him to 'Follow me'?
Just as he was about to scoop it up and put it in his pocket, from behind him he heard a howling sound which came from a nearby hedge.
Mr. Pops noticed a small dog that was trapped in the hedge.
The young Puppy had one paw stuck in between two pieces of hedgerow and was yelping and was very afraid.
He walked over to the dog and with a little push and a little shove he managed to free the yapping hound's paw.
The dog wagged its tail, gave him the biggest lick on his nose you ever saw and ran off up the road to where it lived with its family.
Mr. Pops wiped his brow and felt very pleased he was able to help the small dog.
Remembering the coin he spun around and once again the coin was standing on its side.
With a swish, it started to roll onwards.
Once again he heard the cry, 'Follow me'
This time, the coin rolled along much much slower to allow him to keep up at walking pace.
It rolled along Muddy Waters Road, turned into Jelly Avenue and once again came to a halt, spun around twice and lay on its side.
This time Mr. Pops thought he would creep over to the coin ever so slowly, carefully pick it up and put it in his pocket.
Just as he was about to do so, he heard a sharp tweeting sound coming from a nearby tree.
It sounded like a bird and it also sounded like a bird that was in some kind of distress.
He looked closely at the tree and saw to his horror a young baby sparrow with its wing caught between two branches.
He saw an old orange crate which had been left under the tree.
He carefully stood on the crate and managed somehow, by reaching up as high as he could, and standing on tippie-toes, with a careful but gentle movement to succeed in freeing the birds wing.
The bird glanced at Mr. Pops, with the most wonderful of sparrow chirps, it seemed to smile at him as it flew away high into the sky.
Mr. Pops felt so happy, in just a few moments he had managed to help two creatures on their way.
He stared at the coin, still laying on its side on the pavement.
In a trice, once again the coin was on its way rolling forwards.
Mr. Pops now followed it with a very determined stride.
The coin rolled down Jelly Avenue, over the road to Wicky Wacky High Street and rolled straight under the door of Barny the Butcher.
Mr. Pops pushed the door open and went inside the Butcher's shop.
To his absolute shock and horror he saw his old friend Barny the Butcher sitting on the floor of his shop with his hand all red and clutching something for dear life.
He looked closely and realised that poor old Barny had chopped off the top of his finger by mistake when he was chopping his meat, he had cut himself by accident.
His old Butcher friend was obviously very afraid, so Mr. Pops quickly bandaged up Barny the Butcher's hand and rushed to the telephone and called an ambulance.
The Wicky Wacky Ambulance service, which was run by Arnold Ashcroft the ambulance driver, arrived in a matter of minutes.
They took Barny, Mr. Pops and the top of Barny's finger, plus the coin, which by now he had managed to scoop up and was safely hidden in his waistcoat pocket, to the Wicky Wacky Hospital.
Three hours later, Barny the Butcher was back in his shop with his finger sewn on and his hand bandaged up, almost as good as new.
That evening in his cottage Mr. Pops placed the coin on his kitchen table.
He watched it for an hour.
The coin just lay on its side.
He picked it up and stood it on its edge but it just fell back down again.
He rolled it across the table and it fell off the end to the floor.
No matter what he did or said to the coin, it simply behaved like a normal five penny piece.
As he was about to go to bed he went back into the kitchen, the coin was still on the table where he had left it.
He picked it up and took it into his bedroom.
He placed it on the bedside table, turned off his light and fell into a deep sleep.
In his sleep he dreamt about all the things he had done that day, saving the little puppy, the bird, his friend the butcher.
He awoke the next day and the coin was still there on the bedside table.
He ate his breakfast and prepared to leave for work.
Before he left he collected the coin and placed it in his inside waistcoat pocket again.
While he was out delivering his letters, he heard a faint noise come from his waistcoat pocket.
He stopped walking and listened hard.
He could hear a voice calling, 'Let me out'
He took the coin and gently placed it down on the pavement.
The coin spun then sprang into the air landing on its edge and made off rolling down the road, closely followed by Mr. Pops.
The coin took him around three corners and came to a halt at the corner of Blackberry Road.
As Mr. Pops reached the coin he heard a whimpering sound.
He looked around, under the Willow tree across the road he saw a young teenage girl lying on the grass verge with her bicycle in the road and the front wheel spinning around.
He rushed over and made a pillow by propping her head on his postbag.
Then he called the ambulance service.
A few hours later the young girl was being visited by her parents.
The doctors told them that she would be fine but it was lucky that he found her when he did or she might have been worse had she not been brought into hospital so soon.
Once again Mr. Pops had saved the day.
So, from that day to this, the coin stays inside his waistcoat pocket.
From that day to this, no-one but Mr. Pops knows of its existence.
From that day to this, Mr. Pops has saved the lives and come to the aid of many people and animals in the village of Wicky Wacky.
He once told me, as a secret, that he was so glad he never became a Scientist, a Travel Agent, an Airline Pilot or a Footballer, cos' if he had, he would never have found the Magic Coin and he would never have been able to help so many animals and friends in need.
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