Despair at dearth of Man-eaters

30th May 2003 at 01:00
Here is the writer's 'level 5' response to The Queue question, shown below

The poster had been up there for weeks, and Peter had to have one. He didn't care if it used up all his pocket money. So on Saturday morning he dragged his mother along. But there was a queue outside the shop, a long queue. Peter just hoped there'd be enough Man-eaters to go around. Then it started to rain. They didn't have coats. They didn't have umbrellas. His mother wanted to go home. But Peter wouldn't go. "I'm staying," he said.

"We'll get soaked," his mother said. "I don't care," said Peter, "I want my Man-eater." "All right," his mother said. "But I'm not coming in, I hate crowds. I'll go and have a coffee as soon as you go in."

At half past nine exactly the doors opened. It was a stampede - everyone wanted to get their hands on a Man-eater. By the time Peter managed to barge his way through the crowd to the counter, there was only one left. He grabbed it and walked away. And then he saw the price - pound;25. He was pound;10 short! I've got to have it, he thought, I've just go to. I'll walk out with it. No one'll see me. He was walking towards the door when someone touched him on the shoulder. It was a girl. "Listen," she said.

"There's none left and I really wanted one. I'll pay you pound;26, that's a pound more than you paid. All right?"

Peter thought hard. He was so tempted. He was nervous about being caught.

This could get him off the hook and he'd walk away with pound;26 into the bargain. But the trouble was that he liked the girl. She could get into trouble instead of him if she walked out with the toy. He couldn't do it.

"I'm shoplifting," he said. "Here, you have it." And he ran out before she could say a word.

He told his mother later as they walked home, not the truth, not about the girl, not about how he'd nearly stolen the toy. He just said. "When I looked at it, I just didn't want it, that's all. Didn't look nearly as good as on the poster."

They were passing a bookshop as he was speaking. "Look," said his mother.

And there in the window was a book with a tiger springing out at them from the front cover. It was called Man-Eater. It was pound;14.99. Peter went in at once, and bought it. As he came out he gave his mother the change.

"Thanks a million," she said.

TASK: write a radio advert

A NEW TOY: The Amazing Toy Company has invented a new toy. To let people know about the toy, the company wish to produce an advert for local radio. Your task is to write the words for the radio advertisement to persuade people to buy the toy.


He's called Jekyll.

He's called Hyde.

WHO IS IT FOR: 4 years old to 94 MAIN FEATURES:

* On the outside, he's all cuddly and cute. He looks like a teddy bear.

* Take him apart, turn him inside out and fit him together again, he becomes a monster, an obliterator.


Jekyll and Hyde Here's a teddy bear like no other.

So sweet, so cute, so cuddly.

He doesn't growl. He mews just like a baby bear.

He just wants to love and be loved

But inside this bear, and all you have to do is turn him inside out, there's a monster waiting to come out, an oblerator (sic) who wants only to kill and destroy.

Warning: Not for little children, unless you want to scare them half to death!

Michael Morpurgo's answers appear in lighter type

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