BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
The ArchersRadio 4

Radio 4 Home

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
Latest Synopsis
Listeners
Parodies


Paddington in Ambridge

by Chris Hanson

marmalade sandwichPaddington was on holiday with Mr Gruber. They had both decided to visit the English countryside, as neither of them had ever been there. He and Mr Gruber had spent a long time talking about the countryside before they set off. Paddington thought it must be like Darkest Peru, where Aunt Lucy lived. Mr Gruber said he didn't think it was, but they would go and find out.

They chose a place to stay. It was on a farm in Ambridge, a small village. The house was called The Bungalow. Paddington asked why it was called that. Mr Gruber said that it meant there was no upstairs. They looked at the photo together. Paddington asked what were those animals? Mr Gruber said they were cows, and they gave people milk. He explained that farms in England had cows or sheep, and sheep gave wool.

When they arrived at The Bungalow, Paddington went into the kitchen, and began to unpack his small suitcase. He put his marmalade sandwiches on the table, and then put his pyjamas (which had marmalade stains on them, because the sandwiches had leaked) under the table. He heard a giggle, and turned around to see a girl laughing at him. Paddington gave her a hard stare. He knew it was not polite to laugh at guests.

"Why are you putting your pyjamas under the table?" asked the girl. Paddington explained that as the house had no upstairs, he would sleep under the table in the kitchen, so that Mr Gruber could sleep in the lounge. The girl seemed to find this very funny indeed, and snorked so much that Paddington wished he had brought an umbrella with him. At that moment Mr Gruber came into the kitchen, and explained, "No, Mr Brown, you don't have to sleep under the table. The Bungalow has bedrooms, just through here. Come and see."

When Paddington had unpacked again in his bedroom (which he liked very much after bouncing up and down on the bed a few times), and made friends with the girl, who was called Pip, he and Mr Gruber decided to go for a walk.
Paddington was very interested in everything. It was all very new to him, and not like Darkest Peru at all. He said hello to the cows, who were very polite, and said he was the first bear from Peru they had met. Mr Gruber raised his hat to them, and said, "Good morning, ladies," at which they were very pleased.
Mr Gruber and Paddington walked through the village, looking around them at everything they saw. They had walked what seemed to Paddington to be a very long way, when they saw some more animals in a field. These were not cows, so they must be sheep, Mr Gruber said, but he frowned a little as he said it. "I must say, Mr Brown, they are very unusual sheep."

Paddington looked very hard at these "sheep", they looked familiar to him. But he had learned that some things had a different name in England, so he raised his hat, and said politely, "Excuse me, but are you sheep?" The two animals looked at each other and at Paddington, and made a strange noise that might have been a laugh. One of them said, "No, Señor Bear, and if I am not mistaken, you know what we are. We are llamas. I am Wolfgang from Darkest Peru, and this is Constanza."

Of course, this was what Paddington thought they were. After this had been explained, and everyone had been introduced to each other, Paddington asked the llamas why they lived in Ambridge. Constanza looked at him with her large brown eyes, and said that they belonged to a woman called Mrs Snail (that was what it sounded like to Paddington). They were a present for her husband Robert. Did they like it here? Constanza sighed, and said it was nice enough, but when she had learned that she was going away, she had hoped it would be to Darkest Peru. "You see," she said sadly, "I was born on another farm in England. Wolfgang has told me so much about Darkest Peru, and it sounds so nice, with all those high mountains." Now here she was in Ambridge, and just as far from Darkest Peru as she had been on the llama farm.

Mr Gruber said it was nearly time for tea, and they should be going back to The Bungalow, where a Mrs Archer had said she would leave them a casserole. Paddington was hardly listening when Mr Gruber said, "Well, Mr Brown, fancy meeting someone else from Darkest Peru in Ambridge! Wait till we get back to Windsor Gardens and tell everyone!"

***

eaten sandwichPaddington and Mr Gruber had a very nice meal in The Bungalow. The casserole was very good. Mrs Archer had made it, and left it in the oven so that it was ready to eat when they got back from their walk. Mr Gruber winked at Paddington, "Don't tell Mrs Bird, but that was the best casserole I've eaten for a long time. Mrs Archer has offered to cook for us every evening, for a very reasonable fee."

The Bungalow had a very large television, and later Mr Gruber and Paddington watched it together. It was the Holiday Programme. They sat and watched a very jolly, irritating man on holiday in Spain. The programme finished, and Paddington was just about to go into the kitchen to fetch a marmalade sandwich, when he heard a voice on the television say, "And tomorrow, we will visit Darkest Peru." Paddington was very excited. He could ask his new friend Constanza to visit tomorrow, and she could watch the programme about Darkest Peru. The TV screen was so large that it would be like really being there.

***

The next day, Mrs Archer came to visit shortly after breakfast. Paddington shook her hand, and said hello very gravely. Mrs Archer wiped her hand on her dungarees (Paddington had been eating marmalade sandwiches again), but the stains hardly showed, there were so many already. Mrs Archer asked if everything was all right at The Bungalow. Mr Gruber said yes, and Paddington thanked her for the casserole, they had enjoyed it very much. Paddington heard a snork from behind him, and turned round to see Pip. "Mummy doesn't make the casseroles," she explained, "Mummy does pizzas. Granny does casseroles." Paddington listened carefully to Mr Gruber's explanation, but still thought it was very confusing that there were two Mrs Archers.

Paddington said to Mr Gruber that he wanted to visit the llamas again, and Mr Gruber agreed. He had visited Darkest Peru, and thought it would be nice to talk about the country with Wolfgang. When they reached the llamas, Paddington invited Constanza to watch TV with them in the evening. She was very pleased to be asked, but was not sure how to get out of the field. When Wolfgang heard, he said it was no problemo, he could open the catch, he had been practising, and could now get in and out of the field whenever he wanted to. "That Señora Snail, she think we are dumb animals, but we know more than she think."

The second and final part appears next week

More parodies - from Agatha Christie to Damon Runyon

Visit the message board

<<Back

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy