Flat Stanley Chapter 5 – Please read over the weekend, ready for some activities on seesaw on Monday.
Chapter 5 – The Tyrrans
Unbreakable trapping cable? Prisoners? Surrender? The Lampchops could scarcely believe their ears. ‘I don’t call that peaceful,’ said Mrs Lampchop. ‘Our President has been misled.’
‘I wish we had gone to the seaside.’ Mr Lambchop shook his head. ‘But how are we trapped? I don’t –‘ He pointed to the Magnifying window. ‘What’s that?’ A thin blue line, like a thread, had been passed over the Star Scout. Stanley switched on the wiper above the big window and the first flick of its blade parted the blue line.
‘Drat!’ said the radio. Other voices rose, startled, and then the deep voice spoke again. ‘Earth people! We’re sending a messenger! A regular, ordinary Tyrran, just to show what we’re like.
For long moments, the Lambchops kept their eyes on the tan trees across the field. ‘There!’ Arthur said suddenly. ‘Coming toward – Oh! Oh my….’ His voice trailed away. The Tyrran messenger came slowly forward to stand before the big window, a muscular, scowling young man with a curling moustache, wearing shorts and carrying a club. The moustache was very large. The messenger was not.
‘That man,’ Mrs Lampchop said slowly, ‘is only 3 inches tall.’ ‘At most,’ Mr Lambchop said ‘It is a magnifying window.’ The Tyrran seemed to be calling something. Arthur opened the door a crack, and the words came clearly now. ‘-afraid to let us see you, Earth people? Because I’m so enormous? Hah! All Tyrrans are this big!’ Flinging the door wide, Arthur showed himself. ‘Well, I’m a small Earth person!’ he shouted. ‘The rest are even bigger than me!’ ‘I, not me,’ Mrs Lambchop said. ‘And don’t tease, Arth- Oh! He’s fainted!’ Wetting her handkerchief with cold water, she jumped down from the Star Scout and ran to dab the Tyrran’s tiny brow. Cries rose again from the spaceship’s radio. ‘A giant killed Ik!… There’s another, even bigger! … Oh, gross!… Look! Ik’s all right!
The Tyrran, by grasping Mrs Lambchop’s handkerchief, had indeed pulled himself up. Furious, he swung his club, but managed only to tap the top of her shoe. ‘Ouch! Scat!’ she said, and he darted back across the field.
‘Oh, my!’ said the radio. ‘Never mind about surrendering, Earth people! A truce committee is on the way!’
At first they saw only a tiny flag, fluttering like a white butterfly far across the brown field, but at last the Tyrran committee drew close, and the Lambchops, waiting now outside the Star Scout, could make each little person out.
The flag was carried by the scowling young man with a moustache and the club. The other members of the committee, a bit smaller even than he, were a red-faced man wearing a uniform with medals across the chest, a stout lady in a yellow dress and hat with flowers on it, and two older men in blue suits, one with wavy white hair, the other thin and bald.
The committee halted, staring bravely up. ‘I am General Ap!’ shouted the uniformed man. ‘Commander of all Tyrran forces!’ Stanley stepped forward. ‘Chief Pilot Stanley Lambchop,’ he said ‘From Earth. These are my parents, Mr and Mrs George Lambchop. And my brother Arthur.’ ‘President Ot of Tyrra, and Mrs Ot,’ said General Ap, indicating the wavy-haired man and the lady. ‘The bald chap is Dr Ep, our Chief Scientist. The grouchy one with the flag is my aide, Captain Ik.’
No one seemed sure what to say next. A few polite remarks were exchanged –‘Nice meeting you, Earth people!’… ‘Such a pretty planet, Tyrra!’… ‘Thank you. Were you very long in space?’ -and Mr Lambchop realised suddenly that the Tyrrans were uncomfortable talking almost straight up. He got down on his knees, the other Lambchops following his example, and the Tyrrans at once lowered their heads in relief.
‘Right!’ said General Ap. ‘All reasonable people here! A truce, eh?’ ‘I’m for war, frankly’ growled Captain Ik, but Stanley pretended not to hear. ‘A truce? Good idea,’ he said. ‘We come in peace.’ Mrs Ot sniffed. ‘Not very peaceful, frightening poor Captain Ik,’ She pointed at Arthur. ‘That giant shouted at him!’ ‘My son is not a giant,’ Mrs Lambchop said. ‘It’s just that you Tyrrans are – how to put it? – unusually petite.’ ‘Ik’s the biggest we’ve got, actually,’ said General Ap. ‘We hoped he’d scare you.’ President Ot raised his hand. ‘No harm done! Come! TyrraVille, our capital, is but a stroll away.’ The Lambchops equipped now with handy magnifying lenses from the Star Scout’s science kit, followed the committee. TyrraVille lay just across the brown fields, behind the tan trees, no larger than an Earth-size tennis court.