“It isn’t fair,” Win Partridge sighed. He wanted to make a toastie, but he wasn’t allowed to use the stove while his dad was at work. Win also wanted to try building a birdhouse, but his dad didn’t want him using any sharp tools.
“I’m treated like a baby,” Win moaned.
“Surely you exaggerate,” a voice chided him. It was the oak tree in the garden! Win never knew when the tree would summon him for another mission. He dashed outside.
“Do you remember the pepper shaker you retrieved for us?” the tree asked.
Win nodded. He had risked his life pretending to be a famous concert pianist in order to find it. Which seemed like a lot of bother for a pepper shaker.
“It looked like a pepper shaker,” the tree now explained. “It was actually a device designed by the Company of Really Awful Baddies to control the minds of all the mice in London!”
“Crikey!” said Win. “Good thing we kept CRAB from using it!”
“Well, it turns out,” said the tree, “that the pepper shaker was one of a pair of devices. Can you guess what the other device looks like?”
“A… salt shaker?” ventured Win.
The tree rustled its leaves (that’s how a tree nods).
“And, Win, this salt shaker can control all the rats in London. You need to find its location before CRAB has a chance to turn it on.”
“Ouch!” An acorn bounced off Win’s head.
“That’s your power for today,” said the tree.
“Great,” Win said, “but why does my power always have to hit me on the head first?”
Win picked up the glowing nut and put it in the locket he wore around his neck. He squeezed inside the trunk of the tree, where he found a squirrel holding up an earpiece.
“Time is short,” said the tree, “so wear that earpiece, and I’ll explain everything else once you arrive.”
“Wait,” said Win. “What’s my power?”
“Don’t worry,” said the tree. “It will activate when it has to.”
Stepping out from a different tree trunk, Win found himself in a very posh neighbourhood. Two squirrels tugged on his trousers and pointed to a terraced house across the street. They handed him a pair of binoculars. Win heard the oak tree’s voice through the earpiece.
“What do you see?”
“I was taught,” said Win, “that one shouldn’t spy through windows.”
“In normal circumstances, you’d be quite right,” said the tree. “But you’re doing official work as an Order of the Oak agent. I believe you’ll see a CRAB agent through the window of the house across the street.”
Win lifted the binoculars to his eyes. He saw a woman bent over an infant, who was lying on its back on a changing table. A pendant in the shape of a crab was dangling from the woman’s necklace.
“She’s changing a baby’s nappy,” Win reported. “There are also two toddlers in the room. The woman looks flustered and in a hurry. Oh! And now she’s answering her phone.”
Win told the tree that even though the baby was still waiting for its new nappy, the woman was now roaming around the room opening drawers while on the phone.
“Aha!” said the tree. “She’s probably looking for a pen and paper to write down the precise location of the salt shaker.”
Win watched the woman, having now found a pen, hurriedly scribble down the numbers being dictated to her.
“Did she find paper?” asked the tree.
“No,” said Win. “She’s writing on one of the extra cloth nappies.”
“You have to get closer to that nappy!” insisted the tree. “You need to see what she wrote!”
Before Win could figure out how…
“Yikes!” said Win. “There’s a man at the front door!”
A van was parked out front. “Posh Time Nursery” was written in fancy lettering on its side.
“Ah yes,” said the tree. “The poshest nursery in the city.”
Win watched as the woman quickly pulled a bright purple cover over a cloth nappy the baby was now wearing. She handed the baby to the man, saying, “Take good care of Percy!”
“Now they’re driving away,” Win reported.
“Yes,” said the tree. “You now have to find a way to get inside the house and grab the nappy with the salt shaker coordinates, before—”
“Uh oh,” Win interrupted. He was watching the woman frantically look through the pile of nappies.
“I think the CRAB agent misplaced the nappy with the coordinates,” Win said. Then he gasped. The tree guessed what he was thinking.
“Rushed and distracted, the woman accidentally dressed her baby in the wrong nappy!”
“The baby’s wearing the coordinates!” said Win.
“You’ve got to get to Percy’s nursery now!”
Two squirrels ushered Win into a nearby tree, and...Whoosh!...he stepped out from a tree near the fancy entrance of Posh Time Nursery.
“Security is tight,” said the tree into Win’s earpiece. “If you’re not a baby, you have no hope of getting inside that playroom.”
“So how am I supposed to sneak inside?” Win asked. But what came out of his mouth was “Baba, ga, ga ga ga?”
Win looked up to see an adult towering over him.Before he could say anything, he was scooped up and taken inside. Glimpsing his reflection in the glass door, Win was shocked to see an 11-month-old infant.
“My power is being a baby?!”
Win was carried to a large sunny room filled with brightly coloured toys. He scanned the room looking for Percy, but the place was crawling with babies, and they all looked alike to him.
Then, across the room, he spotted a baby with a bright purple nappy cover.
“That’s definitely Percy!” thought Win. He dashed towards the baby, but instantly fell forward on his nose. He tried again, but this time fell back on his bottom. He wanted to cry, it felt so unfair. But then he remembered that only a baby would cry about something like this.
“Pull yourself together,” Win said to himself. “You’re just going to have to crawl. At top speed!”
Win crawled as fast as he could, which wasn’t very fast. Nevertheless, he was getting nearer to Percy, who was lying on his belly and drooling. After dodging several toys in his path, Win stopped. A plastic ring of keys was on the ground. He felt an irresistible desire to put it in his mouth.
“Focus, Win!” he said to himself. “You have more important things to do!”
With great effort, Win tore himself from the tempting toy. Percy was now crawling away, but Win was gaining on him. Suddenly Win felt himself lifted into the air.
He heard a voice tell him gently, “Now now, you leave little Percy alone,” before being deposited on the other side of the room.
“Grrrr!” Win was so frustrated, he again wanted to cry. Instead, he hitched up his nappy and crawled with determination towards Percy. After managing to grab the back of Percy’s nappy, he was scooped up again. This time, however, he was plunked in a playpen.
“This is the place for naughty babies,” the adult told him. Win checked the walls. They were at least one-metre high. Escape was impossible.
But Win caught a lucky break. One of the adults was lifting Percy onto a changing table.
“He needs his nappy changed!” thought Win. “Nice going, Percy!”
When the adult pulled off the nappy cover, Win had a perfect view through the bars of the playpen. He could clearly see the numbers scrawled across the bottom of Percy’s nappy, and he committed them to memory.
Suddenly, Win’s power began to wear off! The two adults in the room were flabbergasted to find a nine-year-old standing in a nappy in their playpen.
“What are you doing here?!” they yelled.
“See ya!” said Win, as he hopped over the wall of the playpen and scampered out of the nursery, thrilled to have his nine-year-old legs back.
After a pair of squirrels directed him to the right tree trunk to whoosh him home, Win repeated the numbers he saw on the nappy to the oak tree.
“We’re sending a drone over there now to retrieve the salt shaker,” said the tree. “Apparently it’s on the roof of the Houses of Parliament! Imagine what mischief a thousand rats would have done there! Nice work, Win!”
Win was relieved to be home. And as he reflected on the day, he decided maybe his dad didn’t treat him quite like a baby after all.
Benefits of reading Go Nuts - Operation Googoo
This short story covers the quest theme. Operation Googoo is written and narrated in the third person. This story portrays a father-son relationship. We recommend children with a reading age of 3 - 7 years old for this story.
Who are the main characters in Go Nuts - Operation Googoo?
The main character in the Go Nuts series is seven-year-old Win Partridge. This is a fantasy story set in London. In episode 4 characters include a baby, talking tree and a squirrel.