‘Astropup and the Sacred Rose’ Dedicated to Teddy and Ernest Wallace in Australia
Read by Richard Scott.
Story by Bertie.
Proofed and audio edited by Jana Elizabeth.
This is Astropup,
In a previous episode, I told you how my friend, the parrot, dated Polly from the Planet of the Lizards. They met over the intergalactic net. Not that Polly was a lizard herself. She was a parrot who was being held captive by a family of lizards. The parrot rescued her from her gilded cage, and we escaped back into space. So now there were four of us on board our ship. The parrot was totally smitten by Polly, and he was busy making wedding plans, but it turned out that she was resistant to his charms. In fact, the ‘Love Match Made in Space’ was not working out well at all.
The parrot did all he could to charm and amuse Polly. He called her “My dear hen-friend.” He preened her plumage. He even offered to play Japanese Scrabble with her, but she picked up one of the game pieces in her claw and shook her beak.
“Perhaps you could tell me a story?” she suggested. I woofed my support for this excellent idea because, when I am not sleeping, I myself wile away the endless space journeys by composing my memoirs, which you are now hearing.
The parrot took up her suggestion, and spent three days (measured in Earth time) recounting how he became president of the World. His angle was slightly different from my version of the story. According to him, his term as President was a huge success. I’m not sure how much of the tale Polly heard, because she had her head on one side and her eyes closed, but he didn't seem to notice that she was dozing.
At the end of his story, when he had described how the people of the world begged him to take a job as emperor for life, he refused the crown three times - an episode that I must have missed. He asked her. “Would you like to hear another chapter of my remarkable biography?”
“No thanks,” she said. “I almost died of boredom listening to the one you just told.”
“Hmm,” he said. “I shall try a different literary form. He took a pencil in his beak and contemplated. After some time - at least two of my sleeps - he had composed a poem.
“Polly my love, you are, you are,
Brighter than a shooting star.
A blaze of multicoloured perfection
Sweeter than the fruitiest confection.
But you play harder for me to get
Than the hardest shelled puzzle yet.
More mysterious than the most cryptic crossword clue.
What a brilliant find, for a genius mind, are you!”
While he was reciting his little heart out, Polly pretended not to be paying much attention, but I do believe that she was pleased with the parrot’s poem, and flattered, because for several hours she laid off complaining. But when he asked her if she would like to play 3d chess, she replied,
“It is plain that you do not understand me, or female birds in general.”
After this rebuff, our parrot seemed to lose hope. He spent long periods lost in thought. “Are you sulking?” asked Polly. At first, our parrot appeared not to hear the question, until she squawked it again, only louder - and right in his ear.
“I said, are you sulking?”
“Why on earth would you think that my dear?” replied the parrot, shaking his head.
“Because, you have been silent for a full ten minutes. A first in my experience.”
“I was wondering,” said the parrot, “what I could do that would please you?”
“Well,” said Polly. “A genius level brain shouldn’t have trouble figuring it out, but I shall help you. I like flowers. In particular, I like roses, red ones.”
“But we are in the middle of space!” protested the parrot. “There are no roses here.”
“All I want is a single red rose. Is that too much to ask? Are my tastes extravagant? Are you calling me unreasonable?” fired back Polly.
“No, no, no, of course not, I would never mean to imply any such thing, my dear. Oh look.” he was examining the space charts. “There’s a planet with a rose on it, and it’s only a million light years out of our way.”
“You see, what you can find if you only look,” said Polly.
At this point Marlow put in a word, “Ah, hum, I think I should point out, Polly, because my friend the parrot is a little shy to explain this, that a million light years would take us 50 million years to travel, which is quite a detour.”
“But a second in the eternity of love!” she replied.
“Ah-Ha!” exclaimed the parrot. “Never fear, Polly my dear!”
“I don’t fear,” replied Polly, but the parrot took no notice.
“It just so happens that in precisely 13 hours and 4 minutes time, we will be passing the entrance to a wormhole that leads directly to the planet where there is a rose ready and waiting to be plucked. We’ll be there in no time!”
There was no holding back the parrot on his Mission of Love.
We entered the wormhole in space, which is a direct but uncomfortable way to travel, as gravity goes up and down and all over the place, and we’re thrown about a fair bit. I was sick and the parrot nearly puked on Polly, but fortunately missed his beloved, or she might have had even more to say than usual.
At the end of the wormhole, we travelled onward for a few more Earth hours until our destination came into sight - a beautiful green and pink orb!
“By the way,” said Marlow, “what’s this place called?”
“The Planet of the Holy Cows,” said the parrot.
“Well, Holy… !” exclaimed Marlow. “What a peculiar name! I hope they have nice flowers there..”
The parrot merely said, “I shall be back shortly with a rose for my dear Polly.”
“Hang on,” said Marlow. “You can’t go wandering around a strange planet on your own. You’d better take Astropup with you.”
“Yes sir!” I replied. “I shall guard our comrade, the parrot with my life.” On this occasion, he seemed quite touched by my dogged loyalty.
As soon as I set my paws down on the grass, I was glad that I had volunteered for this mission. The air was damp and fresh with a hint of wild rabbit or something similar on the breeze. What a delight! This was a heavenly place, with fields, and hedges, hills, clumps of bushes, pink-tinted streams, and trees full of blossom, and we could hear the twittering of bird song - although the parrot was too focused on his mission to notice his fellow creatures. He looked at the compass strapped to his foot. It was pointing up the hill. He fluttered and I trotted on upwards.
We began to come across cattle nibbling on the grass - black and white cows, swishing their tails. They must have been the Holy Cows.
“Who owns them? Who milks them?” I asked.
“They are entirely independent,” replied the parrot. “And they only make milk when they need it for their calves.”
We carried on climbing up the hill. Eventually the parrot said,
“The next field is where the rose grows. I have come to fetch a rose for my love that is unique and special, which is why it is guarded by three bulls with golden horns.”
I did not like the sound of that, and I soon saw the animals he was talking about. And unfortunately, they saw me. These bulls were the size of Earth Elephants and stood on hind legs wearing helmets with their golden horns sticking out. They were carrying nasty looking weapons that were something like a cross between a gun and a baton. As we approached, two of them began to stamp and snort at me. They did not seem to notice the parrot who sneakily fluttered overhead.
“Uh oh,” I thought. “These are the biggest, scariest animals I’ve ever seen, and that includes the space sharks.” For a moment I froze and pointed my nose towards them. Then they charged, and I turned and ran with my tail between my legs as fast as I could, heading for a clump of trees which was the only cover I could see.
Normally we dogs chase cats, squirrels and the like up trees, and all we can do is jump and woof at the trunk. I don’t suppose you have ever seen a dog actually climb a tree, because normally we can’t. But in this instance, the only case I know about in the whole of canine history, I, a dog, shot straight up that tree. I was that scared! I just ran at it, and up I pounced like a cat. Soon I was hugging a branch for dear life as one of the bulls head butted the tree. The whole ground shook and the tree leant backwards and creaked. Whoo! I fell to the ground. Seeing as I am not actually a cat, clinging to branches is not my thing. I fell out of the tree and landed in a thick hedge. I was stunned for a moment, and ‘came too’ soon enough to scramble into the thicket. My fur was full of thorns and twigs, but I kept going deeper and deeper into the undergrowth. I could hear the bulls snorting, but ever more far away. It seemed they had no desire to trample through the trees.
I hid deep in that thicket, trembling until darkness fell. It was a small planet with short days and I did not have too long to wait. Finally I crept out and made my way downhill towards the place where we had parked the space ship, half expecting to find that it had lifted off, leaving a shallow crater where it had stood. But my loyal friends had waited for my return. I was overjoyed to greet them; yapping, jumping up and licking Marlow’s face and nuzzling the parrot. For the first time, I saw that even Polly was happy.
And that’s where we leave Astropup, the Parrot, Polly and Marlow for now.
And we’re delighted to dedicate this story to Teddy and his younger brother, Ernest who live on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia. They listened to our stories recently on an 8 hour road trip. Teddy is going halves with his mum, Adele, to support us on Patreon, which is a very generous use of his pocket money. Thank you Teddy, we really appreciate your support!
For now, from me Richard, Goodbye!
Astropup in ‘Gone with the Wind’.
Dedicated to the Alrashed kids.
Hello, Astropup here. In the previous episode of my adventures, the Parrot and I had pinched a rose from the Planet of the Holy Cows. We had managed to return to the spaceship and blast off. This episode will also go with a blast.
My tail was wagging because I like us all being one happy family. Polly and the parrot were nuzzled up all cosy, and even the rose seemed to be smiling. It was in the end, just a rose, but had a kind of happy glow to it. I wondered how long it would last, and whether Polly would still be happy when it began to get dry and withered.
Polly kept glancing at the red rose that stood in a plastic beaker of water fixed to her perch.
“Well done,” I said to the parrot. You plucked the rose.”
“Well done Astropup,” replied the parrot with rare praise. “I could not have sneaked in and plucked the rose without you luring the bull guards off into the woods.”
“Those cows must have loved that rose to guard it so carefully,” I said.
“Yes, they think it’s sacred,” said the parrot.
Well you should have seen the look on Marlow’s face when he heard the word ‘sacred’.
“It's never wise to steal something ‘sacred’,” Marlow muttered under his breath.
Fear smells you know, and I can sense when he’s afraid. I saw him quietly close the airlock and get the ship ready for blast off. Soon we were lifting up into the air, and Marlow did not relax until we had left the planet’s atmosphere and were once again coursing through space in the direction of the wormhole that had brought us to this corner of the universe.
Now I have been through a number of wormholes in space, and I can tell you that they differ greatly. Some are itsy-bitsy small, and others have expanded into great gaping tunnels. This particular wormhole was just about big enough to allow a modest spaceship the size of ours to pass another spaceship of similar size coming the other way. And one great big enormous spaceship could easily block it.
Unfortunately, that was what had happened. As we were approaching the hole, Marlow said, “Hey guys, there seems to be something stuck in the mouth of the tunnel.”
“Like what?” asked the parrot.
“Well come and take a look,” said Marlow.
The parrot fluttered over to where he could see Marlow’s computer screen.
“Oh,” he said. “That was quick. It must have overtaken us.”
“What must have overtaken us?” asked Marlow.
“The bull battleship from the planet of the Holy Cows.”
“Oh,” said Marlow. “That would explain why it has those two big horns on the top.”
We continued to glide towards the hole and the bull battleship. Both Marlow and the parrot just stared at the screen, mesmerised it seemed, but not knowing what to do. The silence was quite eerie - enough to make you go barking mad. I am very sensitive you know, and I feel danger coming. I could hold back no more.
My cry of anguish was responded to by a sound 10, no 100, no 1000 times louder.
At the time, that was the scariest sound I have ever heard in my entire career in space. But moments later it was surpassed by an even more terrifying sound.
And moments later we were struck by an invisible missile that jolted our spaceship into reverse. Polly fell off her perch and started to flap her wings around the cockpit. “How rude!” she exclaimed. “No manners at all.”
“WWWWHAT in the Universe was that?” I asked, bewildered.
“That was a giant cow fart!” replied the parrot.
Another ginormous bolt of wind slammed into our ship, propelling us back in the direction of where we had come from the Planet of the Holy Cows.
“Why?” I whined. “Why are they doing this?”
“We’ve got something they want!” called out Marlow.
“Hey! They’re not after my dog biscuits are they?”
“Of course they’re not interested in your chew-chews!” squawked the parrot. It’s a flower they seek.”
And then he turned to his beloved with passion in his beady eyes and spoke as follows:
“Yes, Polly, you are smart and can see what has happened. I confess, I plucked a sacred rose for your sake. This rose has flowered for 10,000 years. An entire planet of Holy Cows has watered it, revered it, and worshiped it. I risked the wrath of these ferocious bulls for you, Polly, my love, because you are the object of all my love and affection, and the least I can do is to present you with a single red rose.”
“You did that?” asked Polly. “For me?”
“Yes, I did,” affirmed the parrot. “For you.” I was not quite sure if he was proud or ashamed of his deed. But Polly was in no doubt about what she thought on the matter.
“CORRRRR! What a loser!” she exclaimed. “You have to go stealing other people’s flowers to try and impress a girl, and in the process, you get us all into danger. Well leave it up to me to sort out this mess, because I’m going to give that flower back to its rightful owners.”
And taking the sacred rose in her beak, she pushed herself off the side off the window and propelled herself towards the emergency escape shoots.
“No Polly!” cried the parrot.
But she was quick. She flew straight into one of the three escape capsules, and bashed the red button with her beak. It shot her straight out of the front of our spaceship and sent her hurtling towards the giant bull battleship. On the monitor we saw how the bull battleship opened its giant mouth and swallowed the capsule containing Polly and the sacred rose into its belly.
“She, she’s gone!” stuttered the parrot. I have never seen him look so shattered. His bright yellow plumes had turned perfectly pale.
The bull battleship blasted off with the terrifying roar of another giant cow emission.
“We must follow them!” said the parrot.
“Sorry, Mr Parrot, Sir,” said Marlow. “No can do. They’ve let us off this time, but it would surely be certain death for us to return to the Planet of the Holy Cows. They won’t take too kindly to a bunch of aliens who stole their sacred rose.”
“But what about Polly?” asked the parrot.
“Well she returned the rose to them. I think they’ll be pleased with her.”
And so with Marlow at the helm, we resumed our path back towards the wormhole and our homeward journey.
But that was not the last we heard of Polly. The parrot was still in touch with her via the intergalactic dating site. He sent her a message asking, “How are you my love?”
And he received this reply:
“I am very well, no thanks to you and your thieving ways. The Holy Cows are eternally grateful to me for returning the sacred rose. I have grafted the flower that you sacrilegiously picked back onto the stem that you left behind, and it is now blooming as before. In their gratitude for my service, the Holy Cows have given me the honorary title of Priestess Polly. I have grown very fond of this pleasant planet, and have decided to make it my home. I have plans to open a luxury bird spa, and invite weary birds from all over the galaxy to stay and recuperate. I have always wanted to be a business bird, and now my dream is coming true. Farewell my parrot. Thanks for rescuing me from the Lizards. Have a nice life.”
While the parrot read this message to us, he puffed out his chest. I thought he was trying to look brave. He contemplated for a moment before concluding:
“You know, two birds of a feather aren’t always meant to be together.”
“That’s clever,” I said, “because it rhymes. Are you now a poet?”
“Naaaa,” squawked our friend. “For the time being, I’m going to stick to astrophysics, philosophy, and languages. I shall leave romantic stuff to love birds.”
And so we resumed our journey, the three of us, as before. And to be honest, neither Marlow nor I was entirely sad to have parted ways with Polly.
And I’m delighted to dedicate this story to the Alrashed kids who support us on Patreon. Thank you so much for your kind generosity, we really appreciate you helping us to give stories to the world. For now
And that was ‘Astropup and the Sacred Rose’, read by me, Richard Scott.
And we are delighted to dedicate this story to Teddy and his younger brother, Ernest who lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia. They listened to our stories recently on an 8 hour road trip. Teddy is going halves with his mum, Adele, to support us on Patreon, which is a very generous use of his pocket money. Thank you Teddy, we really appreciate your support!
This story is awesome! Can you tell more story’s quickly?
July 1, 2019
Astropup is back!! Thank youuuuu
July 1, 2019
I am the second person ever to comment.
Xanthe age 10 —
July 1, 2019
First comment!! And also please do a Katie story!
July 1, 2019
its good i could listen to this all day
July 2, 2019
Finally!!! We’ve been waiting for a year! More Astropup please.
July 2, 2019
I’m craving for more original stories
July 2, 2019
I had been waiting for new Astropup stories for so long! I really enjoyed these 2 short and dramatic stories..also, I loved that last story about Wicked Uncle! Are you going to post the next part of Milo, Daisy and the White Rabbit?? Hope you will reply very soon!
July 2, 2019
Hello!! I love this story and i am wondering if there will be another Alice though the looking glass story. I also really love Katie and wicked uncle stories.
July 3, 2019
Great! Can’t wait for the second part 😄😄😄😄😅
July 3, 2019
Great story!!! I can’ t wait for the Next episode !!!
July 4, 2019
LOVE IT IT WAS AMZING BYEEEE
July 5, 2019
Add more detail and make a difference
It doesn’t seem like the best way of making the video
July 6, 2019
I agree with Jemima, but nonetheless I have been WAITING, and it is HERE, I am HAPPY.😤
July 8, 2019
it is the best story on earth
Mater yusuf —
July 9, 2019
tis story is the best in the earth
July 9, 2019
Amazing the best story yet
– yours sincerely
Big chungus —
July 10, 2019
I love it but I would love it more if you made more Theo stories please let me know if you make some more