Tick Tock Turkey and the Chocolate Tree

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Chocolate TreeOf all the animals on Egg Island, none of them thought about food more than Tick Tock Turkey. He once made the Best Sandwich Ever, but you have to take Tick Tock Turkey’s word for that – no one else got to taste it. The Best Sandwich Ever disappeared and then reappeared, which was very strange. And once, Tick Tock Turkey was so desperate to eat that he invented a brand new meal that comes in between breakfast and brunch; in the process he managed to create a mysterious egg out of thin air.

Now, why do all these odd things happen to Tick Tock Turkey? The answer is simple: Tick Tock Turkey, and his friend Future Dog, can travel in time, and it usually results in a lot of confusion.

Read by Natasha. Duration 22.55

Wherever you go in the world, and whether you are in the future or the past – not to mention the present – the number one food on everyone’s list is chocolate. White, dark, milky, with nuts, with caramel, any way you like it, chocolate is the best. And Egg Island is fortunate enough to have the world’s only Chocolate Tree. It’s made out of solid chocolate, with hot chocolate sauce in its centre, and it grows chocolate fruit all year round, as long as it has plenty of sun and shade and water.

Tick Tock Turkey had spent the best part of the day in the jungle, steadily gobbling his way through all of the chocolatey bits and pieces beneath the Chocolate Tree. He’d started with the juicy chocolate berries, which were so big and swollen with sugary goodness that they had fallen like chestnuts to the ground. Once they were all gone, he’d set about eating all of the chocolate leaves that had dried and curled in the sun before wafting gently on the breeze to fall in the shade of the tree. When they were finished, he munched the chocolate twigs that lay strewn about the jungle floor. The chocolate twigs didn’t taste anywhere near as nice as the berries, or the leaves. The twigs were dry and bitter. But they were still chocolate. Tick Tock Turkey decided they shouldn’t be wasted. Besides, he wasn’t full yet.

After a long time, and a considerable amount of gobbling, Tick Tock Turkey sat heavily at the bottom of the tree. His belly was packed with chocolate, and his beak and wings were covered in brown chocolate sauce.

‘Oh dear,’ he said, rubbing his tummy. ‘I feel queasy now. I must be full up. Future Dog says it’s important to eat enough, but never too much. I should stop for a rest, to let the food go down.’ He lay back in the sun, and licked some chocolate from his beak. ‘Okay – that’s enough rest. On with the chocolate!’

Tick Tock Turkey jumped to his feet and looked eagerly around him.

‘Oh no,’ he said. ‘It can’t all be gone!’

He strutted around the Chocolate Tree looking hard at the ground for more chocolate bits. ‘There must be something. A little bit of chocolate berry? A twig? A leaf? Maybe a piece of bark that’s fallen off?’

But there was nothing more to eat.

Tick Tock Turkey sighed and shrugged. Then his eyes wandered up to the Chocolate Tree. There had been plenty of rain and sun in the past few days, and the tree had a decent crop of chocolate berries and even some big, stripy, chocolate bananamatoes dangling from its branches.

Tick Tock Turkey’s eyes grew large and his tongue wagged. ‘They look so juicy and sweet,’ he said. ‘But Future Dog told me off for picking things straight from the tree. She said if I keep on taking chocolate sauce from the trunk for my sandwiches, and eating all the fruit without letting some fall to the ground, that eventually the Chocolate Tree won’t grow anymore, and there’ll be no more chocolate on Egg Island Ever. And that wouldn’t do.’

He looked sadly at the tree. ‘But I’m so hungry. In fact, if I don’t eat something soon, I might faint or get sick. And no one would want that. I’m sorry Mister Chocolate Tree – but this is a medical emergency and I need some bananamatoes right now! Doctor’s orders!’

With a loud flap of his wings and a flurry of feathers, Tick Tock Turkey hopped into the branches and started gobbling the fruit. He stuffed a few berries into his beak and then got to work on a particularly large bananamato.

‘TICK TOCK TURKEY!’ came an angry voice from below. ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’

Tick Tock Turkey froze. It was Future Dog, and she looked absolutely furious.

Tick Tock Turkey hopped down from the tree and hung his head. ‘I was just, um, checking how the fruit was getting on. They’re growing very well.’

‘Were you now?’ said Future Dog. ‘And how do you explain all the chocolate on your beak? And that half eaten bananamato you’re hiding behind your back?’

‘Oh, Future Dog,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘I was just so hungry, I felt ill, and I had to have a tiny nibble. It won’t do any harm.’

Future Dog folded her paws crossly. ‘Tick Tock Turkey, you probably felt ill because you’ve eaten too much! What did I tell you about the Chocolate Tree? It’s very precious and you have to be extremely careful with it.’

‘I’m sorry,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘I won’t do it again. But it’s just soo tasty…’

‘And that’s why it’s so special,’ said Future Dog. ‘Now let’s go down to the beach, and maybe you can get some exercise and work off some of that fatty chocolate.’

‘Exercise?’ said Tick Tock Turkey, ‘bor-ing. What’s that you’ve got in your hand?’

Future Dog held up a small musical instrument with strings. ‘This is a banjo. I’m teaching Blobert how to play.’

‘Blobert!’ sniffed Tick Tock Turkey, ‘that stupid blob.’

‘Don’t be rude about people who aren’t here,’ said Future Dog. ‘Blobert is actually a very good player.’

‘Fair enough,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘But I can’t imagine how he plucks the strings with those blobby fingers.’

‘That’s enough,’ said Future Dog. ‘I’m going to play volleyball. If you aren’t coming, then at least try to stay out of trouble. And no more chocolate today!’

Future Dog strolled off through the jungle towards the beach.

Tick Tock Turkey watched her go.

And then Tick Tock Turkey did something very naughty.

‘If I can’t eat any more chocolate today,’ he said, ‘then I can eat some more yesterday. There’s nothing for it – I’m going to use the time watch!’

He fiddled with the button on his watch.

There was a fizz and sizzle of sparkling lights around him, a loud WHOOSH!, and everything was still again.

Tick Tock Turkey looked around. The jungle appeared more or less as it should. The trees were the same, although perhaps a little smaller. He could see Egg Mountain very clearly in the middle of the island – tall and grey against the cloudy sky. The view of the mountain wasn’t usually so clear. He could also see a big turkey statue nearby. This statue was usually covered in moss and vines, but now it looked clean and bright and new. Its edges were sharp. He could hear strange drums beating somewhere deep in the jungle.

‘Very odd,’ he said, with a shiver. ‘Anyway, let’s have some of those delicious bananamatoes!’

But the Chocolate Tree wasn’t there.

There was a big gap in the jungle where the tree should be.

‘What?’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘Where’s it gone? It’s such a huge tree! And it was there just now. I mean, it was there tomorrow, where – I mean when – I just was. What?’

The tree was nowhere to be seen.

Tick Tock Turkey waddled up to the exact spot where the trunk of the Chocolate Tree used to sprout from the earth. He peered down, squinting, and poking at the ground with his feet.

‘Where could it be?’ he said.

Tick Tock Turkey noticed something peeping through the soil. It was a tiny brown shoot. He sniffed it. Definitely chocolatey! He pulled at the shoot with his beak and, gradually, out came a long, thick, sugary chocolate root. By the time it was all of the way out of the ground it was as tall as Tick Tock Turkey himself.

‘Eureka!’ cried Tick Tock Turkey. He took a bite. It was quite simply the sweetest, chocolatiest, most delicious thing he had ever eaten.

‘I’m in chocolate heaven!’ he said, and, with a few enormous gobbles, he finished the root.

He let out an enormous burp.

‘That was spectacular,’ he said, patting his swollen tummy. ‘I’d better get back before Future Dog misses me.’ He fiddled with the time watch again. ‘I’ll try to go back to just after I left, then no one will suspect a thing!’

He pushed the button, and, with a loud SHOOWH!, he was back in the jungle clearing of today.

‘What have you been doing?’ asked Future Dog, who was standing there waiting, tapping her paw on the ground.

‘Oh, hello,’ said Tick Tock Turkey, taken aback, ‘I was just, um, trying out the time watch. I think I’ve got the hang of it now, thank you.’

‘Well,’ said Future Dog, ‘I came back to check on you, and I was very surprised to see what’s happened to the Chocolate Tree.’

‘I didn’t do anything!’ gobbled Tick Tock Turkey. ‘You said no more chocolate today and I haven’t had anymore chocolate today. I didn’t touch the Chocolate Tree again today!’

Future Dog shook her head. ‘Then how do you explain that?’ and she pointed at the tree.

That is, Future Dog pointed to where the tree should have been. But there was no tree there.

‘Not again,’ said Tick Tock Turkey, ‘it’s got a habit of doing that.’

‘Oh, Tick Tock Turkey,’ sighed Future Dog, ‘what have you done?’

Tick Tock Turkey flapped his wings and gobbled his story in a rush: ‘You said no more chocolate today but you never said no more chocolate yesterday so I went back in time to yesterday to have more chocolate but there was no Chocolate Tree there so I ate a chocolate root instead and then I came forward in time to today and there’s no Chocolate Tree here either!’ He took a deep breath. ‘So I don’t see how it’s my fault.’

‘We all love chocolate,’ said Future Dog, ‘but you want to have it all to yourself. That way everyone misses out in the end – even you. Now show me exactly what you did with the watch, and let’s see if we can tidy up this mess. Otherwise there’ll never be any chocolate on Egg Island ever again.’

‘No one would have any chocolate ever again?’ cried Tick Tock Turkey. ‘I never meant for that. I just wanted a bit of chocolate for myself. Future Dog, we’ve got to save the tree!’ He held up the time watch: ‘I wound the watch back to here – yesterday. That’s about right, isn’t it?’

Future Dog looked at the watch dial and then slapped her forehead with her paw. ‘Tick Tock Turkey! You went back hundreds of years! To when Egg Island was still a part of the land of Turkeytopia!’

‘Gosh!’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘That explains why everything looked so different.’

‘The root that you ate must have been the root of the one and only Chocolate Tree when it was just a sapling!’

‘So that’s why it tasted so incredibly delicious!’ he licked his beak at the memory.

Future Dog frowned.

‘Sorry,’ said Tick Tock Turkey, ‘I’m very sorry I ate it.’

‘Okay,’ said Future Dog, ‘so we need to go back a few moments earlier than you did last time, and stop you before you eat the root.’

Tick Tock Turkey flapped his wings. ‘Eh? We, that is, you and me – are going to go back in time and stop… me? Oh my head, that is confusing.’

‘Come on,’ said Future Dog. She fiddled with the button on the time watch, grabbed hold of Tick Tock Turkey’s wing, and with a WHOOSH! they were in the ancient land of Turkeytopia.

The green jungle was around them, throbbing with the sound of drums.

‘Who’s making the music?’ asked Tick Tock Turkey. ‘It’s got a funky beat.’

‘Those are the wild turkey tribes,’ said Future Dog. ‘Some of them must be your great, great grandparents!’

‘Wow,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘I should pop round for tea.’

‘Oh no, that would cause all kinds of confusion,’ said Future Dog, ‘and things are confused enough already. After all – you’re about to meet yourself!’

There was a loud WHOOSH!, and there, stepping out of a cloud of sparks nearby, was another Tick Tock Turkey.

‘What?’ said Tick Tock Turkey.

‘What?’ said the other Tick Tock Turkey.

‘This should be interesting,’ said Future Dog.

‘Who the egg do you think you are?’ said the other Tick Tock Turkey.

‘I’m Tick Tock Turkey, you silly bird!’ said Tick Tock Turkey.

‘You’re having a laugh,’ said the other Tick Tock Turkey. ‘Tell him, Future Dog.’

‘I’m staying out of this,’ said Future Dog.

‘You’re too scruffy to be me!’ said Tick Tock Turkey.

‘And you’re too silly to be me!’ said the other Tick Tock Turkey. ‘This is doing my head in. What are you doing here, Future Dog? I thought you were playing volleyball.’

‘What are you doing here?’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘You haven’t come to steal some chocolate by any chance?’

‘Oh this is just too weird,’ said the other Tick Tock Turkey. ‘I’m having a nasty dream from too much chocolate. I won’t be doing that again! I’m off.’

And with that, the other Tick Tock Turkey pushed the button on his time watch and vanished with a loud SHOOWH!

‘I thought that would sort itself out,’ said Future Dog. ‘Well done, Tick Tock Turkey.’

‘Um, thanks,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘That was the strangest thing that has ever, ever happened.’

‘Yes, it was rather strange,’ said Future Dog.

‘I don’t understand how that other me was so scruffy and silly. And rude! I’m not like that at all.’

‘Hmm,’ said Future Dog.

‘And where’s he gone?’ asked Tick Tock Turkey. ‘I don’t like to think there’s another me out there. What if I bump into me again? It’s so confusing.’

‘Yes, it is rather complicated. But I wouldn’t worry about it right now. Let’s go back to where we started and see if the Chocolate Tree is alright.’

‘Okey doke,’ said Tick Tock Turkey, still very puzzled.

Future Dog pushed the button on the time watch and held tightly onto Tick Tock Turkey’s wing. With a SHOOWH! they found themselves back in the jungle clearing of today. Vines and moss covered the ancient turkey statue, and there in front of them the Chocolate Tree stood tall and brown, laden with bananamatoes and berries, looking healthier and taller than ever before.

‘Well,’ said Future Dog, ‘that’s a good result. The tree looks wonderful!’

‘Yes it does!’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘Big and delicious. Let’s eat some chocolate to celebrate!’

‘Oh dear,’ said Future Dog. ‘Haven’t you learned your lesson?’

‘Lighten up, misery guts!’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘It was a joke. There’d never be any fun around here if it wasn’t for me – the one and only Tick Tock Turkey.’

‘That’s true,’ said Future Dog. ‘The one and only Tick Tock Turkey – apart from the other Tick Tock Turkey!’

Tick Tock Turkey shook his head. ‘That stupid bird!’ .