The Tremendous Moustache
A tale for younger audiences.
Mr Pokka loves his magical moustache.
But does he value his friendship more?
Mr Pokka had a tremendous moustache.
It was tremendously long and tremendously bristly, and most of all it was tremendously hairy.
It had taken Mr Pokka nine years, three months and a day to grow the moustache.
Every day he waxed it with a special moustache wax to keep it shiny and sleek.
Mr Pokka was very proud of his moustache. It was the finest moustache in all the forest, and everyone knew about it.
When Mr Pokka went out, all of the creatures of the forest would point and say,
"Look! Oh, what a tremendous moustache Mr Pokka has!"
This made Mr Pokka very happy indeed.
There was nothing he liked better than to show off his lovely moustache, and sometimes he would do tricks with it, or comb it into different shapes so that the people would like it even better.
With his moustache, Mr Pokka could pick juicy apples from a tree, or catch slippery fish from the river. He could fly a kite, make a tasty quiche, and he could even play a tune on the lute.
But as time went by, Mr Pokka’s feelings began to change. Instead of being pleased as he had once been when the creatures looked at his beautiful moustache, he became upset and angry.
"They are all jealous of my moustache!" grumbled Mr Pokka to himself.
Mr Pokka stopped doing tricks with his moustache, and the only time that he would comb it into different shapes was at home in front of the mirror.
When he went out, he would hide his moustache under a big, woollen snood that his grandmama had knitted for him, even when it was sunny and warm.
A Cup of Mushroom Tea
One stormy night, Mr Pokka was having some delicious mushroom tea with his friend Keke in his little house in the forest.
Keke was Mr Pokka’s best friend, and he had known her for even longer than he had had his moustache.
All night, Mr Pokka had been complaining about the other creatures.
"Oh, they all wish that they had such a tremendous moustache as mine!" he said. "But mine it is, and they cannot have it!"
Keke looked sad, because she did not like to see Mr Pokka so upset.
"Thank you for the scrumptious tea," said Keke, "But I really must go now. I am going to visit my aunt who lives on the other side of the forest. Would you like to come too? We are going to have games and singing. It might cheer you up."
"Ha!" laughed Mr Pokka. "No, thank you very much! You see, there are many things out there in the night that would like to steal my moustache away from me. I shall stay here, where it is safe!"
Keke looked sad. It was a dark, cold, wild night in the forest, and she did not want to walk all that way on her own. But Mr Pokka had made up his mind, so she put on her hat and her boots, and off she went into the night.
Mr Pokka waved goodbye to his friend Keke, and then he sat down and finished the rest of his cake. For a moment he thought about going after her, but then he thought about the safety of his moustache, and he decided not to.
Now that Mr Pokka was on his own, he decided to wax his moustache.
He got out his moustache comb and his tin of special moustache wax, and he stood in front of the mirror. He spread the fragrant wax all over his moustache and combed it into different shapes.
First he made the antlers of a deer.
Then he made eight tentacles like an octopus, the most graceful of all sea-creatures.
"My, you are very handsome indeed!" said Mr Pokka to his reflection. "It really is no wonder that everyone wants your moustache!"
After some time admiring his moustache in the mirror, Mr Pokka became tired and decided to have a rest in his comfortable armchair.
He must have fallen asleep, because the next thing he knew he was woken up by a loud knocking at the front door.
Mr Pokka went to the door, but he did not open it.
"Who is that knocking on my door?" he asked.
"Mr Pokka!" cried a voice from the other side of the door, "I have terrible, horrible news! Your friend Keke was walking through the forest when she fell into the Perilous Hole, and now she cannot get out! Come! Come! As quickly as you can!"
Cosy Winter Scarf
"O-ho!’ said Mr Pokka, "You must think I was born yesterday, to fall for such a trick! I will not come outside, for I know that my friend Keke is not really in a hole at all. You are goblin of the night come to steal away my moustache, and use it for a cosy winter scarf! Now go away and leave me be!"
But then came another knock at the door, this time louder than the first.
"Mr Pokka!" cried a the voice, "You must come quickly! Little Keke has fallen into the deep, dark Perilous Hole, and she is too small to climb out of it!"
"Ho-ha!" said Mr Pokka, "Why, you must think I am nothing but a foolish fool! I recognise the voice of a creepy ghoul when I hear it. You simply want to trick me into leaving my nice, safe house. As soon as I am outside, you shall pounce upon me and cut off my tremendous moustache, so that you can eat it all up in a moustache stew! Now begone!"
So Mr Pokka locked the door with the extra bolt, and he was just about to go back to his comfortable armchair when there came yet another knock at the door.
"Mr Pokka!" cried another voice from outside, "You must come quickly! Your friend Keke has fallen into the Perilous Hole, and nobody can get her out!"
"Ha-ho!" said Mr Pokka. "Why, you must think that I have gooseberry jam for brains! I can tell by your voice that you are a moon-beast come down from the moon, and if I set but one foot outside my door you shall snatch my moustache and brew it up into a barrel of luscious moon-juice! No, I shall stay where I am!"
Now by this time Mr Pokka was getting quite cross, and with all the shouting his moustache had got all tangled and messy. There were more and more voices calling for him outside the door, but he stopped up his ears with the ends of his moustache and ignored them.
Then he went to find his moustache wax and comb, so that he could make it neat again. But when Mr Pokka opened the tin, he found that all of his moustache wax was gone! He had used the last of it when he had made his moustache into an octopus. Mr Pokka was aghast
"Oh, this will never do!" said Mr Pokka, "Whatever will become of my moustache now? There is nothing for it – I shall have to walk to the all-night moustache wax shop on the other side of the woods!"
So Mr Pokka crept quietly to the window, drew back the curtain a little, and peeked outside. The night goblin and the creepy ghoul and the moon-beast had all gone, so he put on his big, woolly snood and slipped out into the forest.
In the forest it was dark and cold, and Mr Pokka could hear owls calling from high up in the trees. He hurried along the winding path, all the while glancing around him in case any goblins or ghouls or moon-beasts should be hiding in the bushes. He saw none, but he kept his messy moustache hidden underneath the snood all the same.
Mr Pokka had been walking for some time when ahead of him he saw a light glowing through the branches, and he heard the sound of many voices.
"Ah!" whispered Mr Pokka to himself, "I recognise those voices! It is the night goblin, the creepy ghoul and the moon-beast who came to my house – and they are lying in wait to trap me!"
And so very quietly Mr Pokka went closer, hoping to creep past. But as he did so, he heard another voice that he knew...
It was the voice of Keke! And she sounded very frightened! She had been taken prisoner by the monsters, and now she really did need his help! Suddenly Mr Pokka was not scared any more, and he burst through the trees into the light to see... no monsters, and no Keke!
Instead he saw his forest neighbours, and they were all looking down into...
...the Perilous Hole!
The Perilous Hole
In a flash, Mr Pokka was at the side of the Perilous Hole. It was deep and dark and cobwebby, but somewhere in the depths Mr Pokka could see the little face of Keke, staring sadly back up at him.
"Fear not, my friend!" cried Mr Pokka, and he threw off his big woolly snood. Then he held fast to a twisty root, and he flung his moustache into the Perilous Hole. "Take hold of my moustache!" he called, "I will pull you up!"
Mr Pokka’s moustache stretched down and down, until he felt Keke’s little hands take hold of the end.
Then all of the creatures held tightly onto Mr Pokka, and together they began to pull.
Little by little, Keke was climbing out of the hole.
But with every inch that Keke climbed, Mr Pokka could feel his tremendous moustache coming looser and looser, hair by hair, bristle by bristle.
And then, just as Keke reached the top of the hole, Mr Pokka’s moustache came off. Keke jumped into Mr Pokka’s arms, but the moustache fell down, down into the Perilous Hole.
Mr Pokka did not care. He hugged Keke tightly.
"I am so sorry Keke!" he said, "I was so worried about my moustache that I could not think about anything else!"
But Keke was just glad to be safe at last. All of the forest creatures cheered and clapped.
Mr Pokka and Keke and all of their forest neighbours left the hole with the moustache in it behind, and they went to the house of Keke’s aunt where they had games and singing for the rest of the night.
"Do you know," said Keke, "I think that you look much more handsome without your moustache!"
Mr Pokka smiled. "Yes, I think that you are right," he replied.
"I think perhaps I shall grow a beard instead."
Late for the Party