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I'm just writing a letter to my friend
who lives on the other side of the world.
Do you know someone special who lives far, far away?
A boy in tonight's bedtime story loves someone
who lives far away from him. The story's called
Ben And Gran And The Whole, Wide, Wonderful World
and it's by Gillian Shields and Katherine McEwen.
Ben's favourite person in the whole, wide world was Gran.
And Gran's favourite person was Ben.
There was only one problem.
Ben's house, which was little and red with a slopey roof
and a rabbit in the garden, was over here,
and Gran's house, which was tall and twisty
and cluttered with books and cats and knitting, was over there.
Miles and miles and miles away.
So Gran sent letters and sweaters
and boxes of home-made fudge miles and miles and miles
to Ben's little red house over here,
and Ben sent Gran pictures and postcards
and holiday snaps miles and miles and miles
to Gran's tall, twisty house over there.
Sending stuff was fun.
Ben and Gran found lots of ways to send messages and presents,
but it wasn't as much fun
as actually seeing your favourite person.
So Gran sent Ben a special letter.
"My Dear Ben,
"I must see you, even if I have to cross
"the whole, wide world to do so.
"It'll probably take me a week.
"Expect to see me next Saturday just before teatime.
"Yippee!" cried Ben.
Mum helped Ben send a special e-mail to Gran.
"See you on Saturday at teatime."
Then Ben thought for a bit.
"I've got a lot to do to get ready for Gran," he said.
"It'll probably take me a week." So he set to work.
The next day was Sunday. Gran packed her bags.
She packed one umbrella, two sensible cardigans,
three red silk petticoats,
four fancy hats, five cats,
six picnic lunches
and seven large maps in case she got lost.
And Ben cut up lots of coloured paper
in the little red house.
On Monday, Gran set off from her tall, twisty house.
She hitched a lift on a wagon, roared through the forest
and crossed a rushing rocky river
on her way to see Ben.
Just then, in the little red house,
Ben found an old sheet.
"Can I have this for something special?" he asked Mum.
On Tuesday, Gran climbed a mountain, skied down the other side
and skated across a frozen lake on her way to see Ben.
And Ben glued and stuck and sploshed in the little red house.
On Wednesday, Gran flew an aeroplane, parachuted down to land
and crossed the desert on a camel on her way to see Ben.
The camel wasn't very helpful. Gran didn't get very far that day.
But in the little red house,
Ben got out his best paints and made rainbows.
On Thursday, Gran jumped from a motorbike
onto a motor boat and zoomed across the shining sea
on her way to see Ben.
The cats were all seasick, so Gran had to row.
It was a long, long way.
Back in the kitchen of the little red house,
Ben made a delicious sticky mess.
On Friday, Gran said,
"We must be there tomorrow. Ben is expecting us."
She studied the maps carefully.
Then she caught a tram, a bus,
a subway, a taxi
and a high-speed express train on her way to see Ben.
At last, in the little red house, Ben had finished being busy.
He was ready for Gran, so he went to bed.
On Saturday, Gran walked and walked on her way to see Ben,
and Ben looked out of the window of the little red house
and waited and waited for Gran.
Gran walked and walked.
Ben waited and waited.
Then finally, just before teatime,
Gran walked up to the front door
of the little red house and called out, "I'm here!"
And Gran wasn't over there any more, miles and miles and miles away,
but she really was over here with Ben.
And Ben thought that the little red house
with the rabbit and the cats and Gran at the tea table
was the best place to be in the whole, wide, wonderful world.
Did you enjoy that story?
I'm so glad that Ben and his Gran had tea together, aren't you?
I might invite my special friend round for tea.
I wonder if she'd come?
It's time to settle down now,
but I'll see you soon for another bedtime story.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd