Mortarium Teacup Travels


Mortarium

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Transcript


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Here they come, my two intrepid explorers.

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Charlotte and Elliot.

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I'm their Great Aunt Lizzie, you see.

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I wonder which one is coming to see me today.

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Ah, so it's Charlotte's turn.

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Here she comes,

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racing to hear another tale

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from an epic adventurer.

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TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP!

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And what wonderful adventures they were,

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so long ago and so far away.

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I collected a few souvenirs along the way.

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But my most precious possession of all

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is my extraordinary collection

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of teacups.

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You've still got your coat on, Charlotte. Come on.

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No time to count the clouds, we've got stories to tell.

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Now, let's have a lovely cup of tea.

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But first we need...

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The teacup.

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Which one?

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That one.

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Ooh.

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The Roman Mortarium.

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What a choice, Charlotte.

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I do really love that story.

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This should be just perfect to drink now.

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So, are you ready?

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Ready.

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Then let me tell you the story

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of Great Aunt Lizzie

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And The Adventure Of The Magnificent Mortarium.

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A-ahem.

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Oh, yes, of course.

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-Let me tell you the story of Charlotte...

-Hee-hee!

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And The Adventure Of The Magnificent Mortarium.

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It all begun long ago

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in an ancient empire

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where towns and cities of marble and gold

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nestled among the hills and fields

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in a land we now call Italy.

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After journeying for weeks over this beautiful land,

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Charlotte arrived one cool morning

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on the outskirts of an elegant town.

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She soon found herself in front of a grand building

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with an even grander entrance behind a row of marble columns.

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From the doorway came the sound of singing

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MAN HUMS

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Charlotte decided to have a closer look...

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HUMMING CONTINUES

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..until she saw a young priest

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working away at a large pile of pistachio nuts,

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muttering to himself.

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There are just so many. Two hours, I've been at it,

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and it looks like I've only just started.

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I'll never get out into the sunshine at this rate.

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Charlotte felt straight away that she had to help the priest

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with the mammoth task ahead.

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Excuse me, would you like me to help you?

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-Can you shell pistachio nuts?

-I can if you show me how.

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Charlotte joined him.

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And he showed her what to do.

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-Like this?

-That's right.

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Then you put the nut in the pile

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and the shells in the pot.

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Now only 9,999 to go.

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What are all these nuts for?

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For the priest's special supper tomorrow night.

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They always have pistachio nut tart for dessert, which they love.

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I do, too, but it takes so long to make.

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Maybe we could sing a song to pass time.

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I only sing religious songs in here.

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But my mum used to recite a poem to me and my sister when we were little

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to try and get us to sleep.

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It was called The Moon Is In The Mountain.

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How does it go?

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The moon is in the mountain,

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the sun is in the sky,

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the wind is east

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and the clouds are passing by.

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-That's lovely.

-I'll teach it to you if you like?

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-BOTH:

-The moon is in the mountain,

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the sun is in the sky...

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..the wind is east and the clouds are passing by.

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-BOTH:

-The moon is in the mountain

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the sun is in the sky...

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And before long, they'd finished shelling

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the huge pile of pistachios.

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-We did it!

-We did!

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Maybe we will get out in the sun after all.

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If you throw the shells away over there, I'll sort the nuts out.

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As Charlotte went to get rid of the shells,

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an older priest called Septimus arrived

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to see how Rufus had been getting on.

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Well done, Rufus.

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Rufus showed him the pile of freshly shelled pistachio nuts.

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-Now all you need to do is to grind them up.

-Really?

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The best way to do it is to crush them between two spoons.

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See?

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But that will take ages and ages.

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You'd better get started then,

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so they're ready for the making of the nut tart tomorrow?

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Septimus left

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and Charlotte went back to join the rather miserable Rufus.

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I'll never get all these nuts ground up by tomorrow night.

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Of course we will.

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We'll ground them together.

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Come on, it won't take that long.

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But grinding the nuts between two spoons

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wasn't as easy or quick as she thought.

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It was going to take a month to crush them all at that rate.

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I wish we had a mortarium like my mum has.

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-That'd make things much easier.

-A mortarium?

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Yes. It's a small bowl you grind things in.

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It makes it quicker and stops the nuts getting everywhere.

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Maybe we could borrow it from her?

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Maybe. She only lives up the road.

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But I'm not allowed out of the temple to get it.

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Then Charlotte had one of her brilliant ideas.

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I could go and get it for you!

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Great.

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I'll be as quick as I can.

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Charlotte thought that collecting the mortarium

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would be a piece of cake.

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But, of course, it was NEVER

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going to be as easy as that.

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KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

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She arrived at Rufus' mum's house.

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But when she knocked, there was no reply.

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She was just about to leave

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when she heard a voice from behind her.

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Hello, my deary.

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-Can I help you?

-I'm Charlotte.

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I've got a message from Rufus.

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Oh, Rufus, my lovely son.

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-How is he?

-He's fine.

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He told me about the mortarium and asked if he could borrow it.

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-My mortarium?

-Yes.

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He needs to grind pistachio nuts

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to make a nut tart for the priests' special supper tomorrow night.

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Oh, but I haven't got it. I lent it to my daughter.

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Maybe I could borrow it from her.

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You could, but she's in Rome.

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Rome?

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She'd only just left Rufus

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and already everything was all over the place.

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She'd done her best to help shell the nuts.

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She'd tried to help him grind them but without much success.

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She'd thought that borrowing the mortarium from Rufus' mum

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would be as easy as winking.

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She couldn't go back to Rufus without the mortarium, could she?

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There was nothing else for it but to hotfoot it to Rome.

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to Rufus' sister's house.

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So, off went Charlotte in her old battered boots.

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She scrambled up the rugged mountain paths until,

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when she was almost out of breath,

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the path ran out.

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There was only one way to get to the other side.

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Charlotte took a deep breath.

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Safely across, she set off once more

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until there, before her,

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was the magnificent city of Rome.

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There wasn't a minute to gaze in wonder.

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Charlotte had to get that mortarium.

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Charlotte heard the sound of footsteps,

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so she knocked politely on the door.

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KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

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It was opened by Rufus' sister, Camilla.

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Hello. Can I help you?

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I'm Charlotte and I've got a message from Rufus.

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He asked if he could borrow the mortarium.

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-The mortarium?

-Yes.

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He needs it to grind some pistachio nuts

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-for the priests' special supper tomorrow night.

-Oh. Hang on.

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Charlotte was delighted,

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but when Rufus' sister came back holding the mortarium,

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she looked a little suspicious.

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Just a minute.

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How do I know you know Rufus? You could be anyone.

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I could give you my mum's mortarium and never see it again.

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Charlotte was flummoxed.

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-Then suddenly she remembered...

-The poem!

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Rufus' sister wasn't sure what poem Charlotte meant.

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Until Charlotte started reciting.

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The moon is in the mountain

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The sun is in the sky

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The wind is east...

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-BOTH:

-..and the clouds are passing by.

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Rufus and I used to love that poem when we were little.

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He must've sent you.

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-Here, you take the mortarium.

-Thank you.

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Finally, Charlotte had the mortarium.

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It was very like a bowl,

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except it had a spout to one side

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to pour out whatever you'd ground up.

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It was MUCH heavier than it looked.

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She put it carefully into her bag.

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Send him my love.

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-And tell him to keep saying the poem.

-I will.

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-Bye.

-Bye. Thanks.

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Back came Charlotte in her old battered boots,

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over the plains and down the mountainside.

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I felt like a very long journey indeed

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as Charlotte ran straight back into the temple.

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-I've got the mortarium!

-Ssh!

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-They're making an offering.

-Sorry.

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(I've got the mortarium.)

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If we start now,

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we should be able to grind all the nuts

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-and still have time to go outside in the gardens.

-Great.

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-Start grinding.

-Yes, let's.

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And that was that. The whole kit and caboodle.

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Charlotte And The Adventure Of The Magnificent Mortarium.

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-Rufus had SO much to do.

-He did. But you helped him.

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I liked the poem -

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The moon is in the mountain And the sun is in the sky...

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..The wind is east And the clouds are passing by.

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I think we've got a mortarium at home.

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We call them mortars now, but they're exactly the same.

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Well, I never! Is that the time already?

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Come on. Your mum will be here in a minute.

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Your coat.

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How did that get there?

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Home time now, Charlotte.

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Bye, Great Aunt Lizzie.

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Cheery-bye, Charlotte.

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Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Charlotte and the Adventure of the Magnificent Mortarium. A monk in ancient Rome is running out of time to prepare a special meal for the priests. Charlotte goes on an epic quest for a mortarium and pestle.


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