Amphora Teacup Travels


Amphora

Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Charlotte and the Adventure of the Roman Amphora. A merchant in ancient Rome mixes up an important order on her first day at work.


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Transcript


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'Here they come, my two intrepid explorers,

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'Charlotte and Elliott.

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'I'm their Great Aunt Lizzie, you see.

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'And, 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 from an epic adventurer.'

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TAPPING

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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 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...

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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 amphora.

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What a choice, Charlotte.

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I do really love that story.

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This will be just perfect to drink now.

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So...

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-are you ready?

-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 Roman amphora.

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A-hem!

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Oh, yes, of course!

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Let me tell you the story of CHARLOTTE

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and the adventure of the Roman amphora.

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It all began long ago, 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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BIRDS CHEEP

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It was a fresh, bright spring morning

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when Charlotte arrived in the imperial city of Rome.

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Away from the towering marble columns and beautiful statues,

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Charlotte went to explore the cool, narrow backstreets,

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where the traders sold their wares.

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Along a quiet lane, a young woman called Fortuna

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had a stall full of giant carrot-shaped pots.

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If you're looking for the finest fish in olive oil,

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-you came to the right place.

-How do you know this is fish?

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-There are no labels.

-Ah! My dad showed me how do that.

-Oh?

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Give it a tap and listen to the sound. Simple.

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HOLLOW TAP, DULL TAP

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So, what's in these?

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Er...

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this is preserved fish and this is apple juice.

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Are you sure?

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Yeah.

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DULL TAP

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-This definitely has fish in it.

-OK. I'll buy it.

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An amphora of fish in oil.

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This should keep Cook happy.

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She's always accusing me of

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bringing the wrong ingredients from the market.

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Well...not this time!

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Can I get you anything else?

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No, thanks. I'm going to the rug seller at the end of the market.

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-Nice doing business with you.

-Thanks.

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Nobody noticed the pot was leaking.

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Hello. That's a really clever trick.

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Thank you. My dad taught me.

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It's all about the sound.

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-HOLLOW TAP

-Juice.

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-DULL TAP

-Fish.

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-DULL TAP

-Fish.

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-HOLLOW TAP

-Juice.

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That's amazing!

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It never fails.

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See?

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Juice.

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Fish?

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If I thought the fish was juice and the juice was fish...

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-You must have given juice...

-..to the young man who wanted fish!

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My first day and I've got everything muddled up!

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My dad won't be happy with me. I can't leave here

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until he's back. What am I going to do?

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I could warn the young man about the mix-up.

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I'm sure he'd understand.

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That would be great, because I am in a mess.

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Tell you what, why don't you swap the unlabelled one for this one?

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This definitely has fish in it.

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You could draw a picture of a fish on the fish ones

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and an apple on the juice ones.

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That way you'd never get mixed up.

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Charlotte was sure she could wrap this problem up in no time.

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-Phew! This is really heavy!

-Yeah, sorry.

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He said he was going to the rug seller.

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-Do you know where that is?

-At the far end of the market.

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Don't worry. I'll find him. See you soon. Bye!

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She went straight to the rug seller's shop.

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The long street seemed to be deserted and she started to worry

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she may have missed Lucius, but just then she heard a voice.

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-No, no, no!

-It was him.

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What do you mean you haven't finished it? How long will it take?

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Let me see. Er...

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Six feet long by three feet wide.

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-I think maybe two hours.

-Two hours?

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-Can't you be any quicker?

-No. It's a lot of work.

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Two hours it is, then.

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-It will give you a chance to clean your tunic.

-What?

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That one is a mess.

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Oh, no!

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That amphora must've sprung a leak!

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Those fish smell like apples.

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-Excuse me?

-Yes.

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Fortuna, the young woman who sold you fish,

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wanted me to warn you there might be a problem.

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You're telling me. It's leaked all over my tunic!

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Er, no. That's not the problem.

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She thinks she may have given you apple juice instead of fish.

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Oh, great(!) Can this day get any worse?

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Charlotte knew she couldn't do anything about the tunic,

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but she thought swapping the amphora would be a piece of cake.

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All we have to do is swap the leaky apple juice one

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with one I've brought full of fish.

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But, of course, it was never going to be as simple as that.

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But I don't have the amphora any more.

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Cook was heading home early, so I gave it to her.

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Charlotte wondered how things had got so complicated.

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She'd tried to help Fortuna by catching Lucius up

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to let him know that his amphora had juice instead of fish.

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She'd even taken a replacement.

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Phew! This is really heavy!

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But by the time she'd found him at the rug seller's,

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he was covered in juice from the leaky amphora.

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Oh, no!

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Worse still, Cook had whisked it away to the villa on the hills.

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What was Charlotte going to do?

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She had to find a way to swap the amphora, didn't she?

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There was nothing else for it, but to set off

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to find the cook and swap that amphora.

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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, until there,

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among the olive groves, was a beautiful Roman villa.

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But there was no time to admire the view.

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Charlotte had an amphora to deliver.

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She could hear the clang and clatter of the busy kitchen.

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At the back door, she spotted a cook preparing lunch.

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Hello, you must be the cook.

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I'm afraid there's been a mix-up over the amphora at the market.

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What is that boy like?

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Lucius makes mistakes all the time.

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It wasn't his fault. The stallholder made the mistake.

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She got the amphoras mixed up.

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I'll tell him not to go back there,

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-if they don't know what they're selling.

-But it was her first day.

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I'm sure she'll get better at telling them apart

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and she gave me a replacement amphora to give to you.

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The cook was suspicious about Charlotte coming all that way

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just to replace an amphora.

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She wondered if it was some kind of trick.

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No.

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I don't think I need another one, thank you.

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I'm sure the one from the market will do just fine.

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-Maybe you could just check th...

-I am not going to break open

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a new amphora of fish just to check if you're telling me the truth.

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But of course it wasn't fish.

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Charlotte knew that the cook was making a mistake.

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But how could she get her to understand?

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Then she had an idea.

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DULL TAP

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HOLLOW TAP

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I may not be able to tell you what's in it,

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but I can tell if it's empty or not.

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Empty?

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Yes, it had a leak.

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It must have all leaked out on the way here.

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HOLLOW TAP

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See?

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Oh, no. You're right.

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But I've got a replacement full of fish right here.

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Thank you. And can you thank the stallholder for me?

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Of course. And I'll take this one back to Fortuna at the stall.

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And, with that, Charlotte packed the empty amphora

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into her backpack and set off to Rome.

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Bye!

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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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She returned to the quiet backstreet,

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where Fortuna was busy labelling amphoras on her stall.

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Fortuna! Guess what I've got?

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-Oh, good news, I hope.

-Yes.

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I managed to find the amphora you sold to Lucius

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and swap it with the fish one he wanted.

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Oh! Thank you, Charlotte.

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I was worried Lucius would have got in trouble

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for buying the wrong thing.

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I explained to the cook that it was your first day.

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Unfortunately, the amphora you gave them also had a leak.

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Oh, dear.

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All my hitting them with sticks must have loosened the lid.

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Thank goodness I've got another.

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And I definitely know what this is. Labels? Such a good idea!

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What do you say we have a lovely cup of apple juice?

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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 Roman amphora.

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I liked the part where I proved it was empty

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by tapping it with a stick.

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Empty as an old tin, as it turned out.

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Those amphoras were so heavy, even when they were empty.

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Can you imagine carrying your lunch

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-to school in one of those heavy things?

-No, thank you.

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Well, I never! Is that the time, already?

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Come on!

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Your mum will be here in a minute.

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Your coat.

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Now, how did that get there?

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Home time now, Charlotte.

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Thanks, 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 Roman Amphora. A muddled merchant in ancient Rome mixes up an important order on her first day at work. Charlotte goes on an epic quest to deliver the correct ingredients to an impatient cook.


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