Pig Rattle Teacup Travels


Pig Rattle

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Here they come, my two intrepid explorers,

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Charlotte and Lokesh.

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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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Off you go.

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Ah, so it's Charlotte.

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-Hello, Charlotte.

-Hello, Great Aunt Lizzie.

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Once upon a time I travelled the world,

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discovering treasures from long ago and far away

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and no end of stories to remind me.

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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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Here we are.

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No time to count the clouds.

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Let's have a nice cup of tea and a story.

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But first, we need the teacup.

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But which one?

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That one.

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Ah.

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The baby's rattle. What a sweet choice, Charlotte.

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A baby's rattle? I thought it was just a pig.

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Well, you know what they say, you can never judge a pig

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by its teacup! CHARLOTTE GIGGLES

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This little pig is also a baby's rattle and a lucky one to boot.

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He has quite a tale to tell.

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So shall I tell you the story

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of Charlotte and the adventure of the pig-shaped rattle?

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Yes, please.

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The story began long, long ago in ancient Greece

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where sleepy little villages hid between mighty mountain ranges.

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The hills were wrapped in bright green pine trees

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and the air was sweet with the smell of olives.

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Far from the sea, the air was still

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and the summer sun burned like a fireball in the sky.

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Charlotte followed a path down among the trees,

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looking for a spot of shade to rest.

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And out of nowhere two wealthy travellers,

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or Aristoi to the ancient Greeks, came into view.

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What were this grand pair doing so far from the city?

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-BIRD CAWS

-Ugh! Oh!

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Oh, Manos, it's just a bird.

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There really is nothing to be afraid of.

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I'm not afraid, just cautious.

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Anything can happen so far outside the city walls.

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Nothing is going to happen,

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-especially if we keep stopping every few yards.

-Ah!

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Oh, do get up.

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I can't, Ariadne.

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I'm burning up.

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Feel my head.

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It is not natural carrying all these things in this heat.

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Your servant does it all the time.

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That's right, he does. Well, perhaps we should send for him.

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-I'm sure he's feeling much better now.

-No, we're almost there.

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Hayley's place is just around the corner.

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-I don't know why they didn't come visit us.

-Shame on you, Manos.

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You would have your daughter travel so far after giving birth?

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Oh, they say that children should be well travelled, right?

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This is our first grandchild.

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You can complain all you like, I'm not waiting any longer.

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Ariadne, look at me. I'm melting.

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Do you really want to be married to a puddle?

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Luckily Charlotte had an idea.

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Excuse me, I hope you don't mind,

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-but I notice you were having trouble with the heat.

-Trouble?

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I'm being roasted like a festival pig.

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HE SIGHS

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My hat protects my head from the sun.

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Maybe if you covered your head, it would keep you cool.

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Do you think that would work?

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Hmm.

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Thank you, and please do forgive my husband,

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he's not used to travelling or carrying things for himself.

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-Much better.

-THEY GIGGLE

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Now, come on. We will be there in a couple of minutes.

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Thanks again.

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Bye.

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But as they left,

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Charlotte saw something on the ground.

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It looked like a cheerful, little, orange pig.

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Was it for the baby?

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But when she looked up, they were gone.

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Wait!

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Why didn't you tell me you were coming?

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-I wanted it to be a surprise.

-It is.

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It's the most wonderful surprise.

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Please come inside. I have a surprise of my own for you.

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Would you look out the baby's gift and bring it in, please?

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Are you looking for this?

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Ah, the baby's rattle.

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Thank you. I thought I'd left this in the city.

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I think you unpacked it when you were making your hat.

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That's the second time you've rescued me today.

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I think you're luckier than this little pig.

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-I didn't know pigs were lucky.

-Very.

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Look, what good fortune he's brought you.

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Thank you, but I have everything I need in my backpack.

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Oh, well, keep this until you don't.

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My sincerest thanks.

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Manos, you won't believe it! Hayley has twins.

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-A baby boy and a baby girl.

-Double trouble!

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In one day, we have gained a grandson and a granddaughter.

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What did I tell you? Good luck all round.

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-Oh, no, the gift.

-What about it?

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We only have one.

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-Perhaps you could bring another one next time?

-Next time?

-No.

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The pig brings the baby good luck and good harvest.

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We can't give it to one and not the other, it wouldn't be fair.

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We won't find one around here and if we go back to the city,

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we'll miss out on our whole day with the new babies.

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All that time away from our daughter.

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-I just want everything to be perfect.

-What a puzzle.

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Could two babies share the one rattle?

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If ever there was a problem that needed solving it was this.

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That's the best one yet, Charlotte, if I may say so.

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Thanks, Great Aunt Lizzie.

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Do you think if Charlotte went in the city

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she'd be able to find a pig rattle exactly the same?

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Well, who can say?

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But it would be a very long journey on a hot day.

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-Rattles stop babies crying...

-Sometimes.

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..so they could manage with one rattle

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and hope the babies didn't cry at the same time.

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That sounds like a risky business. If they had to share the rattle,

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they might have to share the good luck, too.

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I don't think babies know how to share straightaway.

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-You have a point there.

-So that's that then.

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I think you're right. If the rattles were exactly the same,

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Charlotte couldn't have one baby treated more special, could she?

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So off went Charlotte in her hat, bag, and boots...

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..marching through the olive groves...

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..and up the dusty mountains.

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When she was almost out of breath 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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At last, it appeared,

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the most magnificent white marble city

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shining on the horizon.

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But Charlotte had no time to stop and stare.

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She had to find that rattle.

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A sign caught Charlotte's eye.

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The lettering was all Greek,

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but there was no mistaking the crafty smile of the lucky pig.

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This had to be the toy shop.

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What do you think?

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Isn't she the most beautiful woman in all of Greece?

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-Possibly, but I need a pig.

-Hm, suit yourself.

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-A pig-shaped rattle to be exact.

-Ah!

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So it is good luck and a long harvest you're in the market for?

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How about this little fella?

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HE SNORTS

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Yes, that's it. Perfect.

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I never thought I'd find one exactly the same.

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He is a special little piggy.

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What would you like to offer in trade for him?

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Oh, dear. Charlotte hadn't thought of that.

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Um, I don't have anything.

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Ah. Well, you know what we say in this city -

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no pennies, no pig.

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But then she remembered.

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Hold on.

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What about the coin that Manos had given her?

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That will do very nicely.

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I hope your pig brings the infant as much luck as he brought me.

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Me too. I'd better get back there. Thank you. Bye.

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Back came Charlotte in her hat, bag and boots,

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down the dusty mountains

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and through the olive groves.

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BABY CRIES

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Manos and Ariadne were exactly where Charlotte had left them

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outside Hayley's hut,

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only now each was holding a rather precious little bundle.

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And then there were two.

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Oh, look, Alexis.

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The kindest explorer in the whole world has brought you a gift

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-all the way from the city.

-Oh, what's that?

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Is that your little piggy?

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Oh, you brought them rattles. They're perfect. How thoughtful.

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Well, actually we only brought one,

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but our new friend very kindly went back to the city to fetch another.

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In this weather? You must be exhausted!

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Please say you'll join us for supper.

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If you're sure you'll have enough.

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These days I've learned to prepare for more people than expected!

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May I?

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And that was that, the whole kit and caboodle.

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The story of Charlotte and the pig-shaped baby's rattle.

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And finally both babies got a special surprise.

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Not as much of a surprise as the grandparents.

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I think even with twins, each child is one of a kind.

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I couldn't have put it better myself.

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Do you think Manos had a good day in the end?

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Yes, I'm sure he thought the journey was well worth it.

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Goodness me, is that the time?

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All this chatter, the day almost snuck away from us.

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How did that get there?

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Home time, Charlotte.

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-Thanks, Great Aunt Lizzie.

-Cheerie-bye, Charlotte. ALL:

-Bye.

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Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Charlotte and the Adventure of the Pig-Shaped Rattle. In the blazing heat of the Greek summer, Charlotte meets a couple from Aristoi journeying to their daughter's house in the country with a gift for a new baby. However, there is trouble in store leading Charlotte to go on an epic trek to help the family with their new arrival.


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