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Penny Padoodle 01
The adventures of Penny Padoodle are based, loosely, on the real life adventures of a girl who wished to escape the national grid and plant trees. She was very concerned about the part she was playing, as a human being, in the destruction of the planet and she wanted to do something about it.
In The Beginning
Penny Padoodle lived on a boat. The boat was in a river which ran next to a field.
Penny Padoodle had bought the boat, and then half the field with some money her Granny had given her. She knew she was lucky. Not everybody has a Granny who can give them enough money to buy themselves a boat and half a field. However, Penny Padoodle was not just lucky. She was also clever enough to know that she was very very lucky indeed.
Penny Padoodle shared the field with Mr Nobody. Mr Nobody had helped Penny to buy the field. In fact, he was the other half owner of the field. But they didn't split it in two and draw a line. They simply owned it together. He owned half and Penny Padoodle owned half.
Mr Nobody had a boat too. It was quite like Penny's but just a bit longer. So they both lived in their boats on the Petite River next to their field.
The boats they had were called “narrow boats”. Narrow boats are long and narrow and usually made of steel. They are narrow because the canals in England aren't very wide. In some places they are only about 15 feet wide. That means that the boats can only be about 7 feet wide – so that they can pass each other at those narrow points. Narrow boats used to be made of wood and were pulled along by horses. Sometimes whole families lived on them as they carried coal or grain or timber from one place to another. The canals used to be the best way of carrying heavy goods around, but then they invented railways and suddenly the canals didn't seem such a good idea. They were too slow. The railways kept getting faster and faster and it was a lot easier to lay down some track than it was to dig a canal and keep it full of water.
So the canals came to be forgotten for a while, but then people discovered how nice it was to have floating holidays on them and suddenly the canals began to fill up with boats again. But these weren't horse drawn working boats any more. They were like floating caravans with their own little engines and propellers so holiday people could sit back and drink tea as the lovely scenery passed by.
to be continued....