Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Power of Tag!

Chapter 1: Naimrarian Tag Championships
Once there was a girl called Anika. She went to a brilliant school called Waimairi School. She had loads of friends, one of which was called Naima, who was 5 years older than her, but she was always monkeying around, and acting as if she was 5 herself.

Anika and Naima loved spending their Lunchtime and after school time playing tag. It was good when they played it after school, because then Anika’s two twin brothers (Louis and Matteo) would join in.

This is how to play ‘Anika’s Tag’
Make sure Naima Derrick is playing.
Everyone must chase after Naima.
Even if Naima is tagged, she is still the only one who is not ‘in’.
Naima never minded, because it was always fun playing ‘tag’ with Anika.

One day, after school, when they were playing tag with Louis and Matteo, Mrs. Pageot (Naima’s teacher and Anika, Louis and Matteo’s Mum) called them over to her.

“Hi Mum!” Anika squeaked. “What is it?”
“Hello, darling,” Mrs. Pageot said, giving Anika a cuddle. “I have some great news for all of you!”
“Yay!” Louis and Matteo jumped up and down excitedly.
“And bad news,” Mrs. Pageot added.
“Awwwww!” Louis and Matteo looked at the ground.
“Let's hear the good news first,” Naima said. “I'll be too happy about it to think about the bad news properly.”
“The good news is that there have been some Spies watching you play tag-” began Mrs. Pageot.
“Well that's totally not awkward,” Naima muttered. “Carry on, carry on.”
“-and you are in the Tag-Playing-Championships.”
“WOOOHOOO!!!” Naima yelled. “PARTY TIIIIME!!!” She started doing gangnam-style in the middle of the classroom.

When Naima had stopped dancing, Anika asked her Mum, “Where is it?”
“Which makes me come to the bad news,” Mrs. Pageot added. “It's in Naimraria, and we have no idea how to get there...”
“Ahem!!” Naima coughed loudly. “Are you saying going to Naimraria is bad news?!?”
“No, we just don't know how to get there-”
“Ahem!!” Naima coughed again. “Who is the Queen of Naimraria?”
“I have no idea,” Mrs. Pageot said. “Who is it?”
“I AM!!!” Naima yelled.
Mrs. Pageot frowned.
“Sorry,” Naima muttered.
“Anyway,” Anika said, ignoring the conversation that had just happened between Mrs. Pageot and Naima. “What is this tag champion thing-a-ma-bob?”
Mrs. Pageot took a clean, uncrumpled sheet of paper off the table. “Read this for the information.”
“I can't read this!” Anika said after five seconds of looking at the bit of paper.
“I'll read it,” Naima said, taking the paper.
She cleared her throat.

Naimrarian Tag Championships!
Naima Arena, Irisville, North Naimraria.
Monday, 6th June.

Team A. Roan, Sach, Mason.
Team B. Mrs. Pageot, Mrs. Bentall.
Team C. Naima, Anika, Louis, Matteo.

“Hey!” Naima yelled. “Sach, Mason and Roan are in it!”
“Who are they?” Anika asked.
“Mason is in my class, Roan and Sach are friends out of school!”
“Look, Mummy’s on it!” Matteo pointed.
“Mummy plays tag! Mummy plays tag!” Louis bounced up and down excitedly.
Anika and Naima stared at Mrs. Pageot.
“Uhh,” Mrs. Pageot muttered awkwardly. “Yeah, Heather, um, Mrs. Bentall and I do play tag a bit in our spare time...”
“Cool!” Anika said happily.
“Well, I can take us to Naimraria,” Naima said. “We can go now, and all of you guys can stay in the palace.”
“What about Mrs. Bentall, and your boyfriends?” Anika asked.
Naima frowned.
“Umm, friends?” Anika corrected herself.
“Yeah, I'll get them later,” Naima said dismissively. “Let's go to Naimraria!

Chapter 2: In the Naimrarian Palace.
“Wooow!” Anika said, staring up at the huge, glistening, orange-tinted palace.
“Orange, of course,” Mrs. Pageot laughed. “Typical, Naima, typical!”
“I'll show you the rooms,” Naima said.

“Louis! Matteo! Don't jump on the beds!” Mrs. Pageot told off the twins, who were jumping on their huge, King-sized bed with a feather-mattress and crimson bedsheets and pillows. 
“No, those beds are made for jumping on,” Naima said. “They're really strong and bouncy.”
“Oh, okay!” Mrs. Pageot said, as Anika ran onto the bed and started bouncing with her brothers.

“Anika, Mrs. Pageot, I'll show you your rooms. Louis, Matteo, make yourselves at home. Explore. It's a kind of palace you can't get lost in, nothing looks the same,” Naima said.
Anika and Mrs. Pageot followed Naima. Anika’s room was light, misty blue, with a silvery Queen-sized bed, again with a feather mattress. It even had every single Paw-Patrol soft toy and Paw-Patrol action figure, all sitting in a perfect row on a modern, glass table.

“Wooow!” Anika said (again).

Mrs. Pageot’s room was a bright, blinding, multi-coloured room, with ferns and lots and lots of potted plants.
“Oow, my eyes!” Mrs. Pageot groaned, shading her eyes. “I was hoping for a bright yellow room!”
“Sorry,” Naima said. She clicked her fingers. “This better?”
Mrs. Pageot gasped. When Naima clicked her fingers, the room turned a bright, Lemony-yellow. The bed had a white quilt with lemons on it and a yellow couch with yellow silk on top of it. It had white pot plants with little trees growing in them (lemon trees, of course)
“Now this is more like it!” Mrs. Pageot smiled.
Naima grinned.

“Do you have a vegetable garden?” Mrs. Pageot asked.
“Yes! Well, kinda,” Naima replied.
“What do you mean, ‘kinda’?” Mrs. Pageot wondered, her brow furrowed.
“I'll show you,” Naima said, as she lead Mrs. Pageot, Anika, Louis and Matteo outside, and toward a large garden patch with some large, broad bean-like plants growing in it. In fact, it looked just like a broad-bean plant, pods and all.
“This is a broad bean plant!” Mrs. Pageot exclaimed. “Explain why you said ‘kinda’?”
“Umm,” Naima mumbled, “they aren't broad beans. Open one of the pods.”
Anika walked up and tugged one of the pods. It still looked exactly like a normal broad bean pod. She split it open.
Out tumbled lots and lots of bright, colourful, hard objects. They were each about the size of a bumble-bee.
“They aren't broad beans,” Naima giggled. “They're jelly beans!”

After a day of fun, they went to sleep. They all had their own balconies as well, and Anika was standing on hers for a while. It was a warm night (as always in Naimraria), and the stars were twinkling, and their reflection was in the huge, deep swimming pool in the palace grounds.
Naima came up behind her.
“How do you like Naimraria?” she asked.
“Aah!” Anika jumped. “You scared me!!!”
“Sorry,” Naima apologised. “How do you like Naimraria?” she asked again.
“It's great!” Anika exclaimed. “Just one thing missing.”
“What's that?” Naima asked.
“Where's Paw Patrol?”

“Well, two more days until the Tag Championships!” Mrs. Pageot said over breakfast.
It was Saturday, 4th of June. It was a very late breakfast they were having, since it was 10:00.
“What's the latest breakfast you've ever had?” Anika asked Naima.
“Oh, only about one in the afternoon.” Naima replied, as if it was something totally normal.
They all stared. Naima began on another lemon-and-sugar covered pancake.
“What?” she asked.
“Never mind,” Anika mumbled, spooning more Supa-Dupa Nom-Nom Crunchies (a very popular Naimrarian breakfast cereal) into her mouth.
Louis and Matteo were having a bowl of Naimafruit (a really delicious Naimrarian fruit. It's soft and squishy and juicy, really sweet and tangy, the colour of a watermelon, tastes a bit like a mango, but it dribbles everywhere!). Mrs. Pageot was eating waffles with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and blueberries and chopped-up Naimafruit.
“Hey, I have a joke!” Naima said.
“What is it?” Mrs. Pageot asked.
“Everyone is a serial killer,” Naima began.
Everyone in the table at once felt extremely uncomfortable.
“Everyone kills breakfast cereal by eating it! Cereal-killers? Get it?” Naima laughed.
“But isn't cereal dead already?” Anika asked.
“Cereal isn't even alive!” Mrs. Pageot agreed.
“Yeah, I guess I didn't think of that,” Naima mumbled, and everyone laughed.
“Louis, I wanna go to the jelly bean plant!” Matteo babbled.
“Yay, jelly beans! Jelly beans!” Louis squealed.

Chapter 3: The Game of Tag
They were all at the Naimrarian Arena. They were going to play in 10 minutes.
“I feel like an all-black,” Mrs. Pageot laughed.
“I feel like I'm going to play Hunger Games,” Naima replied.
“Look, the other team is here!” Anika pointed. They all saw Mason, Roan and Sach walking up to them.
“Hi Sach!” Naima went up and hugged Sach. (Did I mention Naima and Sach are best friends?)
“Hi!” Sach exclaimed. “I really like Irisville. When are you coming to Sachi World?”
“Soon, very soon!” Naima laughed.
Just then Mrs. Bentall arrived. She and Mrs. Pageot gave each other a hug. Naima heard Mrs. Bentall whisper, “We're gonna win this!”

“One minute ‘till it starts,” Roan looked at his watch.
“Wait,” Naima asked Mrs. Pageot, “Let's look at that notice again!”
“What's the prize?”
Mrs. Pageot looked. “Umm, a golden medal shaped like a hand.”
Suddenly a huge voice echoed through the arena. “ALL CONTESTANTS MUST ENTER THE NAIMA ARENA.” 
“Uuhhhhh, I'm scared!” Anika squeaked.
“C’mon, we can do it!” Naima said, taking her hand. “Just remember to play tag the proper way, not our way. We can do this!”

“I can't do thiiiisssss!!!” Naima groaned, 30 seconds later. The arena had fake turf all over it, and some plastic trees with plastic leaves.
“Louis and Matteo were jumping on each other, and pointing cheekily at Mrs. Pageot, giggling, “Let's tag Mummy first!”
The voice boomed, “5! 4! 3! 2! 1! TAG!!!”
Louis and Matteo at once toddled off toward Mrs. Pageot, and when she saw them, she started sprinting off, waving her arms and screaming “Heeeelp!!!” Naima and Anika were rolling on the ground, wiping tears of laughter from their eyes. It was so funny to see a teacher (and a Mum) running away from her own cheeky, giggling toddlers.

Unfortunately for Mrs. Pageot, she wasn't looking where she was going, and she sprinted right into one of the artificial trees. SMACK.
You could very faintly see a circle of stars spinning around her head. “Ow!” She muttered indignantly.

She saw Louis and Matteo’s grinning faces staring down at her. They both tagged her at the same time. “Tag!” they said triumphantly.
Just then Mrs. Bentall leapt over, and both tapped Louis and Matteo’s shoulders. “Tag!” she laughed.
“Aww!” Louis grizzled. “I don't want to be tagged!”
“It's okay,” Mrs. Pageot smiled. “I packed some sweets and some Naimafruit. Since all three of us are out, we may as well sit down and eat them, and all the others are running around stressing themselves about a mere game of tag.”
“Yay, Naimafruit!” Matteo laughed excitedly.

Chapter 4: A Surprise for Anika
Naima ran towards a tree. She clambered up it, hoping she could jump out on top of someone, hidden by the plastic leaves. When she got up, she didn't notice Sach was sitting in it as well.
“Hey! This is my tree!” he grumbled.
“It's my tree just as much as it’s yours!” Naima muttered. They both forgot to tag each other.
Just then Mason came along, and Naima had a devilish idea. She grabbed a pen and paper from her pocket and wrote a little note on it. Then she snapped off a stick (fake, of course) and tied the note onto it. Then she threw the stick at Mason.
“Ouch! Who threw that-?” Mason yelled (a bit loudly). He looked at the note. In Naima’s unmistakable messy handwriting,
“Hey!” Mason yelled, looking up in the tree. “That doesn't count!”
“Aww,” Naima mumbled.
Suddenly Roan came along and saw them. “Hey! Look at those two!” he laughed. Then he started chanting,
“Naima and Sachi in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-”
“You have no idea how many times we've heard that stupid song,” Naima mumbled. Then she pushed Sach out of the tree, mumbling, “Tag!”
Sach wandered off to sit with Louis, Matteo and Mrs. Pageot to eat some lollies.

Suddenly Mrs. Bentall sneaked up, and tagged Roan. “Tag!”
“Hey!” Roan grumbled. “I wanted to win!”
“Everybody wants to win,” Mason laughed, and tagged Mrs. Bentall.
“Well done, Mason!” Mrs. Bentall laughed. (It's strange how adults think it's funny when they get tagged, and kids almost always complain.)

Mason forgot all about Naima (who was still watching from the tree), and ran off to try and tag Anika. Five minutes later he was running away, and sprinting behind him was Anika.
Mason leapt up into the tree out of Anika’s reach. He panted for breath. Then pushed Naima out of the tree, breathing, “Tag!”
Naima skulked off to join everyone else, muttering something about being Queen and how Mason should be disqualified. 

Anika and Mason were the only people left. “Um,” Anika muttered awkwardly. “Paper-scissors-rock?”
“Pffft! Do you even know how to play tag?!?” Mason laughed in a big, evil voice.
Naima (who was watching from the side) mumbled, “Mason seems different...”
“Stop right there!” came a voice.
A gasp echoed through the small crowd of people (everybody who had been tagged earlier). Anika turned around and grinned. There, standing dramatically, was a German Shepherd dog wearing a police outfit.
“Chase!” Anika squeaked excitedly.

“Hello, Anika! How are you?” Chase smiled.
Suddenly many other dogs appeared behind him.
“Everest! Zuma! Rocky! Everyone's here!” Anika squealed.
“It would be good if it was her birthday today,” Mrs. Pageot mumbled.
“NOTHING WILL STOP MEEEEE!!!” Mason screamed.
Everyone stared at him. Then they burst out laughing. Mason’s freckled face turned bright red, then he fled out of the arena.

“Anika, I am proud to present to you; the Tag Championships Award!” Chase woofed.
“Thank you!” Anika beamed.
Everyone clapped. Louis and Matteo bounced up and down yelling, “Big sister won! Big sister won!” The Paw Patrol all barked in unison.
“I don't need an award!” Anika grinned. “I've finally met Paw Patrol!

Back at Waimairi School, Anika, Naima, Louis and Matteo were playing tag. It was Anika’s version. It was after school, the perfect time for playing tag.

Just then, Mrs. Pageot called them over to her… 

The End

By Naima Derrick
Dedicated to Mrs. Pageot, Anika, Louis, Matteo, Mrs. Bentall, Sach, Mason and Roan! (Wow, that's a lot of people!!!)


  1. I loved this story. You have hit the nail on the head when it comes to describing the characters in this story, and you do it with a lot of kind humour too. I'd love you to post the illustrations that go with the story, they are magic. We (Anika, Matteo, Louis and I) will look back on this and say how lucky we are to be the subjects of one of your original pieces... with a dedication from the esteemed author/illustrator Naima Derrick! x Mrs P

  2. This story is really cool. I really like how Mason got all cocky and said that he would win but no, apparently not. And I wish that jelly bean plant existed on earth (so sad)! The way you described 'Anika Tag' was definantly a perfect description.

  3. I have continually loved to read your stories. They bring me joy and happiness. And your right they are really are so funny. You are a incredible author. I believe this story I can connect with beacause you are always talking about your world naimairia in a good way. I also know Anika and yes she is a bit ruff and tumble some times but she loves paw patrol my sisters do to. So Thank you for looking after my day.
    From your friend