Peter And The King’s Teapot

Peter And The King’s Teapot

“Thanks Lady,” said Peter, munching the apple which had just given to him by the market stallholder.

“Any time, Peter,” replied the Lady with a smile on her face. “You’re always welcome.”

Like everybody else in the little village of Leapington, she was fond Peter. Just the previous summer, Peter had suddenly turned up in the village. Nobody knew where he came from, or why he had chosen their village as his home.

Peter always had a smile on his face, and could bring brightness to any dull day. Also Peter could mend things. It did not matter what it was, Peter could fix it.

In fact, the children in Leapington had a song about Peter:

With a smile and a song he’ll mend it.
If your clock won’t go, if your cock won’t crow,
If your glowworm won’t glow, get Peter.
If your kettle’s got a hole, your garden’s got a mole,
If your shoe’s lost its sole, get Peter.
If it goes wrong, it won’t take long.

If it goes wrong, it won’t take long,
With a smile and a song he’ll mend it.

If you’re feeling rather sick, if your back has got a crick,
If your watch, it doesn’t tick, get Peter.
Your soufflé
s all flat, there’s a hole in your hat,
Or you just can’t find your cat, get Peter.

If it goes wrong, it won’t take long,
With a smile and a song he’ll mend it.

The children used to make up different rhymes about what Peter could do. Though not all were true, Peter did have a knack of being able to fix things.

Peter lived in an old blacksmith’s cottage on the edge of the forest. The land around the cottage was covered by so many pieces of old broken pots which had been left by a previous blacksmith. The people in the village called it `Saucepan Hill’. The village accepted Peter, if not as a new blacksmith, as the person who could fix things.

One day, unknown to the people of Leapington, the King and his entourage were out hunting in the forest. It had been a very hot and dusty day, without a single animal being caught. This, the King didn’t really mind, as he was not that fond of hunting, but it was part of the job of being King.

“Enough!” decided the King, picking the twigs and leaves out of his hair, after another fruitless dash through the forest. “I want a cup of tea!”

“Certainly, your majesty,” replied the weaselly Prime Minister. “We will set up your royal tent over by that stream.”

Soon there was much to-ing and fro-ing in the forest. The royal tent was set up and the royal fire was lit. After several minutes, the royal kettle was boiling on the royal fire. The King sat relaxing on his royal throne in the royal tent, waiting for the royal cup of tea.

All was prepared, but when the water was poured into the royal teapot, calamity! As fast as the water was poured into the teapot, it leaked out again. All of the courtiers tried the best they could to fix the hole in the pot, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, the King was getting very fed up. His royal face was growing redder under his royal wig. He started shouting for all to hear:

Call out the army, call out the guard,
Call all the courtiers in the courtyard.
Call out the wizards with their book of spells,

Summon the royal chef, summon the cook,
Get all the royal spies to come take a look,
Get all the King’s horses and all the King’s men.

Everybody dashed round and round the campsite, not knowing what to do, but not wanting the King to think they were doing nothing.

Meanwhile, the King getting into a royal temper, shouted even louder:

Send out a message throughout the land.
Promise them riches or my daughter’s hand.
Just mend my teapot, as good as new.

The last bit about the hand of the King’s daughter in marriage was not really correct, as the King did not have a daughter, but he thought it sounded good.

Soon people came from far and wide to try and mend the King’s teapot. Wizards waved magic wands and muttered strange spells, but the only thing they managed to do was to change one poor courtier into a frog.

Blacksmiths tried to fix patches on the teapot, but the water still poured out of the hole.

Tricksters tried to fool the King, attempting to switch the teapot with a new one. However, after one sip of tea, the King knew by the taste that it was not the royal teapot. And tricksters learnt of the royal jail!

Though many tried, no one could mend the teapot.

At last, a page at the King’s court mentioned a young man who lived in Leapington who, it was said, had the knack of mending things.

The King, who by this time was absolutely gasping for a cup of tea, ordered the whole court to follow him and find this boy called Peter.

They say he can fix most anything,
From a baby’s rattle to a broken wing.
To mend the teapot, he’s the one,
Peter the boy from Leapington.

At last, they reached the village of Leapington, where all the villagers came out to direct the King and his party to where Peter lived.

Peter was surprised when he opened the door, not only to see the entire village outside, but the King and all of his courtiers.

“Are you Peter?” asked the King. “The boy who can fix anything?”

“Well, I try,” replied Peter, quickly adding a “Your Majesty”, and trying to bow.

“Peter,” said the King. “Here is the royal teapot which, it would seem, nobody can mend. Can you fix it?”

“I’ll do my best, sire, but it may take a while,” replied Peter. So taking the teapot from the King, Peter went back into the old smithy, where soon smoke appeared from the chimney.

Meanwhile, everybody settled down to wait. The King, of course, seated himself on his royal portable throne, in his royal portable tent, waiting for his royal cup of tea.

Soon Peter’s voice along with the sound of hammering could be heard:

Mend it, mend it, for the King.
Hammer and anvil hear them ring.
Fix the teapot, mend it right,
The King will have his tea tonight!

Mend it, mend it for the King,
The right bit of metal, that’s the thing.
Patch it, fix it, seal it tight,
The King will have his tea tonight!

The song, and the steady beating of the hammer on metal, soon had everybody dozing in the warm afternoon sunshine.

Late in the evening, the King was wakened from his slumber by a knock on the royal tent door. (Not an easy thing to do on a tent.)

“Your evening cup of tea, your majesty,” said a voice.

The King rubbed his eyes. He saw the smiling face of Peter. In one hand was the mended teapot, and in the other a fresh steaming cup of tea.

The King took one sip from the steaming cup, and a smile lit up his face. He jumped up, almost losing his royal crown in his excitement.

A cup of tea, a cup of tea,
Peter the fixer has brought it to me.
Mended the teapot, mended it good.
Here at his workshop, deep in the wood.
A cup of tea, a cup of tea!

A cup of tea, a cup of tea,
Peter the fixer has fixed it for me.
Give him the Kingdom, shower him with gold,
All over the country let his story be told.
A cup of tea, a cup of tea!

The King, his courtiers and all the village people joined in, pleased the King was finally happy as, without his tea, he had been a very grumpy person.

At last, they all stopped singing and dancing. The King demanded a fresh cup of tea, and ordered Peter to kneel before him.

“For fixing the royal teapot, from this day hence you will be known as Sir Teapot. No, not Sir Teapot, but err … Sir Pot. Yes, that’s it, Sir Pot of Saucepan Hill.”

And so that is how Peter became a knight, and how the King got his teapot fixed.

– Storyheart

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