The Roundhouse Den

Hello Friends,

I can't stop for long today as I'm busy making cheese and pickle sandwiches for Jingo's birthday party (that's his favourite food, not mine, but it's his birthday, so he's allowed to choose what we eat). Jingo is quite shy and doesn't like too much fuss being made of him, so we're just planning to gather at the Roundhouse Den and watch a film while eating the sandwiches.

I thought you might like to hear about the Roundhouse Den as it's quite an unusual building. There's a spot on Squeeble Island where you can see the view in nearly every direction - sea, hills and beach - and years ago we decided it would be the perfect place to build a den where we could all meet. Before we started building we laid out tree stumps to sit on to see how big it would need to be to fit in all of us. We arranged the stumps in a circle and once we'd placed them so that we were cosy but not squashed, we sat admiring the view. But as we sat there we realised that our plan had a flaw: once you were sitting in a chair you would only see one view, which would make it just like every other house on Squeeble Island (we're lucky that every house has at least one amazing view). We all felt quite dissatisfied by this and weeks of dreaming over quite how marvellous this new building with its wonderful views could be felt suddenly dashed.

A few weeks later Trig had called a meeting. We'd gathered at Ruby's Ice-Cream Parlour, which wasn't quite big enough for all of us, so some Squeebles stood outside and listened through the open windows. When Trig had told us he wanted to talk to us about the den a hush had fallen over the ice-cream parlour and we'd all waited in silence to hear what he had to say. Trig told us that he'd spent the last few weeks thinking the problem over and had come up with a solution. His ingenious plan was that instead of the den being a square building, it would be round. The building would sit on a turn-table located just below the ground, which would slowly rotate, meaning that the view from the windows was always changing. We all loved Trig's idea and Ruby began handing round ice-creams in celebration.

We spent a year digging and shifting mud, Brains and Trig spent months engineering the wind-powered turn table which would make the building rotate, and then we spent even longer building the walls, and finally, the roof.

The Roundhouse Den is my favourite building on the Island, not only because of the amazing views or how good it is to have somewhere we can all fit in, but because we had so much fun building it. Whenever the weather was dry we spent whole days together working on it, and by sunset our limbs felt warm with tiredness and our hearts felt happy with all the fun we'd had as we'd tried keep each others spirits up during all the hard work. Ruby often surprised us with ice creams, Edgar happily did all the tidying up at the end of the day (because he loves tidying and knows that most Squeebles don't) and Zuma and Jip amused us all with jokes whenever it felt like squeebles were becoming weary and considering giving up.

So now I'm off to carry trays of sandwiches over to the Roundhouse Den for Jingo's party. I hope you have some fun planned too.

Whizz :)

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