Once upon a time when pigs were swine and monkeys chewed tobacco and little boys wore feathers in their caps to see which way the wind blew there was a bear. His name was Kiki. He lived on a chest of drawers in Jonty's flat.
At night he spent a lot of his time asleep.
You probably do that too but then Kiki spends all day asleep as well.
One night Kiki was snoozing in bed when he suddenly decided that it was time for a doze so he kicked his purple feet uo in the air, turned over and carried on dozing.
Then he decided that he needed a really good sleep.
When he'd finished doing that, he got up and made himself breakfast. He had some purple carrots, some lavender-and-honey sandwiches and a cup of tea.
After all that hard work he was so tired he sat in an armchair for a good long rest and put a duvet on top of himself.
"Ormchee, cup of tea, rawther nees," he squeaked. (That means: "Armchair, cup of tea, rather nice.")
Very soon he was snoring and hot tea was dribbling down the duvet.
Suddenly he woke with a jump, which is something that doesn't happen very often to Kiki.
The reason he woke with a jump was because of the noise. It was the sound of a very loud alarm clock.
"DON'T JUST SIT THERE - CAVVY ME IN A VUBBER CAR!" screamed somebody.
Kiki looked up and saw a clown with mad yellow wool for hair staring down at him.
"I'm Uncle Shveinder," said the clown (whose real name was "Uncle Schreinder" but who couldn't pronounce the letter "r" properly). "Get and cavvy me in a vubber car - we can't have you sleeping all day!"
Poor Kiki had to get up and carry Uncle Schreinder around in a rubber car. It was very heavy. I'm sure you know what Kiki would rather have been doing.
When he'd finished Uncle Schreinder invited Kiki in to his classroom where he taught the children Mathematics. Do you like numbers? Uncle Schreinder certainly did.
"One for you; twenty for me. One for you; twenty for me," said Uncle Schreinder as he counted out the coffee beans so that his cup of coffee had twenty times more coffee in it than Kiki's, which was basically just a cup of hot water. Kiki looked at it.
"Thit doesn't look virry nees," he said. What do you think he meant?
"AH, SHUT UP!" screamed Uncle Schreinder. "You're going to dvink that like it is. Now, tell me you love it."
"It's kweet nees," lied Kiki.
"SAY IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!" screamed Uncle Schreinder.
"It's virry nees," lied poor Kiki - it wasn't really very nice at all. "What's thit sound?"
"Oh, that - that's my negative alarm clock," said Uncle Schreinder.
"What does thit mean?" asked Kiki.
"Have you heard of negative numbers?"
"No," answered Kiki.
Uncle Schreinder popped out of his classroom and went to Mango Teddy's boardroom. He barged through the door without knocking, which you and I would never be rude enough to do, would we?
"Oy, you!" he screamed at poor Mango Teddy. "Give me that flipchart!"
"I shall have to run that by the board, you see," said Mango Teddy.
"Ah, shut up, you bawving old... GET ME that flipchart - give it here NOW!"
"Oh, very well," said Mango Teddy, handing him the flipchart.
"AND some pens. DON'T forget the pens," screamed Uncle Schreinder rudely. "And be faster about it next time!"
Uncle Schreinder came back into his classroom to find Kiki still trying to drink his nasty coffee.
"GET that down your thvoat!" screamed Uncle Schreinder. "Now, look at this."
He drew a picture of three apples on the flipchart.
"How many more apples have I got than if I didn't have any?"
"Three," said Kiki.
"Covvect," said uncle Schreinder.
He wrote down "3".
Uncle Schreinder drew a picture of six apples.
"How many more apples do I have than if I didn't have any at all?"
"Six," said Kiki.
"Covvect," said Uncle Schreinder and wrote down "6".
"NOW!" he screamed. "Suppose I didn't have any apples at all. How many more apples would I have than if I didn't have any at all?"
"None," answered Kiki.
"Covvect," said Uncle schreinder and wrote down "0".
"NOW!" he screamed. "Suppose I have no apples at all BUT I owe you two? How many more would I have than if I didn't have any at all?"
"You wouldn't," giggled iki. "You'd hiv two liss thin nothing - hee hee hee hee hee! Kiki's lawfing!"
"Covvect! You're cleverer than you look!" said Uncle Schreinder. He wrote down "-2" on the flipchart. "Two less than nothing is called NEGATIVE TWO!" he screamed. "And that's how it's vitten."
"Does thit mean you could teek three awee from two?" asked Kiki.
"Yes," answered Uncle Schreinder. "If you took thvee away fvom two you'd have NEGATIVE ONE!" And he wrote "-1" on the flipchart.
"Ind could you teek four awee from one?" asked kiki.
"Yes," answered Uncle Schreinder. "If you took four away fvom one you'd have NEGATIVE THVEE!" And he wrote "-3" on the flipchart.
"One more question," asked Kiki. "What his this to do with your alawm clock?"
"It's a NEGATIVE ALARM CLOCK so instead of being silent all day and vinging for one minute, it vings all day and is silent for one minute. That way I sleep for one minute and I keep gong the vest of the day. That's how I get so much done... no time for lazing... no time for lazing... no time for lazing..."
His voice faded away and Kiki woke up to find it had all been a terrible dream.
He ought to have known: him being interested in a Mathematics lesson? That didn't seem very likely.
And why would he agree to carry a mad teacher around in a rubber car?
And all that rubbish about the negative alarm clock! How stupid!
He was just getting ready to doze again when he heard the sound of an alarm clock and saw a clown dragging a flipchart towards him with some negative numbers written on it.
"Come along now - we can't have you sleeping all day!" said Uncle Schreinder.
Kiki hurled the negative alarm clock down onto the floor so it smashed and forced Uncle Schreinder out through the door. He then made himself some breakfast and dressed himself in his smartest clothes - he is the poshest-looking animal in town!
After all that hard work getting dressed, dreaming, breaking alarm clocks and making breakfast, Kiki was very tired. Guess what he did next?
"Good neet," he said, settling into the armchair under the duvet.
"SHEW! SHEW! SHEW!" he snored.