When the Meadowsweet family find themselves at the bottom of a huge crack that’s formed in the earth they decide to set free their mynah bird Octavia.
This proves to be a wise move for it’s not long before she’s back with a seed.
This seed becomes their means of escape from a very tricky situation as little by little then ever more rapidly it grows towards the earth’s surface eventually bursting through.
Up, up, up climb the Meadowsweets through the increasingly lush foliage working up an appetite in so doing. “I hope there’s something left to eat when we get up there. I’m starving,” comments Mr Meadowsweet.
Happily though, they don’t have to wait that long, for the profligate plant puts forth fruits aplenty, as well as foliage, as Mrs Meadowsweet discovers tucking in enthusiastically; but in her eagerness she slips and falls.
Fortuitously, a large comfy leaf cushions her fall and the tendrils of the remarkable plant reunite her with the rest of her family.
The journey of people and plant to the surface is finally accomplished and at the surface the luxuriant and verdant world of a garden of Eden surrounds them after their Jack and the Beanstalk style climb.
We probably all feel like we’re at the bottom of a deep hole just now and we are all looking forward to those green shoots of recovery. So, this fable could be read as a message of hope during these difficult times. Remarkable as its creator Quentin Blake is though, he is not an oracle and one suspects he was merely creating a fun and fantastical story for us all to enjoy.