Mad Uncle Jack found the front door by walking into it. The advantage of having the beakiest of beaky noses was that it reached the doorway in front of the rest of him, so he managed to limit his injuries.
"Oooof!" he said, which is the universal noise a person makes when walking into a door -- unless he or she stubs a toe, that is. The universal noise for stubbing a toe is "Arrrgh!!!" (but you can choose the number of exclamation marks that best suits).
"Are you all right?" asked Eddie, blinded moments later as his great-uncle threw the door open wide, letting in the morning sunshine.
"There's no time to lose, boy," said Mad Uncle Jack, a trickle of blood running from his beak -- nose, I mean nose.
The picture window on the landing looked out onto his tree house at the back of the building. The front door opened onto the front -- the clue is in the name -- and there, right in the middle of the huge sweep of gravel driveway, was a hearse.
Copyright © 2003 Philip Ardagh
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