The Enid Blyton Society
The Golliwog Grumbled (Little Book No. 17)
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Book Details...

First edition: 1955
Publisher: Brockhampton Press
Illustrator: Molly E. Brett
Category: Brockhampton Little Books
Genre: Mixed
Type: Short Story Series Books

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Reprint Covers
List of Contents
Artwork
Review by Terry Gustafson

Reprints
  1. "I'm Going Away!"
    Story: Specially Written
  2. And Over He Went!
    Story: Specially Written
  3. Just Big Enough For Him!
    Story: Specially Written
I'm Going Away

The golliwog is leaving. He's fed up with the toys denying him the right to enjoy life's little pleasures such as teasing the clockwork mouse or dropping beads down the dolls' house chimney. For goodness sake what's wrong with dragging the toy elephant around by his trunk? Golly's heartily sick of this blatant interference in his life so he's decided to pack up and get out.

Are the toys dismayed?

Well, judging by their attitude one could deduce that an atmosphere of 'relief' had descended on the nursery. The toys tell Golly that a postcard from wherever he ends up would be very welcome but it looks as if they'll never get one because the golly's annoyed with them all. He's off to live with people who don't say "No!" and don't say, "Don't!"

"Goodbye!"

Out the door, into the garden, and down the lane he goes without so much as a 'By your leave.' Wasting no time, he puts the question to a rabbit sitting at the entrance of his burrow.

"Good morning. May I come and live with you?"

It looks as if the golliwog has struck 'bingo' right away because he's welcomed into the rabbit's abode and led off down a dark and narrow passage towards the sanctum. Unfortunately, life in a burrow doesn't come up to his expectations - Golly bumps his head on the low ceiling and there's no light to show the way so he turns round and sets off to search for a place with more prospects.

A pony standing in someone's field looks a likely flat-mate but when Golly is taken to the stables and has settled himself down in a manger of hay to rest his weary bones he gets the shock of his life because the horse's friend decides to partake of a snack. The golliwog is almost eaten up but he manages to scramble out just in time and rush away. Next on the list is a puppy-dog who offers sanctuary in his kennel, which is all very well but an altercation with the puppy's brother occurs and the golliwog is forced out yet again although, not before his clothes have suffered from a few well-placed nips.

Things just aren't working out. He's left his bag behind in the kennel so now the golliwog's homeless and he has no luggage. Entering a nearby garden he flops down to rest, thinking of the 'dear' toys he once knew and what nice people they really were. However it appears he's made his bed and now must lie in it, which is a pity because Golly's definitely learnt his lesson.

The only hope that can be entertained now is the author's sense of justice.


And Over He Went

A shilling was nothing to be sneezed at in the Fifties and although it was only one twentieth of a pound, it could furnish a child with so much food that being sent to bed with no supper wouldn't matter in the slightest. Uncle Ben has given Lennie and Bets a shilling to be spent on sweets and the children set off to the shops for a pleasant buying spree. They prefer chocolates (who doesn't) so they buy an assortment and then, as they walk home, there's an unexpected incident. They spot a boy they know who's riding his bicycle with a dog attached to its lead running alongside. Bets voices her concern that walking a dog in this way could cause an accident and sure enough, the lead catches on a pedal and, unable to control his bicycle, the boy falls off into the road. He sustains much bleeding so his howls are quite deafening. The children run over and help the boy to the pavement where they use handkerchiefs to bind up his bloody knees. The boy's hands are red as well but fortunately the wounds aren't all that serious and they send him off home after giving out their address so that he can return the hankies. A search is then made for their chocolates.

The chocolates!

Lennie had put them down on the footpath ... and a few minutes later, Bets says very tearfully,

"It's not fair! We helped the boy, and the only reward we get is that our chocolates are eaten."

Maybe we forgot that a dog played its part in the accident and, during the confusion when Lennie and Bets were administering first aid and consoling their patient the pooch could only pass whatever time it had, as profitably as possible.

What a miserable day for two kind and helpful children to undergo.


Just Big Enough For Him

One morning Ellen tells Mummy she's going to take her dolls' house down to the shed and give it a good clean out, so she picks it up and does just that. The floors and walls are washed, the carpets are given a good shake, the beds are made, and after giving the tiny bath a good wipe round, Ellen decides to leave the now spick-and-span house in the shed and go upstairs to wash the curtains; but when she gets back inside it's time for dinner so she pops the tiny drapes into a cupboard until later.

After forgetting all about them for a few days, she takes the curtains out and washes them carefully before using her iron on both and going back down to the shed. Blackie the cat happens to be sitting there looking rather solemn and Ellen sees him walk to the dolls' house and press his face up against one of the windows as if trying to see inside. He even starts scraping at the partially open door.

What's going on? Surely Blackie doesn't want to take up lodgings in the house and, besides, he's too big. However the cat's insistent because he puts his paw in the front door as far as it will go, and then presses his face against the windowpane again. Could there be something foreign in Ellen's dolls' house?

All is revealed in the typical Enid Blyton conclusion.

#1: In the world of stories it appears that toys can change their expressions so the golliwog is smiling broadly at the rabbit but when he's sitting in the dog kennel, his mouth has definitely shrunk.
#2: 'Bets' is a name used before by the author - for a girl whose real name is Elizabeth Hilton. Many EB fans would be familiar with this character because she plays a very prominent role in the 'Find-Outer' series that features some would-be detectives.

It's rather unusual for an uncle or anyone who indulges a child to specify how a gift of money should be spent, but Uncle Ben did just that - the shilling presented to Lennie and Bets had to be spent on sweets.

Bets wasn't sure if chocolates were sweets, but Mummy assured her they are.

Speaking about shillings, the book itself has '1/6' (1 shillings) pencilled on the cover which may give an example of what children living many years ago were able to acquire with sudden riches thrust upon them.

If a visit is ever desired, Lennie and Bets' address is: High Chimneys in Lane Road. EB left out the actual town but there's a 'Lane Road' outside the city of Colchester and another somewhere near Dudley so it shouldn't be too difficult to track them down. Mind you they could have shifted to another address by now.

'Lane' was the moniker of a midwife employed by Enid Blyton in 1931.

The standard of Molly Brett's full-page colour pictures is just as high as ever, and two that stand out are both in story #2 although the illustration in Story #3 of Ellen and Blackie looking at the dolls' house is also attractive.

Is it the rich and varied colours that make Molly Brett's artwork so appealing, or the 'vintageness' they exude? Maybe it's both.