ONE THOUSAND LOLLIPOPS: Sam thinks his dreams have come true, in this free, funny, online kids' book
~ Go to the list of stories ~


by Emma Laybourn

Chapter One

Alone at last...

Sam crept into his bedroom and closed the door tight. Then he listened.

Outside, he could hear the usual Saturday morning noises. Mum was whistling as she dug the garden. Laura was squealing happily in her buggy. Dad was singing to her out of tune, as he pushed her down the drive and off to the park.

At last the house was empty. It was Time.

Time for Sam's secret...

Sam dived under his bed and pulled out the shoebox hidden far beneath. The label on the lid said:


Sam had stopped collecting toy cars when he was seven. The label was just to put his parents - and especially Mum - off the scent.

Mum must never know what was inside Sam's box... because Mum was a dentist, and she would be horrified.

Sam paused with his hands on the lid. He could feel eyes watching him.

He glanced round guiltily. Tufty Toothbrush was glaring at him from the far end of the bed. Tufty Toothbrush was, of course, not real, but that didn't stop him from being very disconcerting.

Mum had made Tufty herself, out of horrible blotchy orange and purple cloth. He was like a cross between a toothbrush and a bad-tempered fox. He had stumpy legs, stiff white bristles sticking out of the back of his head, and a badge saying


"Get lost, Tufty," muttered Sam. He reached over and shoved Tufty under the pillow so that only the stumpy legs were sticking out. When Sam was little he had been a bit scared of Tufty. He had certainly never been very fond of him. Now that he was older, he couldn't stand him.

He couldn't throw Tufty away, though, because Mum was so proud of her creation. She used to tell Sam Tufty stories when he was small.

She'd even had hundreds of Tufty leaflets printed to give out to all the children whose teeth she checked. Sam privately thought that the sight of Tufty snarling CLEAN YOUR TEETH! would put them off toothbrushes for life.

However, that wasn't his problem. Sam tried to forget about Tufty, and turned back to his box.

At last! It was time for sugar, candy, lollies, chocolate! His mouth was already watering. What should he choose today?

A sherbet fizz? Jellybeans? Liquorice allsorts? Fruit gums or chocolate raisins?

Hungrily Sam opened his box. He tossed aside the pictures of cars that hid his treasure, and saw-

-a few grains of sherbet and an ancient, woolly wine gum.

"Oh, bother!"

Sam remembered now. He'd polished off the chocolate raisins a few days ago, and eaten the last jellybean yesterday.

"One measly wine gum!" grumbled Sam. He stuck it in his mouth anyway. "I need to restock. I need more sweets - now! I want lollies!"

Angrily he rammed the lid back on the empty box and kicked it under the bed. Then he rattled his money-box and prised out the contents. Two buttons and a paper-clip.

"But today's Saturday," Sam reminded himself. "Pocket money day!" As long as his room was tidy, Mum would give him his pocket money.

Then he could run down to the shop owned by Hanif's Dad, to buy his weekly hoard of wonderful sweet treats.

Mum thought he just bought comics there, because he always came back with a bundle of them. She didn't realise that Hanif's Dad gave him last week's comics for free - and that all Sam's money went on toffees, mints and gobstoppers.

Now Sam zoomed around the bedroom like a human vacuum cleaner, scooping up crayons, socks and comics and stuffing them into his drawers.

There! Tidy. He galloped downstairs to demand his pocket money from Mum. As he was about to run outside to find her, the doorbell rang.

"Mum!" shouted Sam. But Mum was still in the back garden, and couldn't hear. So Sam opened the door.

"Sam Hunter?"


The man on the doorstep was as round as a football, with a grin as wide as Tufty Toothbrush's. Next to him stood a teetering tower of cardboard boxes - five of them in a tall pile.

He beamed at Sam. "Twizzo Treats!"


"I'm from Twizzo Treats! You entered our Super Colouring Competition!"

"Did I?" Sam vaguely remembered colouring a picture in a comic, and sending it off. But that was months ago.

"You certainly did! What's more - you won! Congratulations, Sam! You won first prize!"

"Me? First prize?" gasped Sam. "I've never won a first prize in my life! What is it?"

The man lifted the top box from the pile, and thrust it into Sam's arms.

"Twizzo's Super Giant Rainbow Lollipops!"

"What? You mean I've won a whole box of lollipops?"

"No, no!" laughed the Twizzo man. "Not one box! All these boxes! Sam, you lucky boy - you've won a thousand lollipops!"

Chapter Two

Sam panted upstairs with the five big boxes, one at a time. He was desperate to hide them in his bedroom before Mum saw them.

But outside, Mum was whistling as she whacked the weeds with her hoe. She hadn't seen the Twizzo man arrive or leave. She didn't know about the prize.

She had no idea that Sam had a thousand Giant Rainbow Lollipops heaped upon his bed.

Eagerly Sam tore open the first box.

Lollipops! Fat, round, lickable lollipops! They were covered in swirly stripes of orange and purple. He used to dream of having a shoebox full of treats - and now he had five huge cardboard cartons crammed with them!

Sam couldn't wait. He tore a wrapper off a lollipop and stuffed it into his mouth. It felt wonderful.

"Mm," said Sam. "Mmmm."

For the first few seconds, he was blissful. Then he began to wonder - what flavour was this lollipop? It tasted a bit odd.

"Cherry?" thought Sam. "Gooseberry? Rhubarb? Never mind. It's sweet - that's what counts!"

As soon as the first lollipop was finished, he unwrapped another, popped it into his mouth and lay back on his bed to enjoy it.

This lollipop had a funny taste too. Sam sucked his way through it as fast as he could, and rummaged in the box for a different sort. But the lollipops all looked exactly the same, all with orange and purple swirls.

Sam unwrapped a few more, and licked them cautiously. They all tasted the same as well.

"I don't care," said Sam, as he started to suck a third lollipop. But somehow it didn't taste as good as the first two.

With the stick poking out of his mouth, Sam hunted for a label on the box. He read:


"Oh," said Sam. He studied the labels of the other four boxes.

PRUNE AND MANGO said each one.

Valiantly Sam finished the third lollipop. Slowly he unwrapped a fourth, took a deep breath, put it in his mouth - and the terrible truth hit him.

He didn't like these lollipops. He didn't want another. He couldn't stand prune and mango flavour. And he was starting to feel a bit sick.

There was a sharp knock on his bedroom door.

"Sam?" said Mum's voice. "Is your room tidy?"

Sam spat out the lollipop. "Not quite!" he shouted. "Don't come in!"

"I'll be back in two minutes," called Mum through the door. "You'd better be ready by then!"

Sam gazed in horror at the five big boxes on his bed. They looked like a cardboard mountain advertising Twizzo Lollipops. Where could he hide them? He spun round frantically, looking for a place.

There was no room for them under his bed, or in his toy box, or behind his curtains. The only possible place was inside his wardrobe.

Throwing open his wardrobe door, Sam began to pull everything out. He dumped his shirts, jumpers and trousers on the floor, and piled the boxes up inside. The last one just only squeezed in at the top. Sam slammed the wardrobe shut.

"Time's up!" called Mum. "I hope it's tidy!" She opened his door and walked in.

Her mouth fell open as she stared at the piles of clothes strewn all over the floor.

"Sam! It looks like a jumble sale in here! Is this the best you can do? No pocket money for you this week!"

"But Mum! It's because I need the wardrobe for - for a surprise that I'm making for you. Only it's a secret! You mustn't open the wardrobe! You mustn't look inside! You mustn't! Promise!"

Mum began to smile. "A surprise for me? That's lovely of you, Sam. But your room is a terrible mess. How long is this surprise going to take?"

"At least a week!" Sam said desperately.

"Well... all right. But right now you can fold all those clothes up. And by next Saturday they must be back in your wardrobe. I will want your room to be absolutely spotless. Do you understand?"

Sam nodded. As Mum left, he flopped on to the bed, weak with relief.

Safe - for a week. He had seven days to get rid of the boxes filling his wardrobe, without Mum realising what they contained.

But what on earth was he going to do with a thousand prune and mango lollipops?

Sam looks glum

* * *

Want to read more? The whole book is too long to fit on one webpage.

However, you can read it all on screen at the Smashwords website.

Or download the free ebook here, in mobi (for Kindle), epub (for other ereaders), or pdf.

You can also get the ebook free from:
the Nook Book Store,
Kobo Books
and Apple iTunes.

One Thousand LOllipops: the cover of the free children's ebook by Emma Laybourn

Go to the list of stories.

Copyright Emma Laybourn 2012

One Thousand LOllipops: the book cover showing 
Sam surrounded by lollipops

Download the free ebook of ONE THOUSAND LOLLIPOPS:

(for Kindle),
epub (for other ereaders),
or pdf.

It's also free at:
the Nook Book Store,
Kobo Books
and Apple iTunes.

Or try another story...