Once upon a time there was a family of dolls. They dressed in their brightest, best clothes and lay in a box and waited. They knew that sooner or later they would reach the top of the housing list and their real life would begin. In the meantime they just dozed and wondered where that would be.
A rustling of tissue paper woke them; bright light made them blink. One by one they were lifted out of their box and caught a first glimpse of their new home: dazzlingly white with a smell of new paint and five spacious rooms, all empty.
They stood bemused looking around them at all the space.
"Where are we going to sleep?" asked the son, already missing the cosy box that had been his life so far.
"There'll be furniture soon" reassured his mother "They wouldn't give us a house unfurnished, not when they know we're new from the box and haven't had a chance to get our own."
Sure enough, huge hands began bringing in bunk beds and cupboards.
"Ooh there's a rocking horse" screeched the daughter in excitement, "Can I go on it Mum?"
"You have to wait until you're put on it by our Child," Grandmother said, "she's the one who decides everything around here."
"But how will she know to put me on? ..and she's so big..I'm scared!"
"Don't worry" said Dad, "I can see she'll be gentle with us and look after us well. She doesn't look the type to leave us outside in the rain. You'll have to learn to 'think' your wishes to her, so she catches them and puts you where you want to be. Of course at night when she's asleep we can do whatever we like, but in the daytime she's in charge"
Soon the house was all sorted, with a lovely children's bedroom and kitchen. The children were excited to find that they now had a pet cat and a new baby brother.
However the white walls were getting their parents down. "We really must see about a more exciting colour scheme. Can't we get our Child to do some interior decorating, maybe have her watch Changing Rooms or something?"
No sooner had they thought their wish, than they found themselves hustled off on a camping trip, babies and all.
"I do hope it won't rain" said Grandmother, anxiously looking at the grey sky.
"Did you wish for some nice tasteful colours?" asked Grandpa, "you know what they do to houses on TV programmes these days, need sunglasses to live in some of them!"
"I thought a bit of colour would make a nice change from being inside our box" responded Mum, a tad defensively," Anyway I've always liked bright colours and your yellow shirt isn't exactly subtle is it?"
Dad came back slightly apprehensive from supervising the decorators. "I think they're new to the job." he whispered to Mum.
"Well I shouldn't worry, they always seem to pull it together at the last minute on the telly, I'm sure it'll be fine." she replied as calmly as she could. Her precious first house meant a lot to her and she did so want them all to be happy in it.The weather held fine for their camping trip, but finally it was time to make the journey back to their new house. As it came into view they gasped.
It was bright indeed and it had been moved. There was now a house next door, neighbours who also favoured a bright décor. Mum heaved a sigh of relief , she did like a bit of colour - it was just what she had dreamed of when lying asleep in her box - her own house, her family around her and friends next door for her children to play with. She was sure they would be friends - after all anyone who liked bright pink and red walls was bound to be a soul mate.
Photos of Youngest's doll's house that her Dad made for her birthday and of the doll family that flew all the way from the UK to live in it.