Don’t you hate it when you can’t find Wally?

As a child I had a friend called Wally, and we did everything together. Our favourite game was ‘hide and seek’, he would hide and I would seek. (We did try to do it the other way around once but he wasn’t very good at the finding part, by teatime mum had to drag me out from behind the curtain to eat my ABC noodle spaghetti, and so from then on I went back to being seeker).

One day I took my friend Wally to the beach but when we arrived I turned around to find that he wasn’t there! I had lost him. It was one of those moments when your stomach clenches convulsively, the shock waves travel up and into your throat with an inhumane gagging sound. I started searching high and low, left and right, up and down but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I walked past a man who had been completely folded into his sun-lounger, he called out for my help, but I couldn’t stop, I was too busy looking for Wally. I saw a sand sculpture competition and was asked to judge which one was best, but I couldn’t stop, I was too busy looking for Wally. I even took an orange dinghy out to sea but was capsized when a group of rowdy pirates began to rein act the Spanish inquisition. Some mermaids beckoned me towards their rock, winking their eyelids and flashing their fins but I ignored them, I was above such temptations at that age. I grabbed onto a rubber ring and bobbed back to shore; you see, I couldn’t stop, I was too busy looking for Wally.

Finally, back on the beach, I asked a pair of very cooked women if they had seen my friend. One of them indicated a white and red stripy hat lying hidden beneath a large beach ball. I tripped off towards it without so much as a thank you, my heart was racing faster than ever and I felt sick. I soon found out that it was my friend’s hat as supposed, but that my friend wasn’t buried fathoms beneath, as I had supposed. I smiled slightly at this, in a mixture of relief and sorrow; it was just like Wally to leave things lying all over the place, he was most forgetful!

I walked on. Suddenly, out of nowhere, my older brother appeared. (He was the kind of brother that always stood on my sandcastles, and stuck a wet finger in my ear whenever mum wasn’t looking. He was the kind of brother who deserves to have an entire complaints page all to himself.) He nudged me aside and before I could stop him, his fat podgy finger came soaring down and, ‘SPLAT’ right onto the mermaid rock. When I moved his finger, what I saw made my blood boil; just above the rock, in small round glasses, floppy brown hair and a candy-cane top, stood Wally. Growling I shoved my brother to one side and turned the page.

I there is one thing I hate more than not being able to find Wally, it is someone else finding him first!