Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt

Ant and Chelly Break Records - Part 2

November 18, 2020 R.A. Spratt Season 1 Episode 39
Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt
Ant and Chelly Break Records - Part 2
Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt
Ant and Chelly Break Records - Part 2
Nov 18, 2020 Season 1 Episode 39
R.A. Spratt

When their attempts to break records on Earth don't work out, Ant and Chelly get the brilliant idea - to try breaking records somewhere else! This soon leads to terrible consequences. Luckily they now have the skilled to fix their own hair brained disasters.

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Show Notes Transcript

When their attempts to break records on Earth don't work out, Ant and Chelly get the brilliant idea - to try breaking records somewhere else! This soon leads to terrible consequences. Luckily they now have the skilled to fix their own hair brained disasters.

Support the show (

Hello and welcome to Bedtime Stories with me, R.A. Spratt. Today's story is part 2 of 'Ant and Chelly Break Records'.

Here we go...

Ant and Chelly set to work. They spent the rest of the day trying to break all sorts of world records.  Somersaulting on stilts, juggling kittens while riding a unicycle (they made the kittens crash helmets so it’s perfectly safe), number of stitches knitted while free falling off a cliff into a pool of water, longest distance a Brussel sprout is pushed with your nose over hot coals, most bindis in your knees after falling off your rocket propelled go-kart, pointiest carrot sharpened with a pencil sharpener while roller blading and biggest splash when jumping into a vat of beetroot juice.

But attempting all these records proved harder than they had imagined. By the end of the day And and Chelly had failed to break any world records.  They were seriously disgruntled.

‘This breaking records is a lot harder than it looks in the book,’ complained Ant.

‘I think the people in the book must have cheated,’ said Chelly gloomily.

‘How?’ asked Ant. His imagination wasn’t as vivid as Chelly’s. He struggled to think how you could cheat at growing a beard of bees.

‘I think they must have practised,’ said Chelly contemptuously. ‘In some cases for years.’

‘Oh,’ said Ant. That was not something he thought he would be prepared to do.

‘Or worse,’ said Chelly. ‘They’re just incredibly naturally talented. Like the human pretzel on page 63. I don’t care how many times I touch my toes and do side bends. I could never be as flexible as him.’

‘I think some of them are just unnaturally patient,’ said Ant.  He was thinking of the person with the world’s longest toe nails. 

‘And having the world’s fattest cat!’ exclaimed Chelly. ‘That’s just luck.’

‘And a lot of cat food,’ said Ant.

‘We can’t afford that,’ said Chelly.

‘No,’ agreed Ant.

‘There’s no way we can beat all those people if they’re going to cheat like that,’ said Chelly.

‘There are so many people in the world, I suppose,’ said Ant. ‘It’s no wonder it’s hard to beat all of them.’

Chelly gasped. ‘That’s it!’ she cried, leaping to her feet excitedly.

‘It is?’ asked Ant.

‘You’re brilliant!’ yelled Chelly.

‘I am?’ asked Ant. He’d never been accused of this before.

‘We’re going about this the wrong way,’ said Chelly. ‘There are 7 billion people on Earth. Of course it’s too hard to beat them all and get a world record.’

‘So we’re going to give up, go inside and just watch television then?’ asked Ant.

‘No!’ said Chelly. ‘We’re going to get a world record. Just not on this world.’

‘What?’ asked Ant. He was getting very confused. Apart from anything else the pain from the 27 bee stings, from when he’d tried sword dancing while wearing a beard of bees, was really quite distracting.

‘If we travel to another world,’ said Chelly. ‘We can get all the records we want. In fact, we can get the record for the most number of records.’

‘Huh?’ Ant still didn’t understand what she was rabbiting on about.

‘We are going to travel to Mars,’ said Chelly. ‘That’s another world. And we are going to get all the records there. There’s no life on Mars. Except maybe subterranean bacteria. And they can have all the bacterial records, that’s fine. We’ll get the rest.’

‘Alright,’ said Ant. It didn’t seem any more far fetched than winning a world record on earth to him.

And so they set to work, again. This time building an interplanetary space ship.


Now, inter planetary space ships are obviously quite complicated. There’s a lot of physics, thermal dynamics and welding involved. But luckily, Dad was a horder, so they had a lot of junk in the back shed. And since recycling and repurposing is such an important part of helping the environment, they were able to put together a space craft in one afternoon, while leaving barely any carbon footprint.


At dawn (well after dawn, because they’re not going anywhere until after breakfast because it’s pancake day) they get in and launch their space ship.

They did have to call halt at that point because it was dinner time, they were both hungry and Mum got cranky if he was late for dinner. Ant got cranky he was late for dinner. He was a growing boy and did not respond well to low blood sugar levels.

So the launch was scheduled for the following morning, first thing – obviously after breakfast because it was Saturday and Dad always made pancakes on Saturday.

But by 9.30 on Saturday morning, Ant and Chelly were both sitting inside the ride on lawn mower that they had made into the cockpit of their space craft. 

‘Are you ready?’ asked Chelly.

‘Sure,’ said Ant. He didn’t think he’d ever be ready, but he might as well get it over with. If it didn’t work out, maybe they’d still make it back in time for lunch. Worst case scenario -  the launch didn’t even work at all, they’d make it back in time for second breakfast. So there was nothing to lose.

‘Okay, here we go,’ said Chelly. ‘Three, two…’

‘Hey, aren’t you meant to start form ten?’ asked Ant.

‘We haven’t got time for that malarky,’ said Chelly. ‘One!’ 

She hit the go button. And the next thing they knew they were sitting on top of a giant explosion that was hurtling them into the sky.

‘Crikey,’ said Ant. ‘It worked’.

‘Of course it worked,’ said Chelly. ‘You didn’t doubt me, did you?’

Ant didn’t like to admit, that actually he had a little bit.


Now I’m not going to bore you by describing their travel through outer space because frankly it was boring. Once you get used to the mind blowing beauty of the stars, and the stunning sight of Earth from space – it all gets tedious very quickly.

It’s not at all like in the movies. For a start – space is completely silent. No zoom or piow noises. Unless you make them yourself. But you just feel like an idiot if you do that. There’s nothing to dodge or weave around because space is, for the most part, completely empty. As the name suggests - it’s just space. There is nothing between Earth and Mars. So nothing exciting happened. So let’s just get to the good bit. When they landed…


Luckily the explosion that had been their launch was way more powerful that could be conceived so they smashed through the atmosphere of Mars early in the afternoon, and crashed into the surface just a few second later. They were both completely unharmed because Chelly had planned ahead and made them protective suits out of bubble wrap so they would survive the fall. She’d even made breathing apparatus for them out of fish bowls and scuba diving equipment. So once they’d unwrapped the bubble wrap they were able to step out onto the surface of Mars.

It was a bleak desolate landscape. Red dirt, rock and more red dirt, and more rock – as far as the eye could see in every direction. It was weird to be standing somewhere with no trees, or bushes, or buildings – or anything. It felt wrong.

‘Right,’ said Chelly. ‘Let’s get cracking.’

‘Cracking what?’ asked Ant.

‘Records,’ said Chelly, reaching into the ride on lawn mower and pulling out a big bin full of unicycles, juggling balls, samurai swords, pojo sticks and bees nests.

Ant had forgotten that’s what they’d come to do.

‘Okay,’ said Ant.

And they got to work. This it was much easy. On Mars, they were soon smashing records left, right and centre. True, Chelly only managed three jumps on her pojo stick before tumbling head over heals into a crevasse and smashing her nose on a rock. But that was three more than anyone else on Mars so she thought that was enough to claim the record.

Ant had a hard time putting on his beard of bees. The bees were cross about being forced to do interplanetary travel. So they had gone into hibernation deep inside their hive. But Ant managed to tease one out and get it to sit on his face, but only after he lay on the ground and balanced it there careful. But that was enough. He claimed the Mars world record. Chelly rode a unicycle 30 centimetres. Ant juggled one ball. Chelly had a finger nail 2 millimetres long. Ant did four pushups. They jotted these all down in a notebook as new Mars World records.

Things were going splendidly. Until a cloud started to form on the horizon. And I’m not talking metaphorically. I mean literally a cloud.

‘What’s that?’ asked Chelly.

Ant shaded his eyes and squinted off into the distance, ‘It looks like dust.’

Chelly was watching it closely, ‘If it’s just dust, why is it getting closer?’

For the cloud was getting closer and bigger, it was moving faster and faster towards them.

‘Chelly…’ said Ant, nervously. ‘…how sure are you that there’s no life on Mars.’

‘100%,’ said Chelly, but as these words left her mouth the dust cloud was getting closer and they could see more distinct shapes in the cloud. Including the shapes of legs. ‘…maybe more like 70%...’ The cloud was bowling towards them faster than a Lambourgini now, ‘They could see lots of legs moving swiftly in different directions and now arms swinging back and forth athletically. ‘…actually more like 5% rapidly diminishing…’ Now the dust cloud was so close they could make out the features of faces. ‘Okay, I’m going to call it,’ said Chelly. ‘The only thing I’m 100% sure of is that I was wrong.’

The cloud came an abrupt halt just a few metres away. Ant and Chelly didn’t even attempt to run. There was no point. They were looking at a crowd of Martians. And these martians were clearly much faster, bigger and stronger than them. They had massive eyes, the size of dinner plates. Noses longer than cucumbers. And ears like lettuce leaves. And they didn’t just have two legs. They had eight each. As well as arms and hands with a dozen fingers. When he looked closely, Ant saw that each hand had three opposable thumbs. 

The biggest of the Martians stepped forward. 

Ant and Chelly tried not to cower.

The Martian made an ominous guttural noise. Euuagghhch. But it turned out that was just clearing it’s throat. It then said in perfectly enunciated English, ‘Greetings. You have been taken to our leader. The leader is me.’

‘Wow,’ said Ant. 

‘It’s super convenient that you speak English,’ said Chelly.

‘We all speak 6 million different languages,’ said the Lead Martian. ‘We like to have hobbies.’

‘Okay,’ said Chelly. A teacher had tried to teach her French once and one lesson had made her feel like her brain had been beaten with a crowbar, but for once, Chelly was too polite to share what she was thinking.

‘What brings you to our planet?’ enquired the Martian.

‘Um…’ said Ant. He thought about the reason, it sounded silly even to his own brain.

Chelly was less self concious. ‘We just wanted to break some records,’ she explained.

‘We’ve got this book,’ said Ant. Holding up the book of world records. ‘It’s got all the world records from Earth. But they’re really hard to beat, so we thought we’d come here and get all the Martian records.’

The Martians all gathered round their leader as he held the book in his massive hands. He started to flick through the pages at super speed. He was apparently reading it, but much faster than any human could. And all the other Martians were reading over his shoulder.

Finally he reached the last page and snapped the book shut. ‘These are the greatest achievements of your kind?’ asked the Martian.

‘Yes,’ said Chelly.

The Martians looked at the book, then they looked at each other, then… they all burst out laughing.

‘But these achievements are so puny and weak,’ chortled the leader. ‘Holding your breath for 9 minutes, pojo jumping 7 kilometres, running a mile in 4 minutes. These things are all so easy to accomplish. And if you beat them, you get in a book?’

‘Yes,’ said Ant.

The Martians whispered amongst themselves for a few seconds, they laughed some more, then turned back to Chelly and Ant. ‘Thank you for the wonderful laugh. You have lightened our spirits. We didn’t have anything to do this afternoon, now we will have wonderful fun.’

‘You’re going to read the book again?’ asked Chelly.

‘No we’re going to travel to your planet and break all your pathetic records,’ said the leader. ‘It will be so easy for us. Come, let us a build a travelling vessel and go at once!’

The Martians tore off running towards the horizon.

‘Hey, wait up,’ said Chelly. She raced after them for a few paces before realising how silly and futile a gesture this was. ‘We’ve got to stop them.’

‘Why?’ asked Ant.

‘We just do!’


So Ant and Chelly hurried back to Earth as quickly as they could. But it was no use. The Martians were faster at space travel too. When they landed the Martians were already everywhere, smashing every record they could find. Most plate spinning, longest bungy jump, tallest replica of the Eiffel tower made entirely out of carrot sticks.  They were even better at the records like growing finger nails, they could just stare at their fingers and will them to grow at whatever speed they liked.

Ant and Chelly were devastated.

‘What have we done,’ said Chelly.

‘We’ve ruined everything,’ said Ant.

Just then, they heard the throaty roar of an internal combustion engine with a poorly maintained muffler. They looked up to see an enormous Triumph motorcycle riding down the road. The bike dramatically skidding to a halt right in front of them.

‘What now?’ asked Ant.

‘I hope it’s not aliens from Uranus,’ said Chelly.

The rider took of their helmet and the kids were shocked to see the distinctive silver perm and wrinkly skin of the human they loved most.

‘Granny!’ they cried, running forward to hug her. It took them about 90 seconds to explain the pickle they’d gotten themselves into. If only there had been a record for explaining intergalactic world record smashing crisis, they would have won it then and there.

‘Kids,’ said Granny. ‘Don’t despair. I know you can handle this. You are special. And I mean that in a good way. I’ve travelled all around the world and you two are by far the weirdest children I’ve ever met.’

‘It this meant to be a motivational speech, Granny?’ asked Chelly. ‘Because if so, it’s coming across as a bit of a downer.’

‘I’m saying you’ve got unique skills,’ said Granny. ‘That’s why I know you’ve got it in you to break the greatest world record of all.’

‘Which one is that?’ asked Ant.

‘The world record for rounding up Martians and getting them to leave your planet,’ said Granny.

‘She’s right,’ said Chelly. ‘We’ve got to do it. If we don’t stop these Martians they’re going to break all the world records in one day and that’ll be chaos for the record breaking community.’

‘But we’re just kids,’ said Ant. ‘We don’t know how.’

‘Are you kidding?’ said Chelly. ‘Look at all we’ve learned how to do in the last two days – pojo jump, pip spit, somersaulting, fire breathing, squirrel juggling, bee whispering and tightrope walk over crocodiles. We are perfectly trained for the job.’

And so, once again, they set to work. 


Using the skills they have learned in their attempts to break records Ant and Chelly lassod, juggled, encircled, trapped, wrestled and cajoled the Martians to their back yard.  When they were finally corralled. They confronted the Martian leader and gave him -  a blank notebook.  

“What’s this?” asked the lead Martian.

“It’s the book of records,” said Ant.

“For where?” asked the Martian.

“Neptune,” says Chelly, “Do you know how little gravity there is there?  Breaking records will be so easy.  You can write the book yourself.’

The martians mumbled amongst themselves for a few moments. Ant and Chelly crossed their fingers, desperately hoping they would fall for it.

‘Wonderous proposal,’ said the lead martian. ‘Make haste, my people. Last one to the space ship is a rotten egg.’ The martians turned and raced off.

‘I don’t believe it,’ said Ant. ‘We did it.’

‘You kids can do anything,’ said Granny.

‘Thanks for the book, Granny,’ said Chelly.

‘I’m glad you liked it,’ said Granny. ‘But considering all the trouble it’s caused, next year I might give you something safer. Like a stick of dynomite. Or a wild tiger. Or both!’

I’m glad our next birthday is a year away,’ said Ant. ‘I think I need the rest.’

And so, Ant and Chelly did get the world record for saving the world from Martian Invasion.  Not many people know about it though. Because their photo was put on the page right next to the guy with the disgustingly long finger nails, and people are always too grossed out to spend long looking at that page.


The end

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