The Land of Do-As-You-Please

Enid Blyton

[Online Editor’s Note:  Unfortunately, I have not yet gotten my hands on a physical copy of The Magic Faraway Tree, and as such, have not yet had the opportunity to verify that the punctuation, spelling, and italicisation presented below is correct, nor can I yet provide you the correct page numbers to Ms. Blyton’s book.  A tiny portion of this book appears on page 68 of V for Vendetta by Alan Moore.]

11.  Up the Tree Again.

And then a note came from Silky and Moon-Face. This is what it said:


We know that you don’t want any more adventures just yet, but you might like to know that there is a most exciting land at the top of the Faraway Tree just now.  It is the Land of Do-As-You-Please, even nicer than the Land of Take-What-You-Want. We are going there tonight.  If you want to come, come just before midnight and you can go with us.  We will wait for you till then.


The children read the note one after another.  Their eyes began to shine.  “Shall we go?” said Fanny.  “Better not,” said Jo.  “Something silly is sure to happen to us.  It always does.”

“Oh, Jo!  Do let’s go!” said Bessie.  “You know how exciting the Enchanted Wood is at night, too, with all the fairy folk about—and the Faraway Tree lit with lanterns and things.  Come on, Jo—say we’ll go.”

“I really think we’d better not,” said Jo.  “Dick might do something silly again.”

“I would not!” said Dick in a temper.  “It’s not fair of you to say that.”

“Don’t quarrel,” said Bessie.  “Well, listen—if you don’t want to go, Jo, Fanny and I will go with Dick.  He can look after us.”

“Pooh!  Dick wants looking after himself,” said Jo.

Dick gave Jo a punch on the shoulder and Jo slapped back.

“Oh, don’t!” said Bessie.  “You’re not in the Land of Do-As-You-Please now!”

That made everyone laugh.  “Sorry, Jo,” said Dick.  “Be a sport.  Let’s all go to-night.  Or at any rate, let’s go up the tree and hear what Silky and Moon-Face can tell us about this new land.  If it sounds at all dangerous we won’t go.  See?”

“All right,” said Jo, who really did want to go just as badly as the others, but felt that he ought not to keep leading the girls into danger.  “All right.  We’ll go up and talk to Silky and Moon-Face.  But mind—if I decide not to go with them, there’s to be no grumbling.”

“We promise, Jo,” said Bessie.  And so it was settled.  They would go to the Enchanted Wood that night and climb the Faraway Tree to see their friends.

It was exciting to slip out of bed at half-past eleven and dress.  It was very dark because there was no moon.

“We shall have to take a torch,” said Jo.  “Are you girls ready?  Now don’t make a noise, or you’ll wake Mother.”

They all crept down stairs and out into the dark, silent garden.  An owl hooted nearby, and something ran down the garden path.  Bessie nearly squealed.

“Sh!  It’s only a mouse or something,” said Jo.  “I’ll switch on my torch now.  Keep close together and we shall all see where we’re going.”

In a bunch they went down the back garden and out into the little lane there.  The Enchanted Wood loomed up big and dark.  The trees spoke to one another softly.  “Wisha, wisha, wisha,” they said.  “Wisha, wisha, wisha!”

The children jumped over the ditch and walked through the wood, down the paths they knew so well.  The wood was full of fairy folk going about their business.  They took no notice of the children.  Jo soon switched off his torch.  Lanterns shone everywhere and gave enough light to see by.

They soon came to the great dark trunk of the Faraway Tree.  A rope swung down through the branches.

“Oh, good!” said Dick.  “Is Moon-Face going to pull us up?”

“No,” said Jo.  “We’ll have to climb up—but we can use the rope to help us.  It’s always in the tree at night to help the many folk going up and down.”

And indeed there were a great many people using the Faraway Tree that night.  Strange pixies, goblins and gnomes swarmed up and down it, and brownies climbed up, chattering hard.

“Where are they going?” asked Dick in surprise.

“Oh, up to the Land of Do-As-You-Please, I expect,” said Jo.  “And some of them are visiting their friends in the tree.  Look—there’s the Angry Pixie!  He’s got a party on to-night!”

The Angry Pixie had about eight little friends squashed into his tree-room, and looked as pleased as could be.  “Come and join us!” he called to Jo.

“We can’t,” said Jo.  “Thanks all the same.  We’re going up to Moon-Face’s.”

Everyone dodged Dame Washalot’s washing water, laughed at old Watzisname sitting snoring as usual in his chair, and at last came to Moon-Face’s house.

And there was nobody there!  There was a note stuck on the door.

We waited till midnight and you didn’t come.  If you do come and we’re not here, you’ll find us in the Land of Do-As-You-Please.


P.S.—Do come.  Just think of the things you want to do—you can do them all in the Land of Do-As-You-Please!

“Golly!” said Dick, longingly, “what I’d like to do better than anything else is to ride six times on a roundabout without stopping!”

“And I’d like to eat six ice-creams without stopping!” said Bessie.

“And I’d like to ride an elephant,” said Fanny.

“And I should like to drive a motor-car all by myself,” said Jo.

“Jo!  Let’s go up the ladder!” begged Fanny.

“Oh, do, do let’s!  Why can’t we go and visit a really nice land when one comes?  It’s just too mean of you to say we can’t.”

“Well,” said Jo.  “Well—I suppose we’d better!  Come on!”

With shrieks and squeals of delight the girls and Dick pressed up the little ladder, through the cloud.  A lantern hung at the top of the hole to give them light—but, lo and behold! as soon as they had got into the land above the cloud it was daytime!  How extraordinary!

The children stood and gazed round it.  It seemed a very exciting land, rather like a huge amusement park.  There were roundabouts going round and round in time to music.  There were swings and see-saws.  There was a railway train puffing along busily, and there were small aeroplanes flying everywhere, with brownies, pixies and goblins having a fine time in them.

“Goodness!  Doesn’t it look exciting?” said Bessie.  “I wonder where Moon-Face and Silky are.”

“There they are—over there—on that round-about!" cried Jo.  “Look—Silky is riding a tiger that is going up and down all the time—and Moon-Face is on a giraffe!  Let’s get on, too!”

Off they all ran.  As soon as Moon-Face and Silky saw the children, they screamed with joy and waved their hands.  The roundabout stopped and the children got on.  Bessie chose a white rabbit.  Fanny rode on a lion and felt very grand.  Jo went on a bear and Dick chose a horse.

“So glad you came!” cried Silky.  “We waited and waited for you.  Oh—we’re off!  Hold tight!”

The roundabout went round and round and round.  The children shouted for joy, because it went so fast.  “Let’s have six rides without getting off!” cried Jo.  So they did—and dear me, weren’t they giddy when they did at last get off.  They rolled about like sailors!

“I feel like sitting down with six ice-creams,” said Bessie.  At once an ice-cream man rode up and handed them out thirty-six ice-creams.  It did look a lot.  When Jo had divided them all out equally there were six each.  And how delicious they were!  Everybody managed six quite easily.

“And now, what about me driving that railway engine!” cried Jo, jumping up.  “I’ve always wanted to do that.  Would you all like to be my passengers?  Well, come on, then!”

And off they all raced to where the railway train was stopping at a little station.  “Hi! hie!” yelled Jo to the driver.  “I want to drive your train!”

“Come along up, then,” said the driver, jumping down.  “The engine is just ready to go!”

12.  The Land of Do-As-You-Please.

Jo jumped up into the cab of the engine.  A bright fire was burning there.  He looked at ail the shining handles and wheels.

“Shall I know which is which?” he asked the driver.

“Oh, yes,” said the driver.  “That’s the starting wheel—and that’s to make the whistle go—and that’s to go slow—and that’s to go fast.  You can’t make a mistake.  Don’t forget to stop at the stations, will you?  And oh—look out for the level-crossing gates, in case they are shut.  It would be a pity to bump into them and break them.”

Jo felt tremendously excited.  Dick looked up longingly.  “Jo!  Could I come too?” he begged.  “Do let me.  Just to watch you.”

“All right,” said Jo.  So Dick hopped up on to the engine.  The girls, Moon-Face and Silky got into a carriage just behind.  The guard ran up the platform waving a green flag and blowing his whistle.

“The signal’s down!” yelled Dick.  “Go on, Jo!  Start her up!”

Jo twisted the starting wheel.  The engine began to chuff-chuff-chuff and moved out of the station.  The girls gave a squeal of delight.

“Jo’s really driving the train!” cried Bessie.  “Oh isn’t he clever!  He’s wanted to drive an engine all his life!”

The engine began to go very fast-too fast.  Jo pulled the “Go Slow” handle, and it went more slowly.  He was so interested in what he was doing that he didn’t notice he was coming to a station.  He shot right through it!

“Jo!” cried Dick, “you’ve gone by a station.  Gracious, the passengers waiting there did look cross—and oh, look, a lot of them in our train wanted to get out there!”

Sure enough quite a number of angry people were looking out of the carriage windows, yelling to Jo to stop.

Jo went red.  He pulled the “Stop” handle.  The engine stopped.  Then Jo pulled the “Go Backwards” handle and the train moved slowly backwards to the station.  It stopped there and Jo and Dick had the pleasure of seeing the passengers get out and in.  The guard came rushing up.

“You passed the station, you passed the station!” he cried.  “Don’t you dare to pass my station again without stopping!”

“All right, all right,” said Jo.  “Now then—off we go again!”  And off they went.

“Keep a look-out for stations, signals, tunnels and level crossings, Dick,” said Jo.  So Dick stuck his head out and watched.

“Level crossing!” he cried.  “The gates are shut!  Slow down, Jo, slow down!”

But unluckily Jo pulled the “Go Fast” handle instead of the “Go Slow” and the train shot quickly to the closed gates of the level-crossing.  Just as the engine had nearly reached them a little man rushed out of the cabin near by and flung the gates open just in time!

“You bad driver!” he shouted as the train roared past.  “You might have broken my gates!”

“That was a narrow squeak,” said Jo.  “What’s this coming now, Dick?”

“A tunnel,” said Dick.  “Whistle as you go through in case anyone is walking in it.”

So Jo made the engine whistle loudly.  It really was fun.  It raced through the dark tunnel and came out near a station.

“Stop!  Station, Jo!” cried Dick.  And Jo stopped.  Then on went the train again, whistling loudly, rushing past signals that were down.

Then something happened.  The “Go Slow” and the “Stop” handles—wouldn’t work!  The train raced on and on past stations, big and small, through tunnels, past signals that were up, and behaved just as if it had gone mad.

“I say!” said Dick in alarm, “what’s gone wrong, Jo?”

Jo didn’t know.  For miles and miles the train tore on, and all the passengers became alarmed.  And then, as the train drew near a station, it gave a loud sigh, ran slowly and then stopped all by itself.

And it was the very same station it had started from!  The driver of the train was there, waiting.

“So you’re back again,” he said.  “My, you’ve been quick.”

“Well, the engine didn’t behave itself very well,” said Jo, stepping down thankfully.  “It just ran away the last part of the journey.  It wouldn’t stop anywhere!”

“Oh, I dare say it wanted to get back to me,” said the driver, climbing into the engine-cab.  “It’s a monkey sometimes. Come along and drive it again with me.”

“No, thank you,” said Jo.  “I think I’ve had enough.  It was fun, though.”

The girls, Moon-Face and Silky, got out of their carriages.  They had been rather frightened the last part of the journey, but they thought Jo was very clever to drive the train by himself.

They all left the station.  “Now what shall we do?” said Moon-Face.

“I want to ride on an elephant,” said Fanny at once.

“There aren’t any,” said Bessie.  But no sooner had she spoken than the children saw six big grey elephants walking solemnly up to them, swaying a little from side to side.

“Oh, look, look!” yelled Fanny, nearly mad with excitement.  “There are my elephants.  Six of them!  We can all have a ride!”

Each elephant had a rope ladder up its left side.  The children, Moon-Face and Silky climbed up and sat on a comfortable seat on the elephant’s backs.  Then the big creatures set off, swaying through the crowds.

It was simply lovely.  Fanny did enjoy herself.  She called to the others.  “Wasn’t this a good idea of mine, everybody?  Aren’t we high up?  And isn’t it fun?”

“It is fun,” said Moon-Face, who had never even seen an elephant before, and would certainly never have thought of riding on one if he had. “Oh, goodness—my rope ladder has slipped off my elephant!  Now I shall never be able to get down!  I’ll have to ride on this elephant all my life long!”

Everybody laughed—but Moon-Face was really alarmed.  When the children had had enough of riding they all climbed down their rope ladders—but poor Moon-Face sat up high, tears pouring down his fat cheeks.

“I tell you I can’t get down,” he kept saying.  “I’m up here for good!”

The elephant stood patiently for a little while.  Then it got tired of hearing Moon-Face cry.  It swung its enormous trunk round, wound it gently round Moon-Face’s waist, and lifted him down to the ground.  Moon-Face was so surprised that he couldn’t speak a word.

At last he found his tongue.  “What did the elephant lift me down with?” he asked.  “His nose!”

“No, his trunk,” said Jo, laughing.  “Didn’t you know that elephants had trunks, Moon-Face?”

“No,” said Moon-Face, puzzled.  “I’m glad he didn’t pack me in his trunk and take me away for luggage!”

The children roared with laughter.  They watched the big elephants walking off.

“What shall we do now?” said Jo.  “Dick, what do you want to do?”

“Well, I know I can’t do it—but wouldn’t I just love to have a paddle in the sea!” said Dick.

“Oooh—that would be nice!” said Fanny, who loved paddling too.  “But there isn’t any sea here.”

Just as she said that she noticed a sign-post near by.  It pointed away from them and said, in big letters, “TO THE SEA.”

“Goodness!” said Fanny.  “Look at that!  Come on, everyone!”

Off they all went, running the way that the signpost pointed.  And, after going round two corners, there, sure enough, was the blue, blue sea, lying bright and calm in the warm sunshine!  Shining golden sands stretched to the little waves.

“Oh, goody, goody!” cried Dick, taking off his shoes and socks at once.  “Come on, quickly?”

Soon everyone was paddling in the warm sea.  Moon-Face and Silky had never paddled before, but they loved it just as much as the children did.  Dick paddled out so far that he got his shorts soaking wet.

“Oh, Dick!  You are wet!” cried Bessie.  “Come back!”

“This is the Land of Do-As-You-Please, isn’t it?” shouted Dick, dancing about in the water and getting wetter than ever.  “Well, I shall get as wet as I like, then!”

“Let’s dig an enormous castle!” cried Moon-Face.  “Then we can all sit on the top of it when the sea comes in.”

“We can’t,” said Silky, suddenly looking sad.

“Why not?  Why not?” cried Jo in surprise.  “Isn’t this The Land of Do-As-You-Please?”

“Yes,” said Silky.  “But it’s time we went back to the Faraway Tree.  This land will be on the move—and nice as it is, we don’t want to live here forever.”

“Gracious no,” said Jo.  “Our mother and father couldn’t possibly do without us.  Dick!  Dick!  Come in to shore!  We’re going home!”

Dick didn’t want to be left behind.  He waded back at once, his shorts dripping wet, and his jersey splashed, too.  They all made their way to the hole that led down through the cloud to the Faraway Tree.

“We did have a lovely time,” sighed Jo, looking back longingly at the gay land he was leaving behind.  “It’s one of the nicest lands that has ever been at the top of the Tree.”

They all felt tired as they crowded into Moon-Face’s room.  “Don’t fall asleep before you get home,” said Moon-Face.  “Take cushions, all of you.”

They went down the slippery-slip, yawning.  They made their way home and fell into bed, tired out but happy.  And in the morning their mother spoke in surprise to Dick.

“Dick, how is it that your shorts and jersey are so wet this morning?”

“I paddled too deep in the sea,” said Dick—and he couldn’t think why his Aunt Polly said he was a naughty little story-teller!

15.  A Shock for the Toys.

“Well, don’t forget to come to the Land of Goodies with us,” said Silky.  “That really will be fun.  Nearly as much fun as the Land of Do-As-You-Please.”

26.  The Land of Presents.

Next day all the four children woke up feeling excited.  It was so lovely when a really nice Land was at the top of the Faraway Tree.  They had been to the Land of Birthdays before, and the Land of Take-What-You-Want.  The Land of Goodies had been nice, and the Land of Do-As-You-Please.  The Land of Presents sounded just as exciting!