Raggedydax the robot com.., p.1
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       Raggedydax The Robot Comes To Planet Earth, p.1

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Raggedydax The Robot Comes To Planet Earth
Raggedydax The Robot Comes To Earth

  Copyright Lindsay Johannsen 2016

  Thank you.

  National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-publication Data:

  Author: Johannsen, Lindsay Andrew

  Title: Raggedydax The Robot Comes To Earth

  Cover art and design bungled by the author.

  The “novels”: “McCullock’s Gold” and “The Cassidy Chronicles”

  …plus some short stories and other rubbish.

  To order the paperback version of McCullock’s Gold or contact the author please visit



  Late one night, on the dark side of Planet Earth, when the moon was somewhere else and it really was, very, very dark, a little flying saucer came gliding quietly down from space. And inside this flying saucer was a robot and two small green aliens.

  The aliens' names were Dinkle and Jamjar, and the robot was called Raggedydax. And Dinkle and Jamjar and Raggedydax had warped half way across the Galaxy, all the way from the planet of Mugglepuddle – which, as everyone knows, is about a zillion billion jillion kilometers away from Earth.

  Even so, it had not taken them long, for Dinkle and Jamjar were trying out the Magic Whizzmatic Galactic Hyperspace-drive engine they'd made out of Lego and rubber bands in Dinkle's bedroom the previous night. Jamjar had been sleeping-over and they were supposed to be in bed, but instead the pair had been inventing a space-warp engine under the blankets.

  The next morning they put their engine in the little flying saucer Dinkle's parents had given him for his birthday. Then, while they waited for the glue to dry, they went inside to tell Dinkle's mother.

  Their galactic hyperspace engine was ready to try out, they said, so would it be okay if they went off to visit another planet somewhere? …like one on the other side of the galaxy perhaps? And could they take Dinkle's Raggedydax Robot along to find out things?

  Dinkle's mother said yes, as long as Jamjar's mother didn't mind and they were home again by tea time.

  Jamjar lived next door. He hopped off to get permission, and came back a short time later with some sandwiches his mother had made for them. And Dinkle's mother gave them some conkleberry cookies and a hot-chocolate drink each to have along the way.

  Back in the flying saucer Dinkle and Jamjar went up to the flight deck and asked the computer to find a really nice planet for them. A planet like Mugglepuddle, they said, but one on the other side of the galaxy somewhere – a planet which had people and playgrounds and big sandy beaches and places where children could buy ice creams and fruit drinks and fairy floss, a planet where they could leave Raggedydax The Robot for a while to find out everything about it. And when a planet like that had been found, the automatic pilot was to land in a park close to a playground – except that the playground had to be on the night side of the planet, where it was late and really, really dark.

  The reason for this was because Mugglepuddlians are terribly shy, and Dinkle and Jamjar wanted to make sure no one would see them arrive. Landing by a playground where it was really late meant no one would be around, as all the Earth children who used it and their mums and dads and everyone else living about the place would be fast asleep in their beds. Even so, just to make sure, they had the auto pilot switch off the flying saucer's headlights and tail lights, and even stopped it from using the turning indicators!

  That done, Dinkle and Jamjar went to the engine room to wind-up the hyperspace-drive's rubber bands, after which they returned to the flight deck. Raggedydax had already plugged himself into his battery charging dock, so the other two sat down and fastened their seat belts.

  And then, with everything ready for takeoff, Dinkle pushed the big purple button marked "GO!", their Magic Whizzmatic Galactic Lego and Rubber Band Hyperspace-drive engine powered up … and away they went!

  And so well did their invention work, that by the time they'd finished the sandwiches and cookies and the hot-chocolate drinks their mothers had made for them, they had already reached Planet Earth and were coming in to land – at a park with a playground, exactly as Dinkle and Jamjar had ordered.

  The park was called "THE HAPPY HOLIDAYS CARAVAN PARK", because that's what it was: a caravan park. But it wasn't in a city. It wasn't even near a town. In fact The Happy Holidays Caravan Park was in dairy farming country, right by the sea, a long way from any town or city.

  As well as the playground there were lawns and gravel paths and palm trees and garden plots full of flowers and even a duck pond with a little waterfall, while in the middle of the park there was a brightly painted red and yellow kiosk where people could buy drinks and pies and hot dogs and fairy floss and all sorts of different flavoured ice creams. Farther away, down past the playground, there was a great big sand hill that you could tumble down from top to bottom, right onto a beautiful sandy beach.

  In the opposite direction was a village near a river, beyond which were some big green mountains. And during school holidays and at Christmas time, families would come to The Happy Holidays Caravan Park from far and wide, there to rent a cabin, or to stay in the caravans they were towing behind their cars.

  * * *

  As the flying saucer drew closer to the caravan park its automatic pilot slowed it more and more, and soon Dinkle and Jamjar were drifting over all the cabins and caravans neatly arranged amongst the trees – where everyone was sleeping. Over the lawns they went, over the flower gardens and the gravel walkways and the kiosk and the duck pond with the little waterfall... And then, on reaching the playground, the flying saucer's landing legs came down and it settled onto the grass next to the swings – all without the slightest sound.

  As soon as they'd landed Dinkle and Jamjar undid their safety belts, then released Raggedydax The Robot from his battery charging dock. Then Jamjar turned on the inside lights just the weeniest bit so they could see where they were going, and down to the cargo bay the three went, to the middle of the landing legs department – except that on arriving there neither Dinkle nor Jamjar could remember whose turn it was to push the big yellow "Loading Ramp" button.

  Soon they were arguing about it, so Raggedydax started jumping up and down on his little wheels. “It's Dinkle's turn!” he shouted to above the noise. “You did it last time, Jamjar!”

  The arguing stopped.

  “…did not,” muttered Jamjar. He knew Raggedydax was right, though, because Raggedydax was a robot and a robot never forgets anything.

  “Nyah nyah, I told you so,” crowed Dinkle. And feeling very pleased with himself he pressed the big yellow button.

  Down went the loading ramp, "Grunnn grunnn grunnn CLUMP!"

  Outside the flying saucer it was totally dark, of course, but that didn't worry Raggedydax. As you know, robots can see at night no matter how dark it might be. But Raggedydax was no ordinary robot. He was a Super-advanced Grade-two Find-outerer Robot, and was fitted with the very latest Visi-boost Darktronic night-vision. This meant that no matter how dark it might be, Raggedydax The Robot could see everything perfectly. And because of this he was the one who went first down the automatic loading ramp belt, to make sure there was no one about.

  That done and certain they were alone, Raggedydax returned to the flying saucer. “Eee-aaw donkle donkle!” he went from the foot of the loading ramp. “Fsssht dink breedle beep POP!” …which was robot-talk for, “It's all right. There's no one here. You can come down now.”

  Dinkle and Jamjar knew quite well it would be too dark outside for them to see anything, even with their big round eyes, and had already been to the torch locker
for their special Megabeam hyper-photonic torches.

  At the bottom of the ramp they shone the torches around. Both knew that Raggedydax had already checked with his Visi-boost Darktronic night-vision turned up to MAX, but they always did it again anyway because they liked playing with their hyper-photonic torches. And Raggedydax The Robot – who was often known to be polite and well-mannered – always pretended not to notice, usually by making-out he was testing his Floatmatic Antigravity circuits or checking that his little wheels were all working properly.

  “I wonder what this planet is called?” whispered Dinkle as he shone his torch this way and that.

  “I can't imagine,” Jamjar whispered back.

  “Hey look! There's a sign!” whispered Dinkle.

  “What does it say?” whispered Jamjar.

  “Nothing,” whispered Dinkle. “Signs don't talk.”

  “I know that, smartypants,” Jamjar said aloud. Then he whispered: “Hey! Maybe that's the name of this planet.”

  “Yeah,” whispered Dinkle. “Perhaps it is. But why are we whispering?”

  “I'm whispering because you're whispering,” whispered Dinkle.

  “But you were whispering first,” whispered Jamjar.

  “THE SIGN SAYS,” announced Raggedydax loudly: “'DO NOT FEED THE DUCKS'.”

  “…ooOOOooo!” observed Dinkle. “'Donotfeedtheducks'. What a funny name for a planet.”

  “Humpf!” grumped Raggedydax. “Donotfeedtheducks is not the name of this planet. I know that because I have already found out what it is called. This here is the Planet Earth. Anyway, why were you two whispering?”

  “In case some Donotfeedtheduckian people are lurking in the bushes. They might hear what we are saying.”

  “At this time of night?!!” exclaimed Raggedydax. “They'll all be asleep! And how much would they learn from listening to you two anyway?!! Tiddly-squat! That's what!”

  Dinkle and Jamjar just ignored him.

  “Perhaps we should tell him,” Jamjar whispered after a while.

  “Yeah, perhaps we should,” Dinkle whispered back.

  Raggedydax was suspicious. He could hear a leaf falling if he wanted – on the other side of a busy street. “Tell him what?” he said aloud.

  Dinkle shone his torch on the robot.

  “Ohh … nothing,” he replied.

  “Yeah…” added Jamjar. “Well… Nothing much.”

  “You're going to leave me again, aren't you,” Raggedydax said accusingly. “Just like you do on Mugglepuddle.”

  “No no Raggedydax we wouldn't do that gosh no not here course not nah we wouldn't even think of it,” the two replied together all at once.

  Raggedydax just glared at them.

  “Well… Now that you mention it,” admitted Jamjar. “There are a couple of things you might like to do for us.”

  “Yes,” said Dinkle. “You know, like … finding out everything about the planet Earth, for instance.”

  “Everything?!!” protested Raggedydax. “But that would take a tremendous amount of time. Days even.”

  “We know,” said Jamjar. “But it'll be great fun.”

  “Yeah!” added Dinkle. “You'll just love it!”

  “See, the thing is,” explained Jamjar, “we promised to be home by teatime, which is why we can't stay. So we thought we might leave you by this playground.”

  “That's right,” said Dinkle “That way everyone will think you're something new that's been put there for the children to play on.”

  “And if we were to wait for you,” Jamjar continued, “then people would see our flying saucer. And anyone looking in a window who saw Dinkle's funny pink ears might fall over laughing and hurt themselves!”

  “There's nothing funny about my ears!” snapped Dinkle indignantly. “My mother says I have beautiful ears. And anyway, who are you to talk, with that big purple foot?”

  The two then got all huffy and wouldn't speak to each other. Dinkle MacFloon's family came from Mugglepuddle's North Pole, where it was so cold everyone had pink ears. And Jamjar was cross because he was proud of his purple foot. In fact Jamjar Stickwiggle had been the Purple-foot people's Grand Champion for three years in a row.

  It was Raggedydax who broke the silence. “…So you are going to leave me here All - By - Myself.”

  “Don’t worry,” said Dinkle. “We'll come back for you. Just wait here near the swings every night.”

  “Now then,” said Jamjar. “There are two really important things we'd like you to find out. The first one is …”

  “…how fierce the pumpkins are!” interrupted Dinkle loudly, “and the second is what their fargle nuts are like.”

  “I was supposed to say that!” Jamjar said crossly, and he hopped off toward the flying saucer, boiling with anger.

  Dinkle raced after him. At the loading ramp he pushed past and rode the automatic belt to the top.

  Jamjar was right behind. He caught up just as Dinkle was about to press the big yellow button. “Get away from there! It's my turn to push the yellow button!” he yelled as he shoved Dinkle aside.

  But Dinkle had only been teasing. “Nyaa nyaa,” he shouted as he disappeared up to the flight deck.

  “I'll get you for that!” Jamjar shouted after him as he pressed the big yellow button. Up came the loading ramp, and "CLOMP!" went the hatch door, slamming shut behind it.

  Then Dinkle opened one of the flight deck windows. “And make sure you find out how much their rocks cost!” he yelled to Raggedydax. “My Dad forgot to water Mum's rock garden and the rocks all died, and Mum says he'd better have it fixed before grandma comes to visit or that's where he'll be sleeping!”

  “Yeah!” Raggedydax shouted back. “And like… don't worry about me! You know – that I'm here all by myself. Most likely I'll be picked up by a scrap metal dealer and recycled as a potato peeler or pedaling car or something, but I'll be all right.”

  Neither Dinkle nor Jamjar heard him, however. Jamjar was pushing the big purple "GO!" button that started their Magic Whizzmatic Lego and Rubber-band Hyperspace drive engine, and Dinkle was ringing his mother on his interstellar mobile to let her know that everything was okay and they'd be home in time for dinner.

  Then the two waved goodbye from the windows, and with the faintest of faint whispering sounds their flying saucer lifted from the grass and powered up, up and up into the sky.

  * * *

  Raggedydax the Robot watched them go with his special Visi-boost Darktronic Night-vision. “That worked out well,” he muttered as Dinkle and Jamjar's flying saucer disappeared from sight amongst the stars. “Here I am, on Planet Earth, all by myself, a zillion billion jillion kilometers from home … just to find out stuff! And there they go, zooming around the galaxy having fun, and then going home for dinner.

  “Oh well, tomorrow morning I'll find out what I can, then I'll come back to the playground. By that time a few Earth children might have arrived and I'll have some company, at least.”

  For a while after that Raggedydax just stood there, stewing in his own grumpiness, until eventually he started thinking about what he might say to the Earth boys and girls.

  “Hello little Earth people,” he began in his friendliest voice, pretending he was talking to them. “My name is Raggedydax.

  “Yep, Raggedydax The Robot, they call me. That’s because I’m a robot, see.

  “Not just any old robot, though. I don’t trundle around going 'Boop boop bleep urgle urgle hello there burls and goys, how are you today?' …or bang into things and say, 'I think my batteries-ies-ies are going flat-at-at-at, and could you please find me some new ones?'

  “No siree, I am a much better robot than that. In fact I am a Super-advanced Grade-two Find-outerer Robot, from the planet of Mugglepuddle. And I was brought here by my friends, Dinkle and Jamjar, to find out things – you know, in their flying saucer.

  “But Mugglepuddlian people are very shy, see, which is why they left me her
e and went back – and also because they had to be home by teatime. My job is to find out as many things about the planet Earth as I can before they come to collect me.”

  Yeah. Right. Raggedydax reminded himself. And so here I am, on Planet Earth, all by myself until they come back for me. And they'd better come pretty soon, too, or I'll…

  I'll umm…

  But try as he might, Raggedydax couldn't think of anything he might do to improve the situation. Instead he settled himself down for the rest of the night.

  Robots don't have to sleep, of course, but to conserve his special high voltage Super Kryptonium batteries Raggedydax switched off his Glidematic mobility circuits and powered-down all of his computer systems to “Deep Snooze” mode.

  * * *

  The next morning, even before the birds had started chirping and twittering, Raggedydax was off exploring … and was amazed by what he discovered. In fact he was so amazed that he texted Dinkle and Jamjar with his on-board interstellar mobile.

  “Planet Earth is a really strange place,” he said in his text. “I don't like it here. Please come and pick me up.

  “Next door to the park is some forest, and this morning when it started to get light I heard some wild pumpkins calling out. 'MOOOO! they went. 'MMMMOOO! So I crept into the forest to try and see them.

  “But it wasn't a forest at all; it was just a patch of forest, and on the other side of it was a farm. And there, standing around together quietly in the middle of a field, were all these big brown pumpkins … eating the grass!

  “Then an Earth-man came along. He had a crazy muttbarker with him, too. But the muttbarker wasn't going crazy at all; it was doing whatever the man told it!

  “And then the man shouted something to the pumpkins, and the pumpkins all got together and showed him and the muttbarker the way to a great big shed.”

  When Raggedydax had finished texting he sent Dinkle and Jamjar some pictures as well – in case they thought the whole business was just a made-up story.

  Poor Raggedydax. No wonder he was surprised. He had never seen a "pumpkin" eating grass before. On the planet of Mugglepuddle the pumpkins are amazingly fierce animals. They live in the forests and eat the leaves and the ripe jellybeans of the jellybean trees. And whenever a wild pumpkin sees a crazy muttbarker it jumps down from its jellybean tree and tries to catch it.

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