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The Magic Jigsaw Puzzle

Harry is ten years old, he lives with his mother and father and he is an only child. Harry loves jigsaw puzzles, he loves sorting the pieces out into corners, straight edges and the different shaped ones. He loves jigsaws with cartoons, scenery, people, animals, in fact, Harry loves jigsaws of any sort, so you can imagine how pleased he was when he saw that a new jigsaw shop had opened on his high street.

The Jolly Jigsaw Shop was squeezed in between the Chinese Takeaway and the Fish and Chip shop, it was hard to spot their front door, but Harry noticed it and excitedly opened the door and stepped into a world of jigsaw puzzles.

The shop had every kind of jigsaw imaginable; 500 pieces, 1000 pieces, large pieces, wooden and 3D. The shelves were stacked from floor to ceiling, he had never seen so many puzzles in one place. Harry had a hard time choosing which one he was going to buy, each time he chose one, he found another one he liked better.  Whilst he was trying to make a decision, the owner of the shop came up to him, “Hello, young boy,” he boomed, “What are you looking for today?” Harry looked up to see a large man, with bright ginger hair and a ginger moustache and beard.

“I’m not really sure.” Harry replied and added, “Do you have any favourites?”  “Well, I do like historical jigsaws, ones that show events in history, like this one for instance,” and the shop owner held up a puzzle which showed a picture of the Battle of Waterloo.

Harry thought that it did look interesting and so he decided to buy it. “No, no, young man, I won’t take any money for it, you are my first customer and I’d like to show my appreciation.” Harry did not want to accept this man’s kind offer and offered to pay, but the shop owner insisted, he just asked if Harry could return the puzzle once he had completed it, so Harry walked out of the shop with the puzzle under his arm.

Once home, Harry started to complete the jigsaw puzzle, it was 1000 pieces and the picture was very detailed; there were horses and soldiers fighting and a lot of gun smoke, so it took him a little while to complete.

A couple of days later, Harry had one final piece to put in the jigsaw puzzle. He placed it in its position and leaned back to admire the picture.

Then, a strange thing happened, the puzzle began to sway quickly from side to side, the picture became blurred and Harry felt as though he was being swallowed up into the puzzle and then everything went black…

Suddenly, Harry saw a bright light and he could hear voices, he looked around and he was no longer in his bedroom, it seemed as though he was in the middle of a muddy field. There were soldiers everywhere, shouting and rushing around, orders were being shouted by men on horses and then Harry saw a man sat in a tent, the tent had the English flag above it and he was surrounded by important looking men, Harry looked closer and couldn’t believe his eyes, it was the Duke of Wellington, whom Harry had just seen in his jigsaw puzzle. The Duke was deep in conversation with these men and they were earnestly pointing at a large map in the middle of the table. Harry moved closer and strained to hear what they were saying.

“But we are drastically outnumbered,” one soldier said, “We need to wait until the Prussians get here before we go into battle,” The Duke of Wellington replied, “The Prussians will be bringing about 45,000 soldiers, which will help us in battle because at the moment we are outnumbered by Napoleon’s army.”

At that moment, Harry heard soldiers shouting, “The French are attacking, everyone to the battlefield,” and he could hear gunfire and cannon shots. Harry ran down to the battlefield and found a safe place to hide, he watched as the battle raged on and eventually the Duke of Wellington’s army managed to force the French to retreat.

Harry once again saw the Duke of Wellington, “We have lost lots of soldiers during this fighting,” he informed his generals, “But we need to stop defending our position and attack the French,” and his generals nodded in agreement.

This was the last time that Harry saw the Duke of Wellington as everything began to sway and Harry felt as though he was falling again. This time when he looked around, Harry was back in his bedroom, he looked at the jigsaw puzzle and the picture had changed, it showed the Duke of Wellington riding his horse in celebration of his victory.

Harry rushed to his computer, he looked up The Battle of Waterloo and sure enough, what he had seen and heard had actually happened, he was amazed. He immediately broke up the puzzle and went back to the jigsaw puzzle shop.

When Harry arrived at the shop, the owner was there, he was completing a puzzle himself and he looked up when he heard the shop bell tinkle and smiled when he saw it was Harry. “Did you enjoy that puzzle?” he asked, “Did it teach you anything?”

Harry reached into his bag and placed the puzzle on the counter, surprised that it was now again showing the Battle of Waterloo on the cover. “That puzzle was amazing, I learnt a lot about The Battle of Waterloo, do you have any others I could do?”

The shop owner reached up to a shelf above him and pulled out another puzzle, this time it was a scene depicting The Boston Tea Party. “How would you like to do this one?” he said, “There’s a lot you could learn from this one.”

Harry nodded, he couldn’t wait to get home and see what would happen when he completed this puzzle.