I dug my climbing hook into the smooth rock of the cliff-face and dragged myself over the edge, onto the summit. With a breathless cry, I heaved my body over, laying on my pack and staring up at the brilliant, cloudy sky.

‘Ah-ha!’ I crowed. ‘I did it! I did it!’

Cackling, my exertion forgotten, I slipped my arms out of my pack and carried it away from the edge of the cliff. I stopped to glance over the side, at the high heights I’d managed to overcome.

From there, I turned my attention to the horizon. The glittering blue of the ocean greeted me, and I took in a deep lungful of the ocean air.

‘Yes,’ I nodded to myself. ‘Yes, this shall be where I lay the foundations for my home. I shall send a raven, to summon only the most luxurious custom home designers in my area. They shall fight for such a prize!’

A rattling gasp snatched my attention, and I turned with a frown to the edge of the cliff.

Ivor, my bumbling assistant, pulled his considerable bulk over the side of the cliff, collapsing with his feet still dangling over empty air.

‘Ivor, what took you so long?’ I snapped.

‘Apologies, sir,’ the oaf wheezed. ‘I was attacked by an eagle about a quarter of the way up, and he took off with one of my climbing hooks—’

‘Enough excuses, Ivor,’ I shook my head. ‘You’ll need to head back down, in any case.’

‘Sir?’ he asked, as his face turned white.

‘Well I can’t be expected to send my own raven, can I?’ I scoffed at him. ‘No, no, it must be you.’

‘A raven sir?’

‘I want the very best home builders on the Mornington Peninsula,’ I said with a satisfied grin. ‘I need my house as quickly as possible!’

‘I thought this was supposed to be a picnic?’ Ivor frowned.

‘No, you fool!’ I rolled my eyes. ‘This is where my house shall stand!’