Posts filed under ‘Stories’

Baby Bug Racer

Baby Bug was always in a hurry. He couldn’t quite walk yet, but he had lots of ways to get around – he could roll across the floor or hold himself up on furniture and drag himself along. He had a little walker with buttons that made all kinds of fun noises.

But Baby Bug especially loved his little car.

His tiny feet peeked out the bottom and he could push himself along as fast as he liked.

Baby Bug wasn’t the safest of drivers, but his collisions with walls, doors and mummy and daddy’s legs only made him giggle.

When Baby Bug wanted to go REALLY fast, he would climb into his car and push himself up and down the hallway as fast as he could!

“Slow down, Baby Bug! You’ll hurt yourself!” Mummy would shout.

“Slow down, Baby Bug! You’ll break something!” Daddy would yell.

But Baby Bug never slowed down.

One day, when Baby Bug had just awoken from a particularly pleasant nap, he decided to hop into his little car and see how fast his little legs could take him.

He lined himself up with the hallway, and started to go!

Faster and faster his little legs went and the car went faster with them.

Baby Bug had never gone this fast before!

But just as he broke into the hallway at a breathtaking pace, mummy and daddy were opening the front door to greet a neighbour.

Ker-thump thump! Baby Bug bounced straight over the door step in his little car, and THWACK! knocked the neighbour into the garden!

Baby Bug was frightened, but the little car had too much speed!

Down the driveway he went and onto the footpath, with mummy, daddy and the neighbour all chasing behind.

“SLOW DOWN, BABY BUG,” mummy shouted, “YOU’LL HURT YOURSELF!”

“SLOW DOWN, BABY BUG,” daddy yelled, “YOU’LL BREAK SOMETHING!”

Just as the little car reached the corner, about to roll out into the street, Baby Bug stuck out his tiny hand and caught hold of the street pole.

Around and around and around the pole he flew, his little hand gripping on for dear life!

But, just as he thought he couldn’t hold on any longer, a pair of hands reached in and snatched him out of the little car, and Baby Bug found himself wrapped tightly in mummy’s arms.

“Silly Bug!” said mummy, “this is why you shouldn’t go so fast!”

Baby Bug was just happy to be safe and sound in her arms again.

~~~

Baby Bug was always in a hurry. He especially loved his little car.

“Slow down, Baby Bug! You’ll hurt yourself! Mummy would shout.

“Slow down, Baby Bug! You’ll break something!” Daddy would yell.

And Baby Bug slowed down… a little.

Happy birthday Baby Bug!

June 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm 1 comment

Clara’s House – part two

To read part one of Clara’s House, click here.

Over the following weeks Clara and Burger spent even more time in the woods behind Clara’s parents’ house. Slowly they worked away at the little house, cleaning, tidying and freshening it up.

Clara’s parents were so busy with their own renovations that they never seemed to notice the trickle of items leaving the house – some cushions here, a small tin of paint there and a fair amount of scrap wood all disappeared bit by bit.

Over at Clara’s house, things were progressing nicely. She couldn’t reach high enough even with the old wooden ladder she had found to paint the house itself, but she had brightened it up by painting the door and window frames a cheery yellow.

When she couldn’t find glass at home to fill the windows, Clara constructed some rough shutters to keep the wind out. Inside she cleaned the dirt off the wooden floors and polished them as much as she could. Burger helped, skidding around the floor with cloths tied to his tiny paws.

As autumn fell, Clara got to work in the garden, clearing out the garden beds and pulling weeds out from the cracks in the path. A few packets of seeds slipped out of her parents house and some water carried down in a big bottle and soon the garden was looking as pretty as a picture.

Clara was so proud to see all her hard work paying off.

“Oh Burger, it’s so pretty!” she said. “I can’t wait to finish it all so we can show mummy and daddy!”

But winter came too fast, and soon Clara found herself cut off from her little house by rain and snow.

As she played inside her parents house in the warmth she would stop, gaze out the window and sigh.

“I wish I could go and see how my little house is doing,” she told Burger wistfully. “I do hope it’s okay!”

Then one day the snow stopped and the sun came out. It was chilly but clear, and Clara begged her parents to let her and Burger go out.

“I don’t know…” said mummy.

“Won’t you be cold?” asked daddy.

“Oh no,” Clara said, “I promise we’ll keep warm and we won’t go too far.”

Finally mummy and daddy agreed to let the intrepid duo go out on their own, on strict instructions that they stay in the one area and come in at the first sign of snow.

Excited, Clara and Burger ran off into the woods to see their little house.

Apart from a light covering of snow the house didn’t look any different to when they had left it. Clara stroked the happy yellow door fondly.

“I missed you!” she whispered softly, so only the house could hear.

Although the sun was out, it was still a cold day, so Clara and Burger holed up inside and started arranging the few meagre possessions they had gathered.

Clara chattered away the whole time while Burger followed her around diligently, carrying tools and straightening cushions as he went.

“I think we could put a shelf here, and some curtains would really brighten it up. Maybe a small table, so we can sit on cushions and eat,” Clara said as she made her way around the house.

After some time there Burger looked up and frowned – as much as a chihuahua can frown. Clara looked up and noticed the same thing Burger had – it was growing darker inside the house, and it shouldn’t be anywhere near evening yet.

Stepping outside, both Burger and Clara’s jaws dropped. Big dark storm clouds were rolling in fast.

Burger barked in alarm.

“You’re right Burger, let’s get out of here!” Clara cried.

As they started the trek back to their parents house the rain started, light at first but growing stronger.

Clara was already running as fast as she dared on the slippery ground.

“Burger!” she cried, “we’re not going to make it!”

Suddenly, Burger sped up and changed direction, diving sideways through some trees and disappearing.

Clara stopped, dismayed. She couldn’t leave Burger out here on his own!

Calling out to him, she fought her way through the wet grass and trees, trying to find where he had gone.

“Burger!” she shouted, “Don’t be scared! We can get home and out of the storm, I promise we’ll be okay. Come back, Burger!”

He didn’t answer.

Clara fought on, but as the storm grew heavier she grew more scared.

‘Maybe I should go home,’ she thought. ‘I can’t find Burger on my own, but mummy and daddy will know what to do’.

Just at that moment she heard something come cracking, crashing and splashing through the trees towards her.

Clara backed up, afraid, until Burger came bounding up to her, his tail wagging and sending water spraying this way and that. Behind him were mummy and daddy, their hair soaked in spite of their rain coats.

“Clara, you’re alright!” mummy cried in delight, snatching her up in a big cuddle.

“Come on,” daddy said, “we have to get to shelter quickly”.

Burger barked commandingly, and they all fell into line behind him, Clara now riding on daddy’s back.

“I don’t think this is the way back to our house, Burger,” daddy called out.

“It’s okay daddy, our house is closer!” Clara shouted to him.

Mummy and daddy exchanged a quick glance, then shrugged and continued to follow the little dog.

After a short time they came upon the little house, but there was no time to admire it. The storm was almost overhead, so the four of them piled inside and shut the door behind them.

Daddy went around the inside of the house, fastening the shutters closed with anything he could find and checking for cracks while mummy grabbed the cushions from the pile in the corner and set them up as a bed. Then mummy, daddy, Clara and Burger all snuggled in together on their cushion bed to wait out the storm.

While the storm was big, the little house held strong, just as it had for many years prior, and despite the roaring thunder and bright flashes of lightning outside, one by one they all fell asleep.

When they woke up, the storm had passed and a new day had dawned, bright and cheerful.

Clara opened her eyes and wondered for a moment where she was. What happened to her big pink room with her pretty blue capiz chandelier? Then she remembered – she wasn’t in her room at all, she was in her house!

She bounced out of bed and ran outside to see how the little house had fared in the big storm. Outside though, her excitement gave way to dismay.

Small branches, leaves and twigs littered her once cleared garden and her fledgling plants had been left beaten and bedraggled by the wind and rain.

One pretty yellow shutter was hanging half off its hinge, while another had a board missing.

Yawning, mummy and daddy came outside to join her.

“It’s not fair,” Clara told them, her eyes downcast. “Burger and I worked so hard to make this house pretty and now it’s ruined.”

“Oh Clara!” said mummy, crouching down to give her a hug, “this is a beautiful house. Just look at that pretty yellow door!”

“Besides,” said daddy, crouching down beside them, “I bet with all four of us working here we can get ‘er done in no time!”.

“You mean, you’d help me? But aren’t you too busy with your own house?” Clara asked incredulously.

“Of course not!” mummy smiled.

“We’re never too busy to help you,” daddy said.

Clara beamed at them both.

“Well then, we’d better get to work!” she said brightly. “Daddy, you and Burger can start clearing all this mess in the yard, I want to talk to mummy about the decor!”

As Clara chatted away to mummy about colours and window treatments and all those other fun things that Burger seemed to find so dull, she realised that her little house was even better when it was shared with her whole family.

March 4, 2012 at 7:00 am 2 comments

Clara’s House – part one

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Clara who lived in a lovely house with her mummy and daddy and her best friend Burger the chihuahua. Clara loved her parents’ house, which they had worked hard to make into a lovely, cosy, fun space for their little family.

But what Clara loved the most about their house was the woods behind it, with trees that were even taller than her daddy and grass so long that in some places all Clara could see was the tip of Burger’s tail. Clara and Burger went to play in the woods every single day when the weather was good.

Sometimes they played hide and seek, other times they played chasey through the trees, but Clara’s favourite thing to do in the woods was to explore.

“Ooh, look at this beetle, Burger!” Clara would cry, and Burger would trot over obligingly to have a look.

Some of the things Clara found seemed really interesting to Burger, but she never let him try to eat anything.

One morning, Clara woke up feeling extra energetic.

“Come on Burger,” she said, “let’s go exploring!”. Burger whuffed agreeably.

“Have fun!” called mummy as they walked down the path to the woods.

“Be careful!” daddy yelled after them.

Off Clara and Burger went, running, jumping and skipping all the way. After a fun morning racing through the woods, Clara collapsed to the ground giggling uncontrollably. Burger trotted over barking his enjoyment and giving her very enthusiastic kisses.

When she caught her breath, Clara sat up and looked around.

“We must have come a really long way, Burger,” she said. “I don’t think we’ve ever been this far away from home before!”

Burger looked at her calmly. They were a long way out, but he knew he could find their way back, following their tracks with his sensitive nose.

“I wonder what we’ll find this far out!” Clara said as she got to her feet. “Come on Burger, lets explore!”

Burger whuffed his agreement and trotted after her.

In this part of the woods the ground was barer and the trees grew closer together. It felt different too, quieter and more still.

Clara and Burger ducked and weaved their way through the trees, the woods getting thicker as they went.

It was hard going, and soon they were both growing warm. But just as Clara was about to suggest they turn back, something caught her eye.

It was definitely wood, but it looked different to the trees.

“Burger, come look!” she cried, speeding up to investigate.

Stumbling into a  small clearing in the woods, Clara gasped, while Burger stood in silent puzzlement.

There in the centre of the clearing stood a tiny, run down house. It looked solid enough, but was clearly very old, with no glass in the windows and weeds growing through what once were flowerbeds.

Clara was spellbound.

“Oh Burger,” she breathed, “it’s beautiful”.

Burger cocked his head at her. He couldn’t quite see the beauty in the dilapidated old house, but then he was often bemused by the things his humans got excited about – like that strange stone dog that mummy seemed to love so much. Burger had tried sniffing him, and didn’t think him much of a dog at all – his nose wasn’t even wet!

Still, Burger loved his humans and was quite happy to follow along with all of their adventures, and this strange old house would be no different.

While Burger was musing on the oddities of humans, Clara was in raptures over the house.

“Oh Burger, there’s so much that we can do! If we find some glass for the windows we can seal it up and add some cute curtains. We can paint the house and the shutters and plant flowers in the garden beds and lay down some floors and make a path… come on Burger, we need to get started!”

To read part two of Clara’s House, click here!

February 26, 2012 at 6:00 am 2 comments

My Grandpa Joe

My grandpa Joe gives me the biggest hugs, with his long, hairy arms.

His hugs are warmer than a bear hug, and tighter than a cobra.

My grandpa Joe gives me the scratchiest kisses, with all his bristly whiskers.

His kisses are scratchier than a cat’s tongue, but a lot nicer too!

My grandpa Joe has the gravelliest voice, when he says “Hello darling!”.

His voice is deeper than the ocean, and growlier than a lion!

My grandpa Joe has the biggest heart in the whole wide world.

It’s taller than a giraffe, and wider than a whale, and in it there is room for grandma, for daddy and mummy, my aunty, my brother and me.

I love my grandpa Joe, with his big hugs and scratchy kisses, his gravelly voice and big heart.

And I will have him in my heart forever and ever, because I know he will always carry me in his.

December 19, 2011 at 9:37 am 2 comments

The Irrelephant

The Irrelephant was an odd sort of chap,
who made comments most immaterial,
If you should ask, “how are you today?”
He’d reply, “no, I’ll have the cereal”.

One could say, “Excuse me, sir,
do you know the time?”
But he’d reply, “Indeed it is,
and what a lovely chime.”

All alone, the Irrelephant lived,
with not a soul to converse.
To the trees and the grass he would chatter away
but they said nary a word.

Until one day, about a mile away,
near the big watering hole,
as he talked to the leaves, the flowers and rocks,
the Irrelephant met a Flamingo.

The lanky bird was rather absurd,
in both her look and her manner.
When the Irrelephant said “Hello”,
she replied, “Oh, thank you nanna!”

“And by the by, if you happen to fly
past the swamp at a quarter to two,
they’re serving chai, and two types of pie,
so you’re sure to enjoy the view.”

From there the two became very firm friends,
and although they couldn’t be dafter,
the Irrelephant and his flighty Flamingo
lived happily ever after.

October 23, 2011 at 9:06 am Leave a comment

Brian’s Tree

gumtree

Image by clogwog via Flickr

Six year old Brian had many favourite things. He had a favourite colour, a favourite teddy, a favourite shirt and a favourite friend – although, all of these favourites could change almost daily.

One favourite that did not change was Brian’s favourite tree.

Brian’s favourite tree was a red gum that stood, tall and lean, in the back yard of the house he shared with his father.

During the day, Brian admired the tree’s subtle beauty, with it’s milky white trunk and grey-green leaves.

But in the evening the tree was set alight with the vivid pink and orange glow of the setting sun. Brian loved to gaze out of his bedroom window in the evening and watch his tree come alive.

Then one day, a large branch fell, nearly knocking over the back fence. Daddy was very worried, although Brian tried to tell him it would be ok.

“I’m sorry Brian,” daddy said, “It’s too dangerous to have a tree that can drop branches that size in a suburban back yard.”

“Can we move it?” Brian asked hopefully.

“It doesn’t quite work like that, mate,” daddy replied. “I’m very sorry Brian, but the tree has to go.”

Brian was terribly sad. He cried that night as he watched the tree glowing in the evening light.

The tree men (a title Brian objected to; he thought they should be called the tree-chopping-down men) couldn’t come until the following week.

At first, Brian moped, but then he decided that he should be spending the tree’s last days enjoying it, rather than being sad.

That night, he held a tea party there with his daddy and all of his toys. His firetruck commented on the freshness of the cucumber sandwiches, while the teddies seemed to enjoy their honey-water.

Then Brian prepared a picnic dinner for himself and daddy to eat under the branches of the tree. They had ham and chutney sandwiches, hard boiled eggs and cheese and carrot sticks. Daddy brought a small cake for dessert, and told Brian he was an excellent picnic host.

On the weekend, Brian and daddy spent half an hour throwing a heavy rope up at the lowest branch of the tree, which was still rather high.

When the rope finally hooked over, they used it to pull up and anchor a large bedsheet to use as a tent, and camped under it.

Daddy set up a small billy for tea, and they sat under the stars talking and sipping billy tea until late in the evening.

By the time the following week arrived, Brian was ready to say goodbye.

That morning before school he gave the tree as tight a hug as he could manage when his arms only went part of the way around.

“Goodbye,” he whispered, a small tear leaking from his eye, “I’ll miss you.”

Daddy gave him a hug and then piggybacked him all the way to school. By the time they arrived Brian was laughing again.

But when home time came, he felt a sense of dread come over him.

He dawdled on the walk home and asked his father several times whether they really needed to go home anyway.

Eventually they made it, but before they walked into the house daddy turned to Brian and said solemly “I have something to show you”.

He unlocked the gate and led Brian down the side of the house into the back yard.

Brian closed his eyes and held on to daddy’s jeans, stumbling slightly. He didn’t want to see what his beautiful tree had become.

“Open your eyes,” daddy said gently.

Hesitantly, Brian opened them, only to see that in place of his tree stood a beautifully carved chair.

Brian gasped in amazement and ran over to explore his chair. Daddy followed him.

“I told the tree-chopping-down men about how much you loved this tree and they agreed that a beautiful tree needed a beautiful memento,” he said.

“It’s your chair, Brian.”

September 11, 2011 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

The Whoopsie Daisy – part one

Once upon a time there was a young daisy who lived in a big field with many other wildflowers. Daisy liked nothing more than to please people, but however hard she tried to do the right thing she would only end up causing problems. Daisy was so clumsy, and the word “whoopsie!” sprang from her mouth so often, the other plants had taken to calling her the Whoopsie Daisy.

Daisius Clumsius - the very unscientific name for a Whoopsie Daisy

Daisy didn’t love the nickname, but she could not deny that she was rather clumsy.

The harder she tried to be helpful the clumsier she got, until the other plants would shout, “For goodness sake Whoopsie Daisy, stop helping us!”

“Whoopsie,” Daisy would reply, “I am so sorry!”

But no matter how sorry she was it never seemed to make things any better.

Daisy’s least favourite part of the day was the early morning, just as the sun was rising. That was when the wildflowers all made the trek down to a nearby stream to collect water for their garden beds.

They carried an assortment of gumnuts and other small containers down to fill with fresh water, then lugged them back again.

It was hard work, but that was not why Daisy disliked it. It was just that, no matter how hard she tried, she never managed to get all of the water back to her garden bed in one go.

She had tried asking her father whether he could go instead, but every time she asked he would sigh and say; “Daisy, I cannot always do things for you when you find them too hard. You must learn to do them yourself.”

Daisy understood, but no matter how many times she made the trip, something always went wrong.

Daisy was usually the last one to get down to the stream. She reasoned that, if there were fewer flowers there, there were fewer ways for her to mess up (along with fewer calls of “Whoopsie Daisy, you’ve done it again!”).

So Daisy chose instead to meander on her daily trip to the stream, stopping to chat to trees and bushes she passed along the way.

But today many of her friends were busy, and when she reached the stream old Grandfather Dandelion was still there, filling a large gumnut with water for his garden bed.

Grandfather Dandelion was fiercely proud of his garden, and took great care to keep it looking nice.

The daily water trips took him longer than many other flowers due to arthritis in his leaves, however he insisted on doing it himself.

“Hello young Whoopsie Daisy,” Grandfather Dandelion said, slowly lifting his gumnut from the stream, “what brings you here so late in the day?”.

Daisy saw that he was struggling to lift the heavy gumnut and worried he might hurt himself. She stepped forward hurriedly to help him, but forgot to look where she was going, and instead tripped on a tree root and bumped right into Grandfather Dandelion, spilling his bucket of water all over him!

“Whoopsie!” Daisy cried, “I am so sorry Grandfather Dandelion. Here, let me refill that for you!”

She reached to take his gumnut but Grandfather Dandelion backed away.

“No thank you Whoopsie Daisy, that’s quite alright. I think you’ve done enough helping for one day,” he replied.

Daisy felt terrible. She stood quietly as Grandfather Dandelion refilled his gumnut and started back to his garden bed, then stooped to fill her own gumnut.

“Why must I be so careless?” she thought, “I only wanted to help and all I did was make things worse. Oh dear, I wish I hadn’t done that!”

She was so wrapped up in her thoughts as she made her way back to her garden bed that she didn’t even notice the water sloshing out of her gumnut.

By the time she got back, her gumnut was only half full.

“Daisy!” daddy cried, “where’s all the water?”

Daisy looked down at her gumnut in dismay.

“Whoopsie!” she said, “I am so sorry daddy. I’m certain it was full when I left. Here, let me take it back to the stream and refill it.”

“No thank you Daisy, I’ll take it myself. Our garden bed needs water, and by this rate it will be afternoon before it gets it.”

He spread the water from the gumnut across part of the garden, then carried it back down the path to the stream.

Some of her classmates saw what had happened and started to laugh.

“Whoopsie Daisy, you’ve done it again!” they shouted gleefully.

Daisy was very sad.

“Why can’t I get things right?” she wondered.

“Nobody else seems to have these problems. Maybe the problem is me.”

Daisy decided to speak to other plants to see what she could do to be less clumsy.

She ran down the path to the stream to ask daddy first. He was very clever and never seemed to mess things up like she did, so he might have the answer.

“Oh Daisy,” daddy sighed when she asked him, “you just need to think before you act. You always jump in and do things without thinking. Now please run along, I really must get this water back to our bed before the sun is too high and it all evaporates.”

Daisy didn’t think his advice was very helpful. She always seemed to mess things up more when she was thinking hard, so how was thinking more going to help?

Next, Daisy went to see Mother Willow, the wisest tree in the forest.

Mother Willow thought long and hard about Daisy’s question.

“It is a big question you ask,” she said finally.

“If one is to become not what one is, then what is one?”

Daisy did not understand. Mother Willow saw the confusion on her face and elaborated.

“Little flower, you must accept what you are, not try to change it. You are the way you are, and that is as it should be,” she said.

“But Mother Willow, I’m not trying to change all of me, I just want to be less clumsy,” Daisy said plaintively.

Mother Willow swayed slightly as she thought.

“Well,” she said at length, “the opposite to chaos is order, and order is formed through discipline. Make every step deliberate and none shall falter from their path.”

Daisy thanked Mother Willow for her advice and left, trying to walk as deliberately as possible, but all it did was make her feel silly.

“It’s all very well being wise,” she thought, “but what good is it when nobody can understand you?”

Part two, coming soon!

August 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

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