The Colonel and Osbert – Christine Findlay
Osbert Owl comes from a long line of very wise owls. But he’s fed up being wise. He isn’t getting any sleep because his Beech Wood friends keep disturbing him, looking for his advice. What is he to do? His handsome pheasant friend, The Colonel, has the answer.
Osbert sat high on a branch of Grandfather Beech and sniffed quietly. He was not a happy owl. He couldn’t get a minute’s sleep for a steady stream of visitors all looking for advice. They came because he was known throughout Beech Wood and beyond as a very wise creature. But he was fed up being wise. It brought you nothing but trouble and sleepless days. Something had to be done or he would collapse from exhaustion.
The Colonel and Rackety Rook – Christine Findlay
The peace of a beautiful, Spring day in Beech Wood is suddenly broken by the arrival of Rackety Rook and his noisy gang, The Colonel has had enough. He needs a plan to shut these birds up. But how do you silence a choir of rooks?
The Colonel preened himself in the welcome sunshine of Blair Field. He stretched his wings wide to enjoy the delicious warmth. His feathers were looking decidedly shabby after a long, wet winter spent sheltering in Beech Wood. He was looking forward to his new spring colours appearing – rich sea-green and fiery-bronze. Oh, what a handsome pheasant he would be in his dazzling finery. Smack! Suddenly the Colonel felt himself being catapulted along the ground in a blur of sky and sun. A clamour of ear-piercing caws filled the air. Rackety Rook and his pals had arrived back at Beech Wood.
The Colour Pixie – Tracey Glasspool
1000 words Children 3 – 7 years
Chloe lives in a dull and dreary land of grey. When she encounters a strange visitor one day he changes her world completely – but how?
This story is included in the collection Read It Again
Chloe lived in a land of grey – a dull and dreary and dismal land. Everybody who lived there knew that there was something missing. But nobody knew what it was. One evening, as Chloe was having a cup of grey cocoa in a grey mug in her grey kitchen, she heard something WHOOSH overhead. She rushed to the window and looked out. She saw a bright flash and a ribbon of light snaking through the sky overhead. It seemed to be heading towards a nearby wood.
The Crafty Fiddlers – Pam Ramage
680 words Children 4 – 7 years
The King’s fiddlers badly needed a holiday, but the king had other ideas. So, they came up with a plan – but, would it work?
This story is included in the collection Read It Again
Old King Cole was sitting on his throne as usual, with his feet on his red velvet cushion. Smiling very contentedly, he puffed at his long pipe and listened to his three fiddlers playing his favourite tunes. “Excellent!” he said, laughing, when they had finished. “Play them all again…” So, once again, the fiddlers played for the king until the sweat dripped down their faces.
The Curious Bee – Catherine Lang
800 words Children 5 – 7 years
Matilda is a honey bee, out foraging for the first time. She decides to go exploring and discovers lots of colourful flowers in her garden, but she has to enlist the help of other friendly insects to find her way back to where her sisters are busily working.
Matilda Bee flew higher and higher. She wanted to see everything. For weeks her sisters had told her all about the beautiful flowers they visited each day. Today she was determined to see them all for herself. It was Matilda’s first trip away from home. She lived with all her sisters in a big hive in the far corner of the orchard. They shared the plants with lots of friendly insects.
The Dawn Chorus – Vivienne Holmes
1100 words Children 5 – 8 years
Rocco, a young rook, longs to be part of the Dawn Chorus. There is just one problem, he can’t sing! However, with some good advice from an owl and co-operation from the other birds, his problem is satisfactorily resolved.
“Kaargh, Kaargh, Kaargh!” The leaves on the tall beech tree trembled. The long grass in the orchard waved as if a wind had passed through. A rabbit coming out of his burrow, turned around and dashed in again. “Kaargh, Kaargh, Kaargh!” Mrs Clarke banged her bedroom window shut. Tigger, her cat, raced indoors, scrambling through his cat flap. It was just another morning at Riverside House. Rocco, the rook, was practising his singing.
The Dreaded Pirates from the Planet Uranus – Lorna Broomfield-Carradus
1400 words Children 6 – 10 years
This story is from:
The Absolutely Positively True Stories of The Awesome King Richard
Whist delivering a priceless treasure to Venus Kered, Richard’s best friend, is ambushed by the dreaded Pirates from the planet Uranus and jettisons the treasure to earth. With only his dog Penny and his triple canon doubly drenching water pistol Richard must protect the treasure from the Pirates. The fate of the universe lies in his hands…
The best thing about living on Earth is the school summer holidays. Six glorious weeks of chilling out. We don’t get anything like this on my home planet Mars. So far my holidays had been uneventful and restful. Apart from spring cleaning the junk out of my bedroom, clearing the garage, cutting the grass and washing the windows inside and out to earn extra pocket money I’d done nothing but read comics and swim. There had been no crises on Mars, all the pets were acting rather normal for a change, and even my little sister was being less of a pain in the neck than she normally was. In fact, things were rather dull until one night in mid-August.
The Duchess and the Donkey – Helena Sheridan
500 words Children 5 – 7 years
The Duchess does nothing and was very, very lazy until Humphrey Humphitall came along. Then everything changed.
Duchess Doesnothing was very, very lazy. Every morning she would lie in her enormous bed and call out to her servants. “Get my slippers! Open the curtains! Fetch my breakfast!” The servants would rush about the big house doing all the things the lazy Duchess wanted.
The Duckling Who Couldn’t Swim – Joan Zambelli
900 words Children 3-7 years
Brand New Version including both the Poem and Story
Dulcie Duckling’s twin brother was already a brilliant swimmer. Dulcie preferred to sit and gaze at her reflection in the water, rather than learn how to swim. Fancy being a duck and not being able to swim! But Dulcie had a BIG problem.
It was a lovely sunny day. Fleecy clouds drifted overhead in the blue sky. The reeds swayed in the gentle breeze and ripples danced on the pond. However, Dulcie Duckling was unaware of her beautiful surroundings. She liked nothing better than to sit gazing at her reflection in the water.
The Dummy Snatcher – Greta Yorke
670 words Children 3 – 7 years
Little Max thinks he needs his dummy. Will The Dummy Fairy manage to convince him that she needs the dummy more than him when she takes him on an amazing journey? Will Max let his dummy go?
It was bedtime and, as usual, Max was hunting everywhere for his dummy as usual. “Why don’t you try to go to sleep without it tonight?” asked his Mum. “You’re a big boy now, you don’t need a dummy!” “I do need my dummy and I won’t sleep if I don’t have my dummy,” Max shouted as he searched his room.
The Elf Who Didn’t Like Christmas – Holly Stevens
1200 words Christmas / Children 5 – 7 years
Gregac was a very grumpy elf who hated all the hard work that Christmas brought. Then one day, Santa took him out on his sleigh to see why Christmas is so important.
Once upon a time there was a miserable elf who really didn’t like Christmas at all! His name was Gregac and he lived in the North Pole with Father Christmas, the reindeers and lots and lots of other elves and gnomes. You would have thought that living with Father Christmas all year round would make anyone very happy indeed, but not poor Gregac. The miserable elf didn’t like all the commotion and fuss that Christmas brought.
The Fairy Without a Name – Joan Zambelli
1180 words Children 3 – 7 years
Everyone called her, ‘Fairy’, but the beautiful fairy longed to have a first name. That would surely be her best Christmas present ever.
The most beautiful fairy that ever lived in Fairy Dell should have been very happy. Her best friends, Dewdrop Fairy, Pearldrop Fairy, and Rainbow Fairy, all loved her very much. All the birds and creatures who lived in Fairy Dell loved her, too. The trouble was that nobody had given the beautiful fairy a first name, so everyone called her just, ‘Fairy’. This seemed so unfair, as she wanted a first name, too. She felt sure that if she ever found her first name, she would be truly happy, just like all of her friends.
The Fearless Forrest – Pam Ramage
700 words Children 4 -7 years
Forrest Frog was bored on the riverbank. Then Dippy the Dragonfly arrived & told him he had been at the sea-side. Forrest decided he would go & has quite an adventure.
Forrest, the little green and black frog, lived on a sandbank beside the river. One day he was feeling bored, when whizz… Dippy the Dragonfly landed beside him. “I’ve been to the seaside!” he boasted. “Hmph!” said Forrest, grumpily, wishing he could fly. “You should go,” Dippy said. “There’s lots of water and golden sand and…” “I can’t hop that far, and I can’t fly,” Forrest interrupted.
The First Christmas – According to Robin Redbreast – Joan Zambelli
800 words Children 3 – 7 / Christian
Robin Redbreast’s great, great, great, however many greats…Grandad, had been in Bethlehem that very first Christmas. Robin Redbreast enjoyed sharing the story his family had passed down to him about the birth of baby Jesus. And he had to make sure that Simon Scarecrow knew how very special Christmas was, too.
Simon Scarecrow awoke to the sound of church bells ringing out loudly. He yawned, stretched his arms out even wider, and then shook the snow from off his rather tatty straw hat. “Just when I had decided to have a sleep-in, or perhaps I should say a sleep-out.” He sighed.
The Forgotten Toys – Pat Boulton
When the people in the house moved, they forgot to take the children’s toys from the attic. The children who used to play with the toys, had now grown up, and had also forgotten all about the toys they had played with as children.
The toys were very unhappy living in the attic, as they had been there on their own for such a long while. They were wearing out, and looking very dirty, so they decided to find a way of escaping from the attic.
“Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear!” Bruno, the big brown furry toy bear, said to his friends. “I’m so tired of sitting on this chair, day after day. Look at me? My lovely fluffy fur is all patchy where it’s wearing out, and I’m covered in dust.” “I feel just the same,” said Paddy, the yellow furry bear, with the red duffle coat.” I’m looking very shabby now, and my red duffle coat is wearing out.” “How do you think I feel then?” Floppy, the little white rabbit said sadly. “My lovely white fur is grey and my bright green dungarees are now all faded and worn.”
The Great Egg Hunt – Pam Ramage
740 words Children 4-8
The egg hunt was on to win a special prize. Freddie lined up along with his classmates, and Jamie, the new boy in his class. They couldn’t wait to try and solve the clues.
“Get ready to open your envelopes on the count of three,” shouted Mr. Sim, the judge…..Who would be the winner, as the clues got harder and harder?
“Are you entering the Easter egg hunt on Saturday?” Freddy asked Jamie, the new boy in his class. “That depends…it’s fifty pence to enter,” Jamie replied. “That’s nothing. Don’t you get pocket money?” “Not much. There’s six of us and dad’s just lost his job…” “Oh,” said Freddy sympathetically. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
The Green Thumb Project – Mariah Deitrick
510 words Children 6 – 10 years
When Max is sick, his friend Devon brings his assignments home for him. Included in Max’s homework is a class project. Max is thrilled when he finds the perfect object to help him get an easy A. But when he stands in front of the class and shows off his project, he realizes he misunderstood the assignment.
“Here’s your homework,” Devon said. “What’d I miss?” I asked. “We have a new project due Monday,” Devon said. “The papers are in here.” He tapped the folder holding my assignments. “Thanks,” I said. “You’re so lucky, Max,” Devon said. “You get to miss a whole week of school.”
The Grime Gremlins – Helena Sheridan
500 words Children 5 – 7 years
The Mayor of Clutterborough was very upset because every night the grime gremlins would sneak into his nice, clean town and turn all the bins upside down and make a terrible mess.
“What can I do?” cried the Mayor, then suddenly he had a great idea.
The Mayor of Clutterborough was very upset because his clean little town was suddenly very untidy. Every day the villagers would put all their bottles, tins cans and cardboard boxes into the rubbish bins, but when darkness fell something very strange happened…
The Grumpy Jester – Greta Yorke
750 words Children 5 -7 years
Jaxon the jester wakes up in a bad mood which is not good when your job is to make the Baron happy. Jaxon meets several people as he walks around the castle trying to keep out of the Baron’s way but will they be able to help him?
Jaxon the jester woke up and something was wrong. For the very first time he was in a very bad mood! Now Jaxon’s job was to make the Baron happy with jokes and funny stories. ‘Oh dear, I can’t go to the Baron like this,’ he said. He went walking round the castle hoping to get rid of his bad mood. First he went to the kitchen where Caitrin the cook was making apple pies.
The Hamster – Lorna Broomfield-Carradus
1000 words Children 6 – 10 years
A story from:
The Absolutely Positively True Stories of the Awesome King Richard
There is something odd about Katie’s new hamster. He sleeps all day, his eyes glow and he loves biting people. Richard is the only one who recognises him for what he is… a Vampire. Can Richard rid them of the vampirish hamster before his evil plans are set in motion?
My sister Katie is a pain in the neck. But sometimes, just sometimes, she can have a bright idea… Sort of. For her last birthday she decided she wanted a hamster. I went to the pet shop with Mum to make sure she picked out a decent one. So there we were, in the middle of the smelly pet shop, nasty little rat dogs in a large pen yapping away, cool quiet lizards lazily lying in their tanks, and Mum, sickeningly cooing over the hamsters. “Oh, the babies.” Pass the sick bucket, please!
The Homing Pigeon Who Didn’t Come Home – Vivienne Holmes
1000 words Children 5 – 8 years
Sean is delighted when his Granddad gives him a young homing pigeon. He names her Echo because she always comes back to him, until one day…
Every morning, after the school bell rang, Miss Dolan and her class held News Time. Anyone who had any news could tell the class. It could be any kind of news. Someone’s birthday. A match won. The cat had kittens. Anything at all. Sean couldn’t wait to tell his news. “ Granddad has given me one of his homing pigeons, a young one. Her name is Echo. I’m going to train her.” “That’s nice,” said Miss Dolan, “What a pretty name she has. Did you choose it?”
The King of Mars – Lorna Broomfield-Carradus
1500 words Children 6 -9 years
Richard is late for school, but his best friend has pleaded with him to return to Mars to solve a major crisis. Should Richard risk the wrath of his teacher and help his fellow countrymen, or leave them to sort it out themselves?
Mum calls me her “special little man.” My friends say I’m not normal. My little sister calls me a freak most of the time. And as for the dog? Well, she has this habit of running in circles and biting her tail when I’m around. She never does that when I’m not around. Dad says so. Dad says I must have a strange bio-electrical force emitting from me. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds pretty cool. And you know what? It’s all true what they say.
The King Who Never Smiled – Joan Zambelli
850 words Children 3 – 7 years
Queen Happygolucky began to wonder if King Moanalot knew how to smile. Then, one day she found the perfect way to make him smile. And if her plan worked, everyone in the kingdom would smile, too!
This story is available in the collection Home Sweet Home
King Moanalot never smiled. He was too busy moaning and groaning. Thankfully, Queen Happygolucky never moaned. She smiled a lot instead. One morning, King Moanalot began grumbling the minute he awoke. “It’s raining!” he moaned. “It’s always raining.” “Well dear,” Queen Happygolucky said, “just think how lovely the rain will make our grass look. It will be the most beautiful green.” But King Moanalot didn’t care if the grass turned blue!
The King’s Big Black Boots – Pat Boulton
630 words Children 5 – 8 years
King Frederick, was always forgetting things, and the Queen had to remind him that it was an important day, and he would soon have to get ready to meet his subjects. All their golden robes had been laid out, but the King refused to wear the gold shoes.
He made everyone wait until he found his favourite black boots.
Hooray, hooray, the King’s loyal people were shouting for him to ride through the streets in his golden carriage. King Frederick, looked out of the window, and saw crowds of people outside. “Was I supposed to be going somewhere today?” he asked the Queen. “Why of course you were, silly King forgetful,” This was his nickname the Queen gave him.
The Last Cookie – D. A. Cairns
1200 words Children 6 – 11 years
Two brothers learn a valuable lesson during a breathtaking conspiracy.
‘Race you home, Matty!’ yelled James to his younger brother. The older boy’s long legs carried him quickly along the footpath, through the gate and up the steps to their front door. As James fumbled in his pocket for the keys, Matty bounded through the gate and joined him on the porch. ‘Beat you,’ declared James proudly. ‘You always win. It’s not fair. You should give me a head start or something.’ ‘I can’t give you longer legs. That’s what you need to beat me.’