A Collie and a Rooster Can be Friends – Vivienne Holmes

1000 words Children 5 – 7 years

Aura, the Border Collie, is settling in well on Joe Flynn’s farm and thinks she is going to be very happy there. Unfortunately, her happiness doesn’t last long when she comes face to face with Eric, the Flynn’s huge, bullying rooster.

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It was Aura’s first day as Joe Flynn’s new sheepdog. She was feeling nervous and wanted to do well. Even though Joe and his wife Maggie were kind to her she still felt shy. That morning, she and Joe had been out to look at his sheep. Aura had moved them from one field to another for him. She was quick and obedient with a calm air about her. She didn’t frighten and scatter the sheep and Joe was pleased with her. Aura was feeling very happy with Joe’s praise as she explored the yard of her new home.

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A Fine Big Chick – Vivienne Holmes

900 words Children 5 – 8 years

Mrs Wagtail loves to boast.  When her only son Ciaran is born she bores all the other birds with details of how big and advanced he is.  She is in for a shock when she discovers her fine son is in fact a cuckoo.

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“Mrs Wagtail is a very silly bird,” Rosie the Robin complained to her husband. “What has she done now?” asked Henry Robin. “She is such a snob. She is always boasting. She thinks she is better than the other birds. She says her nest is bigger. It is better built than ours. Now, she says her chick has hatched already, before everyone else.”

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A Very Exciting Day at the Dog Show – Vivienne Holmes

1000 words Children 5 – 8 years

Shadow the collie and his friend Millie, a rescue dog, are competing in the children’s dog show. Their owners are mortified when Shadow causes havoc at the show, but happily, Millie learns a valuable lesson about herself.

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“Mum, can we enter Shadow and Millie in the Children’s Dog Show?” asked Ella. “Please, please,” begged Jack, her little brother. “I’m not sure about Millie, you know how nervous she is,” said Mum. “What is a dog show?” Millie asked Shadow later. “It’s a big party for dogs. We enter competitions to show how good looking or clever we are.” “Oh, I couldn’t do that,” said Millie alarmed, “I would be too scared.” “You might win a prize,” said Shadow kindly.

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Freddie Parrott on Guard Duty – Vivienne Holmes

Children 5 – 9

Freddie is a cheeky parrot who gets up to all sorts of antics.  He becomes a hero when the house is burgled while his owner is away.

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“Television on,” demanded Freddie. “Say please,” said Dan. “Aw, please, please, pretty please.” Freddie, Dan’s African Grey parrot swayed to and fro on his perch. He loved the television. His favourite programme was Armed Response Unit, an American police drama. Freddie was able to mimic perfectly what the actors said. “Armed Response Unit,” he would say. “Stay where you are. Hands on your head. Move and I’ll shoot!” Old Dan turned on the T V and sat in his armchair. Ginger, his cat, jumped onto his lap and settled down, purring loudly.

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Pedro the Pilot Boat – Vivienne Holmes

950 words Children 5 – 8 years

When Pedro is on duty in the port, things always run smoothly.  One day he falls ill and Iggy, a new, young pilot boat takes over and chaos follows.

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Pedro the Pilot Boat worked hard all day in a large port. He loved his work, it made him feel very important. The port was visited by all kinds of ships large and small. Best of all, Pedro liked the cruise liners, it was part of his job to guide them safely in and out of the port. They were so big they towered over him, but they always followed him obediently. He was in charge to see they kept to the deep water channel.

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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.

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“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.

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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…

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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?”

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Trigg’s Day Out – Vivienne Holmes

1000 words Children 5 – 7 years

Trigg the terrier goes walkabout from his home expecting an exciting day out, only to find instead, the outside world can be a very scary place.

 

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Trigg the terrier was sulking. In fact, he was having a BIG sulk. His family had gone out for the day and left him in the garden. Not that it was a bad thing to do, it was a lovely sunny day and he had his outdoor kennel for shelter if he got too hot, or it rained. He had his toys to play with, his water bowl was full and most importantly he had had his breakfast.

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Who or What is Scruffy? – Vivienne Holmes

1000 words Children 5 – 8 years

Following an accident Scruffy has lost his memory and doesn’t know who or what he is. He gets into all kind of misfortune when he tries to find out his identity.

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Scruffy was an unusual bird. His feathers were shaggy and untidy. Those on his head stuck up like a crown. He walked with a limp as he had fallen out of a tree when he was young. However, what was most unusual about Scruffy, was that he had lost his memory. He didn’t know who he was, or stranger still, what he was! At first, he thought he was a human like Carol Donovan, the farmer’s wife who had rescued him and still looked after him. Then he realised that was really silly.

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