Sidney Snail was curious. Each day he would see something different that made life more exciting and interesting.
He noticed that every morning a man in a blue coat and white cap would come in a small electric cart, stop at the front of the house, go to the front door and put down four small bottles containing something white and then take away some empty glass bottles.
The man came every morning at the same time. The Bottles had a silver top and every day a lady at the house would pick up the bottles to take inside. She would then put them back on the doorstep when they were empty.
Sidney was dying to know what was happening and would walk past the bottles each day to try to find out more.
One morning he saw that Daisy Blackbird was on top of one of the bottles and was pecking at the silver top until she had made a hole in it. “What are you doing Daisy” asked Sidney. “I am very thirsty,” said Daisy and I am having a drink – it is so good. “What is it?” asked Sidney. “It is milk which comes from cows and the cream of the milk is at the top of the bottle and sometimes I break the seal to drink the cream”. “Would you like to try some? Sidney was not sure “isn’t that stealing?” he asked Daisy. Daisy put her head on one side and thought for a moment. “Well, I suppose we should not really do it but it is so good, and anyway, the people in the house should take it in if they don’t want us to have some”.
Sidney convinced himself that Daisy was right and he climbed up the bottle to the top, and drank from the open top. “My that is good and very filling,” said Sidney thoroughly enjoying the taste. He had never tasted a drink, which was so good.
After the two friends had had enough to drink they said their goodbyes. Sidney climbed down the bottle and went to look for Ripple and Frankie and when he found them he told them about his adventure with Daisy. “Well just watch yourself Sidney,” said Ripple “because if you are caught you will be in real trouble”. Sidney was thoughtful.
The next day the Milkman arrived at the usual time and Sidney was waiting nearby. As soon as the milkman delivered the milk he climbed half way up one of the bottles for a drink. Before he could reach the top a hand came down and picked up the bottle. It was the milkman and he carried the bottle (with a very scared Sidney) back onto the Van. “Only 3 to-day” said the milkman out loud. The Van started to move and Sidney hung onto the bottle for dear life. Oh how he wished he had listened to Ripple and Frankie and that he was back with them.
The Van stopped every few yards and the milkman would take bottles to the peoples houses and bring back the empty ones. Sidney decided he would have to try and jump off the van at the next stop, but before he could move, the bottle was picked up and (with Sidney hanging on for dear life) delivered to a strange doorstep. Sidney was shaking with fright. He did not know where he was, nor how he was going to get back home. He went and hid under a stone to think what he could do and fell asleep. When he woke it was getting late and Mr. Moon was beginning to shine in the sky. Sidney had slept most of the day. Worst of all he could not have a drink as there was no milk on the doorstep and he was all alone.
He did not know which way turn for home and he felt so lonely and alone. If only Ripple and Frankie were here. They would know what to do. As if by magic, his wishes were answered, Ripple and Frankie appeared at the garden gate and called to him. He went as fast as he could. He had never been so glad to see anyone in his life.
“Oh thank you, thank you so much” said Sidney “but how did you know where to find me? “Well” said Ripple” we looked all over the garden and were worried. Then Daisy Blackbird came to see us and said the last time she had seen you, you were trying to drink milk from the bottle. The next thing she saw was the milkman taking the bottle away and you with it” You have Daisy to thank for us finding you.
“But if it had not been for Daisy I would not have started to drink milk in the first place and would not have been in this mess” said a guilty Sidney.
“Don’t try and blame Daisy” said his friends. Daisy should not be drinking the milk either but you knew it was not yours so you should have left it alone”
Poor Sidney felt very sorry for himself, but he knew his friends were right. If he wanted something badly enough he had to earn it or ask someone if he could have some. Then he would not be frightened and would not get into trouble.
Ripple and Frankie felt sorry for Sidney – he had learned a hard lesson, so they promised him they would meet him the next day.
As Sidney went on his way, humming a tune, he stopped very suddenly as one of the children put something out on the doorstep. “What could it be”!. He went nearer and saw it was a huge dish with some milk in it. He saw Caesar the cat come to the saucer and start to drink.
Bravely Sidney went up to Caesar. “Can I have a drink of milk please” asked Sidney. “Well just a drop” said Caesar. “How did you know where to find the milk” asked Sidney Caesar looked at him and said “the children put out a saucer of milk here for me every evening”.
So after all be had been through poor Sidney realised that he did not need to take milk from the milk bottles at all. It was there under his very nose every evening.
What a relief he felt, and every day as he saw the milkman deliver the milk bottles he would smile to himself and think “well I shall not get caught doing anything like that again”. I only hope Daisy Blackbird will be as lucky as me”
When Sidney told his mother what had happened she said “Sidney, if you do anything wrong, you will always be found out – I feel sure you have learned your lesson.
He certainly had He would never ever take anything that did not belong to him again.
Written By Barbara Brewin ©
Illustrated by Lenard Eccles