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Sidney Snail and the man in the moon

Sidney Snail and the man in the moon

Sidney Snail slept for most of the day and woke up later than he wanted. When he peeped out of his shell he saw it was a warm evening. The Giants who lived in the big house were having a party at the other end of the garden. They were eating and drinking, and Sidney heard loud music.

Sidney outside hearing music playing

He realised it was starting to get dark and he wanted to see Ripple the Rabbit and Frankie Frog.

As Sidney moved forward he saw Ripple the Rabbit and called out to him. The two friends went down to the pond where Frankie was watching out for them. “I have been hoping to see you all day,” said Frankie. “Let’s do something.”

Sidney, Frankie and Ripple by the pond

While the three friends were thinking about what they could do, it went very quiet in the garden. They looked around and saw all the Giants going into the house. Moving towards the tables, they saw lots of food on the table.

“Let’s have a party, ” said Ripple. “There is plenty of food for all of us”:

The friends looking at the table full of food

“What are those round things tied to the tree?” asked Sidney, after they’d eaten until they were full.

“They are balloons,” said Ripple. “One red, one yellow and one blue.”

“One for each of us,” said Frankie.

Ripple climbed onto a chair under the tree and untied the balloons. He gave the red one to Sidney, the yellow one to Frankie. The blue one he kept for himself.

Ripple hands out balloon

The friends started to walk up the garden with their balloons. “This is fun,” said Sidney. All of a sudden, there was a big “whoosh” of wind.

The three held tightly onto their balloons and when the wind gave another big “whoosh” they were lifted into the air– higher and higher and further away.

The three friends float into the air holding onto their balloons

“Help, help” they cried, but there was no-one to see or hear them. They hung onto the balloons as hard as they could because they knew they would fall if they didn’t. They could see twinkling lights everywhere beneath them, getting smaller and smaller. It was a lovely sight, but they were very frightened.

Then, the sky began to light up; hundreds and hundreds of twinkling stars started to shine. A path of light was being made for them. The three balloons and their passengers were being carried even further into the night.

The wind slowed to a gentle breeze and the balloons began to slow down also. “This is beginning to be fun,” said Ripple.

“It might be for you,” said Sidney “but where are we going and how will we get home?

“Never mind about that” said Ripple “I think we are going to the moon”.

They sky was suddenly bathed in an even brighter light. A voice boomed out, “well hello, who are you and what are you doing here?”

“We are Sidney Snail, Ripple the Rabbit and Frankie Frog. Who are you?

“I” said the voice “am the Man in the Moon”. “Come in and have a drink with me. You must be tired after your journey.

The friends meet the man in the moon

The three friends reached the Moon and a door with a window opened out. Mr. Moon helped them in with their balloons. “Where have you come from?” asked Mr. Moon.

“We have come from our garden a long way down from here. The wind pulled us up with our balloons,” said Sidney.

“You are lucky I was in tonight” said Mr. Moon “because your balloons could not have gone much higher.”

“What do you do here Mr. Moon?” asked the three friends.

“I put the light on at night to light the world so people can see in the dark” said Mr. Moon.

“Gosh” said the three friends “that is very clever. Do you have a light switch”?

“Yes, I can switch the light on and off, but sometimes the clouds get in the way so the light doesn’t shine”.

“Do you go to sleep in the daytime?” asked Sidney.

Mr. Moon smiled. “Not really, because when it’s day light and you are playing, I go to the other side of the world and turn on the light at night for the people there so that they can see”.

“That is even more clever,” said the three friends.

They chatted a long time to Mr. Moon, who was so glad to see them as he didn’t get many visitors. After a while he said, “Well, you will have to go now because I have to turn off the light and go to the other side of the world. My cousin, Samantha Sun will soon be coming, so I am not needed again until tomorrow night”.

“How will we get back?” asked the three friends.”

“I’ll ask East Wind, to be very gentle and she will blow you home. Do come and see me again,” said Mr. Moon.

The three friends went to the door, said goodbye to Mr. Moon, and thanked him for having them. East Wind arrived and said, “I’ll follow you and keep you safe until you are home.”

Then East Wind began to blow the three balloons very gently. Down, down they went. As they got nearer to the earth it began to get light, and they saw Samantha Sun starting to light up the daytime sky. The trees and fields came closer, and soon they were hovering over their garden.

“My job is done,” said East Wind, “goodbye my friends”.”

“Goodbye East Wind” said the three friends. “See you again soon”.

As they arrived in the garden there was a big bang, one, two three big bangs. They looked up and saw their balloons had all burst.

the friends balloons burst

“Oh” said Sidney, “where have they gone?”

“Perhaps they have gone back to see Mr. Moon again,” said Frankie.

They looked up into the sky: The moon had nearly disappeared, but the friends could have sworn they saw Mr. Moon waving to them. They all waved back, said goodbye to each other and went home to sleep, Sidney arrived home and his mother wanted to know where he had been. “I have been to the moon and back with Ripple and Frankie,” he said.

“I think, Sidney, you have been dreaming,” said his mother.

Sidney sat down. “Has it all been a dream?” he asked himself. He would have to speak to Ripple and Frankie tomorrow. They would be able to tell him. After all, wasn’t it eating carrots that helped you to see in the dark?


Written By Barbara Brewin ©
Illustrated by Lenard Eccles

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Tommy Tiptoe

Tommy Tiptoe

After a heavy snowfall, did you ever wake up in the morning and find tiny footprints in the snow? The footprints were made by Tommy Tiptoe.

Tommy tiptoe

No one has ever seen him, not even the Willetts who own the farm where he lives. Tommy Tiptoe is a little elf who has lived there for many, many years.

His home is in a dark comer of the barn, where he sleeps all day, wrapped up in his long gray beard. If you were to catch him sleeping, you would think he was only a handful of cobwebs.

Tommy tiptoe sleeping on a bed of straw

At night he is wide awake. When everyone in the farmhouse is lost in dreams and the animals in the barn are nodding their drowsy heads, Tommy Tiptoe watches over them all.

At midnight he tiptoes from one building to another to see that all is well. He even peeps into the windows of the farmhouse to make sure everyone is safe and sound.

Tommy tiptoe peeping into the farmhouse window

Every morning the Willetts find tiny footprints on the snow but only Kevin knows they belong to the little elf. He knows because Grandpa once read him a bedtime story about Tommy Tiptoe.
At breakfast Kevin looks out the window and sees the tiny tracks in the farmyard. He says to his mother, “Tommy Tiptoe was here again last night. See his footprints in the snow?” His mother just smiles and gives him another helping of his favourite cereal.

Kevin knows Tommy Tiptoe was watching over him again. So each night after he goes to bed he tries very hard to stay awake so he can talk to the little elf: He wants to thank Tommy for looking after him. But every morning when Kevin wakes up. Tommy Tiptoe has already come and gone.

Kevin looking out of the window

After breakfast Kevin goes to all the farm buildings to talk to the animals. First he visits the dog kennel, where his pet is playing with her puppies. “Good morning,” he says to Lady, his shaggy collie. “Have you seen Tommy Tiptoe? I want to thank him for watching over me again last night.”

Lady wags her tail and barks. “No, but perhaps Speckles has seen him.

Kevin speaking to Lady the shaggy collie
Next he visits the noisy hen house, where all the hens are scratching and cackling. “Good morning,” he says to Speckles, the hen. “Have you seen Tommy Tiptoe? I want to thank rum for watching over me again last night.”

Speckles fluffs her feathers and clucks.

“No, but perhaps Stamper has seen him. ”

Kevin speaking to speckles the hen

Next he visits the stable, where Stamper, the black horse, is munching sweet-smelling hay. “Good morning,” he says to Stamper. “Have you seen Tommy Tiptoe? I want to thank him for watching over me again last night.

Stamper shakes his long mane and whinnies. “No, but perhaps Heidi knows where he is, Heidi is a mother, and mothers are very wise.”

Kevin speaking to stomper the black horse

Finally he visits the warm barn, where the cows are slowly chewing their cuds. “Good moming~” he says to Heidi~ the Swiss cow. “Have you seen Tommy Tiptoe? I want to thank him for watching over me again last night.
Heidi swishes her tail and mO-O-O-O-S. “Yes. I’ve seen him. And to-o-onight I’ll give you a cup of milk to-o-o leave for him. Something to-o-o drink when he is thirsty is the only thanks Tommy needs. If it is gone in the mo-o-o-rning, yo-o-ou’ll know Tommy Tiptoe was here.

Kevin speaking to Heidi the Swiss cow

That night Kevin sets a cup of Heidi’s fresh warm milk outside on his windowsill. He climbs into bed to wait for Tommy Tiptoe, but is soon fast asleep.

He dreams, and in his dreams he sees the little elf. Tommy Tiptoe is drinking the milk and smiling kindly at him. The tassel on his gray cap bobs and drops of milk glisten on his long gray beard.

Kevin sleeping and dreaming about Tommy Tiptoe

The next morning when Kevin wakes up, the elf is gone. and there are tiny footprints in the snow. The cup on the windowsill is empty.

At breakfast Kevin says to his mother, “Tommy Tiptoe was here again last night. The milk I left for him is gone, and I can see his footprints in the snow.

His mother just smiles wisely and heaps his plate high with pancakes.

After a heavy snowfall if you look carefully, you may see tiny footprints in the snow. You see them, you’ll know they are the footsteps of Tommy Tiptoe.

Tommy tiptoe's footprints in the snow

By Charlotte Richards©

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Sidney Snail goes quackers

Pip and Pippa the ducks

Sidney Snail had not been out for a couple of days as he had had a bad cold. Ripple the Rabbit had been to visit and so had Frankie Frog.

Sidney snail laying in bed with a cold

Frankie told Ripple and Sidney that there was now a new family living on his pond, Pip and Pippa, two white ducks. He said, “ I don’t know what to do. They are very very noisy and wake everyone up very early in the mornings. They are nice and I don’t want to upset them, but something has to be done to keep them quiet” “Hm! I can see that is a problem”” said Sidney “we will have to think of something!
The following day Sidney felt much better and decided some fresh air would do him good and anyway he wanted to meet the new ducks for himself.

Sidney goes out wrapped up in a scarf and hat
Ripple ran up to Sidney and together they walked towards the pond. They saw Frankie asleep at the side of the pond and woke him up. “Why are you asleep Frankie?” asked the two friends. “Pip and Pippa woke me up very early making such a loud noise” replied Frankie, “I don’t know what to do about it – they even wake the fish up. We are all very tired”.

“Where are the ducks? asked Sidney. “I think they must have walked down to the river” replied Frankie.

Sidney meets Ripple and Frankie by the pond
The three friends decided to go for a walk down to the river. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. Spring was on the way and soon Needles the Hedgehog would be waking up from her winter sleep and bringing her three babies into the garden as would Dolly Dormouse.

The three friends walk down to the river
As they reached the river they could see Pip and Pippa swimming. Round and round they swam chasing each other and the other ducks. They were having fun.

Suddenly Pip and Pippa spotted the three friends and swam towards them. “Hello Frankie” said Pip “who are your friends?” “Frankie replied, “This is Sidney Snail and Ripple the Rabbit”. They all stayed talking for a while and arranged to meet the following day.

Pip and Pippa playing in the river
Sidney decided to have an early night, when all of a sudden he heard a lot of noise coming from the garden in the area of the pond. He put on his warm scarf and looked out to see what was happening. In the distance he could see Brushtail the Fox and he could see Brushtail was up to no good near the pond.

Sidney sees Brushtail up to no good
Luckily Ripple the Rabbit came to call for Sidney as he too had heard the commotion and wanted to see what was happening.

The two friends ran as fast as they could to the pond (Sidney as usual at the back as he was so slow). Frankie jumped out of the pond and there in the middle of the pond were Pip and Pippa swimming round and round in circles trying to avoid Brushtail the Fox who was trying to catch them. Brushtail had put a plank of wood across the pond so he could reach the two ducks. He would eat them for his supper.

Brushtail and the other animals near the river
Sidney, Ripple and Frankie had to do something, and very quickly to help Pip and Pippa.

Ripple ran to the hen shed and banged and banged on the door.

Ripple running toward the hen shed

A very cross Burt the Cockerel called out and asked who it was. “It is me,” said Ripple “we need your help. Brushtail the Fox is trying to catch Pip and Pippa and he will eat them, we must do something”. Burt asked Ripple to try and push open the door to the hen hut from the outside. He and the hens pushed from the inside and suddenly the door flew open.
Ripple ran off and shouted to Pip and Pippa to follow him. Pip and Pippa, quacking very loudly and by now very frightened, followed Ripple straight into the hen house.

Pip and Pippa follow Ripple to the hen house

Burt said they could stay for the night and then shut the door behind them.
Brushtail the Fox was so cross as he walked back along the plank, it slipped, and he fell into the water.

Brushtail falls in to the river

Ripple, Sidney and Frankie all laughed. “Serves you right Brushtail,” they said. Brushtail was even more cross and said, “Just you wait until another time – I will teach you all a lesson”. With that he ran off home, still hungry.
The next day the three friends went to the hen house and there amongst Burt the cockerel, Jenny Hen and the other hens were Pip and Pippa quite happily eating the corn in the hen run.

“Thank you so much” they said to everyone. “Follow us”.

Pip and Pippa with the hens outside
The three friends followed Pip and Pippa into the hen house and there in the corner was a nest made of straw. “Burt and Jenny have said we can stay here at night to keep us safe from Brushtail the Fox”. “This is our corner where we will sleep”.

Eggs in a nest in the hen house

Sidney, Ripple and Frankie were so pleased. Pip and Pippa would now be safe at night. As they left, Pippa handed to them the biggest white egg they had ever seen. They would be able to share that for their breakfast.

Sidney and friends stood around a white egg
The three friends were happy. The ducks were happy. All the animals would be happy in the mornings as Pip and Pippa would not be able to make a loud noise until later in the morning so that everyone would now be able to sleep.

They did feel a bit sorry for Brushtail the Fox. After all if it had not been for him the Ducks would still be on the pond waking everybody up very, very early. Perhaps Brushtail was not so bad, after all. They would have to wait and see.


Written By Barbara Brewin ©
Illustrated by Lenard Eccles

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Pego, The Sea Unicorn

Pego, the sea unicorn

In the mighty ocean lived a little seahorse. He was a very young seahorse learning to swim in the shallow water along the sandy shore. He loved to play hide and seek in the sea grass with his friends. He had many sea animals to visit such as sea urchins, starfish, clams and many others. He was loved by all these ocean creatures. His mother and father taught him to be respectful and kind to everyone.

One bright, sunny afternoon while playing near a pool of water by some low rocks, he could see his face in the water. There was a funny little bump on his forehead which made him look different from all the other seahorses, even his mother and father. When he asked his parents what is was, they didn’t know.

Little seahorse looking at his reflection

Every day the bump kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and it began to twist. The little seahorse was very curious about why it was there and growing so fast. He didn’t remember hitting his head on one of the rocks, which could have caused the bump. What could it be?

As it grew it became more twisty and pointy at the end. That really worried the little seahorse. He had to find out what it was, but who could tell him? He thought to himself, ‘maybe the starfish can tell me’. So he went to see the starfish to ask him what this funny, twisty, pointy thing on his forehead was.

“Hello, Mr. Starfish, how are you today?”

Seahorse talking to the starfish

“I am just fine, little seahorse, how are you doing, you look very worried about something. Could it be that funny, twisty, pointy thing on your forehead?”
“Why, yes it is. Can you tell me what it is and why it is on my forehead?”
MR. Starfish didn’t know, but he said “King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea can tell you.”

This was good news for the little sea horse, so he asked Mr. Starfish where he could find King Neptune. But Mr. Starfish didn’t know where King Neptune was. The little seahorse would have to search for him. But this was a big, big ocean and the little seahorse was a very tiny creature. Who could he ask where to find King Neptune?

So the little seahorse started out on his journey to find the wise King of the Sea. As he swam along he met Mother Whale and her young baby.

Little seahorse meets a baby whale and its mother

“Hello, Mrs. Whale.”
“Why, hello, little seahorse. What are you doing so far away from home, and what is that funny, twisty, pointy thing on your forehead?”
He said with a sad look in his eyes, “I don’t know, so I am looking for King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea, to ask him if he knows what it is. Do you know where I can find him?”
“Little seahorse, I have been up north in the whale nursery giving birth to my baby and I haven’t seen him in a long time. But I am sure someone can tell you where he is.” She showed off her baby. “This is Melody, my new daughter.”
The little seahorse smiled at the baby and said, “Hello, Melody, I am a little seahorse and it is nice to meet you.” Then he said goodbye and started off again on his search for King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea.

Suddenly a giant squid popped up in front of the little seahorse. He was startled because he had never seen a giant squid before.

“Hello, little seahorse, how are you, and what are you doing so far from home?” He pointed to the seahorse’s head with one of his long arms. “What is that funny, twisty, pointy thing on your forehead?”

The little seahorse said, “Hello, Mr…..ummmm….”

Little seahorse meets Mr. Giant Squid

The giant squid laughed and replied, “I am Mr. Giant Squid and I have many arms.”
The little seahorse was a bit embarrassed because he hadn’t known the creature’s name, but he was polite and greeted the giant squid with a “Hello.” Looking sad, he said, “I don’t know what this funny, twisty, pointy thing is growing out of my forehead, so I am searching for King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea. Maybe he can tell me what it is and where it came from.”

Mr. Giant Squid said. “I would help you, but I have many things to do myself. Good luck in your search.” And off he swam with his many arms swishing him along. The little seahorse was left alone to decide where to look next.

By this time he was getting very tired and hungry, so he stopped to rest and look for the tiny brine shrimp that were his favorite food. After a good meal and a much needed rest, the little seahorse began his search once again. He had been swimming a long way from home and had been gone from his family a long time. He needed to find King Neptune soon so he could return home with news about the funny, twisty, pointy thing on his forehead.

Suddenly he saw something scary. “Oh, there is Mr. Mean Shark!” He said to himself. “I’d better hide behind these rocks before he sees me.” Not finding anything tasty to eat, the shark soon swam away.

Little seahorse hides from Mr.Mean Shark

“Wow! That was close! But he is gone now, so I can come our from behind these rocks and be on my way.” The little seahorse didn’t know if Mr. Mean Shark would eat him or not, but he didn’t want to take any chances. “I think I can go now and look for King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea.”

By this time the funny, twisty, pointy thing on his forehead was becoming bigger and bigger and longer. But he didn’t notice how long it was growing because he couldn’t see it. The little seahorse was swimming along enjoying the ocean view when he felt a sudden shock.

“OW! What was that?” he exclaimed.

Little seahorse meets Mr. Electric Eel

“Oh, I’m sorry, little seahorse. It was just me, Mr. Electric Eel, scratching my back on this rocky ledge. By the way, what is that funny, twisty, pointy thing on your forehead?”

The little seahorse told him “I don’t know what it is or why it is there. I’m searching for King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea. Do you know where I can find him? Maybe he can tell me what this is and why it is on my forehead.”

“No I haven’t seen him, “ said Mr. Electric Eel, “but if you keep travelling in the direction you are going, I am sure you will find him.”
“Oh, thank you, Mr. Electric Eel. Thank you so very much.” The little seahorse began swimming again in the same direction.

He hadn’t travelled very far when he met Mr. Giant Clam. “SNAP, SNAP,” went Giant Clam, opening and shutting his huge shell.

Little seahorse meets Mr. Giant Clam

The little seahorse swam quickly out of Giant Clam’s way. “That was too close for comfort”, he said to himself. On he went. Soon he saw Mrs. Jellyfish and her little jellyfish children playing in the sand on the bottom of the ocean floor.

“Hello, Mrs. Jellyfish. How are you and your little jellyfish today? It looks as if they are having lots of fun.”

Little seahorse meets Mrs. Jellyfish and her children

Mrs Jellyfish looked up and said, “Hello, little seahorse. What is that funny, twisty, pointy thing sticking out of your forehead?”

The little seahorse was feeling so unhappy about the funny, twisty, pointy thing that had grown out of his forehead, he almost cried, “I don’t know, Mrs. Jellyfish. I am searching of King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea, to ask him if he knows what it is and why it is growing out of my forehead. I am so tired. I have been swimming many miles in search of him. Can you help me?”

Mrs. Jellyfish thought for a minute and then said, “I’m not sure, little seahorse, I have heard that he is not too far from here. But you must watch out for Mr. Stingray. He is in a nasty mood today. He accidentally stung himself with his tail and it must hurt very much.”

Mr. Stingray

The little seahorse thanked Mrs. Jellyfish and told her he would be very careful of Mr. Stingray. So off he went again in search of King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea.

Suddenly there was a giant shadow over the little seahorse. “My, oh, my!” he gasped. “What is that?”

“It is I, Mr. Stingray, and I don’t feel very good today.”

Little seahorse meets Mr. Stingray

“I am very sorry to hear that Mr. Stingray. Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”
“Well, I don’t know what a little seahorse with a funny, twisty, pointy thing sticking out of his forehead could do to make me feel better.”
“Well, I am not sure,” replied the little seahorse, “maybe I could rub the tender spot with my twisty, pointed whatever-it-is on my forehead. Perhaps it will help soothe you and make you feel better.”
Mr Stingray said, “Very well, you can try.” So the little seahorse gently rubbed the sore spot where Mr. Stingray had stung himself.
“Ah!” cried Mr. Stingray. “That feels so good, little seahorse. Can you rub just a little more?” So the little seahorse rubbed for a little while longer.
Then Mr. Stingray said, “You have made me feel much better. The sore spot isn’t tender any more.”

Little seahorse helps Mr. Stingray feel better

So a friendship began between them. But Mr. Stingray was curious about the thing on little seahorse’s head. “By the way, what is that funny, twisty, pointy thing growing out of your forehead?”

With a gloomy look, the little seahorse replied, “I don’t know. I am trying to find King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea, to see if he can tell me what it is and why it is on my forehead. Do you know where I can find him, Mr. Stingray? I really need to talk to him.”

Mr. Stingray thought for a minute, then pointed with his long, whip-like tail, “If you swim in a straight line in that direction, I think you will find Miss Maddie Mermaid. She can take you to King Neptune.”

“Thank you, Mr. Stingray, for helping me.”
“Well, thank you, little sea horse, for making me feel better and causing my tender spot to heal.”
“You are very welcome, Mr. Stingray. I am glad I was able to be of help to you. Goodbye now and have a nice day.”

Off he went to find Miss Maddie the Mermaid. When he swam up to the surface to look for her, he met the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. With her long, flowing yellow hair and a tail like a fish, he knew this must be Maddie the Mermaid.

Little seahorse meets Miss Maddie the Mermaid

“What is your name?” asked the little seahorse.

A sweet voice answered him, “Why, little seahorse, my name is Maddie…Maddie Mermaid. And what is your name, little seahorse?”
Shyly he said, “My name is….umm…ah, I don’t know, I don’t have a name. Everyone just calls me little seahorse.”
“Oh, I see,” said Maddie the Mermaid. “What is that funny, twisty, pointy thing growing out of your forehead?”
“I don’t know. I am looking for King Neptune, the wise King of the Sea, to ask him what it is and why it is on my forehead.”
Maddie Mermaid said, “Little seahorse, I know just where he is. Will you follow me?”
“Yes, I will, Maddie Mermaid. I am very excited to meet him.”

Little seahorse follows the mermaid

The little seahorse followed the mermaid to a magnificent sea palace. Many beautiful fish were swimming around near the high walls. He had never seen anything like it in his whole life.

Maddie Mermaid told little seahorse all about King Neptune and his kingdom. Then they went inside the king’s palace.

Little seahorse and Maddie the Mermaid arrive at the palace

“Oh, my! Oh, my!” exclaimed the little seahorse. “This is even more beautiful than outside.”

Soon they were standing before the throne of King Neptune. The little seahorse was speechless. There before him sat the wise King of the Sea, King Neptune, holding a trident in his right hand.

He had flowing white hair and a white beard. He was clothed in his shimmering robes of the sea. “How grand he looks,” thought the little seahorse.

Little seahorse meets King Neptune

Maddie Mermaid spoke first. “King Neptune, sir, this little seahorse is here to ask you a very important question.”

King Neptune looked down at the little seahorse with the funny, twisty, pointy thing growing out of his forehead and asked, “What is it you want to ask me, little seahorse?”

The little seahorse was so nervous that he couldn’t seem to think.

“Now, now, little seahorse,” coaxed King Neptune, “you have come a long way to ask me, the King of the Sea, something very important. Don’t be afraid to speak up.”

The little seahorse gathered his thoughts together and asked the important question, “Well, Mr. King, I mean Sir, that s…ah…what is this funny, twisty, pointy thing growing out of my forehead? Where did it come from and what is it for?” The little seahorse finally got all the words out and was relieved to see that the king was listening to him with interest. “It all started to grow from a small bump into this long, funny, twisty, pointy thing. I seem to be the only one with something like this sticking out of my forehead.”

King Neptune spoke to the little seahorse with kindness and authority because he was the wise King of the Sea. “Just sit here next to me and listen to the very important story I’m going to tell you. I know everything that goes on in my kingdom. So I know you have been very kind to everyone you have met on your journey here. You also helped Mr. Stingray when he had stung himself. That was a very brave thing to do.

Little seahorse talking to King Neptune

“You have always shown respect to others. You never say bad things to anyone and are always ready to help when someone is in need. Because you are a very wise and good little seahorse, I have chosen you to receive a very special gift. But you must use it wisely the way you did to heal Mr. Stingray. He is very grateful to you and will always count you as his friend. You proved that no matter how dangerous the task, you are willing to be of service. You were ready to risk your life to be helpful. Mr. Stingray is well and healthy now because you helped him.

“Now you will no longer be just a seahorse. You will be a Sea Unicorn and the twisty, pointy thing on your forehead will be known as a Unihorn. The name comes from the earth’s Unicorn Horse with a twist, pointy horn in the middle of his forehead. His horn has healing powers that he uses to help others in his world. With the gift of healing and comfort in your unihorn, you will be able to help creatures of the sea.


“Now you have earned a place in history as the very first Unicorn of the sea, and from now on, your name will be Pego, after the flying horse called Pegasus. Have you ever heard of Pegasus? He was a beautiful white horse with wings that could carry him off to many far places like a bird and with lots of speed.


He was not afraid of anything. He was King Zeus’ favorite flying horse, and many young brave men tried to catch him for themselves but could never catch him. He was always doing good for people in his world. One day he flew up among the stars, where he now makes his home. He is the flying horse of the sky You have earned this name because of your good deeds.

“I know you will use this gift wisely. Thank you for making the long journey to see me. And you can thank my friend Maddie Mermaid for bringing you to me, as well as all of my friends who showed you the way. Goodbye now, my little sea unicorn friend. Come and see me any time. Maddie will guide you safely home.”

Pego said his goodbyes, too. “Goodbye, Mr…Sir…King Neptune, and I will always remember your kind words. I will live my life so that I am worthy of this great gift of love and healing.”

Maddie Mermaid and Pego then left on the long journey back to his home. When they arrived, a large crowd of all his family and friends were there to greet them. Pego introduced Maddie Mermaid to everyone, then thanked her for all she had done for him.

“Maddie, you will be my best friend forever,” he exclaimed.

Little seahorse thanks Maddie the Mermaid for her help

Maddie bent over and gave him a big kiss on his unihorn. “I’ll come to visit you often,” she said with a smile as Pego hugged her goodbye.

Maddie the Mermaid says goodbye and swims away

Pego remembered the words of King Neptune, “With the gift of healing and comfort in your unihorn, you will also be able to help creatures of the sea.” He went about helping his family, friends, and other creatures of the sea.

Written By Lenard W. Eccles©

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The tale of the Little Christmas Tree

It was December and in a corner of an old stable stood a little green tree.  He had been such a happy little tree living with lots and lots of other  trees, and braving all kinds of weather, snow, rain, sunshine and cold winds.  His green leaves known as needles,  kept him warm in the winter and in the summer he would shed some of his needles so that he would feel cooler.  Life was good in the great outdoors and he was very happy.

One day some men came with shovels and trucks and started to dig all the  trees up. He was quite excited at the thought of an adventure as he had never lived anywhere else in his life.
All the trees were put into the back of a truck and taken away only to be put in a barn according to their size.  The little tree being the smallest was put into a far corner with some other small trees.

“These should stay till last” said a man “as they will not fetch so much money”.  The little tree was very worried now.  During the day lots of people came to the barn and paid the man some money and took a tree away.  Soon lots of the trees had gone and the little tree wondered what would become of them, and even more importantly what would happen to him.  He began to feel frightened.

As it grew dark there were only a few trees left.  Some children came rushing in just before the light faded and took the two trees in front of the little tree.

The barn door was shut and the little tree realised he was all alone.  He was now feeling very cold and frightened.  He had never ever been alone before.  He began to cry.  A tear rolled down and before he knew it he was crying his little heart out.  He wanted to be with the other trees.

He could just see some light through a hole in the barn and realised it was a bright star.  The star saw the little tree and asked him what he was doing in the barn.  The little tree told the star that he was all alone and that all the other trees had been taken away.  The star said he was very sad for the little tree.

The little tree fell asleep and had a dream.  He dreamt that he was in a far away country where it was quite hot.  It was Christmas time and there were lots and lots of people about on foot and some on donkeys.  He seemed to be in a stable of some kind, pushed into a corner.

A man and a woman came into the stable and the woman was crying out.  The man held her gently and sat her down.  The next thing the little tree could hear a baby crying.  The baby was wrapped  in a rough blanket and the man pulled a horse feeder toward the woman and put in some straw  The baby was then laid into the straw trough and slept peacefully.

There was suddenly great excitement and some shepherds appeared at the stable door and came in.  A small lamb galloped to the trough and looked at the new baby and stood watching as if to make sure the baby was safe.  Three men in fine clothes and jewellery then appeared, having travelled by camel, as the camels could be seen tethered outside. The men in fine clothes carried boxes of gifts for the new baby.

One of the men then looked into the corner and saw the little tree all alone.  He picked it up lovingly and dug a hole near to the trough and the three men placed the little tree into the hole. They then put two presents under the tree and decked the tree with straw and placed a third smaller package onto the tree, next to the new baby.
Suddenly there was singing and angels with wings appeared to be flying at the top of the stable.  One touched the little tree and placed a star on the very top.
“Christ the King is born to-day” sang the angels”.   “The Tree of Christ watches where he lay”.  The baby shall be called Jesus, and the little tree will be called the Christ Tree”.

There was much happiness and joy in the stable.

The little tree suddenly woke up.  What was happening to him?  He was being pulled  along on a sleigh by a reindeer and a big jolly man dressed in red with a big white beard.  The big man then knocked on the door of a house and children ran out and grabbed the little tree inside and pulled him inside.  The little tree was put into a huge pot of soil and the children were so excited and laughing.  They put lots of pretty coloured lights on the little tree, some coloured bells and balls and finally an angel on the very top of the little tree.

“You are such a beautiful  little tree” said the children.  The little tree was so happy he wanted to cry.  “We shall plant you in garden and each year at Christmas you will be our Christmas Tree.

The little tree remembered his dream.  He remembered the Angels saying that he would be called the Christ Tree.

Somehow word of the little tree’s adventure got out and from that day the Christ Tree has been a very big part of the Christmas story, and we of course know it as The Christmas Tree.

Barbara Brewin 18th December 2010.  All rights reserved.

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The Storm

The wind and rain battered the small shed in the woods. The thunder roared overhead and the lightning streaked through the trees, crackling as it went. Through the cracked window covered with cobwebs Sheila and Ben could see menacing shadows. Was someone out there? So many weird noises. Were there really witches who lived in these woods? They guessed they would soon find out.

They hid under a sack they had found to hide away as they were frightened and all alone. It had been sunny and warm when they had decided to play truant from school and play in the woods. School was so boring and they could not wait to leave. Why did they have to go every day? What a drag.. The woods were exciting and every time they came it was different.

So many things to see and do, so many animals and birds; a joy to behold They got to know all the birds, Ferdie the Fox, Dolly Dormouse and her family and have fun with the Otters. So much wildlife and so many strange and wonderful plants.

The little stream trickling through slowly to who knows where, but happily gurgling on its way. They would sometimes dip their feet into the clear water and feel the chill on their feet but that did not matter to them. This was fun. This was the life.

No rules, no telling on each other, this was their secret.

They could get into mischief and no one would know, no one would find out what they got up to. This was their place, their secret place. This forest of trees kept their secrets, shared their sorrows and rejoiced in their joy of life, laughter and fun.

The forest had always protected them up until now, had always been their friend and hiding place. Now it was turning into a dark and threatening place; a place they did not know. They were sure the trees were moving nearer and nearer, the wind was menacing and loud. The clap of thunder made them jump and they tried to hide further under the sack, clinging to each other for comfort.

They needed help but there was no one to hear them, no mobile phone, no houses close by. Even if they had one it would not have helped as there would not be any signal. They could feel their hearts beating in their breasts. Their chests felt tight and they wanted to be back at the School. If only.

Back in the village Post Office, Madge the Postmistress looked at the clock. Time to shut up for 10 minutes to fetch the children from School as it was such a bad storm. She did not usually meet them, but to-day was different.. She knew they would be scared of the storm. Putting on her scarf and an old raincoat Madge locked the door and battled against the cold wind and the storm. It was so dark, and when she reached the school gates she was a few minutes late. A solitary light shone through a school window and Madge went to the door and saw the teacher about to lock up. All the children had gone.

The children had left about 5 minutes ago and Made assumed they had gone straight home. Must have missed each other on the way.

Back in the forest, the storm was receding slightly. Inside the shed Sheila and Ben were getting a little braver, and came out from under the sack. Shaking off the dust they decided it would be best to make a run for it.

All of a sudden they heard the most exciting and welcome sound. Voices in the forest looking for them and calling their names. . They knew their two best friends would look for them, that they would never let them down.

Sheila and Ben come through the broken door of the shed and the friends ran towards each other hugging one another with happiness.

Making their way back to the Post Office the four friends were looking forward to their tea and the warmth of the bright fire.

Madge had been about to put out a call for them all, but she was so happy to see them that she told they could have whatever they liked for tea.

As for Sheila and Ben, only they knew why they had not been at the school gates as they always were every afternoon to meet Madge’s children and go home with them.

They too would have an extra treat after their tea. A huge great dog biscuit.

Written By Barbara Brewin ©

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Pippa’s Christmas Lesson

Pippa Alderton lived in the big house on the edge of the village of Bardale, in the Surrey commuter belt. She was an only child and never wanted for anything. She was so spoiled she expected what she wanted when she wanted it and had no time for anything or anyone else.

She went to the most expensive private School in the area in the nearby town of Trussell Marston. Apart from one or two girls who she tolerated so that she could order them about, she had no real friends. Pippa ruled the roost and was happy in her own spoiled little world.

It was Christmas Eve and the shops were full of coloured decorations, loud music and bursting at the seams with Christmas gifts and Christmas Trees of all sizes. People were thronging to get last minute gifts for the holiday.

Pippa wanted to go into town to choose some last minute presents to prop up the dozens of presents already under the largest Christmas tree you have ever seen, with its gaudy bangles and decorations pulling the branches down nearly to the floor. A very expensive fairy decoration stood grinning on the top of the tree

Pippa put on her smart new expensive red coat with a pretty coloured hat, scarf and muff to keep out the cold. Her designer boots clicked as she walked across the huge hall in the house to the huge old rustic door.

The family chauffer, Ben, smart in his Uniform ushered her to the car, opened the door and closed it after her.

Once at the big expensive Department Store, Pippa let rip. She brought dolls, chocolates, games, books, wrapping paper, coloured paper, pencils, even a brand new computer. Poor Ben the Chauffer was given the task of carrying everything until he could not carry any more.

Happy at last Pippa ordered Ben to take the shopping to the car. She then brought a CD player to play music on the way home.

By now it was very dark and the stars were shining brightly, so much so that the roads and countryside were all covered in a white frost. Pippa had lost track of the time. It was getting late. They were the last to leave the Department Store and the road home was very quiet, the hundreds of Christmas Shoppers having long gone home to finish the final touches for Christmas Day and to prepare the turkey ready for the big day.

Oh Pippa was happy; she had everything she wanted and more.

The drone of the car made Pippa feel sleepy and she started to doze off. All of a sudden she woke up with a start. She was cold, the car had stopped, it was pitch black and she felt scared. What was happening? Where was Ben?

She called out. There was no reply. Pippa felt something cold on her lap. It was a torch. Ben had left the torch and a note to say the car had broken down and he had gone for help. She should keep the car door locked and wait until help arrived.

Pippa was so cross. She was not going to stay in the dark in the middle of nowhere. She would jolly well show them. Anyway she had to get home to sort through all her shopping and decide where she would keep everything she had brought. She did not get bored on Christmas Day.

Pippa opened the car door, waited till her eyes adjusted to the darkness and started to walk. It was slippery, it was cold, but all of a sudden the moon came from behind the clouds giving a spooky light amongst the trees at the side of the road. She walked on for a while and suddenly the road came to an end.

She turned around, but the moon had gone in and it was dark again. She was lost and now she was getting scared. She slipped on the wet ground and fell. She could feel mud all over her. She was now very frightened and upset. Her new clothes would be ruined.

She struggled up and in the distance she could see a dim light. She slowly walked towards it, hitting brambles and nettles and overhead leaves. She felt the branches scratching her face and tangling her hair and she wanted to cry. Something she never did.

After what seemed ages she arrived at the site of the light and it seemed to belong to a very run down old house. She banged on the door, and before she could speak the door opened and she fell inside. It was very dim, the main light coming from a few logs on the meagre fire. A small girl in threadbare clothes helped her up and sat her on a creaky wooden chair. The small girl went away and returned with a steaming cup of broth. Pippa looked at it in disgust. The mug was cracked but she was cold so she took a sip. The warmth of the broth stung her throat, but she started to warm up.

Pippa then looked into the corner of the room and a lady was lying there crying and moaning. The woman was crying and in pain.

“What is your name?” asked the little girl, “mine is Holly”. “I am Pippa and I live in a big house”. “Where are all your Christmas presents”? asked Pippa “and where is your Christmas tree? You can’t have Christmas without a Christmas tree and lots of presents.”

Holly replied with a sigh and a brief smile, “Mummy is poorly, daddy is away, so we have no money”. I picked a branch up to-day and some cones and they are in the back room”. “They are so pretty”. Pippa stood up and peeped into the back room. There propped up in the corner was a branch with a few twigs on it, some cones and some cotton wool balls. Not a single present was by the makeshift tree.

Suddenly there was a loud cry; Holly’s mother was calling for help. “Help Holly please, I think the baby is coming early”. Holly listened to her mother and went into the kitchen followed by Pippa. Holly put some water in an old saucepan and started to boil it, she collected some towels. “Let me carry the saucepan” said Pippa.

The two girls went into the living room with the towels and saucepan. Suddenly before they could do anything they heard a cry. There before their very eyes lay a new born baby boy with jet black hair and a screwed up little red face crying his heart out.

Pippa saw a blanket on a chair and ran to get this. Doing something she had never done before she wrapped the blanket around the baby boy. to keep him warm

Holly’s mother started so smile and so did Holly. Holly had a new baby brother. Pippa did not know what to do and felt very awkward. Holly started to sing to the baby boy “silent night, holy night”. Pippa had a very strange feeling, she had a lump in her throat, and her eyes started to fill with tears and before she knew it she was sobbing uncontrollably. She had never cried since she was a baby.

Holly and her Mum had very little and yet they were happy. How could this be? Surely they needed lots of money and food and presents to be happy like she was?

Suddenly voices could be heard in the distance getting nearer. Holly and Pippa ran to the door and Ben stood there with a bright torch and some other people warmly wrapped in scarves and gloves. Ben told Pippa he had been worried when he returned to the car and found her missing. With the help of people from the nearby village, they had found her hand muff lying on the side of the road where she had lost her way and followed the foot indents in the mud to this the only cottage for a few miles.

Gently Holly with the help of one of the grown ups cut the chord from the baby. Holly then handed the baby boy to Pippa who for a moment, took a step back and then opened her arms. The baby boy wrapped his fingers around Pippa’s little finger and she felt a stirring feeling she had not known before, a feeling of love for this little miracle.

Pippa handed the baby back. Holly’s mother thanked everyone for their help and said that she was going to call the baby Joshua.

It was now time to go home.

Pippa turned to say goodbye and went to the door. She suddenly ran back and gave Holly a great big hug. “Can we be friends please?” asked Pippa. “I would like that very much” said Holly.

As Holly went to the door to see her new friend Pippa off and all the villagers, she looked up and there in the sky above the little house was a huge star standing apart from all the others. It was beautiful.

In the distance the village church clock began to chime, slowly very slowly twelve times. The church bells then pealed out their message to say it was now Christmas Day.

Pippa climbed into the rescue car, looked out of the window as the first gentle white snowflakes of winter fell. She had everything she wanted. But……………., Holly who had so little was the lucky one. She had a new baby for Christmas and Pippa would have given ANYTHING to have a new baby brother for Christmas.

Next morning Holly awoke and rushed downstairs to see Joshua and to see if there were any presents under the tree. Nothing – but Holy was happy; she had seen the big lucky star which Joshua had been born under; there was snow on the ground and on the trees. This was better and prettier than the largest Christmas tree in the world. But best of all she had a new baby brother, Joshua.

“Yes” thought Holly to herself “this is the BESTEST Christmas I have ever had”

Meanwhile at home in the big house, Pippa sat under the tree, her presents unopened. How she wished she could change places with Holly. Yes Holly was lucky. She was the one who had everything.that mattered. Perhaps she would call round later with a gift for Holly and Joshua.

But best of all Pippa had found a new friend in Holly, what more could she ask for? Yes for Pippa too Christmas was going to be wonderful after all. A Christmas she would never forget.

Written By Barbara Brewin ©

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Sidney Snail and the rainbow

Sidney Snail and the rainbow

It had been raining nearly all day and Sidney Snail had not wanted to go out as it was too wet underfoot and he did not like getting wet. He could hide under his shell but his feet still got wet.

All he wanted was for it to stop raining so that he could go out to meet Ripple the Rabbit and Frankie Frog.

At long last he could see Samantha Sun was trying to shine. “This is good” he thought, “ I shall now be able to go out.” He put on his warm scarf and set out down the garden. As he looked up into the sky he could see the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. “What are you looking at Sidney?” asked Ripple the Rabbit who had appeared from nowhere. “I am looking at all those colours in the sky,” said Sidney “they are so pretty but what are they?”. “They” said Ripple who knew everything “ are the colours of a rainbow”. “What is a rainbow?” asked Sidney.

Sidney, Ripple, and Samantha looking at a rainbow
“A rainbow comes when it has been raining,” said Ripple “and Samantha Sun shines. She catches all the colours and a rainbow is formed.” At that moment Frankie Frog appeared.

He too was fed up with the rain. “Look at those colours” said Frankie “Yes” said Ripple “the colours of the rainbow are red, orange. yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet”. Sidney and Frankie were very impressed.

“Did you know there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? asked Ripple. “Really?” said the two friends. “Yes, if you can find the end of the rainbow you will find a pot of gold,” said Ripple.
Sidney and Frankie were very excited. “What are we waiting for?” said Sidney, ”let’s go and find it and we shall be very rich.”
The three friends set off in the direction of the rainbow. It seemed a long way to go but then it seemed to be getting nearer.

The friends set off towards the rainbow

The three friends crossed a river, Sidney sitting on Frankie’s back as Sidney could not swim, and then they walked across fields but still the rainbow end was not in sight.

the friends swim across the river

“Are you sure you are right about the pot of gold” asked Sidney “my feet are beginning to hurt and I am tired. “Just think of the pot of gold,” said Ripple and Frankie, who were very excited, “we are going to very rich and shall be able to buy anything we want”.

An hour later they came the top of a hill. Poor Sidney was very out of breath because he was much slower than his friends.

Sidney and his friends on top of a hill

As they looked down into the Valley they could see the end of the rainbow. They were very excited. Ripple and Frankie began to run down the hill, but poor Sidney could only walk slowly “It’s not fair he said, they can run faster than me”.
As Sidney finally caught up with his friends, they could see where the rainbow met the ground.

“This is it,” said Sidney “but how do we find the pot of gold? “We will find a spade and dig a big hole to find the gold,” said Ripple.

They looked around but could find nothing to dig with. “Oh, what can we do?” cried Sidney I have not come all this way to go back empty handed”.
The three friends looked around and suddenly Frankie spotted something. It was a large tree with a big hole in the bottom.

The friends see a tree with a hole in the bottom

The three friends went to look and as they did so out jumped Brushtail the Fox. The three friends stepped back “What do you think you are doing here?” asked Brushtail the Fox. “We are looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” said the three friends. Brushtail started to laugh, “you don’t really believe that do you? he said, “if there was one I would have found it. Anyway I am off to look for some supper” With that Brushtail left them, laughing at the three friends.

The three found a large stone with a flat edge and began to dig into the ground with it. It was hard work, but after a while they gave up. They could find nothing and were very disappointed.

“Well” said Sidney “I think Brushtail is right. We cannot find it and we may as well go home”. Sadly the three friends started to walk home. The rainbow was slowly disappearing and it was starting to get dark.
As they reached their garden, the three friends felt quite sad, it had all be for nothing. Then the garden began to light up and as they looked up they saw the Man in the Moon had switched on his light so that they could see.

The friends return to their garden under the light from the man in the moon

The three friends walked by the pond when they saw something glistening in the light. Whatever could it be? It appeared to be coming from the pond itself. They stopped and could see things glistening under the weeds at the side of the pond.

They see something glistening at the side of the pond

Frankie jumped into the pond to have a look. As he came up he said “You will never believe this” but there is a pot of gold under the weeds”.

The friends looking at the pot of gold

With Ripple’s help Frankie and Sidney managed to pull it out of the water. It was very heavy.
As they put the pot down they could see shining stones. There were hundred and hundreds and hundreds of them; all different colours. Let us take one each as they are so pretty “ said Sidney.

Sidney chose a diamond; Ripple a sapphire, which was a blue stone and Frankie chose a green stone as it would blend in with his colour in the pond,

All of a sudden there was a lot of noise in the garden and people running about, lots of men dressed in blue and two men in masks.

Men in blue and men in masks arrive by the pond The friends ran and hid as they were scared. At last it went quiet and the three friends came out of their hiding places. They looked around them but there was no one about. They went back to find the pot of gold, but it was no longer there; the men in blue had taken it away.

“Oh what a shame, I really thought we were going to be rich” said Sidney.

“Well we are really” said Ripple. “Those men must have found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and hidden it in the pond as they wanted it for themselves. We have got a stone each and we now know that there really is a crock of gold at the end of the rainbow. We shall have to tell Sophie Spider, Daisy Blackbird and Burt and Jenny and all our other friends. They will never believe us.

The three friends look at their stones
As the three friends said goodbye, they looked up into the sky and they could have sworn Mr. Moon winked at them. After all he had put a light in the garden for them to find the pot of gold.

The friends say goodbye to the man in the moon

The three friends were very happy after their adventure. And next time they saw a rainbow they would definitely find the next pot of gold.

Written By Barbara Brewin ©
Illustrated by Lenard Eccles