Fergus tossed and turned all night
in his nest. He just couldnít get to sleep. Heíd taken some deep breaths,
fluffed up his pillow, drank some hot milk, and even tried to count sheep,
but no matter what he did, he couldnít fall asleep. Finally he sat on the
edge of his nest and looked down. "Sigh! Everyone else is asleep. I can
see the dog sleeping in his kennel. I can see the cat lying on the mat
outside the front door. There are no lights on inside Mr. Scottís house,
so he must be asleep. Everyoneís asleep except for me."
"Iím not asleep. Hoot. Hoot," said
Oliver Owl. "I sleep during the day and fly around at night catching
snakes and mice." The owl had landed on the branch next to Fergusís nest.
"Iím not an owl and I donít like
being out at night. Itís scary," Fergus answered.
"Canít sleep?" Oliver asked.
"No. Iíve even tried to count
"Why donít you go down to the meadow
and count real sheep," Oliver suggested.
"Thatís a good idea," Fergus smiled.
"Maybe Iíll be able to fall asleep then." Oliver went off to catch a mouse
and Fergus flew over to the meadow. "I see the sheep. There are a lot of
them." He flew around trying to count the bleating sheep. "Thereís too
many of them. Hold still! I canít count you if youíre running around." As
hard as he tried, he couldnít keep track of which sheep heíd counted and
which ones he hadnít. "This is no fun. I think Iíll go back to my nest."
On the way back to the tree he
spotted some highland cows. They were munching away on heather. "What are
cows doing up at night? I thought cows and sheep slept at night too. Maybe
Iíll count the cows." He flew over to them and started to count. "One,
two, three, four, five. There are not enough cows to count. I canít go to
sleep counting five cows." The tired bird headed for his nest.
that?" he wondered, flying down to the loch. "Fish? I thought fish slept
at night." There were several trout jumping out of the loch and splashing
back down. "Iíll count fish." He circled the loch counting them. "One,
two, three." SPLASH! "Watch out. Donít splash on me," he shouted to a
fish. His wings were soaking wet now. "I donít think I want to count
fish." He flew towards his nest.
Fergusís wings were getting very
tired from all the flying around. He started to yawn. "Iíve been up all
night. The sun is starting to rise now. I canít fly another inch." He flew
down to the ground and sat next to a rock. "Iíll just sit here for a few
minutes and rest and then fly back to my nest in a bit." No sooner had he
sat down than he fell fast asleep.
Two highland cows came walking past.
"Look at that little bird. He looks like heís been up all night. Hee hee."
Fergus snored away, not hearing a word they said.