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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
I Canít Sleep


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 sheep."

"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.

I Canít Sleep"Whatís 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.


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