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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Roderick, the Highland Bull


Roderick had long Ďhandlebarí horns that jutted out from the sides of his thick,  round head. They werenít very sharp but useful when he tried to scrape bark off trees to eat, or to dig up a potato or a turnip from the rich, peaty soil. Roderick loved to eat turnips. He loved to eat them even more than he loved to eat leeks, and he loved leeks. 

Roderick, the Highland Bull

Roderick had a shaggy reddish brown coat of hair that was so long that it dragged on the ground when he walked. Some of it hung down over his eyes. He had so much hair that it kept him warm in the winter while the cold winds blew and snow fell. 

One rainy morning, as Roderick was grazing in a field of matted, yellowing bracken and fern, a little brown mouse came running up to him. "Roderick, Iím cold and wet. Can I climb into your shaggy hair for awhile and get warm?" Murdo asked.

Roderick looked at the shivering mouse and said, "Of course, Murdo. Grab hold of my leg and climb up. Find somewhere warm and sleep for awhile."

Murdo did just that. He covered himself, including his big ears and his long skinny tail. Soon he was warm and cozy and fell asleep.

Roderick nibbled on some thistle. He ripped the fluffy purple flowers off the prickly stem and gobbled them down. He was still eating when a long-eared hare came hopping by. His fur was gray with brown spots and he was very wet and shivering. "Roderick, Iím cold and wet. Can I climb into your shaggy hair for awhile and get warm?" Torgan asked.

"Of course, Torgan. Grab hold of my tail and climb up. Find somewhere warm and sleep for awhile."

Torgan, the hare, did just that. He covered himself, including his long skinny ears, his fluffy tail, and his muscular paws. Soon he was warm and cozy and fell asleep. Roderick smiled and lowered his head to nibble on some wild oats. He was chewing away when it started to rain even harder. The wind blew his tail back and forth, but Roderick had so much hair that he wasnít cold. He was ripping up some of the oats when a grouse came flying by. She could hardly move as the wind was blowing so hard. She fell and landed near Roderickís head. "Roderick, Iím cold and wet. Can I climb into your shaggy hair for awhile and get warm?" Seonaid asked.

"Of course you can. Grab hold of my ear and climb up. Find somewhere warm and sleep for while."

Seonaid did just that. She covered herself, including her wings, her tail feathers, and her beak. Soon she was warm and cozy and fell asleep.

Roderick saw a large, sturdy oak tree and walked over to it. The rain kept falling and the wind kept blowing, but he wasnít cold. He had so much long, shaggy fur that it kept him warm. Some pretty purplish-pink heather was growing in a cluster near the trunk of the tree. He started nibbling on it. He tore some heather bells up and chewed them. They were delicious. Roderick heard a sneeze above him. He looked up and saw a red fox standing on a branch of the oak. He was shivering and drenched. "Roderick, Iím cold and wet. Can I climb into your shaggy fur for awhile and get warm?" Somerled asked.

"Of course you can. Jump down from the branch into my hair. Find somewhere warm and sleep for awhile."

Somerled did just that. He covered himself, including his long, bushy tail, his pointed ears, and snout. Soon he was warm and cozy and fell asleep.

Roderick kept eating the heather. He smiled. He knew that Murdo, the mouse, Torgan, the rabbit, Seonaid, the grouse, and Somerled, the fox, were warm, and sleeping in his shaggy coat of hair. He had so much hair that he didnít mind sharing it with the other animals.

It stopped raining and the wind stopped blowing. Roderick moved into the sunshine. It felt warm as it shone down on him. He stood in a field, munching away on some delicious bluebells. They had drops of rainwater dripping from them and tasted very good. He felt something moving above his back leg. Then he heard a yawn. It was Murdo. "Thank you, Roderick, for letting me get warm. The sunís out and Iím not cold or wet anymore. Cheerio," the mouse said, jumping down off Roderickís back, and running off towards a bush.

Roderick kept eating the bluebells. Soon he felt something moving on his back, near his tail. Then he heard a yawn. It was Torgan. "Thank you, Roderick, for letting me get warm. The sunís out and Iím not cold or wet anymore. Cheerio," the hare said, hopping down off Roderickís back, and leaping through the bluebells.

Roderick moved towards a burn that was flowing through the field. Its water was cool and refreshing. He bent down to get a drink when he felt something moving near his ear. Then he heard a yawn. It was Seonaid. "Thank you, Roderick, for letting me get warm. The sunís out and Iím not cold or wet anymore. Cheerio," the grouse said, flying off of Roderickís ear, and flapping her wings as she fluttered into a nearby tree.

Roderick took a long drink and walked towards a turnip patch. There were some huge turnip greens sticking out of the wet, brown earth. He bent down and tugged at a huge purple and white turnip. He loved turnips. When he started chewing it, he felt something moving in the middle of his back. Then he heard a yawn. It was Somerled. "Thank you, Roderick, for letting me get warm. The sunís out and Iím not cold or wet anymore. Cheerio," the fox said, leaping off of Roderickís back and running off to get a drink from the burn.

Roderick was happy that he could help his friends. He shook himself and then went on eating his turnips as the sunshine warmed him.


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