“Mac, I can hardly
wait for night-time to come,” Ian said, gathering a handful of berries.
“Oh? Why is that?”
Mac plucked a few ripe ones.
Ian shoveled the berries into his mouth. “Oh good. These are ripe. Say,
why not go over to the bakery and see if there are any toss outs.”
sunset. There won’t be any for another hour, but I suppose we can take a
slow walk over.” Mac picked a few more berries and off they went. “By the
way, Ian, I don’t want you to think I’m going to tell you a story every
single night. Make sure you eat a lot and get full. That will help you go
to sleep quicker.”
through a few trash cans on the way to the bakery. By the time they
arrived at their destination, three bags of old pastries and cakes had
been put out. “Ah, we’re in luck.” Ian stuffed his face with ginger loaf,
cream puffs, custard cups, éclairs and Battenburg cake. “I’m full. I think
I’ll sleep tonight.”
They went back to
the tree and found a comfortable spot to lie. After ten minutes, Ian poked
Mac. “I can’t get to sleep. I’m too full. Please tell me a story.”
“All right, but
this is the last time.” Mac sighed. “A little girl named, Nancy, lived in
the city. Once a week her mum took her to the zoo to see all the animals.
Her favorites were the penguins. They’d walk around, going from cage to
cage. Nancy loved the camels too. She spent a lot of time watching them
walk about. She giggled when she saw their humps wiggling back and forth.
Her mum took her to see the polar bears and the hippos. When they got to
the penguin area, Nancy clapped her hands. She was so excited. The
penguins slid down slippery slides into the water and then swam around in
circles. Nancy loved the way the penguins waddled and ate fish.
When it was time
to go home, Nancy cried. She didn’t want to go home. She wanted to stay
and watch the penguins all day long. Her mum had to drag her all the way
home because she whined and whimpered. Nancy wouldn’t eat her supper that
“Not even her
sweets?” Ian gulped and licked his lips.
“Not even her
sweets. Her mum had bought a few Eccles cakes and had given one to Nancy,
but she wouldn’t eat it. She went to bed hungry that night. After she fell
asleep, she had a horrible dream. She was walking down the street and
turned around. There was a penguin following her. It waddled behind her.
At first she stopped to pet it, but it snapped at her and tried to bite
her. She walked on and when she turned around, there were six penguins
following her. Nancy started getting scared. She loved penguins, but these
ones were mean and bit her.”
thought she was a fish. Maybe they were dreaming too,” Ian said.
“That may be true.
She ran on and when she turned to look, there were twenty penguins
following her. She ran and ran and ran and finally reached home. She ran
into the house and slammed the door shut. When she peeked out through the
curtains, penguins stood every where in her garden. They were in the
flowers, on the grass and in the trees. They all pointed their wings at
her and made penguin noises.”
Ian rubbed his arms and grabbed hold of his striped tail.
“Nancy woke up
screaming. Her mum ran into the bedroom to see what was wrong. Nancy cried
and said she didn’t like penguins any more and that they weren’t her
favorite animal. Her mum gave her a kiss and told her to go back to sleep.
The next day they went back to the zoo. This time her mum had to drag her
all the way. They stood and watched the camels. Nancy laughed at them.
They watched the polar bears. Nancy laughed at them too. They stopped to
see the rhinos, hippos and antelope. Nancy laughed at them all. When they
got to the penguins, Nancy didn’t want to go. She stood back and watched
them waddling around. One of them jumped in the water and swam up to the
window and stared at Nancy. Nancy wanted to go home after that.”
“Did she ever go
back?” Ian squeezed his tail.
“Yes, she did, but
when her mum said it was time to go, it was time to go and Nancy didn’t
argue with her ever again. There, was that a nice story?” Mac looked up at
“Thank you, Mac.
I’m glad there aren’t any penguins here in the woods.” Ian curled up in a
ball and went to sleep. Mac did the same.