Children’s Stories-1

Children's Stories

A collection of printable short stories for young learners of English (elementary to upper-intermediate)

Too Tiny for Tea - Level: elementary

Marty Mckay was already five years old, but he was still the baby of the family.

“Can I have some tea too?” Marty asked his mother. She drank her tea from a beautiful cup and stirred it with a silver spoon.

“No, Marty. You’re too young to drink tea.”

“But, why?” Marty asked.

“Because your fingers are too tiny to hold the cup. And tea is too hot for you, baby.”

“I’m not a baby,” Marty said. “I’m five-and-a-half.”

Marty went out to the yard. His brother Ralph was playing basketball.

“Can I play too?” Marty asked. Ralph bounced the ball up and down under Marty’s nose and then threw it into the basket.

“No Marty, you’re too young to play basketball.”

“But, why?” Marty asked.

“Because the basket is too high for you to reach. And the ball is too big for your tiny baby hands,” Ralph said.

“I’m not a baby,” Marty said. “I’m five and three quarters.”

Marty went into the kitchen. His sister Jane was getting ready to ride her bicycle to the candy store.

“Can I go to the store to buy candy?” Marty asked Jane. He could feel the wind in his hair and the candy on his tongue.

“No, you’re too young to go to the store,” Jane said.

“But why?” Marty asked.

“Because the store is too far for you to ride to. And your baby bike is too slow.”

“I’m not a baby,” Marty said. “I’m nearly six.”

“Six?” Jane laughed. “You just turned five!”

Marty sat on the grass and watched his sister ride away on her bike. He started to cry. Marty’s father was washing the car. He heard a tiny cry and went to find out what was wrong.

“Why are you crying?” Marty’s father asked.

“Because I’m too tiny to do anything. I wish I weren’t the youngest one.”

“Be careful what you wish for,” his father said.

Just then, Marty’s mother came out to bring Marty’s dad his tea. She patted her belly and smiled.

“We’re going to have another baby,” his mother said.

“And that means you’re going to be a big brother,” his father said.

“But, I’m too tiny to be a big brother,” Marty said. “I’m just a baby!”

Exercises: Too Tiny for Tea

Exercise A: Vocabulary

Match the words from the story (abc) with the definitions (123)For example: a9

a. beautiful b. stirred c. basket d. tongue e. bike f. patted g. belly h. 

spoon i. to reach j. yard

  1. the body part that tastes food

  2. another word for stomach

  3. to be able to touch or grab something

  4. an area out front or out back of a house

  5. touched with a soft up and down motion

  6. short for bicycle

  7. mixed

  8. used to stir or bring food to the mouth

  9. very pretty, nice looking

  10. in basketball, a net with a hole at the top and bottom

Exercise B: Comprehension

Answer the questions about the story:

1. How old is Marty?

a. almost five b. five c. almost seven

2. What is Marty’s brother doing in the story?

a. going to the store b. washing the car c. playing basketball

3. What does Marty wish?

a. That he was younger b. That he was a baby c. That he wasn’t the youngest

4. What does Marty’s mother bring to Marty’s father?

a. a baby b. a bicycle c. a cup of tea

5. What does Marty’s mother tell Marty?

a. She is feeling better. b. He is going to grow soon. c. He is going to be a big brother.

Too Tiny for Tea - Click to see answers

A: a9, b7, c10, d1, e6, f5, g2, h8, i3, j4

B: 1b, 2c, 3c, 4c, 5c

The Chickens Take a Holiday - Level: elementary

The sun was about to rise on Farmer Tim’s farm. Chester Chicken woke up the cows with his important news.

“The chickens are taking a holiday today,” Chester Chicken said.

“Is that so?” said Daisy the cow. “What is the special occasion?”

“We worked too hard this week,” Chester said.

“You did?” asked Daisy.

“Yes! We laid ten eggs this week,” Chester said, “and there are only five of us.”

Daisy smiled and nodded her head. Ten was a lot of eggs for five chickens.

“Enjoy your day off,” she said.

“But what about us?” the other cows said to Daisy. “We gave Farmer Tim 100 pails of milk this week. There are only ten of us!”

Daisy agreed with the cows too. 100 pails of milk would make a lot of cheese.

“But we can’t take a holiday on the same day as the chickens,” Daisy said. “What would Farmer Tim say?”

Daisy and the cows moved over to a patch of grass to have their breakfast.

“The chickens are taking a holiday,” Daisy told the trees. “And we don’t think it’s fair.”

The trees were not happy with this news.

“I’ve dropped over 1,000 apples this season,” one said.

“And I’ve had a million cherries picked!” said another.

The wind blew and the trees put on their angry faces.

“We deserve a holiday more than the chickens!” the trees shouted together. “We worked too hard all season.”

This woke up the rake that was sitting on the grass underneath the trees.

“Have you heard the news?” the apple tree asked the rake. “The chickens are taking a holiday. They think they worked too hard this week.”

The rake stood up and announced its disapproval. “I raked over one million leaves this year. And there’s only one of me! If anyone deserves a holiday it is a poor tired rake.”

Just then Rowdy Rooster hopped on the fence. He looked up into the sky and began to crow. It was time for the farmer to wake up.

The chickens and cows and trees waited for Farmer Tim to come out and pick up the rake.

But a minute passed and Farmer Tim did not appear.

Rowdy called two more times.

“Call him again,” the chickens yelled to the rooster. “He must be having a dream.”

Rowdy made one last call and this time Farmer Tim woke up. But he didn’t come out and pick up the rake, farmor milk the cows, or check on the eggs underneath the chickens. Instead he opened the window and shouted loud enough for everyone to hear:

“I worked too hard this week, I say. It’s time I took a holiday!”

Exercises: The Chickens Take a Holiday

Exercise A: Vocabulary

Match the words from the story (abc) with the definitions (123)For example: a4

a. fence b. holiday c. milk d. grass e. news f. farmer g. rake h. 

cheese i. rooster j. season


  1. white liquid produced by cows

  2. information about recent events

  3. one of the four periods of the year when the weather changes

  4. a structure made of wood or wire that divides land

  5. a time when someone does not go to work

  6. a male chicken that crows

  7. food made from milk, usually yellow or orange in colour

  8. person who looks after the grounds for raising animals and growing crops

  9. a low green plant that covers the Earth’s surface

  10. a garden tool with a long handle, used for gathering leaves


Exercise B: Comprehension

Answer the questions about the story:

1. What time of day is it in this story?

a. morning b. afternoon c. evening

2. How many chickens are on Farmer Tim’s farm?

a. one b. five c. ten

3. The cows moved to the grass to

a. find the farmer b. look for the rake c. eat their breakfast

4. What happened when the trees got angry?

a. The rake woke up. b. The apples fell down. c. Farmer Tim came out.

5. Who wakes up the farmer at the end of the story?

a. Rowdy Rooster b. Daisy c. Chester Chicken

The Chickens Take a Holiday - Click to see answers

A: a4, b5, c1, d9, e2, f8, g10, h7, i6, j3

B: 1a 2b 3c 4a 5a

Good Neighbours - Level: lower-intermediate

After school one winter day, Jack’s mother told him to go out and play in the snow.

“But it’s so cold outside, Mother!” Jack said.

“Put on your coat and your hat and your mittens,” his mother said. “You can build a snowman before your father comes home.”

“I’m going to need a carrot for the nose,” Jack said. “And I’ll need some things for the snowman’s hat and face.”

Jack got a bucket and collected everything he needed to decorate his snowman. His mother promised she would watch him build the snowman from the window.

Outside, in his front yard, Jack started with a very small ball of snow. He got on his knees and rolled the snow into a big ball. At another window, someone else was watching Jack play. It was his new neighbour Naoko. Naoko asked her mother if she could go outside and help Jack build his snowman.

“It’s very cold outside. Are you sure you want to go out and play?” her mother asked.

“Yes, Mother!” Naoko said. “I will wear my coat and my hat and my mittens.”

Naoko’s mother helped her put on her winter clothes and promised to watch her from the window.

“You can play until your father comes home,” her mother said.

Naoko ran outside to Jack’s yard and asked if she could help him finish his snowman.

“Yes, please help me,” Jack said. “My father will be home from work very soon.”

“Okay. What can I do?” Naoko asked.

“I built my snowman’s body with two snowballs. I need to roll one more for my snowman’s head.”

“But snowmen only have two snowballs. One is for the body and one is for the head, ” Naoko said.

“No, snowmen always have three snowballs,” Jack said. “I don’t think I need you to help me after all.”

Jack picked up some snow and made it into a small snowball. He got on his knees and rolled the snow away from Naoko to make the snowman’s head.

Naoko walked into her own yard and began to build her own snowman.

“I don’t want to build a snowman with Jack anyway,” she thought to herself. “I’m going to make my own.”

Naoko rolled two big balls of snow and put them on top of each other. When she finished that she took off her hat and scarf and decorated the snowman. Lastly, she found some sticks and pine cones and made her snowman’s eyes and mouth and arms. Her mother clapped from the window.

Jack made a hat for his snowman with his bucket. He used his mother’s sewing buttons for the eyes and mouth. Lastly, he added a carrot for the snowman’s nose. After he finished, Jack’s mother smiled and pointed. His father was driving up the street.

Suddenly a terrible thing happened. The head fell off Jack’s snowman and crashed to the ground!

“Oh no! My snowman fell apart,” Jack said, “and my father is almost home!”

Naoko heard Jack’s cry and ran over to his yard to see what the problem was.

“I’ll help you roll another snowball,” Naoko said. “If we do it together we can finish it before your father gets home.”

Together, Jack and Naoko rolled a new snowball. They shaped it with their mittens until it was round. Then they lifted it up onto the snowman’s body and decorated it with the carrot and bucket and buttons.

“We finished it just in time,” Jack said. “Thank you for your help.”

“You’re welcome. I like your snowman better,” Naoko said. “Mine doesn’t have a nose.”

Jack walked over to look at Naoko’s snowman. He loved the pine cone eyes and mouth and the sticks for arms, but he knew it wasn’t finished. Jack ran back to his snowman and pulled the carrot out. He broke it into two pieces and gave half to Naoko.

“Hurry,” Jack said. “Your snowman needs a nose and your father is driving up the street too.”

“Thank you,” Naoko said.

snowman snowman

“You’re welcome,” Jack said. “I think our snowmen make good neighbours.”

Exercises: Good Neighbours

Exercise A: Vocabulary

Match the words from the story (abc) with the definitions (123)For example: a10

a. finish b. mittens c. help d. neighbour e. bucket f. yard g. roll h. 

decorate i. build j. window


  1. to turn over and over

  2. to make by putting things together

  3. glass that you can see out of

  4. to add something attractive

  5. a person who lives beside you

  6. a container with a handle

  7. to make a job easier for another person

  8. an area of land around a house

  9. warm coverings for your hands

  10. to complete or come to the end of an activity


Exercise B: Comprehension

Answer the questions about the story:

1. What time of year is it in this story?

a. winter b. summer c. spring

2. Who tells Naoko she can play outside?

a. her mother b. Jack c. her father

3. Who are Jack and Naoko?

a. They are best friends. b. They are new neighbours. c. They are brother and sister.

4. What was the problem with Jack’s snowman?

a. It lost its nose. b. It was too cold. c. It’s head fell off.

5. What does Jack share with Naoko?

a. his window b. a carrot c. his mittens

Good Neighbours - Click to see answers

A: a10, b9, c7, d5, e6, f8, g1, h4, i2, j3

B: 1a, 2a, 3b, 4c, 5b

The Lucky Octopus - Level: lower-intermediate

Ollie the octopus only had seven legs.

“The last one will grow,” the ocean doctor said the day Ollie was born.

“But when?” asked Ollie’s mother. She was very sad.

“When Ollie turns eight years old,” the doctor said.

For seven years, Ollie’s brothers and sisters teased her about her missing leg. She was the youngest octopus in the family. Her sister Olivia was the oldest.

“Ollie only has seven legs because she isn’t part of our real family,” Olivia told the other sea creatures one day.

It was a lie, but everyone believed Olivia because she was the oldest.

When the other sea creatures played games like tag and hide and go seek, Ollie’s brother Oscar wouldn’t let Ollie play.

“You can’t catch a fish with only seven legs,” Oscar said. “Go and find a friend that has an extra leg to play with.”

Ollie searched around the ocean, but there weren’t any kind sea creatures to play with. She was very lonely.

One day Ollie’s brother Orlando saw Ollie playing by herself in the seaweed. He was very happy.

“Guess what I found today, Ollie!” Orlando said. “A treasure chest. It is from a ship and it is full of beautiful jewels.”

“Can I see it?” Ollie asked. “I have always dreamed of seeing a treasure chest.”

“I’m not showing it to anyone!” Orlando said. “Especially not a tiny octopus with only seven legs.”

Ollie went home and told her mother that she was sad. “Everyone treats me differently because I only have seven legs,” she said.

“Don’t worry,” her mother said. “Tomorrow is your eighth birthday and you will finally grow another leg! Then you will never be lonely.”

That night Ollie dreamed that she grew another leg. Everyone celebrated and ate delicious food. She was so happy. But the next day, when Ollie woke up and counted her legs, there were still only seven.

Ollie hid in the seaweed patch and cried. She was so sad. Suddenly a sea fairy appeared. It was the tiniest creature Ollie had ever seen.

“You are the lucky octopus I have been waiting for,” the sea fairy said.

“I am?” Ollie said.

“Yes. Only the luckiest octopus gets to make three wishes.”

Ollie knew exactly what to wish for.

“First I wish that Olivia was honest,” Ollie said.

“Your wish is granted. Now you have two more wishes,” the fairy said.

“Second I wish that Oscar was kind.”

“And now he is,” the fairy said. “And what is your last wish?”

“Lastly, I wish that Orlando was fair,” Ollie said.

Before the tiny sea fairy disappeared, she told Ollie that she was the kindest octopus in the whole sea. “I wish that all of your birthday dreams come true,” the sea fairy said before she swam away.

When Ollie got home her family was waiting for her. “Surprise!” they said all at once.

“I bought you a present,” Oscar said. “It’s a beautiful pearl necklace!”

“Thank you,” Ollie said. “You are very kind.”

“I baked a delicious cake for you,” Orlando said. “And I invited all of the sea creatures to share it with us.”

“You are very fair,” Ollie said. “Thank you for sharing.”

“I’m very sorry, I don’t have a present for you,” Olivia said. “I forgot it was your birthday.”

“That’s okay,” Ollie said. “You are very honest. Thank you.”

Ollie’s mother swam over to her daughter with a red birthday balloon.

“I’m so happy for you, Ollie,” she said.

“Why Mother?”

“Look, you’ve finally grown your eighth leg!” Ollie’s mother tied the balloon to her daughter’s new leg.

It was the happiest day of Ollie’s life.

Exercises: The Lucky Octopus

Exercise A: Vocabulary

Match the words from the story (abc) with the definitions (123)For example: a7

a. happy b. kind c. delicious d. honest e. fair f. lucky g. tiny h. 

beautiful i. sad j. lonely


  1. attractive

  2. have a pleasant taste

  3. equal for everyone

  4. have good things happen by chance

  5. extremely small

  6. unhappy

  7. unhappy because you aren’t with other people

  8. feel pleased

  9. generous and helpful

  10. truthful


Exercise B: Comprehension

Answer the questions about the story:

1. What type of creature is the main character in this story?

a. a sea fairy b. an octopus c. a fish

2. Why is Ollie different from the rest of her family?

a. She is big. b. She is unlucky. c. She only has 7 legs.

3. Who are Oscar and Orlando?

a. They are Ollie’s friends. b. They are Ollie’s brothers. c. They are Ollie’s children.

4. Why did Ollie cry in the seaweed patch?

a. It was her birthday. b. She didn’t grow her eighth leg. c. She wanted to see the treasure.

5. What did Ollie’s mother give her at the party?

a. a balloon b. a cake c. an apple

The Lucky Octopus - Click to see answers

A: a8, b9, c2, d10, e3, f4, g5, h1, i6, j7

B: 1b, 2c, 3b, 4b, 5a

Maxwell Loses a Tooth - Level: lower-intermediate

Maxwell put up his hand and waited for his teacher, Mrs. Gilbert, to notice him.

“Do you have a question, Maxwell?” she asked.

“It’s more like a problem,” Maxwell said. “I lost my tooth.”

Maxwell stood up and held out his hand to show his class his baby tooth.

“Congratulations,” Mrs. Gilbert said. Then she asked the class if anyone had any advice for Maxwell. Keiko put up her hand first. Keiko was from Japan.

“Is it an upper or a lower tooth?” Keiko asked.

“A lower tooth,” Maxwell said. He opened his mouth and showed the class the empty spot in the bottom of his mouth.

“You should throw your baby tooth over the roof of your house,” Keiko said.

“Why should I do that?” Maxwell said.

“Because then your new adult tooth will grow properly. When you lose an upper tooth you should put it under the floor.”

Mrs. Gilbert thought this was a good idea, but Frida disagreed. Frida was from Austria.

“You shouldn’t throw your baby tooth away, Maxwell. You should keep it and give it to your mother,” Frida said.

“Why should I do that?” asked Maxwell.

“She will make it into a necklace for you to wear.”

Jorge shook his head and put up his hand. He had some different advice for Maxwell. Jorge was from Mexico.

“You should take your tooth home. Then you should put it under your pillow when you go to sleep,” Jorge said.

“Why should I do that?” Maxwell said.

“Because then the tooth mouse will come. He will keep your tooth and pay you with good luck. Sometimes the tooth mouse even brings a small toy.”

Maxwell liked Jorge’s advice the best. Mrs. Gilbert gave him a box to keep his tooth in. She didn’t want him to lose his tooth again.

“Whatever you decide, you should show your mother your tooth when you get home,” Mrs. Gilbert said.

When Maxwell got home he showed his mother the empty spot in his mouth. Then he opened the box and showed her his tooth.

“Congratulations! What are you going to do with your tooth, Maxwell?” his mother asked.

“I’m going to put it under my pillow,” he said. And he did.

When Maxwell woke up the next morning he looked under his pillow. The tooth was gone. In its place, Maxwell found a one dollar bill. He also found a letter. This is what the letter said:


Dear Maxwell,
Congratulations! You lost your first tooth. I will keep it forever. You should buy something nice for yourself with this money.
The Tooth Fairy


“I should tell my class about the tooth fairy,” Maxwell thought. “Everyone should lose a tooth!”

Exercises: Maxwell Loses a Tooth

Exercise A: Vocabulary

Match the words from the story (abc) with the definitions (123)For example: a2

a. pillow b. advice c. tooth d. show e. home f. lose g. keep h. 

congratulations i. mouth j. empty


  1. the opening in the face that contains the teeth and tongue

  2. a soft object to rest your head on in bed

  3. not containing anything

  4. an opinion someone gives you about what you should do

  5. a white hard object in your mouth, used for chewing

  6. to make it possible for something to be seen

  7. the place where you live with your family

  8. to no longer have in place

  9. to continue to have or own

  10. an expression used to show that you are happy for someone


Exercise B: Comprehension


Answer the questions about the story:

1. Where did the story begin?

a. in the classroom b. in a bedroom c. at Maxwell’s house

2. What did Maxwell lose?

a. a box b. an upper tooth c. a lower tooth

3. Where is Frida from?

a. Mexico b. Austria c. Japan

4. Where did Jorge tell Maxwell to put his tooth?

a. on the roof b. under the floor c. under his pillow

5. Who wrote Maxwell a letter?

a. his teacher b. the tooth fairy c. the tooth mouse

Maxwell Loses a Tooth - Click to see answers

A: a2, b4, c5 d6, e7, f8, g9, h10, i1, j3

B: 1a, 2c, 3b, 4c, 5b

The Bears' Night Out - Level: upper-intermediate

Megan loved bears more than anything else in the whole world. She had a polar bear, a grizzly bear, a panda bear, and even a koala bear. She had other animals too, but it was only the bears that got to sleep in Megan’s bed at night.

Each night before bed, she gathered the bears around her and tucked them in. Before she closed her eyes she told each of the bears to behave. And, normally they did. But one summer night, the polar bear couldn’t sleep.

“It’s too hot in here,” he told the other bears. “I wish I were in the North Pole right now.”

“Where is the North Pole?” asked Panda.

“I’ll take you there if you want to go,” said Polar.

Panda did want to go and Grizzly and Koala did too.

So, the four bears slid down the bedpost and headed off north. When they arrived in the North Pole, Polar showed the other bears around. Koala did not feel very comfortable.

“It’s too cold!” said Koala. “I could never live here.”

“We polar bears have two kinds of fur,” Polar said, “some that is woolly and keeps us warm, and some that is spiky and keeps us dry. And even though we are as white as the snow we have thick black skin that keeps us comfortable.”

“It was nice to meet your friends and family,” said Koala, “but I wish I were somewhere warmer.”

So, the bears headed South, all the way down to Australia. Koala showed her friends around.

“Is there something to drink?” asked Grizzly. “It’s hot here, and I’m thirsty.”

“Koala bears eat eucalyptus,” said Koala. “We get all the water we need from the leaves.” Koala shared some eucalyptus with her bear friends, and they all got sleepy. But, just before they were about to have a nap, Grizzly’s tummy began to roar.

“I’m still hungry,” Grizzly said. “I wish I were in the mountains by a nice cold stream.

So the bears headed West, all the way to Canada. Grizzly showed his friends all of the wonderful things to eat, like fish, and grapes, and even garbage left by nearby campers. Panda was exhausted from all of the travelling.

“I wish I were home where life is a whole lot slower,” said Panda.

So, the four bears headed East to China. As they were travelling, Panda looked very worried.

“Aren’t you happy to be going home for a visit?” Polar asked Panda.

“I am, but I’m afraid there won’t be any pandas left,” explained Panda.

When they arrived in China there were only a few other panda bears around. Panda and his friends had to share one small bamboo stick.

“Where is everybody?” asked Koala.

“Is this all there is to eat?” asked Grizzly.

“I’m afraid bears like me have almost gone extinct,” said Panda. “And most of the bamboo trees have been cut down so there isn’t much to eat.”

The bears were tired so they decided to head back to Megan’s house. All the way home, the bears were very quiet. They had enjoyed their trip around the world, but they felt sad that there were only a few panda bears left. When they had snuggled back in bed with Megan, Panda lifted up his head and smiled.

“I’m so thankful to have other bear friends like you,” Panda said. “Friends don’t have to be panda bears. Other kinds of bears are just as nice.”

The bears smiled and hugged each other and then closed their eyes and went to sleep. A moment later Koala sat up again.

“I have a secret to tell you,” she said. “I’m not really a bear at all. I wish I were a bear, but actually I’m a marsupial. I hope you’ll love me just the same.”

None of the bears said a word. They were already fast asleep. But, just when Koala thought her secret was still a secret she heard a tiny voice.

“I love you just the same as all the other bears, Koala,” Megan said. “And, sometimes I wish I were a bear too.”

Exercises: The Bears' Night Out

Exercise A: Vocabulary

Match the words from the story (abc) with the definitions (123)For example: a7

a. gathered b. tucked in c. behave d. comfortable e. headed f. campers g. hungry h. 

exhausted j. extinct k. marsupial


  1. type of mammal that keeps its babies in a pocket called a “pouch”

  2. people who sleep outside (in tents) in the forest for a short time

  3. covered up with blankets at bedtime

  4. follow the rules

  5. went in a certain direction

  6. good feeling, when the body is in a nice position

  7. brought together

  8. feeling when you need something to eat

  9. very tired

  10. when all of a species have died


Exercise B: Comprehension

Answer the questions about the story:

1. What is Megan’s favourite thing in the world?

a. the North Pole b. sleeping c. bears

2. Where did Grizzly take the other bears?

a. to the North Pole b. to America c. to Canada

3. Where do koala bears get their water from?

a. lakes b. leaves c. the ocean

4. Panda is worried about going to China because he think all the pandas will

a. be gone. b. ignore him. c. be afraid of Grizzly

5. Who hears Koala’s secret at the end of the story?

a. Panda b. no one c. Megan

The Bears' Night Out - Click to see answers

A: a7, b3, c4, d6, e5, f2, g8, h9, i10, j1

B: 1c, 2c, 3b, 4a, 5c

Inky-Pinky-Pooh - Level: intermediate

Inky-Pinky-Pooh was a very little kitten, and he lived in a very large house. It was a very grand house, too, but when a new cook arrived one day things began to be bad for poor Inky-Pink.

For the new Cook did not like animals at all. She rarely remembered to put out any food for Inky-Pink, and there were never nice tit-bits left over as there had been in the old cook’s time. And Inky-Pink-Pooh was never allowed to sit by the kitchen fire nowadays.

One day poor Inky-Pink was very hungry indeed. He had had nothing to eat for over two days.

At first he tried mewing gently, and rubbing himself against Cook’s legs. But when she smacked him and pushed him away each time, he realised that that was no use!

So he sat beside his plate very quietly and hoped that that would remind Cook and soften her hard heart! But it did not seem to have any effect, and she merely scowled at him whenever she looked his way. Poor Inky-Pink, he felt very miserable. He not only felt more and more lonely and miserable, but more and more hungry, too.

So, when one day he suddenly noticed that Cook had left the larder door ajar, he slipped in quietly when she was not looking.

It was the most wonderful place he’d ever been in, and quite took his breath away! For a while he was lost in admiration just looking at the lovely plate of fresh liver, the pheasant hanging from a hook in the ceiling, the chicken and the ham… But, most beautiful of all was a plate of shiny, silvery fish lying there on a plate. It was just begging to be eaten, and it was on the lowest shelf of all!

He purred happily to himself, “Oh my whiskers and paddy-paws, what a be-au-ti-ful piece of fish…!!!!” But just as Inky-Pink was dragging the fish off the plate, Cook came back into the larder and caught Inky-Pink… To say that she was angry would be an understatement… She was furious!

Poor Inky-Pink was in disgrace!

He was smacked, and he was scolded, and then he was tied up to the leg of the table by a piece of string, so that he could not get into the larder again when Cook was not looking! It was all most humiliating!

And when a cheeky little mouse came by and grinned at him and said, “Good dog! Good dog! What a pretty lead you’ve got!” poor Inky-Pinky-Pooh felt that insult could go no further. He was very, very indignant indeed!

But the little mouse (whose name, by the way, was Twinkletoes) was really a kind-hearted little mouse, and when he saw how upset the little kitten was, and how thin and hungry-looking he seemed to be, he was sorry and asked what the trouble was. When Inky-Pink told him, Twinkletoes nodded his head and said, “I know! I know This new Cook never leaves even a crumb about… and as for cheese, oh!, my whiskers and twinkletoes, I’ve almost forgotten what it smells like! I can understand how hungry you must be!”

Then he said, “I know a house, not very far from here, where they love animals, and always have plenty of food for them – crumbs each day for the birds, and milk for the hedgehogs each night. I’m sure they would spare a little food for us. And I know the little girl has been wanting a kitten for a long, long time… I’ve never heard her ask for a mouse, but I have heard her asking for a kitten…”

So Inky-Piny-Pooh said, “I wonder if she would like me? I’m sure Cook doesn’t want me, and I would so much like to have someone to love me and cuddle me and care for me!”

Then Twinkletoes had an idea. “If you will meet me tonight,” he said, “when the moon is up, and you have been let off that – er – piece of string, I will show you the house and then you can think about it for a day or two and see if you feel you’d like to live there… it’s a much smaller house than this big, grand house of yours” he added, apologetically.

This seemed an excellent notion, so they agreed to meet at twelve o’clock midnight that very night. And, as Cook had never bothered to untie Inky-Pinky-Pooh, even by midnight, Twinkletoes came back for him and gnawed through the piece of string and set him free!

Just as the clock was striking twelve, Inky-Pinky-Pooh and Twinkletoes set off for their walk.

The moon was like a big silver penny shining up in the sky, and the ground was covered with snow. Inky-Pink and Twinkletoes walked carefully along the tops of the garden walls, and over the roofs, all through the town until they came to the house Twinkletoes had mentioned.

It was quite a little house, with only quite a little garden round it, not at all like the big house and garden where Inky-Pink lived. But it looked warm, and pretty, and very ‘homey’.

Inky-Pink liked the ‘smell’ of the house very much indeed, but he did wonder what it looked like inside. He could not go in and out of the little mouseholes like Twinkletoes could, and all the curtains were drawn at the windows, so there was no way for him to be able to see inside.

He stood and thought for a minute. “I wonder,” he said to Twinkletoes, “If I could see anything if I look down the chimney?”

So he climbed up on to the top of the chimney-pot and balanced there carefully while he tried to see down it, and Twinkletoes stood at the foot of the chimney-pot and asked anxiously, “Can you see anything? Can you see anything?”

And then, suddenly, there was the most awful squealing and screeching as Inky-Pinky-Pooh lost his balance and fell right down into the chimney, and Twinkletoes could only see Inky-Pink’s tail waving frantically about in the air for a second before it, too, vanished completely down the chimney-pot! Then Twinkletoes heard a dull, muffled ‘thud’, and Inky-Pink’s “Miaow!” from far away down inside the chimney-stack.

“Oh my goodness!” exclaimed Twinkletoes in consternation, “Oh my Blue Cheese and Gorgonzola! Whatever has happened to poor Inky-Pink?”

You may well ask what had happened to poor Inky-Pink! He was asking himself!

“Oh my whiskers and paddy-paws!” he exclaimed, as soon as he was in a fit state to exclaim anything at all, “Wherever am I?”

He looked around and saw that he had fallen on to a lovely white hearth-rug in a pretty, comfy-looking room. In one corner there stood a little tree that glinted with silver and was crowned with a big golden star. Inky-Pink thought he had never seen anything so lovely in his life!

And as he looked he saw something else too… his beautiful white coat was quite, quite black, from all the soot he had collected on it as he came down the chimney!

It was while he was staring at himself in dismay that he heard the door of the room open and the light was suddenly switched on!

Standing in the doorway was a little girl in a pretty blue night-gown, and behind her, hastily pulling on their warm dressing-gowns, were a lady and a gentleman! They all stared at the little black object sitting in the middle of the white hearth-rug. Then the little girl cried out, “Oh, Mummy! Daddy! Look! It’s a dear little kitten! Father Christmas has brought me a kitten just like the one I’ve always wanted, only he is black instead of white. What a lovely, lovely Christmas present!”

Inky-Pink was never quite certain just what the little girl meant by ‘Christmas present,’ but there wasn’t time to puzzle it out!

The lady, whose name was ‘Mummy’, said he was a poor little stray and he looked half-starved, poor mite, and he must have a bath and good warm meal; and the gentleman (whose name was ‘Daddy’) said he would make him a box to sleep in, and went off to see about it. And Mummy and the little girl, whose name was Marilyn, washed Inky-Pink in warm soapy water (which he did not like very much!) and then gave him some lovely warm milk to drink (which he did like, very much indeed!)

And the next day (which they all told him was a specially important day called ‘Christmas Day’) he was given a lovely red bow to wear around his neck, and as much warm milk to drink as ever he wanted, and he was allowed to curl up on the white hearth-rug in front of the glowing fire, where he purred and purred and purred with sheer contentment, until he sounded like an aeroplane out of sight!

And it seemed to him that in that house all days were Christmas Day, for everyone was always kind to him, and there was always plenty to eat and drink, and warm fires to sit by…

And every night, when the humans had gone to bed, Twinkletoes would creep out of the little hole he had found and made into his own little home, and he and Inky-Pink would sit together by the hearth and tell each other what they had being doing all the day. And Twinkletoes would sigh with happiness and say, “What a lucky night it was when you fell down this chimney, Inky-Pink!”

And Inky-Pinky-Pooh would purr and say, “Yes… and wasn’t it a lucky day when Cook tied me to the table leg! For if she had not done that, then you would not have come by and spoken to me, and we would never have set out that night to look for this house, and then I would never have been able to climb up the chimney-pot to try to see down it…!”

And they would both sit there looking onto the glowing red heart of the fire and feel that they were the luckiest little animals in the whole, big, world!

word checker

tit-bits (noun): little bits and pieces

mew (verb): the sound a cat makes

scowl (verb): to make an angry face at a person or thing

ajar (adjective): slightly open

disgrace (noun): the feeling of being ashamed

apologetically (adverb): feeling sorry for the other person as you do or say something

notion (noun): idea

frantically (adverb): filled with panic; hoping to get someone’s attention

consternation (noun): a feeling of anxiety

hearth (noun): the floor in front of a fireplace

contentment (noun): happiness

purr (verb): happy sound a cat makes


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 259 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: