Short stories for children

The Little Brown Dog Part OneThe Little Brown Dog Part TwoThe Little Brown Dog Part ThreeThe Vain Donkey Part OneThe Vain Donkey Part TwoThe Vain Donkey Part ThreeTimothy


The Little Brown Dog Part One

Where’s little brown dog?
If you take a peep,
You will see him there,
He is fast asleep.
He is just a puppy,
And not very big,
He still likes to chew
And still likes to dig.
He still likes to growl
And chase our black cat
And hide all his bones,
Right under the mat.
We have a rabbit,
He has a green hutch.
The cat and the dog,
Love him very much.
They are all asleep,
Asleep every one,
The rabbit the cat
And the dog in the sun.
What is this I see?
Oh no it can’t be.
With such big sharp teeth,
And such long grey tail.
It must be I fear,
A rat without fail.
Wake up now brown dog.
Wake up now black cat
Oh rabbit wake now
And see the grey rat.
And see the grey rat.
My father has said,
“The grey rat is bad.
He bites with those teeth.
The grey rat is bad.
The rat is a thief.
Now what will he take?
The food from our pets
Or mother’s fresh cake.
The grain from the loft
Or nuts from the store.
All those he will take
And very much more.”
Wake up now brown dog,
Wake up now black cat,
Oh rabbit wake now
And see the grey rat.
Brown dog gives a sniff,
The rabbit a twitch,
The cat gives a stretch
As if with a stitch.
They open one eye,
Then eye number two.
Then all at once
They see what I do.
The puppy jumps up,
Then up jumps the cat,
The rabbit jumps out
They all chase the rat.
Once twice round the yard,
Then in at the door,
They make such a din
As never before.
Yes in at the door

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The Little Brown Dog Part Two

Went the dog and the cat,
The rabbit went in,
All after the rat.
One, two and three four,
They went down the hall.
Grey rat did not like
The chase not at all.
Into the kitchen
They went with a crash
And down fell the cups,
With bumps and with bash.
Then all the cups broke
And so did a plate.
The kitchen was soon,
In such a bad state.
They went up the stairs,
One, two and three four.
Then in to this room
And out of that door.
Onto a cupboard,
The rat made a leap,
Cat tried to follow
But fell in a heap.
The little brown dog,
Then scratched at the wood,
Knew that he should not
For that is not good.
Cupboard door opened
And out the things fell.
The rat on the top,
Then fell down as well.
One, two and three four,
They ran in a ring.
Running and turning
They tore everything.
Then soon the rat ran,
As quick as a flash,
Right back down the stairs
He went with a dash.
Our pets one, two, three,
Ran after him there,
Broke a small table
Bumped in to a chair.
The rabbit fell down,
Rolled up like a ball,
Dog slipped on a mat,
That lies in the hall.
“Now stop,” said the cat,
“We must make a plan,
We all creep along
As quiet as we can.
We go one each way,
Each side of this rat.”
“That is a good plan.”
Said dog to black cat.
Behind a big box,
The rat went and hid,
Behind a big box,
The one with the lid.
The rabbit and dog,
Crept round the yard,
Cat said, “We will find
It will not be hard.
The rat has some soot,
All over his tail,
So if we look close,
We will find his trail.”

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Little Brown Dog Part Three

The little brown dog,
Then looked at the trail,
He went to the box,
He saw grey rat’s tail.
The little brown dog,
He gave a big jump,
He jumped on the rat,
Jump, jump,
Thump, thump,
Then bad grey rat bit,
He bit poor dog’s tail
He bit and he bit.
Brown dog gave a bark,
But held the grey rat,
He barked as he jumped,
For rabbit and cat.
The rabbit and cat
Said, “We must run quick
And help little dog.”
Dog gave tail a lick.
They shook bad rat hard,
Then chased him away,
He will not come back,
No not any day.
Then mother came home,
She came through the yard,
She looked at the mess,
She looked very hard.
She looked at the dog,
At rabbit and cat
But somehow she knew,
She knew of the rat.
She took a clean cloth,
To bandage dog’s tail,
Then took some water
To wash out the trail.
She washed out the trail
And bandaged dog’s tail.
She went in the house
And brought out a dish.
She brought out some meat,
Some carrots and fish.
Some meat for brown dog,
She brought in a dish,
Carrots for rabbit,
For black cat some fish.
Where’s little brown dog?
If you take a peep,
You will see him there,
He is fast asleep.
Rabbit in green hutch,
Black cat on the wall,
They had such a chase,
Now sleep for them all.
Rat will not come back,
So three, two and one,
Can all go to sleep,
All sleep in the sun.

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The Vain Donkey Part One

The New Baby

Mr Neddy lives in a cottage beside a field full of thistles, with a pretty pond in one corner. In front of the cottage you will see a lawn hardly bigger than a table cloth surrounded by neat flower beds. Behind the cottage is a large garden with row upon row of carrots.
Have you guessed? Yes that’s right, Mr Neddy has a family of donkeys. They live in their own snug stables in the field full of thistles. Very happy donkeys they are too. The donkeys are very fond of thistles and Mr Neddy always has a special treat of carrots for work well done.
In the summer the donkeys give rides to the children on the beach. In the winter the donkeys help, the postman, the milkman, the bread man and sometimes even the furniture man. All around Mr Neddy’s cottage and the nearby village of Snugville are rocky hills which cars and bicycles can’t climb in icy weather when the sure footed donkeys can.
One day not so many winters ago, Mr Neddy went to the stables and said ”I must make you extra smart and clean today Mr Fur the vet is coming to see that you are all fit and well.”
The donkeys looked at each other and gave donkey smiles. They knew that if a whole regiment of men rubbed and scrubbed all day they and their stables could not be one bit smarter than it always was. While Mr Neddy inspected the roof and walls to make sure they were snug he whistled. While Mr Neddy forked clean fresh smelling straw into each stall for the donkeys beds he hummed. When Mr Neddy sat down to polish the brass and leather of the donkeys’ harness and saddles he sang this little song;
I am the Donkey man,
From Snugville by the sea.
So many boys and girls
Will come and visit me.
My Donkey friends will give
Them lovely rides each day,
Trot gently on the sands,
And never run away.
The donkeys all heehawed with laughter. As if they would run away from their dear friend Mr Neddy.
Soon all the donkeys were groomed and Mr Neddy was happy that everything was ready for Mr Fur the vet. Mr Fur looked carefully at each donkey from tooth to tail, from head to hoof. “They are all very fit and well indeed,” said Mr Fur, “Especially Moke who is quite old for a donkey.”
“I was thinking about buying another donkey soon, then Moke can retire,” said Mr Neddy.
“Well now it is up to you but that may not be necessary,” Mr Fur had a big smile on his face. “Moke is not ready to retire yet and by the time he is, the young one should be ready to take over his duties.”
“Young one what young one?” Mr Neddy looked very puzzled.
“Why Mirabelle’s, she is expecting a foal, it should arrive soon in the New Year.”
Mr Neddy was so pleased and so were all the donkeys. All through the winter they all took especial care of Mirabelle. Then the day came when Mr Neddy phoned Mr Fur to tell him the foal was on its way. “If it’s a boy it will be called Miraboy and if it’s a girl, Miragirl,” said Mr Neddy.
Mr Fur arrived at the stables just in time to greet the arrival of Miabelle’s baby, a fine, strong, boy. “Oh,” said Mr Neddy, “I have changed my mind about his name, he will be called Snowball.”
“Indeed,” said Mr Fur, “ What else could you call a snow white donkey born on a snowy day. Well done Mirabelle, you have a lovely son there.”
All the other donkeys crowded around to admire the new arrival as he rose up on four very wobbly legs and leaned against his proud mother. They all thought Snowball was very special as they had never seen a white donkey before.

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The Vain Donkey Part Two

Snowball Grows Vain.

Mirabelle was rather a silly donkey. As every one had made such a fuss over Snowball she decided he was too special to be with other donkeys. When the spring came and the donkeys frolicked together in the soft spring grass Mirabelle would take Snowball away to a corner of the field and say “Do not roll in the grass you will spoil your beautiful coat. When the donkeys were eating Mirabelle would push them aside to make sure that Snowball had all the best bits. Saying “Such a handsome donkey must only have the best.”
Summer came and the donkeys went to work with the children on the sands. Mr Neddy let Mirabelle stay at home with Snowball who would ask his mother, “When will I be old enough to give children a ride?” Mirabelle would answer, You are much too fine to give ordinary children rides. Only a princes is fit to ride a donkey like you.”
Snowball grew more and more vain, spending long hours admiring his reflection in the still waters of the pond. When the other donkeys came to drink and disturbed the water Snowball would toss his head and move away from them. The donkeys told Miabelle that she was being very silly spoiling Snowball so. Even a fine white donkey needed friends.
When the winter came Mirabelle decided not to use the stables she wanted to keep Snowball away from the other donkeys Mr Neddy saw Mirabelle’s odd behaviour and called Mr Fur “Well I can’t see anything ailing either of them,” said Mr Fur after examining Mirabelle and Snowball, “First try tempting them in to the stable with carrots when the other donkeys are in the field. Then when they know they only get carrots in the stables make sure they only get carrots when the other donkeys are there.”
Gradually Mirabelle gave in, she and Snowball started to use the nice warm stables with the comfy straw beds. The other donkeys were all so pleasant and kind that Snowball began to forget his silly vain ways. Alas when the spring came and they were out in the field Snowball saw his reflection in the pond. There was he with his gleaming white coat and there were the other donkeys all grey and brown. Snowball thought, “My mother is right I am very special.”
One fine sunny day Mr Neddy called to the donkeys, “The children are here again, time to get your best saddles and bridles on to go down to the sands and give the children rides.” All the donkeys were pleased to be starting their favourite work again and trotted over to Mr Neddy, waiting patiently for their turn to have their saddles on. All except Mirabelle who took Snowball to the far corner of the field and turned her back on Mr Neddy and the other donkeys.
“You too Mirabelle,” called Mr Neddy, “And Snowball. He is big enough now to give the very little children a ride. This week though he will just watch and learn how good you all are with the children.”
Mirabelle hesitated and then she thought there is no harm in Snowball just watching. I do quite like giving children rides, and I especially like the treat of carrots that Mr Neddy gives us at the end of the working day. So she trotted up with the rest
When the children saw Snowball they all wanted to ride him. Mr Neddy explained that Snowball had not learnt how to give rides. So the children just stroked and patted him.
At the end of the day’s work Mirabelle was very cross when she saw Snowball. “Look at the mess those children have made of you. Sand! Candyfloss! Ice lolly! Their messy hands have left dirty marks all over your beautiful coat. You must keep away from those children.”
Mr Neddy always washed and brushed the donkeys at the end of the day until their coats gleamed and every grain of sand that might irritate them was banished While Snowball waited for his turn he went off to look at himself in the pond and saw the marks his mother had complained about He forgot how much he had enjoyed the children making such a fuss of him and decided his mother was right, he would never let the children touch him again Even though he could see the marks were gone after Mr Neddy groomed him, Snowball had made up his mind.

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The Vain Donkey Part Three

Mr Neddy Cures Snowball

……… After a week of watching the other donkeys give children rides Mr Neddy told Snowball , “Now it is your turn. This nice little girl asked especially for you.”
Mr Neddy settled the little girl on Snowball’s saddle and said “Of we go then Snowball.”
Snowball dug his heels in and did not move an inch. No matter what Mr Neddy said or did Snowball would not move The little girl was very upset but Mr Neddy explained that Snowball was worried because he had never given any one a ride before. Moke would give her an extra long ride to make up for her disappointment.
Mr Neddy was very puzzled. In the field Snowball was happy to wear his bright bridle and saddle. He trotted along proudly with the big doll Mr Neddy put on his back to get him used to carrying children On the beach Snowball turned away even kicked and bucked when children came near him.
“Well now Snowball that’s no way to behave,” Mr Neddy inspected Snowball’s bridle and saddle carefully making sure that he had not overlooked anything that would chafe or upset his little donkey, “Everything looks fine to me. We will let you watch again today and see how you feel tomorrow.”
When Mr Neddy gave the donkeys their end of work carrot treat Snowball trotted up to get his share. “Sorry Snowball,” said Mr Neddy, “Carrot treats are for working donkeys. Mirabelle tried to give her carrots to Snowball. “No Mirabelle,” scolded Mr Neddy who had begun to suspect that it was Mirabelle’s spoiling of Snowball that was the problem, “You may not give your carrots away. If you do not want them I will give them to Moke who has worked extra well today.”
Snowball longed to have carrot treats with the other donkeys but every time Mr Neddy brought a child to him he thought of his mother’s words. “Only a princess is fit to ride on your back.” Then he felt too proud to let an ordinary child ride on his back.
Mr Neddy tried leaving Snowball at home by himself when the other donkeys went to work. Snowball did not like to be left alone all day but still he would not budge when a child was in his saddle.
Mr Neddy tried taking Snowball to watch Bob the sheep dog and Charlie the dray horse at work. “Every one has to work for a living even the most handsome of animals,” said Mr Neddy. Snowball thought to himself They are handsome animals but I am the most handsome donkey in the world and can only let a princess ride on my back
At the end of the days work when the donkeys had their after work carrot treat Mirabelle and Snowball stood to one side longing to join them but would not change their minds. Only a princess could ride on Snowball.
Then Mr Neddy had an idea . He took a long stick and tied a piece of string to one end then he tied a carrot to the string. He sat a little boy in Snowballs saddle and as usual Snowball refused to move. Mr Neddy gave the little boy the stick with carrot. and showed him how to hold it so that the carrot dangled in front of Snowball just out of reach.
Snowball saw the lovely carrot just in front of himself. Forgetting all about the little boy on his back Snowball trotted after the carrot. After a while Mr Neddy took back the stick and carrot from the little boy. Snowball came to a halt and looked around, where had that lovely carrot gone? Mr Neddy held up the carrot, “You can have this if you carry your passenger nicely back along the beach.
Snowball remembered the little boy on his back. He felt the pats and hugs the little boy gave him. Then he heard the little boy say “He is the best donkey in the whole wide world.” Snowball thought he is such a nice little boy and I really, really would like that carrot. Perhaps just this once and trotted back along the beach When they got back to the start of the Donkey Ride Mr Neddy gave Snowball the carrot. “There you are and there will be more at the end of the day but only if you earn them.”
Snowball thought about how much.he liked carrots and how nice it was to be called the best donkey in the whole wide world by a happy little boy. When Mr Neddy brought a little girl for a ride Snowball thought “Maybe she is a princess, I don’t know what a princess looks like. I will give her a ride.”
Soon Snowball realised how much he enjoyed giving ride to children and became just as good as all the donkeys. At the end of the day when he joined the other donkeys and Mr Neddy gave him a share of the carrot treats. A puzzled Mirabelle joined the group and accepted her share. Mr Neddy smiled and gave Mirabelle a special pat.
. “So I did see you giving rides to ordinary children. I have told you only a princess should ride on your back,” Mirabelle scolded Snowball. “Yes mother,” Snowball replied “But I don’t know which little girl is a princess and I liked all the boys and girls. It is fun giving rides.”
Mirabelle saw how happy Snowball was . She realised that she didn’t know what a princess looked like either . It was not much fun giving up her share of carrot treats. and she did miss being friends with the other donkeys. She decided she would not make a fuss and would let Snowball give rides to any little girl or boy. Though she did look at all the children every day and wonder if one of the little girls was really a princess.

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Timothy The White Rabbit

Timothy Rabbit is very small and white all over. Mother Rabbit is grey brown. Father Rabbit is grey brown. All Timothy’s brothers and sisters are grey brown. Timothy’s cousins are grey brown. Only the tails of the rabbits who live in the fields and woods are white.
The young rabbits had such fun with their games. They played chase and sliding down hillocks. When Timothy asked if he could join in the fun the other rabbits said, “No you are too small you will get hurt”. When Timothy asked if he could join in a game of hide and seek the other rabbits said, “You are too easy to find with all that white fur”.
Timothy went and rolled in some mud by the stream to hide his white fur and to make himself look bigger. His mother saw a patch of white fur on a young rabbit and knew at once it was Timothy. She scolded him for rolling in the mud and washed him all over.
Poor Timothy, the rabbits did not mean to be unkind, he was just not right for rabbit games. Timothy would sit by himself and dream. Such dreams! He fought dragons, he saved every one from fire, he stopped a flood. “One day”, he said to himself, “ One day, I will show them all what a strong brave rabbit I am”.
Mother Rabbit said, “The days are getting shorter, tomorrow we must start getting food for our winter store”. The next day it poured with rain. The rabbits rushed out of their burrow to eat the nearest dandelions and clover and ran back home again. It rained very hard for a week . There was nothing left to eat nearby and nothing in the store.
All the rabbits were very hungry. Father Rabbit said, “Tomorrow rain or no rain I will go to Farmer Brown’s field and get food for our store.” The next day it had stopped raining and the ground was covered in a white frost. Father Rabbit set out and had not gone far when he saw the fox. The fox was hungry too, he chased Father Rabbit all the way home.
Poor Father Rabbit hurt his paw on a sharp stone when the fox chased him so could not run and try to get food for the store. He said to Timothy’s biggest brother, “John you must try you are young and fast, you must fill the store”. John set out but did not get far before a shadow fell on the ground. A hungry hawk was diving. The hawk enjoyed eating plump rabbits. John dogged right and left and just managed to reach the safety of the barrow.
Timothy said, “Can I try Father? Please let me try”. “No,” said Father, “You are too small and too easily seen”. One by one Timothy’s brothers tried. Peter got all the way to the farmers field then bang the farmer tried to shoot him The farmer likes rabbit stew. Bob was chased by a weasel. Fred reached the farm and stopped to nibble a carrot the farmer’s dog saw him and chased him. The poor rabbit family was in a very sorry state with nothing to eat but the dead grass around the barrow.
One night all his family had gone to sleep when Timothy crept out of the barrow. The whole world was white there had been a light fall of snow on top of the frost. The fox was there but did not see Timothy he looked like a small frosty hillock as he lay very still until the fox went away. The hawk flew by but did not see Timothy. The stoat, the weasel, the farmer’s dog and the farmer with his gun all passed by but did not see Timothy.

At last Timothy reached the farmer’s field of turnips. He carefully dug up a big turnip and rolled it home. When he saw danger he just laid very still. What a feast that turnip made for the family. Every frosty or snowy night Timothy went out until the store was full. The rabbits never say that Timothy is too small now. They never say that he is too easily seen. Timothy the hero leads many of their games.



For several years I have enjoyed meeting with fellow poets and poetry lovers every other Monday at the Bear in Wantage. There we discuss both our own work and that of other poets both well known and obscure. Many of the poems in the category Wantage Poetry Club were first presented at the Club. That category dedicated to friends in the Club contains the poems which I have not as yet published in a collection.


Copyright © 2013 by Pamela Boal. The moral right of the author has been asserted. All right reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval systems, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.

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