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Once upon a time, in my garden... by Reg


By Reg


A little story from Reg’s Fairy Garden site.

Once upon a time …
…. a good way to start a story….

… I had been asked to baby-sit for my son and daughter-in-law’s children, my grandchildren Helen and Peter. The moment that I arrived at their home I was greeted by the two young children with their arms full of fairy tale books. Their mother had told them earlier that I was going to tell them stories when I arrived. I was soon to be made comfortable on the settee with the children either side of me, when I had to make a major decision as to whose story book I would read first as they could not agree to having the same one. I knew I would be
upsetting one of them so I asked if they minded if I told them my own story and, with great enthusiasm, they agreed to listen.

It went something like this ….
…. Once upon a time an old man and his three grandchildren were walking through the woods. It was a fine warm day in the summer, with the sunbeams dancing though the trees above and birds singing to each other and flying onto the pathway ahead of the children, picking up insects to feed their young. Because of the heavy rainfall the night before, the potholes on the pathway were filled with water and the birds were enjoying an early morning bath. The children were delighted to see
their antics. Even the tiniest of them were behaving like ducks.
The potholes were very shallow so the birds could not come to any harm, although they were ducking their heads under the water.

Not only had there been heavy rain the night before, but there was a strong wind that blew a lot of leaves off the trees to build up in heaps on the side of the pathway. The children ran and jumped into the heaps of leaves, rolling over and over on them. They were having a wonderful time. Grandpa called out to them to be careful what they did not disturb any wildlife that might be hiding in them.
Grandpa did not want to spoil their fun but he knew that there
would be some wildlife in the leaves. Just then a small mouse emerged cautiously from a heap of leaves nearby, took a look at the children, stood on his back legs and proceeded to wash his face. The children were amazed and stood transfixed until he had finished his ablutions. It was not until one of the them moved that the mouse ran away back into the undergrowth. This was a new adventure for the children, they had never seen creatures like that so close before.

They continued along the path tiptoeing very quietly in case they saw more wildlife amongst the leaves. Suddenly they stopped. A heap of leaves was moving. The youngest of the children hung onto his grandfather’s hand very tightly while the other children, moved closer to their him. He was smiling for, as he had guessed, a large blackbird with a bright yellow beak appeared, startling the children. They wanted to know what a bird was doing under the leaves. Birds fly, they do not go under leaves. He explained that birds are always looking for food for themselves and their young and the heap of leaves would provide them with a variety of insects. He told them that, although that they had passed that way before, they had never noticed the wildlife and other things moving about in the woods because they, like all children, would have been running and shouting to each other and, without realizing it, would frighten all but the insects away before they had even noticed them.

Although the children were very excited as they walked along the tree covered pathway, they asked Grandpa in a whisper whether, if they were very quiet, they would see more animals like the little mouse? Grandpa said they would and they did see many more as they continued their walk. They all agreed to be as quite as mice and walk along very slowly. As they turned the next bend, they stopped and sat on a small bank amazed at the spectacle before them.
There were at least fifteen or even twenty rabbits, large and small, running up and down a high, grass covered bank. The children remained absolutely still noticing that some were going in and out of holes in the ground. Grandpa, seeing that the children looked puzzled, bent down and explained in a whisper that the holes in the bank were where the rabbits lived. They looked at him in disbelief and he understood why when the youngest told him that he thought rabbits lived in rabbit hutches. At that, the eldest of the grandchildren, who thought she knew everything, began to giggle and told her younger brother that rabbits normally live in holes. She made so much noise that they soon noticed that she had frightened all the rabbits away.

More blog posts by Reg

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Nature is amazing - but keeping children quiet, that's impressive!!

22 Nov, 2007


That is the story that is told to children in the fairy garden. Remember that the fairies were also listening.

22 Nov, 2007


Did you write it, Reg? or was it the fairies...

22 Nov, 2007


Well it is a fairy story, although they might have helped me.

22 Nov, 2007


i think it is a lovely story Reg, bet my daughter would love it. she also believes in fairies.

23 Nov, 2007

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