Fable For Present

posted on 01 Feb 2010 07:31 by stp-lost in MyWork

MATILDA Finds a New Home

(Shorter Version for Younger Readers)
© Jan Luthman



One day, Jonathan and Robbit were wandering up the meadow together. 

"Going to be a cold winter," Said Jonathan.

"How do you know?" Asked Robbit.

"Look at the holly tree," Said Jonathan, "it's got lots and lots of berries."

Just then, Farmer Jack came towards them, a great big axe in one hand.

"I'm off to cut some logs for the fire," He said, "it's going to be a cold winter this year."

"See?" Jonathan nudged Robbit's paw, "I told you."

"You'll have to dig yourself a nice deep burrow, Robbit," Farmer Jack called out, "and you'll need to find yourself a large warm pile of leaves, Jonathan. Why don't you try under the old oak tree?"

The old oak stood at the edge of the meadow.

On the ground underneath the tree lay piles and piles of golden brown leaves.

Jonathan nosed carefully under a large heap of them.

"Mmm," He murmured happily, "They smell all musty."

All of a sudden, Robbit's head popped up out of the ground.

"It's nice here," He said, flicking little bits of earth out of his ears with his paw, "The ground's all soft and easy to dig."

"And the leaves are all soft and warm and damp," Said Jonathan dreamily.

Robbit yawned.

"Funny how when it gets cold it makes you sleepy." * It's called hibernating," Explained Jonathan.

"Oh," Said Robbit, and yawned again.

Jonathan began to slide back under his pile of leaves.

"I'm tired," He announced, "G'night, Robbit."

"G'night, Jonathan," Robbit rubbed his eyes sleepily, "See you in the Spring."

All over the meadow, Jonathan and Robbit and their friends curled up safe and snug in their nests and burrows, and went to sleep.

Outside, the weather got colder and colder, and winter began.

MATILDA Finds a New Home

(Shorter Version for Younger Readers)
© Jan Luthman



It was the middle of winter, and late at night.

The snow lay silvery white in the moonlight and, far away in the forest, an owl hooted in the cold winter darkness.

Cosy in her nest, Millie snuggled deeper under her thistledown blanket and sighed sleepily.

All of a sudden, there was a knocking at the door.

Millie leapt out of bed and scurried across the floor - who on earth could it be?

She opened the door, and there stood Matilda, her teeth chattering with cold.

"Oh, Millie," Matilda wailed, "A great big animal stood on my nest, and squashed it flat."

"Oh!" Millie gasped, "How awful!"

"And now I've got no home," Matilda's almost began to cry.

Millie pulled Matilda in through the doorway.

"Come in where it's warm," She said kindly.

Millie bustled off to the kitchen and came back with a large mug full of hot sweet bramble juice.

"There," She said, "That'll warm you up a bit."

"You're so kind," Said Matilda, "I don't deserve it after being so horrid to you."

"Never you mind about that," declared Millie, "Let's get you tucked up nice and warm."

Millie opened a cupboard and pulled out a great big soft thistledown quilt.

"There," She spread the quilt on the floor in front of the fire, "You can sleep next to me."

Matilda snuggled under the quilt.

She felt warm and safe, almost as if the little nest had put its arms around her and given her a great big comforting hug.

Moments later, she was fast asleep.

MATILDA Finds a New Home
(Shorter Version, Younger Readers)
© Jan Luthman



 next morning, Millie and Matilda set off through the snow to the old farmhouse. They climbed up onto the kitchen windowsill and peered inside. 

There stood Mrs Katie, at a great big kitchen table covered in flour and butter and salt and sugar and jam and bits of pastry.

The two mice knocked on the window.

Mrs Katie looked up and opened the window.

"Hallo, Millie," She said, "You two must be freezing., come on in where it's warm."

Millie and Matilda hopped on to the kitchen table.

"What brings you two mice out in the middle of winter?" Asked Mrs Katie.

Millie told Mrs Katie the sad story of how Matilda had lost her home and had nowhere to go.

Mrs Katie thought a while, then smiled.

"There's a small burrow at the bottom of the wall in the back porch. Why don't you go and have a look - it might suit you."

Millie and Matilda scurried off.

Inside the burrow they found a comfortable little sitting room, with a small fireplace and two comfy armchairs with lovely plump soft cushions just waiting to be sat in and a bedroom with an old-fashioned box-bed tucked away cosily in one corner, even a tiny kitchen.

It was exactly what Matilda had been hoping to find.

"Would it be alright if I moved in today?" Matilda asked Mrs Katie, " I'd be very, very quiet. "

"Of course it would," Replied Mrs Katie.

And, from then on, Matilda lived happily under the Old Farmhouse.

And, what's more, she and Millie became the very best of good friends.

The End




The Beautiful Butterfly

(Concise version)
© Jan Luthman





 was a warm summery day, and Jonathan and Robbit were resting in the sunshine. 

Robbit scratched his ear in a comfortable, absent-minded sort of way.

"I was wondering," He said, "Why nettles have stings."

Jonathan couldn't think of a good answer.

"Let's ask Farmer Jack," He said.

And off they went, Jonathan's little round shell glinting in the sunlight.

Farmer Jack was digging his potato patch.

"Hallo, Robbit," Farmer Jack rested on the handle of his spade, "And Jonathan."

"Hallo, Farmer Jack," They replied.

"Farmer Jack," Said Robbit, "Why do nettles?"

Farmer Jack scratched his head.

"I'm not quite sure, " He replied, "But I did hear a story that seems to make sense."

"Can you tell us?" Asked Robbit.

Farmer Jack settled down on a nearby tree stump.The Sad Nettle

"Once upon a time," He began, "There was a nettle growing in a meadow."

"This nettle was really sad," Farmer Jack went on, "Because nobody liked him."

"That's'cos he stung them, " Muttered Robbit.

"M'mm," Agreed farmer Jack, "But he couldn't help it: that's the way he was made."

One day, a beautiful butterfly settled on one of the nettle's leaves. "Why are you so quiet?" She asked the nettle.

"Because I sting everyone," Said the nettle sadly, " I can't help it." "You don't sting me," Said the butterfly.

She paused for a moment.

"I was wondering," Said the butterfly thoughtfully, "if you would keep my eggs safe during the winter?"

Nobody had ever asked the nettle a favour before. He was thrilled.

"I'd be honoured," He said.

And so, all through the snow and storms, the nettle kept the eggs safe and dry under its leaves, where no animal would dare try to eat them. In the spring, as the weather grew warmer, the eggs hatched out into caterpillarsThe Peacock Butterfly

Later, each caterpillar turned into a chrysallis and then, in the middle of the summer, into a beautiful new butterfly.

"Thank you," Said the butterfly, "For looking after me all winter. I think your leaves are the strongest and safest leaves in the whole wide world."

And, from that day on, every winter, the nettle has looked after the eggs of the beautiful Peacock butterfly.


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