My apologies for using an "old" story, this week. Due to illness and other things, I've not been able to write something entirely new for this edition of the weekly "Bedtime Story" feature, so I'm sharing an unpublished but pre-written story from my ABC Animals collection.
This week's story does, however, feature sketches from the very lovely and very talented Cheryl Rail. Chez, thank you, my lovely. xx
Daisy The Daydreaming Dragonfly
Daisy Dragonfly lived in a world of her own. She spent most of her time dreaming that she was a princess, an astronaut, an explorer...
The trouble was, she spent so much time daydreaming, that she didn’t always notice what was going on around her.
In school, Miss Giraffe was always telling Daisy to pay more attention, but Daisy often didn’t even hear.
Her classmates called her “Daisy the Daydreaming Dragonfly,” but Daisy didn’t mind. When she felt sad or afraid, she knew that all she had to do was close her eyes and imagine she was somewhere else and she’d feel instantly better. Yes, she flew into the odd tree and didn’t always get her homework finished, but real life seemed so dull compared to her imaginary world.
One morning, as Daisy made her way into school, there was a buzz of excitement in the air. Her class were going to the Jungle Theatre to see a play. Daisy was especially excited; she imagined that watching a play would be like seeing a daydream brought to life!
Miss Giraffe summoned the children to their desks. “Today is a special day,” she began. “But we have some important rules to follow, so that everybody stays safe. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” the class chorused.
She continued: “We must stay together whilst we’re making our way through the jungle. No wandering off or rushing ahead.”
The class sat quietly as Miss Giraffe continued. Daisy listened for a while, before a glint of sunlight, streaming through the window caught her eye.
“That looks like a golden path, leading to a magic kingdom,” she thought. “I wonder who’d live there?”
Soon, Daisy was so lost in her thoughts that she barely noticed all of her classmates, rushing to line up by the door.
“Daisy?” Miss Giraffe frowned. “Were you listening to those instructions?”
Daisy gulped. “Of course I was!” She fibbed.
Miss Giraffe narrowed her eyes. “Did you hear what I said about the pathway and the tree stump?”
Daisy bit her lip. “Y... Yes.” She stammered. Miss Giraffe nodded and walked to the door. Daisy sighed with relief as she joined her classmates. “That was a lucky escape,” she whispered to Briony Butterfly. “I thought she’d tell me off for daydreaming again.”
Briony rolled her eyes. “She wouldn’t have to if you paid more attention,” she replied.
The class made their way into the jungle, chattering in excited voices as they went. Daisy lingered at the back, wondering what the play would be about. “Maybe there’ll be a wicked witch, who turns everyone into statues,” she thought. She hovered in mid-air. “Help, I’ve been turned into a statue!” she shrieked.
Nobody was listening; everyone was too excited about the theatre trip to pay attention to Daisy’s fantasies.
As they trundled deeper into the jungle, Daisy began to wonder what it would be like to be an actress. She imagined herself onstage, taking a bow. A smile crept across her face. She closed her eyes and pictured her imaginary audience. “I hope you enjoyed the show,” she laughed. Then she opened her eyes and gasped. Where was everyone?!
Daisy glanced around. There was nobody to be seen! She buzzed about, calling for her classmates and her teacher, but nobody came. Daisy landed on a rock and her lower lip began to tremble. She was alone and completely lost.
“On no,” she groaned. “Why didn’t I pay attention to where I was going?” Tears formed in her eyes. “What am I going to do?”
Just as she was about to give up hope, Daisy spotted a small path, disappearing into the distance. She hadn’t noticed it at first, as there was a large tree stump blocking the path’s entrance.
“Miss Giraffe said something about a pathway and a tree stump...” Daisy remembered. She shot into the air. “That must be the way to the theatre!”
Quick as a flash, Daisy began flying down the narrow path. She frowned as she noticed thick brambles lying across the ground. “This seems like an odd place for a theatre...” She muttered.
Soon, she reached a clearing. The ground looked muddy and there was a dreadful smell in the air. “Hello?” Daisy called.
“Ssshh!” A voice hissed. Daisy peered into the mud and spotted a warthog, dozing in the sun.
“Hello?” She called. “Sorry to disturb you, but...”
“Ssshh!” The warthog didn’t even open his eyes. “I’m sleeping.”
“But I’m lost,” Daisy persisted. Her wings drooped and she felt more alone than ever.
The warthog opened his eyes. “Of course you’re lost,” he said. “Nobody comes down here unless they’ve taken a wrong turn. This muddy bog is pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.” He yawned. “So... What happened?”
Daisy blushed. “I was daydreaming,” she confessed. “I didn’t listen to my teacher when she gave us instructions and I got separated from my class on the way to the Jungle Theatre...” She sighed.
The warthog shook his head. “Sounds like you need to save your dreams for bedtime,” he replied.
Daisy sniffed. “I can’t help it."
“There’s nothing wrong with using your imagination,” the warthog replied as he rose to his feet. “You just have to make sure you don’t get so wrapped up in your daydreams that you let real life pass you by,” he leaned in close and lowered his voice. “Would you have gotten lost if you’d been paying attention?”
Daisy shook her head. “I promise I’ll pay more attention from now on,” she said. “I just want to get back to my class!”
“Come on then,” the warthog motioned for her to follow as he made his way back down the prickly path. “I’ll take you to the Jungle Theatre. It’s not far from here.”
Sure enough, soon Daisy spotted Miss Giraffe standing outside the theatre.
“Daisy!” She shrieked, as her missing student flew into view. “Where on Earth have you been?”
Daisy burst into tears. “I’m so sorry,” she whimpered. “I was daydreaming and I got lost and...” Her words disappeared into sobs.
“Oh Daisy,” Miss Giraffe sighed. “I’m very relieved that you’re safe, but you could have gotten into danger today; you really must pay more attention.” She glanced at the warthog. “Thank you so much for bringing her back to us,” she said.
“No problem,” the warthog replied. “I think this little lady gave herself quite a scare.” He gave Daisy a smile. “Remember, there’s no harm in dreaming, but it’s important to visit the real world from time to time!”
Daisy sniffed. “I know,” she replied. “Thank you.” She gazed up at Miss Giraffe as the warthog made his way home. “Did I miss the play?”
Miss Giraffe laughed. “No Daisy,” she replied. “It’s just about to start.”
Together, they made their way into the theatre. As Daisy settled down in her seat with her classmates around her, she thought about how lucky she was. Perhaps the real world wasn’t quite as boring as she’d thought!
From that day on, Daisy always listened carefully when someone was giving instructions.
And she never daydreamed when she was supposed to be doing her homework...
Well... Almost never.