Since I started recording the weekly bedtime story as a podcast, I've been absolutely dying to break out a few regional accents. So, to hear my dulcet tones, click here.
Or, if you reckon you can live without my attempt at a Scottish accent (and to be fair, you probably can...), you can just read the story below in your own dulcet tones, instead. Enjoy!
Boris The Bunny's Bed
Boris was a cotton-tail rabbit. Unlike most rabbits, he didn't live in an underground warren. His home was a cosy nest, in a hollow in the ground. Each night, Boris liked to snuggle down in his nest-bed and stare up at the bright stars, as he gently drifted into a deep sleep.
But one day, a storm hit. All day long, the thunder rumbled, the trees shook and the rain fell. When the time came for Boris to go to sleep, he climbed into his nest and discovered, to his horror, that it had been reduced to a pile of sludge! He tried to sleep in the remains of his cosy bed, but it just made him feel wet and sticky and cold. Big raindrops splashed onto his whiskers and he blinked up at the starry sky.
"This is no use," he groaned. "I'll have to find somewhere else to sleep." He gazed towards the wood. "I wonder if one of my animal friends has room for me to stay, tonight."
Boris began hopping towards the woods and soon, he saw his friend Stephanie Squirrel, just about to turn in for the night.
"Excuse me?" Boris called. "My nest is full of water. Could I sleep in your den, tonight?"
Stephanie nodded at him, from high up in a tree. "Of course," she smiled. She showed him up to her tiny, but warm den, carved into the side of a tree. "Make yourself at home," she said, as Boris scrambled up the tree trunk and wriggled into the hole. But being up so high made Boris feel dizzy. He was frightened he might fall out of the tree in the middle of the night! He tried to get comfortable, but it was no use.
"I'm so sorry," he told Stephanie. "I don't think I can sleep here."
"Never mind," Stephanie replied. "I hope you find somewhere else! Goodnight, Boris!" And with that, Stephanie curled up and fell asleep.
Boris gingerly made his way back down the tree trunk. He hopped onwards into the woods, as the rain continued to fall all around him.
Before long, he came across Harvey Hedgehog, who was snuffling under a pile of leaves.
"Harvey? My nest is all ruined because of the rain... Would it be alright to stay with you, tonight?"
Harvey poked his nose out from beneath the leaves. "Oh dear," he said. "You poor thing, of course you can stay. Just wriggle down under the leaves and twigs and make yourself comfortable."
Boris did as he was told. It was very cosy underneath the leaves and it was dry, too. But Boris had forgotten something; Harvey was a very snuffly hedgehog and he snored. Boris tried putting his paws over his ears, but it was no good. It was much too noisy for him to sleep. Slowly, he began tiptoeing out from under the leaves.
"Did I wake you?" Harvey asked, opening one, sleepy eye. "Sorry, I do tend to be a bit loud. Hope you find somewhere else!"
Boris said goodnight to Harvey and continued hopping into the woods.
After a while, he spotted Deidre Deer, scraping the ground with her nose and sniffing all around.
"Are you alright?" Boris asked.
"Oh, hello Boris," Deidre smiled. "I'm fine. I'm just looking for somewhere to sleep."
Boris smiled, sleepily. "Me too. This storm has ruined my nest."
"Heavens, what a pity!" Deidre exclaimed. "Well, this area looks alright for me. Lots of tall trees to provide a bit of shelter from the rain and lots of bushes, so I can't be seen by any hunters. You're welcome to join me here, if you like."
Boris nodded. "Okay," he said. "Thanks!"
Boris settled down and snuggled into Deidre's warm fur. Soon, he was fast asleep. But he hadn't been asleep for long when suddenly Deidre jumped back up again. "What's going on?!" Boris yawned.
"I heard something," Deidre whispered. "I'm afraid I can't stay here, Boris. We deers only tend to sleep in short bursts, anyway. We like to move on, before we're found."
Without Deidre to provide a little extra protection from the rain, Boris didn't like sleeping on the woodland floor. He shook himself off and trudged onwards, his eyelids heavy and his body weary.
Soon, he came across a hollow tree stump. The rain was beginning to stop and the inside of the stump looked cosy. Boris yawned and scrambled inside. He curled up in a ball and was soon asleep once more.
But before long, a flutter of wings woke him up again. "Hey," Ollie Owl prodded him with his beak. "This is my house! And I sleep during the day, not the night. If you're going to pop round for a visit, don't just lie there; it's very rude!"
Boris blinked up at Ollie. "I'm sorry," he pleaded. "I'm just so tired. I want to go to sleep and my nest has been flooded by the storm."
Ollie stuck his beak in the air. "Well, it's not raining anymore," he huffed. "And the wind's died down a bit, too. I suggest you go home. It's not safe for you around here. Besides, I'm getting peckish and you don't want me to eat you, do you?!"
Boris scrambled to his feet and hopped away as fast as he could. He didn't stop running until he reached his ruined nest, surrounded by the tall grass and shrubs he knew so well. Boris sighed at the watery mess that was once his home. Then, he frowned and put his hands on his hips. "I'll just have to build a new one!"
For what seemed like hours, Boris dug in the ground, digging out a new hollow to sleep in. Finally, when he could see that he'd dug out enough of the sticky mud, he tugged at the grass and the shrubbery and lined his new nest with it. It was still a little damp, but when Boris snuggled down in it, it was so cosy, a big smile came across his sleepy face.
Over the hill in the distance, the sun began to rise. The sky turned a beautiful orangey pink and the birds began to chirp. But Boris? Well, Boris was finally fast asleep, in his brand new nest, as comfy as could be.