At the time of writing, Storm Katie has been battering parts of the UK and it's been rather rainy, the last few days AND nights! So, here's a story about being kept awake by the rain.
To listen to this week's bedtime story as a podcast, click this link.
One Rainy Night
Ellie's room was dark and her bed was cosy. It was late and she was tired. But Ellie wasn't asleep.
Outside, in the black night, the wind howled and the rain hammered against Ellie's bedroom window. It was much too loud for her to sleep.
Ellie shuffled out from beneath her warm, snug duvet and reached for the lamp beside her bed. She switched it on and her room was filled with a soft glow of light. She slid out of bed and padded to the window, peeping out through the curtains into the darkness, beyond.
The rain was flowing down the road outside, like a little stream. Droplets snaked their way across her window pane, making everything look blurry and strange. The tree outside her house blew wildly in the wind. Ellie shivered and hurried back to bed. She yawned and decided she should try to sleep, however hard it was.
She switched off the lamp and squeezed her eyes shut. She thought of nice, comforting things - she even tried counting sheep - but it didn't work. The rain carried on banging against her window and the wind kept on blustering.
Ellie tried wriggling down in her bed, with her whole head beneath the duvet. She wrapped herself up like a sausage roll and placed her hands over her ears. But she could still hear the weather outside and she still couldn't sleep.
Crawling out from beneath the duvet, Ellie switched the lamp back on and climbed out of bed, once more. She tiptoed to her chest of drawers and pulled out a pair of ear muffs and a woolly hat. Sneaking back to bed, Ellie put on the ear muffs and the hat and lay back down. If her ears were covered, surely the noise outside couldn't keep her awake?!
Her plan worked - for a little while. But soon, Ellie's head began to feel hot and the ear muffs made it uncomfortable to sleep on her side. Groaning, she flung the hat and ear muffs onto the floor. Outside, the wind had picked up and it sounded as though there were hail stones mixed in with the rain. They bashed against the window, furiously. Ellie yawned, rubbed her eyes and tried to think of something else...
She got up again and tugged at her duvet, until it fell from the bed. She scooped it up in her arms and grabbed her pillow. Slowly, she crept out of her bedroom and into the bathroom. The bathroom was at the back of the house and she reckoned that just maybe, she wouldn't be able to hear the weather so badly, in there.
Ellie was right! The wind was still howling, but she couldn't hear the rain anywhere near as badly, once she'd closed the bathroom door behind her. She positioned her pillows and duvet in the bath and carefully climbed in.
It was cold in the bathroom. And trying to sleep wasn't all that easy. The sides of the bath felt hard and chilly against Ellie's skin. Then the tap started to drip and her feet got wet. Besides, Ellie started to worry that one of her parents would need the toilet in the night and she'd give them a fright when they saw her, lying in the bath. She groaned and gathered up her things, before plodding back to her room.
The wind howled and the rain continued to pour. Ellie grumbled to herself, as she remade her bed. Her eyelids felt heavy and all she wanted to do was sleep, but the weather outside was just too noisy.
Ellie headed to the wooden chest where she kept lots of her toys. She rummaged around inside, until she found an old teddy bear she'd had since she was a baby. At the back of the bear was a little key. Ellie knew that if she wound the key, the bear would play a soft, soothing tune. Maybe if she concentrated on that, it would overpower the sound of the storm outside? Ellie wound the key and brought the bear back to bed with her. She snuggled down under the duvet again, with her head beneath the covers, and she lay the bear right next to her ear. But the little tune only played for a minute or so, before Ellie had to wind the key back up again. After several times, her arm began to hurt and she was fed up of having to open her eyes and repeat the same thing over and over.
Ellie poked her head out from beneath the duvet and blinked at the window. "Stop being so loud," she begged the rain and the wind. "I'm trying to sleep!"
A little ray of sunlight began to peep through the curtains. Ellie lay on her back and watched as her room got lighter; turning pink, then orange as the sun started to rise. The rain began to slow and the wind died down. Finally, it was quiet! Ellie smiled to herself and closed her eyes...
Just a few minutes later, the door to Ellie's bedroom creaked open and her mum stepped inside. "Ellie? Are you alright? The weather was ever so bad last night, wasn't it?"
But Ellie didn't say a word in response. She lay, snuggled up beneath her duvet, fast asleep at last.