Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Bedtime Story (21/6/2017)

Every now and then, I get challenged to write a story on a particular subject.  This week, my Dad gave me a title for a story and told me to just "go with it."  That title was "Muffin The Puffin."  And here's the story...

If you'd prefer to listen to the story, just click here for the podcast!

Muffin The Puffin

Muffin was fed up.  Every day, he floated in the sea with all the other puffins; bobbing up and down on the waves, before diving down to catch fish to eat.  Every day, he went for his evening flight with all the other puffins; soaring through the sky, as the sun began to set.  And every day, Muffin wished he felt less like just another one of the burrow.

Muffin looked just like everyone else.  His chest was white, his legs and feet were orange and his wings were black.  His beak was striped with vivid colours, but so was everyone else's!  Muffin was tired of fitting in.  He wanted to stand out!

So, one morning, whilst all the other puffins were gathered on the rocks, chatting amongst themselves, Muffin snuck off, into the bushes beyond.  There, he grabbed leaves and flowers and stuck them amongst the feathers on his wings, until he looked very different.  Instead of being black like everyone else's, Muffin's wings were green, blue, pink and yellow, with lots of pretty flowers on display.  He marched back down to the rocks, feeling rather pleased with himself.

But, when he arrived, Muffin's best friend Tiffin eyed him suspiciously.  "What on Earth have you done that for?"  Tiffin asked.  "You look ever so strange..."

Muffin shook his wings proudly.  "I want to stand out," he replied.  "I'm bored of being like everyone else."

Before Tiffin could reply, there was a cry from a puffin down by the water's edge.  "There are seagulls coming!  Quick, get into the sea and dive down as far as you can!"

All of the puffins began leaping into the water and disappearing below the surface.  Muffin and Tiffin followed, but to his dismay, as Muffin splashed into the sea, the leaves and flowers in his wings began to come unstuck and started floating away.  By the time he'd dived safely below the water, Muffin looked just like all the other puffins, again.

When he came up to the surface again, Muffin wasn't very happy.  "Look at me," he groaned.  "All my flowers are gone!  How am I supposed to stand out, now?!"

All of the puffins headed back to the island, carrying fish to feed to the puffin chicks, who were warm and safe in their burrows.  When everyone was back on dry land, they began feasting on what they had caught.  Everyone, that is, except for Muffin.

"I don't eat fish, anymore," he said, with his beak in the air.  "I only eat... Um... Seaweed."  To prove a point, Muffin grabbed a piece of seaweed that had floated onto the rocks and put it straight into his mouth.  He pulled a face; it didn't taste very nice.

"Are you sure you don't want any fish?"  Tiffin asked.  "There's plenty to go around!"

Muffin shook his head.  "I'm fine with my seaweed," he insisted.

The sky began to grow dark and Muffin was hungry and fed up.  He wanted to stand out, but trying to be different didn't seem to be working.  He plodded off over the rocks, until he came to a squelchy, muddy area that he hadn't visited, before.  The mud was thick and oozy; suddenly, Muffin had an idea.  He would certainly stand out, if his white feathers weren't white, anymore!  And so, Muffin jumped into the mud and rolled around, allowing his fluffy white chest to turn a murky brown.  His wings, legs and head were soon coated with sticky mud, too.  Muffin was thrilled!  Okay, he didn't look as pretty as he had with flowers in his feathers, but he definitely stood out, now.

But when Tiffin saw her friend, she was horrified.  "What have you done now?!"

"Made myself look different to everyone else," Muffin said, proudly.

Tiffin rolled her eyes.  "Well, there's no time to talk about it now," she said.  "Everyone's heading off on the evening flight.  Are you ready to go?"

Muffin nodded.  He watched as the other puffins soared into the sky with ease.  He flapped his wings, but... Nothing seemed to happen.  The mud on his feathers was hardening and he suddenly felt like he was weighed down and unable to take off!

"Tiffin!"  He called, but Tiffin had already flown away and could no longer hear him.  Muffin stared helplessly into the sky, feeling terribly sorry for himself.  He managed to waddle to the water's edge, where he splashed and rolled in the sea, until the mud slowly began to wash from his feathers.  

Whilst he lazed in the water, Muffin spotted some fish and realised how hungry he was.  He ate dinner by himself and, by the time he'd finished, he was perfectly clean, again.  

Gazing up towards the other puffins, Muffin began flapping his wings and soon, he was well on the way to catching up with his friends.

"Tiffin!"  He called, flying as fast as he could.  "Wait for me!"

Tiffin glanced over her shoulder.  "Oh, thank goodness," she said.  "You look like a puffin, again!"

Muffin sighed.  "Yes," he agreed.  "I'm back to being just like everyone else."

Tiffin chuckled to herself.  "Don't be silly," she told him.  "Today just proved how different you can be!  Being different or standing out doesn't have to be about the way you look, or the things you do or don't eat.  It's about being you."

Muffin frowned.  "But... When I'm me, I'm the same as everyone else, aren't I?!"

Tiffin smiled.  "We're all different," she explained.  "We all have our own thoughts, our own dreams and our own personality.  That's what makes you stand out from everyone else, Muffin!  Not only the way you look, but the way you are."  She grinned at him.  "You'll never be the same as everyone else, because there can only ever be one you."

Muffin beamed back at her.  Suddenly, he didn't want to cover his feathers with mud, or flowers, or refuse to eat fish ever again.  He was a puffin and he was proud to be.  Because whilst there were many, many puffins on his island, there was only one Muffin.


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