Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Bedtime Story (4/10/2017)

Arguments are a fact of life, sadly.  We don't always all get along, 100% of the time.  But it's important that arguments are resolved and that everyone feels listened to.  I wrote this story with that thought in mind.  

This week's story is, as always, also available as a podcast.

Bobby VS Bailey

It was pouring with rain outside the treehouse.  Bobby frowned as he poked his nose out of the door and watched the seemingly endless downpour.  "It's been raining for ages," he groaned.  He folded his arms across his chest.  "I'm bored."

The treehouse belonged to Bobby and his sister, Clara.  But every day, their friends Bailey, Sam and Jessica came over to play, too.  Today was no different and everyone was feeling just as bored as Bobby was.

"Why don't we put our hoods up and go outside?"  Sam suggested.  He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and made the face he always made when he was about to have a good idea.  "We could go on a bug hunt!  Bugs come out when it rains, because they live in the holes in the ground, or the cracks in trees, and sometimes when it rains, their homes get filled up with water.  So, we could go hunting and see what we can find!"

Jessica wrinkled her nose.  "I don't think my mum and dad want me out in the rain," she said, in a voice that made it sound like she didn't want to be out in it, either.  "They made me promise to stay in the treehouse."

"We don't have to be out long," Bailey shrugged.  "Maybe we could get a plastic tub, poke some holes in the lid and collect some bugs, then bring them back here to look at?"

Jessica still didn't seem entirely convinced, but eventually, everyone agreed to the plan.  They climbed carefully down the ladder from the treehouse and into Bobby and Clara's house, where it was nice and warm and dry.  Clara ran to the kitchen to collect a tub, whilst everyone else waited in the conservatory, pulling up their hoods and getting ready to go back out into the rain.

Before long, the friends were stomping down the road, keeping their eyes peeled for creepy-crawlies.

"Mum says we're only allowed to go as far as lane at the end of the road," Clara reminded Bobby.  "She doesn't want us out in the rain too long."

"Told you," Jessica grumbled, tugging her coat tighter around herself.  "It's not nice, out here!"

But Bobby was determined.  "We're going to find some bugs," he insisted.  He turned to Sam.  "Where's the best place to look?!"

Sam frowned.  "They won't be in their homes, but they'll be looking for shelter," he explained.  "So... We should check underneath bushes, perhaps?"

Bailey nodded, as the friends approached the wooded lane at the end of the road.  "I think we should look for a spider," he said.  "We'll spot those easily!"

Jessica cringed, but Clara gave her arm a squeeze.  "It's okay," she told her.  "It'll be more scared of you than you are of it."

Everyone began searching for bugs, but nobody could find any.  They were all getting very wet and they were starting to feel cold.  "We're looking too close together," Bobby huffed.  "We need to split up!"

"We'll go together," Jessica insisted, clutching Clara's arm.

"I'll look over by that tree stump," Sam replied, scurrying off.

Bailey pointed to a large bush, just as Bobby pointed in the same direction.  

"I'm going to look under there," the boys both said in unison.

"Hey," Bobby frowned.  "I said it first!"

Bailey shook his head.  "We said it at the same time!"

"Well, that's going to be my place to look," Bobby insisted.  "Find your own!"

Bailey hurried over to the bush.  "I got here first," he called.  "So I get to look here!"

Sam glanced over at the boys.  "Can't you just look together?"  He asked.  "That's what the girls are doing.  It's not a competition, you know!"

But Bailey and Bobby felt like they were in competition, now.  And neither boy wanted to back down.

Bobby barged Bailey out of the way and grabbed at the branches of the bush, lifting them up.  A large spider came scuttling out from beneath.  "I found a spider!"  Bobby cried.  "Clara!  Bring me the tub!"

Bailey rushed past Bobby and wrenched the tub out of Clara's hand.  "It was my idea to look for a spider," he hissed.  "So I get to catch it!"

Bobby tugged the tub back out of Bailey's hands.  "Well, the tub is from my house!"  He snapped.  "So I get to catch it!"

Clara rolled her eyes and folded her arms, shivering against the rain.  "Stop arguing!"  She shouted.  "We're all wet and cold!  I don't care who does it; just one of you catch the thing, so we can go home!"

Bailey blinked at the floor, his eyes scanning mud and wet leaves.  "I can't see it, now."

Bobby shook his head.  "That's your fault, for taking the tub from me!  I could have caught it straight away, if you hadn't!"

"Well, you were trying to take over my idea!"  Bailey argued.

As the rain continued to pour and the boys kept arguing, Sam let out a long sigh and began hunting for the spider, whilst Jessica stayed well out of the way and Clara tutted to herself.

"If Sam catches that spider, you aren't allowed to come back to the treehouse to look at it," Bobby snapped.  

"FINE," Bailey shouted.  "I'm going home, then."  He turned on his heels and splashed through the puddles as he stomped down the lane.

Jessica hurried down the lane after him.  She glanced over her shoulder at Bobby as she passed.  "I'm going home as well," she announced.  "I've had enough of all this shouting.  And I'm cold and soaking wet and I don't even like spiders!"

Clara rushed after Jessica.  "Come back to the treehouse," she suggested.  "I'll get Mum to make some of her special hot chocolate, with the marshmallows on top.  It'll warm us right up!"

Sam shook his head at Bobby.  "I can't find the spider, anyway," he sighed.  "I think I'll just go home, too."

Bobby opened his mouth to argue, but suddenly, Bailey's voice echoed down the lane: "Guys!  I found an even bigger spider!"  He pointed to a wall and motioned for Bobby to bring the tub.  Everyone rushed down the lane to meet him.

"Wow!"  Bobby exclaimed, as he set his eyes on the spider.  "It really is even bigger than the last one!"  He handed Bailey the tub, but Bailey shook his head.

"It's your tub, from your house, remember?"  

Bobby smiled, wryly.  "But you found it."  He took a deep breath.  "Why don't we work as a team?"

Together, the boys managed to coax the spider into the tub and they placed the lid - which Clara had carefully poked holes into - on top.  Gently, the boys took it back to the treehouse, taking it in turns to carry the tub.

Before long, everyone was back in the treehouse, cosy and dry, sipping hot chocolate and looking closely at the spider.  Even Jessica had to admit, it was pretty cool to see it up close.

"I'm sorry we got so cross with each other," Bobby said to Bailey.

"Me too," Bailey agreed.  "We work much better together."

Sam took a sip of his hot chocolate.  "We shouldn't keep it for too long," he said, nodding at the spider.  "One of us should probably take it down to the garden and set it free."

Bailey and Bobby nodded.  "I'll do it," they said in unison.

Everyone exchanged glances.  "Uh-oh..."  Clara began.

Bailey laughed.  "We'll do it together," he promised.

The friends all breathed a sigh of relief, as they finished their hot chocolates.  Outside, the rain finally began to subside and the sun peeped through the clouds.  

It had been a good day, after all.


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