There was once a man called Fermín who loved running with the bulls in the Spanish town of Pamplona. Fermín was from a small village in Spain, and every year in early July he would pack his bags and set off for Pamplona to join lots of other people at the festival. It was a very popular event called the “Sanfermines” – a bit like his name. But the first year he went, he didn’t realise just how big the bulls were and just how fast they ran.
Fermín dressed all in white with a red neckerchief around his neck and prepared himself to run with the bulls. There were hundreds of people there, singing a traditional song to Saint Fermín to protect them in the chase… and after a few minutes, they released the bulls from the pens.
Fermín was very afraid when he saw the bulls running towards him, for he had never seen such big bulls before. He froze in sheer fright from the chaos of all the people running and all the bulls hurtling along behind them.
Unfortunately, Fermín had frozen in the middle of the most dangerous street in the chase, Estafeta Street. Just when the bulls were about to reach him,a man came racing up to him, grabbed his arm and pulled him over the barrier. Read the rest of this short story »
Once upon a time there was a mole called Molly, who lived in a field in the middle of nowhere. Lots of other moles in her family lived there, too.
The moles usually spent their time digging holes in the earth and hideouts hidden under the ground. Although moles have an excellent sense of smell, their sight is very bad and they can barely see beyond their noses.
Molly was a very special mole, for she had decided to wear glasses to see better and therefore be able to dig tunnels more quickly. All the moles in the field laughed at her for this, and she felt very depressed.
But one day the Mole Olympics were held in the field, and Molly put herself forward for the event of “most extraordinary digger.” This consisted of digging a tunnel more than two kilometres long, leaving from one point in the field and arriving precisely at that same point through the tunnel. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a very special lion called Simba who lived on the African savannah. Simba would play in the plains, running and jumping with his friends the leopards and other lions in the area. Simba had a very special gift, for every time he roared he created such a strong wing it seemed like a hurricane.
On the savannah where Simba lived there were lots of kinds of animals: giraffes, elephants, hyenas, etc. and even though it wasn’t a particularly green place, there were lots of species of tree and plants.
One day, as Simba was playing with his friends, they saw enormous machines destroying part of the plain by digging into the earth. “The humans are building oil wells…” said one of the wisest lions.
Day by day, the men built more and more oil wells, destroying the local nature in the process.
Simba had fewer and fewer friends with whom to play, and fewer plains in which to run about, and he knew that it was the men that were causing it all.
So he decided to ask the wisest lion in the area for a solution. The wise old lion said: “The only solution is for the men to stop using petrol, and use renewable energies such as wind instead…” Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a very wise man called Robert, though everyone called him Bertie for everyone loved him a great deal. Bertie had lived all his life in a small village, but two years ago when he was seventy years old he had gone to live in the big city with his daughter Ana. Bertie had always loved history and on his bedside table there were always exciting adventure books about historical figures.
One day as he was browsing his daughter’s bookshelves, he came across a well worn book that looked very old. Bertie realised that this was no ordinary book; it was a special book, and that inside its pages there could be a great secret.
On the front page were Egyptian hieroglyphics that Bertie had seen somewhere before, though he couldn’t quite remember where. So he set his spectacles on the tip of his nose and began reading the first few pages. It soon became clear that this was indeed a very old book – it had been written by an Egyptian historian who had described in precise detail the steps the reader had to follow to cross through the labyrinth and reach the treasure that was hidden there.
Bertie spent the whole night reading that mysterious book and deciphering the riddles that he came across. He finished it just before dawn, but he still hadn’t managed to find the answer that would lead him to the Egyptian treasure. But then, on the very last page, he found an unfinished phrase that was the key he needed to solve the riddle.
After a few minutes in which Bertie thought hard about everything he had read, he found the answer to the unfinished phrase! Not wasting a single second more, he took a pen from his pocket and finished the phrase in the book. Read the rest of this short story »
Once upon a time there was a very handsome prince called Hugo, who wanted to become king of a distant land of mountains and caves. Unfortunately his father had died and his uncle was now king, for the family did not believe that Hugo was brave enough to be king yet. This really annoyed Hugo, as you can imagine. He was convinced that he was valiant, but he just hadn’t had the chance to prove it.
One day, Hugo found out that most of the land’s adult men (including the king) were setting off to hunt a monster that was attacking their homes at night. In that mountainous land there was a kind of very famous and peculiar monster called the Monstro. It had three eyes, growled so loudly that you could hear him from miles away and on top of that he also drooled.
Hugo silently followed the men hunting the Monstro, and soon reached the dark cave where the monster lived. Hugo hid behind a rock from the other men, for he was the prince and easy to recognise.
While the group of men argued over how best to hunt the Monstro, Hugo snuck into the cave and went in search of it by himself. Once he had found it, Hugo threw himself on its leg to stop it moving, then pulled a sack over its head so that it wouldn’t bite him. After a few exciting and tense moments, Hugo tied its arms behind its back and took it out of the cave to show the king. Read the rest of this short story »
Once upon a time there was a children’s football trainer called Vincent, in whose team there were three boys who all played as forwards. In every game, the trainer could only put one forward on the pitch, so he sometimes had difficulty choosing which forward should play. By coincidence, the three forwards were the best players in the team, so it was bad luck that only one of them could play in each match.
However hard Vincent looked for a solution, he couldn’t find one. He also found it very difficult to ask for help, for he believed that people would think he was stupid for not being able to resolve the problem himself.
But one day, the three forwards came to him and said: “Vincent, sometimes when we can’t fix something ourselves, it’s best to ask someone else for help…”
So Vincent remembered an old friend of his whom he could trust,someone with a lot of experience in training children’s football teams – the previous trainer, in fact.
So he decided to go to the former trainer, for he was very wise as he was older and more experienced. The old trainer was called Julian, and he welcomed Vincent with pleasure: “How are you, Vincent? How’s the team?” he asked. And Vincent replied: “That’s exactly what I’ve come to talk to you about.” Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a little boy called Joey, who played a lot of sport. Every day he went through three pairs of socks – all of them sports socks.
He wore sports socks when he went to play basketball and sports socks when he went to play football. All that was normal. But Joey also wore sports socks when he went to school, and when he went to visit his grandparents, and in fact any time he left the house.
But in his drawers there were all sorts of other socks, including ordinary socks.
One morning when Joey got up, he saw a sock jump onto his pillow and squeak: “Joey, me and my friends in the drawer, the ordinary socks, well, we’re very worried that you’re not wearing us.”
Joey quickly recognised the sock – it was one his mother had given him two years ago now. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a hotel that was very popular with tourists, but it was no ordinary hotel; at least, that’s what some of the previous guests said. Matthew had gone to spend a few days at the hotel with his parents, for they were going to visit the Ordesa National Park in southern Spain, for it was one of the prettiest parks in the whole wide world.
When Matthew’s family arrived at the hotel, which had been an old stone monastery, they were very surprised and amazed at how big it was.
Matthew had a room to himself, which made him very happy, for he thought this meant he could sleep till late without anyone disturbing him. But that night as he was sleeping peacefully, a noise in the middle of the night woke him up. The young boy got such a fright that he couldn’t help screaming.
He jumped out of bed and switched on the light to see who had made the noise, but there was no one there. But just as Matthew was about to get back in bed, he found a piece of old cloth on the ground next to the chimney. He picked it up for a closer look and began looking around the room to see if he could find another clue.
After a while when he still hadn’t found anything, Matthew went back to bed. For a few minutes, his eyes wouldn’t close – he tried and tried to go to sleep, but couldn’t. His eyes were big as saucers and he had pulled up the bed sheets right up to his head in fear, for there were creaks and groans coming from everywhere.
Finally, just as he was about to fall back asleep, he heard another noise – just like before. In a flash Matthew turned on the light to see where it came from. Then he caught sight of a figure in a nightdress made from the same cloth he had found a little while before. He dashed out of his hotel room and into his parents’, and leapt into their bed.
“Mum, dad, there’s someone in my room! She went up the chimney!” Matthew cried, trembling in fear. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a pizza delivery boy called Pizzo, whose job it was to take dinner to customers’ homes so they could eat and relax. The pizzas were put into a case, and he would put them in a box that was behind his seat on the moped. But Pizzo usually left the pizza box unlocked, because that way he could make his deliveries faster.
One day, as he was motoring around from home to home as usual, two cars suddenly appeared and stole the pizzas.
Pizzo secretly followed them, and saw them pretend to be pizza delivery men at the next customer’s house. The poor customer opened the door to the thieves, who forced their way in and tied all the members of the house to a chair.
Watching everything through the window, Pizzo called the police and warned them that a family was in danger. But there was no time to spare. As the police were making their way there, Pizzo pretended to be a policeman and shouted: “You’re surrounded! Come out with your hands up and your eyes shut. You’re under arrest!” Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a twelve-year-old girl named Pippi, who really liked amusement parks even though she had never been to one. Her parents had never let her go because they said they were very dangerous, but they would make an exception on her birthday and take her to the biggest amusement park of them all.
So on Pippi’s birthday, her parents bought her an all-day ticket for the park. Pippi was very happy about that, as you can imagine.
When she got there, Pippi’s jaw dropped in amazement at the amount of rides, and just how big the park actually was. Pippi and her sister ran to a new ride that had just been opened - the biggest rollercoaster in the world.
Just as they were about to get on, Pippi felt a fluttering in her tummy that made her stop in her tracks…
“Come on, Pippi! Get on, it’s about to go!” cried her sister. Read the rest of this short story »