Once upon a time, there was a very close family who lived in a humble house in the countryside. They had worked hard to build the house themselves, for they had always wanted to have a nice home that was energy efficient.
Most of their neighbours had all-terrain vehicles, so eight-year-old Mario, who was the oldest child in the family, had often asked his parents to swap their own car, which was now very old, for a 4X4.
Eventually, Mario’s parents went off to buy a new car, for their own had stopped working. When they got home, Mario was waiting for them in the garden, impatient to see what 4×4 his parents had bought. He thought: “I bet they’ve bought the biggest and fastest 4X4! Now I can show off the new car in front of the neighbours!”
But to his great surprise and disappointment, the new car driving up the road wasn’t a 4×4. Mario immediately ran to the car.
“Dad! Mum! Is this our new car?” asked Mario, looking anguished.
“Yes, darling. Do you like it?” answered his mother.
“No I don’t! It’s not a 4X4! It’s a rubbish old electric car, why did you buy it?” asked Mario angrily. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a wicked man who wanted to kill all the good in the world, so he went around looking for all the fairies on the planet to lock them in a room from which they would never be able to escape. That way, good things would never exist again, and there would be only wickedness and darkness.
Randor, for that was the wicked man’s name, had managed to kidnap two fairies, Maria and Victoria, who were now imprisoned in that cold room where the sun’s rays never entered, for there were no windows and hardly any light came through the door.
Every day, the wicked Randor would go searching for the other fairies in the world. But the fairies knew that he was trying to kidnap them and kill all the good in the world, so they cast spells to become invisible and that way he wouldn’t find them.
Christie was a young fairy in charge of looking after the animals on the planet. Thanks to her magic potions, she created the necessary balance for them to survive any misfortunes. But unfortunately the young fairy didn’t know that the wicked Randor was pursuing all the fairies in the world, for she was a little scatterbrained.
So when Christie went into the forest to check on the animals and share her magic potions among them, Randor found her. He crept silently up to where she was, then leapt out at her and stuffed her into a sack to take back to the dark room from which she would never come out again. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a very beautiful princess named Claudia, who lived in a very big castle, for her father was the king of Dragoland. The young princess usually spent her days playing with friends in the castle dungeons. But one day, Claudia and her chums went for a walk around the castle walls where there was a forest full of trees.
Claudia was the most beautiful of all her friends. Her long blonde hair and big green eyes meant that people noticed her wherever she went.
As they entered the forest, the girls noticed something moving among the tree branches, but couldn’t see who or what it was… Suddenly, an enormous dragon came flying out of the undergrowth and grabbed Claudia with his claws. Then, as quickly as he had come, the dragon flew back deeper and deeper into the forest. Terrified, the other girls ran back to the castle to tell the king what had happened.
The King of Dragoland was so alarmed at hearing the news that his daughter had been kidnapped by a dragon that he ordered an army of a thousand men to rescue her. Meanwhile, the dragon had already reached his lair with the princess. 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 »
Once upon a time, there was a wolf called Howler who lived in a valley where lots of fruit trees grew. Howler would often try to climb up the trees to eat the fruit they produced. But the most appetising fruit was on the very tall trees that Howler couldn’t reach.
In the valley, an elderly man named Martin also had a few fruit trees that he looked after very carefully. But as he was getting older, he began to notice that he lacked the strength to pick the fruit, for it was very tiring work.
Martin had some of the biggest and most delicious fruit trees in the valley, which was why Howler had his eye on them. So one day he decided to try and reach their fruit and started jumping up and down the trunk.
Martin, who was looking out of the window, realised that the wolf was trying to steal fruit from his beautiful trees, but however much Howler jumped and howled, he couldn’t reach even the lowest branches of such a big tree.
Seeing this, Martin had a great idea: he offered Howler a ladder to climb up, but in return the wolf would have to give him half of whatever he picked. Only then would Martin continue lending him the ladder.
Howler accepted the deal and set to work collecting the fruit, and for one whole morning he went up and down the ladder filling his basket with the fruit they would then share between them. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a young squirrel called Nutty, who lived in a wooden house high up in a tree in the middle of a forest. The forest where Nutty the squirrel lived was a beautiful place; it was full of plants, trees and bushes of all sizes. All of this beautiful vegetation was possible thanks to the river that burbled through the area and filled the place with life. For as Nutty the squirrel well knew, water is life.
One day, when Nutty was resting in his tree house, he heard some shouts coming from inside the forest. So he scrambled out to have a look around…
Nutty leapt from tree to tree to reach the place the shouts were coming from as quick as he could. When he arrived, he found a group of people lighting a fire on the ground for a barbecue.
The poor squirrel was very frightened, for he knew that today – the first day of summer – people weren’t allowed to light fires in the forest because of the danger of starting a huge blaze. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a very, very big mountain where there were lots of trees and bushes. It was also the home of a group of humans that lived in caves dug out of the mountain rock. In fact, there were two families there. One lived in a grey-coloured cave, the other in a greenish cave (which was due to the type of rock). Naturally, they were known as the Greys and the Greens.
The Greys had a father, a mother and a fourteen-year-old son called Peter, while the Greens had a father, a mother, a four-year-old boy and a wise old grandfather.
The two families sometimes ate together, when they would talk about the mountain trees and how to fell them to obtain the wood with which to make fire and heat. One time, Peter felt he was ready to join the conversation. The wise grandfather listened intently to the young man, because Peter believed that the trees were there to be felled, and that it didn’t matter if they were replanted or not because they took so long to grow back.
Once Peter had given his opinion, the wise grandfather told him this: “Nature is patient, and we humans must be patient too,” and he proposed a challenge: “I’m going to shave all my hair off, and we shall see what nature does to maintain the balance on my head. Come and see me in a month.”
Young Peter couldn’t understand what on earth the grandfather meant by this, and went home none the wiser. Read the rest of this short story »
Once upon a time there was a little boy called Marco who lived in a village near Madrid, in Spain. Marco was a very observant little boy and loved nature. He especially loved flowers, and he had realised that the only time almond trees blossom is in spring.
Every spring day, he liked to look at the blossoms and see the pretty colours that appeared in this season. But the little boy got very sad when spring passed into summer and he could no longer see the almond blossoms.
One day, his wise old grandfather told him something very important: “You should look on the positive side of things,” he said, and continued, “Almond trees may not flower in summer, but you can sit under them for shade. Almond trees may not flower in autumn, but they produce the almonds that you can eat if you break the shells between two stones. And almond trees may not flower in winter, but their branches are full of snow and look beautiful.”
That was how Marco understood the greatness of nature and decided not to get sad at any time of year, because there are always beautiful things to admire.
Matthew had woken up before his alarm went off, which was very unusual because normally he was a real sleepyhead. He jumped out of bed, put on his explorer costume, made his bed, pulled on his boots and went down to the kitchen for breakfast.
Matthew’s mother and father were busy making breakfast, and were very surprised to see Matthew appear at the door… “Good morning, son, what’s up with you today? How come you’re up so early?!” laughed his father.
“Well, I woke up before the alarm, so I wasn’t sleepy,” answered Matthew.
For Matthew, today was a very special day. It was the day of the tree, and they had bought a small tree to plant in the field as a symbol of respect for nature.
After breakfast, they set off. They took the necessary tools to plant the tree: a hoe, gloves and a hose for watering it.
When they got to the field, Matthew’s mouth fell open: they weren’t the only ones who had thought of planting a tree! There were lots of other children doing the same thing and also writing little cards to go with them, with the date and their name on it.
Matthew was sad to discover that his idea wasn’t new, and that lots of other people had had the same thought.
“Matthew, your idea to plant a tree in the field was lovely so there’s no reason to be sad,” remarked his mother. Read the rest of this short story »
In a far-off land there was once a sweet young princess called Sophie. The princess lived in the tower of a big castle with her father King Arturo and her mother Queen Victoria.
The young princess loved going riding with Flash, her horse. They usually went trotting in the forest, but what the princess liked best of all was to hurtle around the castle fields as fast as Flash could gallop.
King Arturo usually warned Princess Sophie to take care before she went riding and to avoid going into the forest, for there lived a winged monster that was very wicked.
One day, Sophie got ready to go riding with Flash, for after several days of rain the weather had cleared and the sun was shining brightly. Flash and Princess Sophie had a great time, but because they were having such a great time they didn’t notice that they were going deeper and deeper into the forest…
Suddenly, Princess Sophie realised that it was getting dark. As she looked around, she noticed that they were deep in the dangerous forest her father King Arturo had warned her about.
“Flash, I think we’re in the middle of the forest,” said Sophie.
“Looks like it, Princess,” answered Flash.
“We have to get out of here as quickly as possible, Flash. It isn’t safe,” said Sophie.
At that instant, a strange noise sounded from among the trees… Princess Sophie and Flash galloped away in fright, for the noise could be from the dangerous winged monster.
By the sounds of things, the monster was getting closer and closer but Princess Sophie didn’t lose hope. She carried on riding, trying to escape out of the forest and into safety. “Run Flash, don’t stop! Keep going and we’ll get out!” the princess encouraged Flash. Read the rest of this short story »