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 »
Somewhere in a large coastal city, there was an enormous beach where the turtles went to raise their newborn young. That was where Juliet was born, and she is the main turtle in our story.
When Juliet was a baby turtle, she was protected all day long by her mother so that nothing would happen to her. But as she grew older, she began to realise that she was a born explorer and she enjoyed going off on her own to explore new beaches.
When Juliet was old enough, she decided that to explore the world she would have to get a vehicle in which to travel, for turtles were very, very, very slow.
So she asked her mother to buy her a moped so that she could go off and discover new lands further away. But Juliet’s mother said: “Certainly not! I’m not going to buy you a moped because they’re very dangerous for turtles – they are not made for us.” Read the rest of this short story »
Once upon a time, there was a little drop of water called Glug who lived in a river. Even though she didn’t know it, she had a very important mission on Earth, and that was in the cycle of water.
Glug was a very young water drop so she didn’t know why her mother would often leave the river and return a few days later. So one morning when the sun was shining brightly, Glug asked: “Mum, why do you leave the river sometimes?” Her mother answered: “Well, because we water drops have a very important job to do: we must ensure that the cycle of water continues.”
Glug was very surprised, for she had never imagined that her mother was so important to Earth. However, Glug wasn’t very sure exactly what this mission actually was, so she asked:
“So what’s the important mission, Mum?”
“It’s not just my mission, but yours too, and all the water drops on Earth.”
Glug was open-mouthed, for she too was part of this important mission for the planet. 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 »
Once upon a time there was a crab that lived on a beach in southern Spain. The other crabs called him Croqui, because he loved to cover himself in the sand, a bit like a croquette.
Croqui loved sunlight and when summer came he went mad about getting the best place on the beach to sunbathe. He was always very tanned, but he never listened to the older crabs’ advice.
The adult crabs always told him to put on sun cream to stop himself from getting sunburnt on his shell, but he would say that it wouldn’t do him any harm.
One splendid hot summer’s day, Croqui was sunbathing when suddenly he began to smell burning. “What could that be?” he thought. Then he realised that smoke was coming from one of his claws, and that it was scorched. So he raced into the sea to cool off. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a monkey called Monty who lived on an island that was largely inhabited by other monkeys. The most important scientists on the planet had figured out that climate change would affect this island very badly, almost sinking it completely.
So each of the monkeys decided to build a house on the highest part of the island to protect themselves from the floods on the day the disaster would come. Monty had designed his house to withstand a very big flood, and this required very big rocks.
All the monkeys built their houses in just one day, and then spent the rest of their time playing cards and enjoying their new homes. They all laughed at Monty, because while they had already built their houses, Monty had only drawn some plans. But Monty was convinced that his house could survive any flood and although it might take a long time to build, it was worth the wait.
So Monty moved only one big stone a day, which meant that his house took shape very slowly and the other monkeys continued to laugh at him. But Monty didn’t care, and went on building his house stone by stone.
After a few months, when the other monkeys had got tired of playing cards, Monty finished his house and very proudly threw a big party to which he invited all the monkeys on the island. 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 »
Many years ago when I was a little girl, there were lots of shepherds with their flocks of sheep. It was very strange not to find one in each village, for being a shepherd was a very normal job in those times. These days, very few children have seen a flock of sheep, except in stories and photos.
The little sheep in my village lived in an enclosure where they had a basin of water on one side for when they were thirsty, and straw on the other side for when they were hungry. Inside the enclosure was a shed that the sheep used as a shelter on days when it was rainy and cold.
The shepherd looked after them very well. It was he who gave them the straw to eat and water to drink. He also milked them and went out into the fields with them all.
What I remember most about this time was the noise of the little sheep coming back from grazing in the fields, for Nino the shepherd would put a bell on them and you would hear a tinkling “ding ding ding” sound as they trotted by, and all the children would run behind them laughing and jumping around.
The flock of sheep always passed in front of my house, and I have to admit that I was a little scared when I saw the shepherd go with them, for Nino also had a couple of goats and they frightened me a great deal – for these goats had horns. Read the rest of this short story »