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 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.
There was once a clown called Cuthbert who would often ask a child from the audience to come up on stage with him.
Every day before starting the show, Cuthbert the clown would put on his red shoes, which were twice as big as his feet, and stick on his red nose. The circus music started to play and the procession of clowns began. A whole pile of clowns began streaming out of a fire engine – one, two, three, as many as fifteen clowns!! They were all dressed up as firemen and when they were all on stage, Cuthbert ordered all the lights to go off and just one spotlight to choose which child would come on stage today. There was a drum roll, and the spotlight fell on its chosen child.
Charlie, for that was the name of the lucky boy, ran out on stage to the clowns. Cuthbert asked him, “Are you ready to start the mission?” to which Charlie answered: “Yes I am!!”
At that moment, Cuthbert took out a red sponge nose and put it on Charlie’s face. Such was his surprise when all the audience started to laugh at the funny sight of the little boy and the big red nose.
But suddenly the little boy began to look upset, for he felt as though everyone was laughing at him. In another moment, he had burst into tears and tore off the nose that Cuthbert the clown had given him, running out of the circus as fast as he could.
Everyone waited to see what would happen next. But the clowns went on with the show, whilst Cuthbert went to look for Charlie whom he found hiding at the back of the big top.
“Charlie, why are you crying?” asked Cuthbert the clown kindly.
“Because everyone was laughing at me!” replied Charlie between sobs.
Then Cuthbert understood why Charlie was feeling so upset and said: “Charlie, when I come out on stage to act, do you laugh?” 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 »
Once upon a time there was a little ant called Anita. She was very hard-working and lived in an anthill with the rest of her family – about 50,000 relatives.
The ants were busy storing the grain for the winter so that when the cold weather came there would be enough food for everyone. But this year, the grain was very small and difficult to transport. It was a gloomy situation and even the wisest old ants weren’t sure they could survive the winter.
But Anita wanted to store as much grain as possible to help her family, and she knew that by showing an optimistic attitude around the rest of the ants, they could do it. So off she went to train with an ant who was much stronger than her, an ant called Alexander.
Alexander taught her a few tricks on how to carry more grain with the same amount of effort. Anita trained for a few days and as the days went past, she was able to carry more and more.
When Anita was finally ready, she called the rest of the ants together and told them: “I know you think we won’t survive the winter. But I have a solution: firstly, you have to believe we can do it, and secondly, I’ll teach you what you need to do to carry more grain.”
And so the whole anthill set to work like Anita said, with optimism and a hopeful heart, and before the winter arrived they had already gathered more grain than the year before. And so it was that, thanks to Anita, all the ants survived the winter without any problem.