The Case of the Missing Breakfast (younger children)


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  1. #1

    The Case of the Missing Breakfast (younger children)

    The Case of the Missing Breakfast (for younger children 1265 words)
    One fine Summer morning, just as the sun was coming up over the trees, the hedgehog twins Sniggle and Snaggle rushed excitedly back to Brockholt, the wood where they lived. They had spent the night exploring the gardens of the houses on the edge of Brockham, the nearest village to Brockholt and wanted to tell someone about the wonderful thing they had found.

    They tried to wake Twoo, the Wise Old Owl, but he just carried on snoring in his hollow oak so they scampered off to the beech tree where Twyo, the Wise Young Owlet lived in a big wooden nesting box. They found her already wide awake, using her wings to clear some dead leaves from her home.
    ‘What’ve you two little scamps been up to, then?’ she said, not unkindly as she liked the twins.

    ‘Please, miss Twyo, we’ve found a lovely, smelly piece of food in one of the house gardens but we’re not strong enough to carry it back here.’ replied Snaggle, her little nose quivering with the memory of the delicious smell. ‘We was hoping one of you big’uns could bring it back and we could all share it.’
    ‘Hmm,’ said Twyo, wiping her claws on the branch on which she was perched, ‘Have you tried Master Twoo? No, silly me, he won’t be awake yet. What about Skugge Squirrel?’

    The twins looked at each other then back at Twyo. ‘Um, he might not be strong enough,’ said Sniggle, ‘besides…’ he shuffled from one leg to the other in embarrassment, hedgehogs don’t like to say nasty things about other animals.

    ‘Oh, yes, I see what you mean,’ said Twyo, always very honest in her opinions, ‘you’re afraid he would eat it all himself.’
    Both twins nodded vigorously.

    ‘Well, I’m not very big myself but I could try, if you like.’ said Twyo, ‘Which garden is it?’

    They gave her directions and she flew off towards the village. She was back in a couple of minutes. ‘My beak and feathers!’ she exclaimed, ‘You’re right, it is very big, too big for me to carry in my claws and there’s easily enough for us all to share. Right, who shall we try next?’
    She thought for a moment or two. ‘We could ask Folderol Fox, he’s very strong and he’s fast. Do you think we can trust him not to eat it?’

    ‘Yes, yes!’ cried the twins, wriggling with excitement, making their spines rustle. ‘He wouldn’t eat it, he’s our friend.’

    Twyo flew off to Folderol’s den and the twins stretched out on the grass, eyes closed in pleasure at the thought of the breakfast feast they were soon going to enjoy.
    A few minutes later, they heard Folderol’s bark as he ran through the wood towards them. Twyo re-appeared and perched on her branch. ‘Here he comes,’ she said, ‘He’s agreed to give it a go but he said it’s only because you two asked him to do it.’

    The twins told Folderol where it was and the fox was soon running silently over the field which lay between the Brockholt and Brockham village. It was still very early and no humans were about so he went straight across the open meadow to save time instead of keeping to the cover of the hedge as he usually did. A few cows looked up as he sped past them but the others were too intent on eating as much grass as possible and didn’t notice him.

    By this time, Twoo and Randolph Rabbit had joined Twyo and the twins, woken by the hedgehogs’ excited chattering.

    ‘Here, here!’ exclaimed Randolph in his usual snobbish way as he looked down his twitchy nose at the twins, ‘What mischief have you two imps been up to this time?’ Randolph had often been the victim of Sniggle’s pranks and he didn’t like being laughed at.

    Before the twins could think of an answer, Twyo called out, ‘It could be that this time you’ll be glad of their “mischief” as you call it, Randolph. We could all be enjoying a lovely breakfast soon, thanks to them.’

    Randolph sniffed huffily, ‘Huh,’ he said, ‘I bet it’s just another one of their tricks.’

    Twyo ignored him and the rabbit started nibbling at a clump of dandelion leaves to show he didn’t believe in the promised breakfast feast.

    Just then, Folderol ran into the clearing but there was nothing in his mouth. The twins were upset and Randolph went ‘Huh!’ again.

    ‘Couldn’t you find it? Was it gone?’ Snaggle said sadly.

    Folderol shook his head. ‘I found it alright and I was bringing it back when I stopped to scratch me ear so I put it on the ground in front of me. When I opened me eyes again, it’d gone, someone stole it!’

    ‘Why did you have your eyes closed, Fol?’ asked Sniggle curiously.

    Fol looked embarrassed. ‘I dunno, I always do it when I scratch me ears.’

    Randolph looked at him, nose twitching. He frowned then sniffed again. ‘Hmph! I knew it was too good to be true.’ and, turning his back on the group, he carried on nibbling the dandelion leaves.

    They were all silent as they sadly thought about Folderol’s bad news. The silence was suddenly broken by a rustling noise and Skugge Squirrel came bounding into the glade. ‘Whassup, have I missed anything?’ he said in his squeaky voice.

    The others looked at him distrustfully. They all knew about the squirrel’s sneaky ways and none of them liked him very much.

    Snaggle told Skugge how they had planned to have a breakfast feast together but someone had stolen the food from under Folderol’s nose while he was having a good scratch.

    Skugge shook his head. ‘Tut tut, you should’ve asked me to fetch it, I wouldn’t have lost it. You didn’t eat it yourself, did you, Fol?’ he said with a sly grin.
    The fox growled menacingly and took a step towards the smirking squirrel who hurriedly backed away, realising he’d gone too far.

    ‘Now, now,’ said Twoo flapping his wings, ‘Let’s not start blaming each other.’

    ‘Just a second,’ broke in Twyo, ‘What’s that on your head, Skugge? Looks like a bit of cheese or something.’

    Before Skugge could move, Folderol had his big paws on the squirrel’s back. He sniffed at the cream-coloured spot on Skugge’s grey fur. ‘It IS cheese,’ he cried, ‘Skugge, you miserable creature, it was you who nicked the food while I was scratching me ear!’

    ‘It was just a joke, I was only playing, I meant to share it with you all, honest!’ Skugge squealed in alarm as Folderol’s gleaming teeth came closer.

    The twins stared wide-eyed at the scene. ‘He’s eaten our lovely breakfast!’ they chorused, ‘You naughty, selfish animal, Skugge!’

    ‘No, no I ain’t, I hid it in the hedge near where Fol was, honest!’ he squealed. Funny how people who aren’t honest always use that word.

    Without saying a word, Folderol ran off again. He came back a few minutes later triumphantly carrying half a pizza in his jaws. ‘Hee ya eez.’ he mumbled.

    ‘What was that?’ asked the twins, giggling.

    Fol dropped the food on the grass. ‘I said here it is.’ Fol replied, grinning as he licked a deliciously smelly smear of runny cheese from his lips.

    As Twoo was the oldest and wisest, they all chose him to share out the pizza slice then they all tucked greedily into their breakfast. Needless to say, Skugge had a very small piece and serve him right, he was lucky to have any at all.

  2. #2
    WF Veteran H.Brown's Avatar
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    Topcol I enjoyed reading this, it made me laugh as I read along following the cute and adventurous twin hedgehogs. There are some grammatical and formating issues that need addressing. However your nv is clear and fits with a book intended for children. It reminds me of the writings of Beatrix Potter, whose books I love. I could see myself reading this story to children.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by H.Brown View Post
    Topcol I enjoyed reading this, it made me laugh as I read along following the cute and adventurous twin hedgehogs. There are some grammatical and formating issues that need addressing. However your nv is clear and fits with a book intended for children. It reminds me of the writings of Beatrix Potter, whose books I love. I could see myself reading this story to children.
    Hi, H.Brown, thanks for your kind comments. I first wrote the story with a view to its forming the basis for a comic strip. I have actually written a second short story about the Brockholt animals and planned two others.

    I'd be very interested to read which grammatical and formatting issues you saw. I pride myself on my grammar having taught the English language for over 20 years.

    What does 'nv' represent?
    Thanks again, all the best,

    topcol

  4. #4
    Member shouthuzzah's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed this!

    In particular, I loved the animals' names and how they all seemed to relate to the animal itself. I also really enjoyed that the breakfast they've found was pizza, that made me chuckle! I was imagining some kind of meat pie, not a pizza pie, so that was a pleasant and humorous surprise.

    You've created a sweet writing style here, reminiscent of classic fables that I read in my childhood.

  5. #5
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    This has such a great feel to it! I could just imagine someone reading it out as a bedtime story. It would be brilliant as an illustrated story.
    The only problem I had was the names Twoo and Twyo being so similar. It might get confusing if this was being read out loud, or a child was trying to read it. I agree with shouthuzzah though, I like how the names relate to the animal.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by shouthuzzah View Post
    I really enjoyed this!

    In particular, I loved the animals' names and how they all seemed to relate to the animal itself. I also really enjoyed that the breakfast they've found was pizza, that made me chuckle! I was imagining some kind of meat pie, not a pizza pie, so that was a pleasant and humorous surprise.

    You've created a sweet writing style here, reminiscent of classic fables that I read in my childhood.
    Hi Shouthuzzah, thank you for your kind comments, I always feel as if I'm holding my breath while waiting for responses to my stuff. I originally intended the stories to be the script for a comic strip but I can't draw for toffee as we used to say when I was a lad. Incidentally, I borrowed the name 'Skug' from the New Forest dialectal word for squirrel.

    I have written another with Twyo and Skug and planned several more for the comic strip. One of my sons-in-law is a very good artist but they've now moved up to Cambridgeshire so no longer just around the corner.

    Thanks again, all the best, topcol

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Serra View Post
    This has such a great feel to it! I could just imagine someone reading it out as a bedtime story. It would be brilliant as an illustrated story.
    The only problem I had was the names Twoo and Twyo being so similar. It might get confusing if this was being read out loud, or a child was trying to read it. I agree with shouthuzzah though, I like how the names relate to the animal.
    Hi, serra, thanks a lot for your very satisfying critique. As I've said to others, I originally planned for the stories to be the foundation of a comic strip but I can't draw very well and my son-in-law who can has moved the family up to Cambridgeshire and we live in Kent.

    Twoo is actually an acronym of The Wise Old Owl and Twyo is his granddaughter The Wise Young Owl. I did intend to give them different names but I just felt pulled to how the initials so closely resembled the hooting of the Tawny Owl.

    As this one has been so well received, I'm tempted to post the second story.

    Thanks again, all the best, topcol

  8. #8
    I liked your story! Do you plan on writing a children's book?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonfury View Post
    I liked your story! Do you plan on writing a children's book?
    Hi, Cannonfury, thanks for your kind comments. I had intended to use the stories as the basis of a comic strip series but as I said above, my prospective artist, one of my sons-in-law moved his family up to Cambridgeshire (well, Huntingdon really) for his job so not very easy to collaborate as we're down here in Kent.

    I've completed two stories and half of another but I plan to write more if I can keep the creative juices going.

    All the best,
    topcol

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