Sage and Jessica’s Magical Christmas Cake

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This is Sage. Sage is an elf who loves sharing stories with children. She is also a little bit cheeky, as you will see when you hear all about how she helped Jessica to bake a Christmas cake today.

It’s never too early to bake a Christmas cake. The fruit cake inside lasts a long time, and Singing Sarah decided that today would be a good day to bake the cake and have it ready in plenty of time for Christmas Day. It would be a job well done.

First of all, Sage and Jessica needed to choose an apron to wear so their clothes wouldn’t get messy while they cooked. There were lots to choose from:

Which one would be a good apron for Sage to wear? Which one do you think Jessica chose?

Now it was time to start cooking. Sage and Jessica looked closely at the recipe card.

“Where are the strawberries? I can’t see any strawberries,” said Sage as she looked at the list of ingredients.

“There aren’t any strawberries in a Christmas cake!” laughed Jessica.

“But strawberries are my favourite thing to eat in the whole world!” wailed Sage, and she pulled a huge strawberry out from the little bag hanging round her neck. The strawberry did look delicious, all rosy, juicy and plump. “I always keep one with me in case I feel hungry!”

“Well, it can’t go in here because it isn’t in the recipe,” Jessica told her firmly.

They set to work. First they added currants, raisins, sultanas and cherries to the mixing bowl and Jessica stirred it round and round.

“Can I add my strawberry now?” asked Sage, hopefully.

“No, Sage!” everyone said.

Jessica sifted the flour and stirred it all again.

“How about now?” asked Sage.

“No, Sage!” everyone said.

In went the eggs and the sugar. Crack crack, splat! Crack crack, splat! went the egg shells as the eggs tumbled into the bowl.

Jessica fed some of the mixture to Sage to see if she thought it was ready. “More?” asked Jessica.

“No, it’s perfect, even if it doesn’t have any strawberries in it,” mumbled Sage with her mouth full of creamy fruit cake mix.

They poured the mixture into a cake tin, then popped it into the oven to bake.

Christmas cakes take a very long time to cook so, while they waited, they sang a little rhyme to pass the time.

It’s nearly time for Christmas,

We’re going to bake a cake!

Mix and stir …

Stir and mix …

Then into the oven to bake.

Here’s our cake, all nice and round,

Let’s ice it white and green,

Pop on some decorations …

It’s the loveliest cake I’ve seen!

PING! At last, the cake was ready. Using the oven gloves to protect her hands, Jessica lifted it very carefully out of the oven and onto the table to cool. Singing Sarah helped her to ice it, and then she put some tiny Christmas decorations all over the top.

They stood back to admire their work. It truly was a beautiful cake. But something was missing. What could it be?

“I still think it should have had strawberries in it,” grumbled Sage as she gazed longingly at the cake.

“That’s it! A strawberry! The red will look really Christmassy! Go on, Sage. You can pop your strawberry on the top,” said Jessica with a smile.

And that’s just what Sage did.

And everyone agreed that the strawberry finished it off perfectly. What a lovely Christmas cake.

As told by Jessica and her Daddy, with a little help from Singing Sarah

Ben the Racing Car Finds a New Wheel

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CLUNK CLUNK! RATTLE RATTLE! THUD THUD!

Ben, the racing car rattled down the road, without knowing just how noisy he sounded.

“What’s that terrible noise?” asked Archie the Bus, Nah the Fire Engine (short for Nee-Nah ….) and Doug the Digger, as the little racing car rattled by.

“What noise?” asked the racing car in surprise.

“Oh, it’s you, Ben!” said Archie. “Listen.”

Ben listened hard as he rattled round in the road. “That? Oh, that’s just how I sound. Doesn’t everyone?”

“No!” said Archie and Doug, and they raced each other up and down the street while Ben stopped and listened out for the thuds and rattly noises. He couldn’t hear any.

“When was the last time you had a race?” asked Nah, the kindly old fire engine.

“So long ago, I can hardly remember,” said Ben with a groan. “But I do remember I was fast, though. Neowww! … Oww! Oww!” Ben hobbled back to Nah who had watched him wince with pain as he tried to race down the road.

“You’ve lost a wheel, Ben!” said Archie the bus.

“Have I?” asked Ben in surprise.

The others counted carefully and, sure enough, Ben had only three wheels – two at the back and just one at the front. There was a huge hole where his fourth wheel should be.

“Well, no wonder you’ve been clanking along,” said Nah the fire engine, “You must be in terrible pain!”

“Must I?” said Ben.

“You need to find yourself a new wheel,” said Doug, and the others agreed. Ben wouldn’t stop making such a racket until he had four wheels again.

Ben said goodbye to his friends and set off, slowly this time, along the road. “I wonder what shape would be best?” he thought to himself.

It wasn’t long before he came to a crumbly wall. He looked carefully at the patterns in the brickwork, and this is what he saw:

square shapes ...

triangle shapes ....

rectangle shapes ....

Ben tried moving with a brick of each shape, but none of them seemed to make his journey go more smoothly.
Do you think a motor car could go driving along with square wheels?
Square wheels? Square wheels?
It would be lumpy-lumpy!
And quite bumpy-bumpy!
If it had square wheels.
Do you think a motor car could go driving along with triangle wheels?
Triangle wheels? Triangle wheels?
It would be lumpy-lumpy!
And quite bumpy-bumpy!
If it had triangle wheels.
Do you think a motor car could go driving along with rectangle wheels?
Rectangle wheels? Rectangle wheels?
It would be lumpy-lumpy!
And quite bumpy-bumpy!
If it had rectangle wheels.
Poor old Ben! As it started to get dark, he hobbled home to his garage and tried to settle down for the night. Whatever was he going to do about his missing wheel? He was just drifting off to sleep when Ben noticed something …. familiar poking out from under an old car blanket nearby.
His wheel! It was definitely his wheel! He threw off the blanket and had a closer look. It was round and shiny, just like his other three wheels. Ben slipped it on at once.
Now do you think a motor car could go driving along with round wheels?
Round wheels? Round wheels?
It would be smooth and breezy,
And quite easy-peasy!
If it had round wheels.
Now, when Ben goes out with his friends, there are no more clanking and banging noises, just a beautiful
Brmmmm, brmmmm!
As told by Harry, Jessica, Tilly and George, with a little help from Singing Sarah
We used these instruments to make the terrible clanking sounds in our story today:
We used shapes  to draw our own car pictures too:
     

A Special Present for Mummy

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There was once a little boy called Harry-Eddie.

He was very excited, bcause tomorrow it was his Mummy’s birthday. He wanted to surprise her by giving her a present that was really, really special.

But what?

Harry-Eddie had a lovely box, covered in bright birthday paper. He knew Mummy would like that, so now he just had to think about what to put inside it. What would Mummy like?

“I know!” thought Harry-Eddie. “My favourite train!” He just loved that, so she was sure to love it too. He ran to find his train and put it carefully into the box.

Well, it was a lovely gift, but it still wasn’t special enough. What else would Mummy like?

Harry-Eddie thought hard again. “I know!” he said to himself. “Flowers! She loves flowers. I’ll go and pick her some from the garden.” He picked up the birthday box and carried it out into the garden. He picked a flower and put it carefully into the box.

Now he had his favourite train and a pretty flower. But it still wasn’t special enough. What else would Mummy like?

As he sat and thought about it, Harry-Eddie saw a beautiful butterfly dancing among the trees and flowers in his garden.

Here is my butterfly, watch how it goes,

Higher and lower, in front of my nose.

It started out tiny, then grew and grew,

It fluttered about then off it flew!

Now I’m a butterfly, flying so high,

Moving my wings up and down in the sky.

I started out tiny, then grew and grew,

I fluttered about then off I flew!

Harry-Eddie knew that Mummy loved butterflies. “But I can’t put a real butterfly into a box,” he sighed. “I know! I’ll draw her a picture of one!” And, with that, he picked up his box, and ran back inside. He found a piece of paper, and using his best crayons, he did the most careful picture he could of a beautiful butterfly for Mummy’s birthday. When he had finished, he folded it neatly and put it inside the box.

Now he had his favourite train, a pretty flower and a drawing of a beautiful butterfly. It was certainly getting there, but it still wasn’t quite special enough.

“Bedtime!” called Mummy, and Harry-Eddie quickly hid the box under his covers. He didn’t want her to see her surprise present until tomorrow, even if it wasn’t quite special enough yet.

When Mummy had settled him down and read him his favourite bedtime story, Harry-Eddie closed his eyes and went to sleep.

While he slept, the birthday fairy came to visit him. She took the present from where he had hidden it and wrapped it in a beautiful silken ribbon of the deepest blue. Then she laid it at the bottom of his bed so he would see it when he woke up.

In the morning, when Harry-Eddie awoke, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The ribbon looked amazing and was just what the present had needed. And when Mummy opened her present and saw all the lovely things he had given her, she agreed that it was the most special present of all.

As told by Amy, George and Jessica, with a little help from Singing Sarah

The story of why little moles shouldn’t climb trees

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Deepity deep and sleepity sleep underground, there once lived a little mole. He was a happy little creature, as his home was always spick and span and his things were where they should be.

But he was lonely. The little mole was so shy that he had no friends. He’d never made any, and that made him sad.

So one day, he made a BIG DECISION.

“Tomorrow I will go out into the big forest above me and find some new friends,” he announced.

The next morning, the little mole scraped and pushed and dug his way to the surface of the ground. Up above him, the trees towered and his little nose went sniffety sniffety sniff in the warm forest air.

The little mole was a tiny bit scared, but he crawled out of his hole and remembered his decision to find some friends. There were so many paths and bridges ahead of him, but he soon chose one which looked like it might have some friends for him to find. Off he went with a spring in his step and a song in his heart.

Soon he met a beautiful creature. She had soft brown eyes and her wings were the largest and silkiest he had ever seen. “Hello,” said the little mole, ” Would you like to be my friend?”

“Of course I would,” said the Owl Mummy with a smile. “But I have to go and look after my baby now. Perhaps we can play together later.” And with that, she was off, soaring high above the trees and the tiny mole on his path.

It wasn’t long before he met another beautiful creature. This one looked a bit like the Owl Mummy, only smaller. “Hello,” said the mole. “Would you like to be my friend?”

“Yes please!” said the Baby Owl, for that is who he was. With a tweet, he flapped his wings and was off through the sky, in search of his mummy.

“Oh good, I’m finding lots of new friends,” thought the little mole, as he skipped happily along the path some more.

A little further, he met another creature. This one was slinky and smooth, with red fur, four strong legs and a bushy tail. The mole had never met a wolf before and he didn’t know that this one was as as sly and mean as you’ve ever seen.

“Hello,” said the little mole. “Would you like to be my friend?”

A smile crept over the wolf’s face. “Why yes,” he said in a voice as smooth as treacle. “I would love to be your friend, little mole. But only if you can show me how brave you are. I only have brave creatures for my friends. You can be my friend if … you can climb to the top of that tree,” and he pointed to the tallest tree in the forest.

The little mole gulped. Brave? He certainly didn’t feel very brave. But, if that was what it took to make the wolf his new friend, then he would jolly well climb that tree.

He looked up … and up … and up. The top of the tree looked a very long way away.

“Right to the top?” he asked timidly.

“That’s right,” said the wolf. “To the very top.”

So the little mole started to climb. He huffed and puffed, and slipped once or twice. But his little claws gripped onto the branches and soon his little nose was poking out through the leaves at the top of the forest.

It was quite a view, but the little mole had his eyes shut so tightly that he didn’t see it. The wind blew gently, and his branch started swaying to …. and fro …. this way …. and that way, creaking and crunching as it went.

“I don’t like it!” whishpered the little mole, and he started to cry.

The wind carried his sobs away on its breeze, to the ears of his new friends, Owl Mummy and Baby Owl. As soon as Owl Mummy heard them, she swooped high into the sky towards the tiny mole, clinging to his branch at the top of the tallest tree in the forest.

“However did you get here?” she asked softly as she scooped him up gently with her giant claws and carried him back down towards the ground.

“Mr Wolf told me I had to climb it if I wanted to be his friend,” whimpered the little mole through his sniffles.

As Owl Mummy landed softly on the ground far below and the mole found his feet back on solid earth again, she turned to him and said,

“Real friends don’t ever make you do things you don’t want to. Just remember that, my little one.” And with a kindly smile as she left him and a promise of a play tomorrow, she was off, high up into the branches where her Owl baby was waiting.

The little mole scurried back to his hole and nestled back down again in the warm earthy darkness deep underground.

He was safe.

He knew a bit more about wolves.

He had two new real friends.

He was a very happy little mole.

As told by Jessica, Jack, George, Amy and George with Singing Sarah (apologies for the slight amendments to the original story …)