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 …)

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About Sarah Stokes

I am a mother of four children, all currently under the age of eight. Before starting my family, I was a primary school teacher and worked in schools all over London and South East England. Since leaving full time teaching to focus on family life, I have tried to ensure that I stay creative, through learning new skills and trying new things. I have completed my Masters degree in Children's Literature earlier this year, with particular research interests in picture book narratives and writing stories for children. I have recently taken up writing book reviews for the online magazine, IBBYlink, and have a couple of articles due for publication in 2011/12, relating to the world of British 21st century children's literature.

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