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The girl who didn’t want a brother

A very happy and prosperous new year to all my readers.

My daughter, Kimberley, always wanted to have bed-time stories like her older brother and asked me to make up some for her.  In addition to the short stories I made up each night, the following was created especially for her:

 

The girl who didn’t want a brother

Copyright J. S. Raynor July, 2006, 2017

 

Hannah was a happy six year old girl, who had a beautiful smile.  At least, she was happy when her ten year old brother was not around.  When together, they had endless arguments.  Peter enjoyed teasing his sister, especially when he could see that she was becoming upset. Peter thought he was much more intelligent than his younger sister and constantly taunted her.

Their mum and dad tried to stop the squabbles, but were not always around to keep the children apart.  One morning, when both parents were busy getting ready for work, Peter was being particularly nasty to his sister.  He insisted on watching what he wanted on television, ignoring his sister’s pleas for her programmes.  They did have another television upstairs, but the one in the living room was the only one to have all the satellite channels they both liked.

“Stop fighting, you two!”  Their mum was upstairs getting dressed.  She could clearly hear their arguments and had to remind them frequently to behave.  Hannah decided to play with her dolls, but Peter even managed to spoil her game by deliberately knocking over the dolls’ furniture.

Hannah became angry and upset at her thoughtless brother’s actions.  “I wish I didn’t have a brother!” She screamed.  “I wish you were a frog, instead!”  All of a sudden, there was a big flash and a loud pop.  Peter had disappeared!  Hannah was puzzled how he could have left the room so quickly.  It was then that she noticed it.  On the floor was a little, green frog!  Hannah put her hand to her mouth and then gave a little nervous giggle.  Could it really be true?  Was this little green frog her brother, Peter?

Hannah took the remote for the television and switched to her favourite channel. She leaned back in the comfortable chair which Peter usually sat in and relaxed.  Occasionally, she would look at the frog, still sitting on the floor, looking up at her with big, mournful eyes.

After a few minutes, Hannah’s mum entered the room.  Afraid that she might see the frog, the little girl quickly placed a toy plastic bucket over it. “I thought it was quiet. Where’s Peter?”

“I think he just hopped, I mean popped out into the garden,” lied Hannah.

“Good! Perhaps it will be a little quieter for a while.  He had better not be long out there though as it’s almost time for school.”  She had washing in her arms and went through to the kitchen to load the washing machine.

The little girl enjoyed herself, choosing what she wanted to do without any interference. The trouble was that, very soon, they would have to go to school and, if Peter was a frog, what was going to happen?  She had an idea.  She rustled through her toy box and found a small, clear plastic container. It had a lid, but there were holes to let air in. She unscrewed the top and then retrieved the frog from under the bucket and placed it gently into the container.  She knew that frogs ate flies and was able to find a few dead flies on the window cill. She dropped these in, together with a little water to help keep the frog alive.

“Come on, you two!  It’s time we were on our way to school” Hannah had just managed to conceal the jar in her schoolbag before her mum entered the room.

“Where’s Peter?”

“I don’t know”, Hannah answered, her face flushing a little as she knew it was wrong to lie, but she knew she would not be believed if she told the truth.

“Where are you, Peter?” Again, there was no reply. “Oh, dear. What is that boy up to, now?  We can’t wait all day for him. Come on, Hannah, we’re going to have to go, now”

They left the house and drove to school.  “You are very quiet, this morning,” said her mum.

“It must be because Peter isn’t here.”

“He’s going to be in big trouble with his dad, for missing school.”

During her lessons, Hannah was longing for play time.  She grasped the container in her hand, ready to show her friends, Madeline and Holly.

“What have you got there, Hannah?” Holly was curious, but jumped when she was shown the frog in the container. “Ugh, why have you brought a frog to school?”

“This is my brother, Peter. He was being horrible to me this morning. When I wished he was a frog, it really happened.”

The two girls giggled. “I bet you wish that it could really happen, Hannah”, laughed Madeline.

“But, it’s true!” Hannah thought her friends would believe her and was disappointed by their response.

“You’ve been watching too much television,” said Holly.  “Things like that don’t really happen. Anyway, you had better be careful that the teacher doesn’t see it, or you’ll get into trouble.”

Another girl had seen the frog and, during the next lesson, put her hand up.

“What is it, Robyn?” the teacher asked.

“Miss, Hannah has a frog in her schoolbag!” the little girl said, with a cheeky smile.

The teacher turned to face Hannah. “Is this true, Hannah?”

Hannah’s face flushed with embarrassment. “Y…yes, Miss.”

“Bring it here, now,” the teacher demanded.

Shyly, the little girl lifted the jar out of her bag and took it to the teacher.

“I will keep this frog, until it is time to go home.  You know, it’s quite cruel to keep a frog in a jar.  It should be out in the wild.”

“Yes, Miss.  I’m sorry.” Hannah was angry at Robyn for revealing her secret and hoped that her teacher would not release the frog in the playing fields.  During lessons, that day, Hannah could see the frog looking at her with big, sad eyes from inside the container.

At the end of the day, Hannah was given the frog and told never to do anything like that again.  Somehow, she managed to conceal it in her schoolbag without her mum seeing it. All the way home, her mum was complaining about Peter’ disappearance.  In the house, Hannah settled down again to watch television, without interference.  The thing that surprised her was that she was not really enjoying it.  There seemed to be something missing.  She took the frog out of the container and placed it on her hand. “See what you made me do, Peter. I think you had better change back, now.”

To her dismay, the frog would not change back, no matter how hard she tried.

It was then that her mum came in the room and saw the frog on the carpet.  “Hannah!  What are you doing, bringing a dirty frog in here?”

“I just wanted to play with it.”

Her mum was very angry.  “Not in the house!  Here, give it to me!” Her mum scooped the little frog in her hand and marched through the kitchen towards the garden.

“But, you don’t understand, mummy!” the girl pleaded.  As she ran out behind her mum, the frog was dropped onto the lawn. It hopped around a little, seeming uncertain just where to go.  Hannah noticed, to her horror, a big shadow and, looking up, saw a large bird, swooping down towards the helpless frog.  Panicking, Hannah clapped her hands loudly, luckily frightening the bird away. A few seconds later and Peter would have provided dinner for the hungry bird. The little girl ran over to the frog and scooped it into her hand, thankful that she had been quick enough to avoid a disaster.  Again, the little green frog looked up at her with those big, sad eyes. “I’m sorry, Peter. I really didn’t want this to happen. I would do anything to get you back.” She was crying, now and a tear fell onto the back of the frog. In an instant, the frog had disappeared and Peter was standing beside her. He was very quiet and still looked very sad. He could remember his time as a frog, which, understandably, was terrifying and, yet, nobody would ever believe him if he told the true story.

From that day on, Peter treated his sister with much more affection and was very careful not to upset her.

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