It was such a bustle in Ferndew forest, every animal was brushing whiskers and cleaning paws. The feast was ready. The hedgehogs had had the idea for the feast and they invited mice, voles, shrews, otters and even some rats (who said they were water rats but really they were fibbers). Finally, Capmoss Hedgehog recited grace and the feast began noisily.

A small rat told three dormice that he had wings tucked away behind his bed; the otters drank lots of buttermilk and ate lots of pickled whelks. Suddenly the heavens opened and all the animals crowded under pine trees and several voles pulled the tables under and it continued. But four huge foxes came and, pushing the animals back, they dumped all the food in sacks; but the food they did not want, they trampled into the mud. Then one fox grinned and they stole away with the no longer beautiful midsummer feast.

Francesco Jones, 10

Cardigan, Dyfed


One day a small boy called Edward, aged 10, was cycling along a road. There was a big, big old house that no one had been in for 200 years. He decided he would be the first person to go into the house in 200 years. So he set down his bicycle against the wall and went up to the front door. He knocked on the door. He was really frightened because he thought there were ghosts in the house. No one answered the door so he pushed it open: creeeeeeeeek, went the door. Then he was inside. He looked about, no one was there; he walked over to the stairs very slowly and then went up. Creeeeeeeeeeeek went the stairs. Up and up he went very, very slowly and at last he reached the top. He saw a door to his left, it was painted red. He decided to go inside: he pushed open the door and looked inside. Everything in the room was red! Edward was very puzzled. Why was this? In the middle of the room was a large four-poster bed. He went over and sat down; he felt shaking under the bed. A sort of faded figure, a bit like a white cloth, appeared. It had a very big curly-whirly moustache and a very long thin grey beard. The ghost said: "I am a friendly ghost." Again Edward was puzzled because he thought ghosts were horrid to people. This ghost was not. He said he was not allowed out of the bedroom because he had been staying there 101 years ago on holiday and the owner said that everything and everyone had to be red and, as he was grey, he had to hide under the quilt. He had been hiding there ever since.

The ghost said he would like some fresh air, but as he was not red he was not allowed out. Edward said he would get some red paint and paint him so he could be free. He ran downstairs, got on his bicycle and sped to the nearest paint shop, got a pot of red paint, cycled back to the house and painted the ghost, who was very pleased indeed. He went home with Edward and they had tea. After tea the ghost returned to his house and he and Edward have been firm friends ever since.

Amadeus C J Finlay, 8

Tyne and Wear

The Children's Story is open to children under 16. Stories must be no longer than 400 words. Please send entries with sae to The Children's Story, Section Two, the Independent, One Canada Square, London E14 5DL.