the children's story

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THE LONG MAN

One day a family went to see the Long Man. The Long Man is a big man cut out in a chalk hill from a long time ago. Jerome took off his sweater because it was hot. He tied the sweater around his waist. Further on it dropped off but he didn't notice.

The next day Jerome said to his mum, "Mum, I don't have my sweater."

"Did you leave it at school?"

"No."

Some time later they went to see the Long Man again, and the Long Man was wearing Jerome's sweater! The Man got up and said, "Is this your sweater?"

"Yes," said Jerome.

"Why did you leave it here?"

"I did not leave it here. It dropped."

"Well I'm going to keep it!"

"Why?"

"Because you left it here and I found it."

"Oh, all right. You can have that sweater. I'll buy a new one."

Jerome lived happily ever after and the Long Man lived happily ever after with his new sweater.

Jerome Poppe, 6, British Primary School, Kathmandu, Nepal

FATAL MISUNDERSTANDING

At last, after several decades, millions of pounds and even a couple of deaths, the Materializer was completed. He had given his entire life to the creation of this machine, and now, at the age of 90, he beheld the enormous thing.

The old scientist whispered nervously into the microphone. The sound he made was impossible for the human ear to comprehend, but the machine obviously understood, because after an immeasurably short amount of time and with a heavy thud, a large wad of crisp, new banknotes dropped into the receptacle. The old man gasped, unable to believe his new-found wealth.

His eye was caught by the rather crude off-the-peg suit he was wearing.

"Suit, Savile Row." The Materializer whirred for an immeasurably short amount of time before a beautifully cut suit slid into the receptacle. This time he allowed himself a wry smile. He was just about to speak again when the door opened. His three-year-old grand-daughter walked meditatively into the room.

"Grandpa, I've been thinking, and, well, are you scared of death?" Unfortunately, she pronounced her final word a little too loudly.

There was a strange whirring. The only time they had for death was immeasurably short.

Stuart Middleton, 13

The Children's Story is open to stories of up to 400 words written by children up to the age of 15. Send stories, with a self-addressed envelope, to: The Children's Story, Section Two, Independent, One Canada Square, London E14 5DL.

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