Short Story about ‘Fairness’ for children 5-8years. Snuggles the guinea pig

BETH’S GUINEA PIG

Snuggles was brown and white. Beth loved him a lot. When she held him on her chest, he always tried to snuggle under her arm – that’s how he got his name.

Beth loves to cuddle Snuggles

Beth had a baby brother called Zac who used to cry a lot and who needed to be fed many times in a day. Beth got cross when she heard him crying and she wished he would keep quiet.

One day she asked her Mum why she didn’t just put a feeding tube in Zac’s mouth and tie Zac and the bottle to her chest. Then she could carry Zac around all day while she worked and he could suck on the tube anytime he wanted to. Then he wouldn’t keep crying all the time.

“Oh no, I couldn’t do that,” said Beth’s Mum. “That wouldn’t be fair on me, I’d get too tired, carrying Zac around all day long. And it wouldn’t be fair on Zac because he couldn’t sleep if I were playing with you, or doing the washing up. You might like it, I suppose, because you wouldn’t have to listen to him crying several times a day. But it wouldn’t be fair on us.”

“I don’t care,” said Beth.

“I see. All right then, think about this.  I don’t like cleaning Snuggles cage, so we’ll get rid of his cage and you can carry him around all day, under your arm. Have him all day long, even when you go out to play, and when you are having your tea, then I’ll think about carrying Zac around all day.”

Beth frowned. “No, I don’t think so, Mum. He might get dropped, or he might pee on my jumper. Or I might lose him outside. I couldn’t go on the swings with him under my arm, could I? It wouldn’t be fair if you took his cage away. It wouldn’t be fair on Snuggles, or me. You won’t, will you?”

“Ah ha! So now do you think it would be fair if I carried Zac around all day and fed him through a tube?”

“No Mum,” said Beth giggling. “It wouldn’t be fair!”

Questions:

Did the story remind you about things being fair or not in your life?

When you play with your friends do you try to make it fair for everyone if you can?

How could you do that?

Do you think life should be fair all the time? Is it?

When you think something is unfair and there is nothing to be done about it, what is the best way to look at it?

The Elephant Man. A story about being helpful, for children from 5-9 years

The Elephant Man

Usha’s mum was a busy woman.  She worked on the market stall selling the greens and fruit that grew on the family’s piece of ground.  Usha was a dreamy girl.  She went to the market to help her mum, but she preferred to watch everything that was going on around her.  Her job was to look after the baby.  When he cried she had to feed him.  She had to make sure the flies did not settle on him when he was asleep.

There was one customer who was her very favourite person.  He was the mahout.  She called him ‘the elephant man’.  He used to come to her mum’s stall to buy his fruit and vegetables.  He loved babies and would always tickle the baby under his chin and make him laugh.  He was a very small man and quite wrinkled, and he could climb like a monkey because he was always having to climb up onto his elephants’ necks to take them to work.  He used to like telling stories to Usha.

One day Usha’s mum was cross with her because the flies were on the baby and he was upset. The elephant man turned up to find both Usha and the baby crying.

“What’s this, what’s this?”  he asked.

“She’s a naughty girl.  She’s not helping me with the baby.  I need help, I can’t do everything myself!” said Usha’s mum.

“Now, now, don’t cry any more.  You cuddle the baby and I will tell you a story about my lovely most helpful elephant.” said the mahout.

The elephant man climbed up on a pile of boxes and sat perched up on top with his legs crossed.  Some other children noticed and came over to listen too.  Everyone liked the elephant man’s stories.  He spoke in a loud voice so everyone could hear.

“I’ll tell you about Rani.  When she was a young elephant her mum had a baby.  Rani could tell that the baby needed lots of help.  It was very small and could get trampled on by the bigger elephants.  Rani always made sure that the baby was between her and its mum, that way Baby would not get squashed.

The time came for Rani’s mother  to get back to work.  She had to pull logs on the plantation.  She was taken out of the elephant compound and led away by the mahout.  By this time Baby was bigger and eating grass and other green stuff.  When he saw his mum disappearing into the distance, he started to trumpet as loudly as he could.  His mother replied with one quick “Taraaa!” but she didn’t look back.  She knew Rani was there to look after Baby.  Rani laid her trunk over Baby’s back and gently rubbed him.  Then she took some tasty greens and passed them to Baby.  Baby stopped crying and ate a leaf.  I was so pleased with Rani that day.  I was in charge of all the elephants who were not working, and I was worried about Baby being upset when his mum went away.  It’s not good having upset elephants.  I did think that as Rani was such a helpful elephant, she would probably look after her little brother, and I was right.  All the elephants stayed quiet and calm that day which was a good thing for me, don’t you think?

And what about you lot, are you helpful to your mums and dads?  I hope so!” said the mahout as he looked round at all the children.  With that he picked up his sack of vegetables and disappeared between the stalls.

Usha thoughtfully rocked the baby who was smiling now.  “I want to be as helpful as Rani,” she said to her mum.

“That’s very good to hear, Usha, and I’m sure you can be!” said her mum.

Questions

Does the story remind you of anything in your life?

Who do you think was  most helpful in the story,

was it Usha, Rani the big sister elephant, or the elephant man?

Why do you think that?

Do you try to be helpful?  How?

If you are helpful to others, do you think they might be helpful to you?

If you are not helpful, do think others will feel like helping you?

What would it be like if nobody was helpful?

What would it be like if everyone was helpful?

This story was written for SSEHV the Education in Human Values scheme which is available (free) on the internet. Click on this link to discover more  www.bisse.org.uk

A story about empathy. Keeping Betsy Dry. For children 5-10years

Keeping Betsy Dry

Simon lived in a terraced house with his Mum and Dad, two sisters and a dog called Betsy.  She was getting old, poor Betsy. She had seen better days. She hardly had any ‘woof’ left. Betsy didn’t like the rain, or the cold. It was difficult to get her to go outside in bad weather, but of course she had to go, like all dogs do. It was usually Simon’s job to take her outside. He didn’t like the cold and the wet much either.

Betsy had become a fat old dog

In the back garden there was a path next to the wall and it led down to the shed where the children had a den, Dad kept his tools and Mum kept the clothes line. Simon would sit in the shed while Betsy wandered round the garden, doing what she had to do.

It got harder and harder to get Betsy outdoors. She would put one paw on the ground and if it was wet she would turn round and refuse to go outside. She was quite a tubby dog and very heavy and Simon wasn’t strong enough to push her out. The problem was, if she wasn’t made to go out she would be whining at the door in the next five minutes, then Mum would get cross.

Simon sat in the den one dry day, thinking about how he could solve the problem. He knew old people didn’t like the wet, and they could choose to stay indoors, but Betsy couldn’t because she was a dog.  “What she needs is an outdoor dry place,” he thought.

Simon looked round the shed. There was an old stair carpet in a roll, tied up with a rope. Suddenly Simon had an idea. He removed the rope which was an old washing line and unrolled the carpet. He found some pieces of wood. He balanced the wood on the wall and using the rope and the old carpet, made a tunnel for Betsy to walk through from the kitchen door to the shed. There was an open lean-to for her to sit in to keep out of the rain beside the shed. Simon showed Betsy her new dry path. She seemed to understand. She plodded along on the inside, next to the wall, and wagged her tail gently when she reached the lean to.

 

Betsy Old dog. lesson 1.11

 

“Good dog,” said Simon.

The next day it rained. Betsy went straight into her tunnel from the kitchen door to the shed.  “Clever girl,” said Simon.

Betsy did not live very long after that. The family were sad when she went, but Simon’s Dad said Simon had really cared for her very well and had tried hard to understand how she was feeling and what she needed. He was so pleased with Simon that they went to choose a new dog from the Dogs’ Home – a dog whose owners were not well enough to look after it and who needed a loving new home.

Dad said he was sure Simon and the girls would do their best to make Toby the new dog happy, and they did!

Questions:

Did the story remind you of anything?

Why did Betsy not want to go outside?

What did Simon do to help Betsy feel OK about going out?

Have you ever helped your pet to make it happier? How?

Do you think pets notice when you do kind things for them?

Do you think people notice when you do kind things for them?

Do you notice when people do kind things for you?  Why do they do those things?

This story was written for SSEHV, an excellent scheme of lesson plans freely available on the web. click on www.bisse.org.uk to find out more.