#52 – The Tale of a List of Things That Never Happened

Once upon a time, a boy named Bradley woke up thinking that he had to go to school, only to discover that it was, in fact, a Saturday and that he had the entire day to do whatever he liked. That was ​until his mother gave him the dreaded, most evil, item in the entire universe: A list of jobs to do. His mother was always saying how lists helped organize her thoughts and plan her day, but, honestly, Bradley couldn’t really see the point to having a list as there was never really that much to do during the day, anyway, was there? Still, Bradley always did what his mother told him to do, so he sat down at the breakfast table and looked at the list:


  1. Tidy your bedroom
  2. Wash the dog
  3. Make 2 chicken sandwiches for our lunch

Well, that all seems pretty easy, thought Bradley. I’ll just start at the top and work my way down the list. He finished his breakfast and went to tidy up his bedroom. He had done this a million times before, so you can only imagine Bradley’s surprise when he opened up his bedroom door and found that it was completely and utterly flooded. Not just a little bit flooded but flooded with water from the floor to the ceiling. He could see hundreds of fish swimming around his room and several starfish stuck to the doors of his cupboard. There was an alligator sleeping on top of one of his shelves and what looked like coral and maybe even a seahorse under his bed. He promptly closed the door and stood in the hallway, taking a moment to think about what he had just seen, knowing that his mother would never believe just how difficult tidying his room was going to be. Might be best if I try and move on to the second thing on my list, Bradley thought, and he went outside to wash the dog.

Still feeling a little bit frazzled from his recent brush with one-too-many ocean creatures, Bradley got a bucket ready, filled it with water and dog wash, got the doggy brush and headed outside. Maxy the dog could usually be found running in the backyard or digging holes in the garden, but, today, Bradley couldn’t see him in either of those places. He called out to Maxy.
“Maxy! Maxy! Here, boy! C’mon, boy! Come have a bath! Come and get… a… wash…” Bradley dropped the bucket he was carrying. Out of Maxy’s dog house came a large dinosaur head, followed by a large dinosaur neck, a large dinosaur body, two large dinosaur arms, two legs and, finally, a large dinosaur tale. Around the dinosaur’s neck hung a collar with the word “MAXY” engraved on the outside.
“Maxy?” Bradley asked as the dinosaur stood there looking.

Bradley​ realised that his dog had been turned into a dinosaur and that he would have to get rid of him immediately. Thinking quickly, Bradley grabbed Maxy’s favourite ball to chase and held it out in front of him. Maxy became very excited and started to wag his dinosaur tail, knocking down a few branches and nearly hitting the windows of the house. Bradley threw the ball over to the neighbour’s yard and Maxy the dinosaur let out quite a loud yelp of excitement before breaking down the fence and running through the neighbour’s yards in his quest to find the ball. Once Maxy had run off into the distance, Bradley took a deep breath and decided to return to the house.

Ticking things off this list is much harder than I first thought.

He took the list out of his pocket and looked at the third and final item: Make 2 chicken sandwiches for our lunch. Bradley checked the time and couldn’t believe that he was unable to tick off one thing before lunch. Still, making lunch should be one of the easiest jobs he was given today. He walked towards the kitchen slowly, checking for anything which might stop him from getting this job done. He was pleased when he found that the kitchen was calm and free of any distractions. It wasn’t until Bradley opened the fridge door that he saw a miniature troll, lying on an empty shelf with a large, round belly after having eaten all of the food inside the fridge. Bradley stared at the troll and the troll back at him.  In a state of disbelief, Bradley shut the fridge, took the list out of his pocket, grabbed a pencil and decided to make a new list. He scratched out the three items his mother had written and, instead, wrote underneath:

  1. Find more hours in a day

He found his mother in the lounge room and handed her the updated list. She lent down and whispered in his ear, “Don’t worry, I couldn’t tick anything off my list, either.” She then pointed to the monkey in the corner of the lounge room who was currently unfolding all of the washing.

“There’s always tomorrow,” she said.


My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

14 thoughts on “#52 – The Tale of a List of Things That Never Happened

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      1. Glad to be of help. My head is often two steps ahead of my typing. My father-in-law has on occasion helped me and I him.

        Liked by 1 person

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