Once upon a time, tucked up amongst her freshly washed sheets, a young girl named Chloe Harriet was lying in her bed, waiting for her father, William Harriet, to tell her a bed-time story. Chloe knew that her father wasn’t the most confident storyteller, but she found it sweet the way he tried every single night to come up with something new and exciting. Tonight, however, her father looked exhausted and, when she asked him if he could tell her one of his made-up stories, he replied that he didn’t have the energy tonight to create something. Chloe begged him, saying she didn’t mind if the story made sense or not and that she might have trouble falling asleep if she didn’t get to hear one of his stories tonight. Her father asked if he could have a few minutes to make up a story. Chloe agreed, so her father opened her bedroom door, climbed down the twenty-six flights of stairs to their kitchen, made himself a tire flavoured milkshake, turned the house upside down, and sat on the ceiling with his pet goblin, Frank, to try and think of something interesting to create a story about.
“Looks like you’ve had a busy day,” Frank the goblin commented.
Taking a sip of his tire flavoured milkshake, William responded, “You have no idea. And, to make matters worse, Chloe’s going to be very upset if I can’t think of an interesting story to tell her in the next little while.”
While expensive, pet goblins were programmed to be very empathetic, “Oh, wow. That is tough. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration outside of the house.”
Frank and William turned the house the right way up and put three pairs of shoes on their feet. Once outside, the plants watered Frank and William, making them feel refreshed and they chuckled about how they had grown slightly as a result. Laughing made William feel a little bit better, but, while sitting on his custom-made dragonfly with Frank, he was still worried about not having thought of anything interesting to tell his daughter.
It was a clear night, so William lay on the dragonflies’ back and admired all fifteen moons before slurping the last of his milkshake with one of his tongues. He reflected on each of the moons’ names and the stories that revolved around each one.
“I could tell Chloe about how her name came to exist. I think it’s such a beautiful story,” William suggested.
Frank immediately changed colours from grey to green. “I don’t think she’ll think that’s very interesting,” he responded, “After all, you already told that story four thousand and twenty-six years ago, she’ll surely not want to hear it again so soon.”
“Very true,” William admitted and, realising that being outside wasn’t doing any him any favours, he encouraged his pet goblin to follow him back inside.
William was running out of time, he knew his daughter would be getting restless and the last thing he needed after his busy day was to have to clean up forty-three gallons of slime like he did last time. Taking off his third shoe, he thought that maybe he could use the events of his day and find something interesting to tell Chloe. As he put his goblin to bed in his mini goblin house, William reflected on how he had failed, once again, to charge the battery on his spaceship, forcing him to walk from home to work, crossing no fewer than eleven of the dreaded soda-pop rivers before dealing with the stench made by the prehistoric animals on Dinosaur Hill. Topping it off, William had forgotten his lunch and was forced to eat large pieces of chocolate cake all day to stop himself from becoming hungry. None of this would be very fascinating to Chloe, even if William attempted to make it interesting by adding in made-up parts here and there.
Realizing he may not be able to create a story tonight, William hung one of his two heads in disappointment, while the other kept watching as he trudged his way back up the now twenty-seven flights of stairs and back to Chloe’s bedroom. He opened the door and saw his daughter lying there, her five eyes wide with hope and wonder about the story he was about to tell. William decided that letting his daughter down was not an option, so he sat on the baby dragonfly next to her bed, and began telling the first story that came into his mind.
“Once upon a time, tucked up amongst her freshly washed sheets, a young girl named Chloe Harriet waiting for her father, William Harriet to tell her a bedtime story…”
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.