The timid swimming groundhog: an animal bedtime story

Friday, January 8th, 2016

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This animal bedtime story was illustrated by the one and only Leah. My favourite is the dripping deer. The story itself is a mix of my paragraphs and her sentences. Enjoy.

Once upon a time in a forest in a jungle in a village in a city in the middle of a gigantic tree farm, there lived a group of land animals that called themselves the Ground Gang.

The Ground Gang was made up of small animals and big animals. Some of them could sing very well and others were good at counting. Some were very outgoing and made friends with other ground animals with ease. Others were far more timid, preferring to spend time with themselves than with the rest of the group. Being outgoing wasn’t a prerequisite for being part of the gang.

What the Ground Gang did not have was an animal who had ever left the ground. For a long time, the gang didn’t even know other kinds of animals existed. It was easy for the animals of the ground to go about their day without concerning themselves of the lives of others. They were aware that air animals sometimes flew overhead, but they did not care about the affairs of air animals.

Animals watching a bird

But one day, a beaver made her way to a tree where a timid groundhog lay reading.

“Hi,” said the beaver.

“Hi,” said the groundhog.

“Good book?” asked the beaver.

“It is,” answered the the groundhog.

“I have books too.”

The groundhog wanted to know more about the books but was nervous to ask to see them. The beaver sensed this.

“Would you like to come see them? she asked.

“Yes, if that’s okay.”

And so the groundhog followed the beaver to the water’s edge. And suddenly the books were the second most important thing. Or maybe the third. Behind the beautiful body of water he was looking at and also behind the wonderful new friend who had led him there.

“I know some animals…” the groundhog started.

“…who might like to see this?” the beaver finished. “Bring them along. My home is open to all who would like it.”

So the groundhog left immediately and in his own quiet way, talked to each of the animals of the Ground Gang to let them know of this wonderful new place his friend had told them about.

The bear came, the deer came, the fox came, the rabbit came.

And the first day each of these land animals saw a sea animal they tried to swim.

Deer going swimming

Some ground animals took to the water quite well, others not as well and still more, not at all. Some just enjoyed looking at the water and that was fine. They played with beaver and the friends she had brought to her home that day. Turtle was there, otter was there and platypus was there. They swam, or sat, or read until the sun went down and the moon came up.

Deer shaking off water

The animals said “tomorrow let’s swim again.”

Many of the animals enjoyed the opportunity to do something they had never done before. Others liked the opportunity to do the exact same thing they would do every other day but in a different place. The change, was nice.

The next day they slept in. And they were happy just were they were. Change doesn’t have to happen too fast.

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