Sheila Helliwell's stories for children - Children's Stories Net

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The Owl Who Couldnt Sleep
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The Owl Who Couldn't Sleep
Children's Story: The Owl Who Couldnt Sleep by Sheila Helliwell
Cedrick the owl was sitting on the branch of a tree, watching all the other birds flying around. He knew he should be tucked up comfortably in the old barn where he lived, but for weeks now no matter what he did he just couldn't fall asleep.
The lack of sleep was affecting his hunting skills and he hadn't caught any food for days so he was both tired and hungry.
He watched as other birds swooped down and caught their food easily which they took back to the nests for their young.
With a big sigh, Cedrick flew back to his barn and settled down on a big beam hoping that today he might be able to sleep.
Hours later Cedrick was still wide awake, but because he was so tired he fell off his perch and landed in a pile of straw.
Unfortunately a little field mouse saw him fall and laughed gleefully.
Normally he had to hide from the owl otherwise he would have been the owl's dinner!
The mouse scurried out of the barn eager to spread the word about the owl.
It didn't take long before nearly every animal and bird in the area knew about Cedrick.
That night, as Cedrick was flying out of the barn, the starlings were settling down in a nearby tree for the night.
"Hey dopey," they taunted. "Need a parachute?"
With the sound of dozens of birds laughing at him, he didn't see the big oak tree looming up before him.
'CRASH!' he went, straight into the tree.
He lay on the ground, stunned by the impact and just when he thought things couldn't get any worse, he was proved wrong.
Spiders, beetles, mice and even ants surrounded him.
"Don't think there is much chance you will have us for your supper," they teased.
"Why don't you stay there and then we can have you for our supper instead."
With that they all started to laugh cruelly.
Cedrick sat up and with a final effort flapped his wings until he was flying away as fast as his tired body would carry him.
Children's Story: The Owl Who Couldnt Sleep by Sheila Helliwell
Back in the barn he sat on his beam and hung his head in shame.
He was an owl and all the smaller creatures were supposed to be frightened of him. Instead he was too scared to leave the barn because of their nasty taunts.
Big tears fell from his eyes.
"Hey, be careful," a little voice shouted up at him. "If you wet my wings, I won't be able to fly."
Cedrick looked down and saw a tiny fairy sitting on a bale of hay.
"Sorry, I didn't know there was anyone here." Cedrick said sadly.
"I don't think I have ever seen an owl cry before," the fairy commented, looking at Cedrick with pity.
"They don't, it's just me." With that he cried even more.
"Hey, it's like sitting under a waterfall down here," laughed the fairy.
"Then move," retorted Cedrick.
The fairy flew up to the beam and sat down next to Cedrick. "OK, tell me your story."
"Story?" answered Cedrick wearily. "There isn't a story. It's just that I am so tired."
He told the fairy about falling from the beam, then hitting the tree and all the cruel taunts from the other creatures.
"Why can't you sleep?" the fairy asked.
"How would I know?" Cedrick answered rudely.
The fairy looked at Cedrick and smiled to herself.
She thought she knew what the problem was but he had to realise it himself.
"Oh well, I had better go. It's the fairy ball tonight."
With that she fluttered away leaving Cedrick feeling even lonelier than before.
Sometime in the early hours of the morning, just as the sun was about to rise, Cedrick heard what he thought was a soft humming sound. He tried to figure out what it was, but before he could, he found his eyelids were drooping and he couldn't stay awake any longer.
Cedrick fell into the deepest sleep he had experienced for ages.
Seeing his eyes closed and hearing little snores coming from him, several hundred fairies flew around him, satisfied with their good deed of the night.
The sound of so many pairs of beating wings had created a soft humming sound which had sent Cedrick into a deep sleep.
Cedrick slept all day and most of the evening, but as soon as the moon shone its light into the barn, Cedrick woke up and stretched his wings, yawning loudly.
"I did it!" He shouted. "I slept.!
Feeling refreshed and very hungry Cedrick flew out of the barn and into the night sky.
The little field mouse in the barn knew he had to go back into hiding again and the news spread that Cedrick the owl was back to his normal eagle eyed self.
Cedrick stayed out all night hunting as he had many meals to catch up on.
On his return he was angry to see another owl had made use of his beam and was sitting there preening itself.
Cedrick was just about to swoop down and chase it away when two big beautiful tawny coloured eyes looked up at him and blinked.
Cedrick flew to an opposite beam and watched as the lady owl preened her feathers and coyly looked at him.
That's when Cedrick knew why he hadn't been able to sleep.
He had needed a lady friend and companion.
Children's Story: The Owl Who Couldnt Sleep by Sheila Helliwell
Cedrick and his life long companion lived in the barn for many years and reared their young there.
He never knew just how much he owed the little fairy and her friends.
But then again, no one ever does.
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