The statue of a famous general had to be carried from the stone mason's yard to the town square. Guess who got the job of carrying the statue? Denzil the dimwit. As he went down the streets with his cart, people stopped, stood to attention and saluted the statue of the famous general. This happened so often that although, as usual, Denzil was day-dreaming even he noticed in the end.
"Hey, this is cool," thought Denzil "I'm more famous than I thought!" He stopped to return the salutes, raised one leg in the air, fell over and biffed his nose on the road!
A farmer wanted to catch the wild birds on the nearby hillside. Then he had an idea. He tied his tame birds by the leg in a field, spread a net and hid. Seeing others like them, the wild birds wandered into the field, but the tame ones just went jumping up and down without saying a word. The farmer sprang out and shut the net. The wild birds were very cross. "You're birds, like us. You should have warned us," they said to the tame birds.
Percy the piglet liked sheep. So one day he escaped from the pigsty and skipped off to join them on the hillside. The sheep didn't mind, and for a while the shepherd didn't notice him. "This is the life," thought Percy happily. But one day the shepherd came to count the sheep and make sure none were missing. That's when he found Percy the piglet. "You're an odd sort of sheep," he cried, and grabbed hold of him. Percy squealed so hard that the sheep looked up in surprise. "What a fuss you're making," they said. "We don't carry on like that when the shepherd grabs us." "It's all right for you," sobbed Percy. "He only wants your wool and your milk, but he wants to make pork chops out of me!" But the shepherd only sent him back to the pigsty.
"Cock-a-doodle-doo," sang the farmyard rooster as he stood on the dung heap, crowing loudly to wake everyone for the new day. Suddenly, Claudia the Cat leapt on him from behind, and held him in her sharp claws. "What's all this?" spluttered the rooster. "You can't eat me for breakfast. I'm the one that wakes you up everyday. What could you do without me?" "You're the problem," said Claudia, licking her lips. "I spend all night hunting, and then you wake me up before I have the chance of a good sleep."
Alexnader Beetle was pottering about in the grass when a hare came dashing up. "Help," he cried, pointing with his paw. "That eagle is after me." Alexander was a brave beetle, and he stood up on his back legs.
"Stop," he called to the eagle as it swooped. "I've given the hare my protection, so you mustn't touch him." The eagle sneered at him. "Your protection? Who needs protection from a tiny creature like you?" She snatched the hare up in her great claws and flew away to her nest. From that moment on, Alexandar Beetle was determined to have his revenge on the eagle. Every time she left her nest, he would fly up and roll one of her eggs out of it, leaving it to break into pieces on the ground below. After a while there were no eggs left in the nest. And ever since, they say, eagles won't lay eggs when there are beetles about.
Herbie the Heron had just moved in to live near Freddie the Fox. "As he's a new neighbor, I suppose I'll have to invite him to dinner," thought Freddie. "Bother, I don't really like herons. They're just big, useless birds. I'll make sure he doesn't want to come a second time." So when Herbie arrived, feeling quite puckish, Freddie gave him a big plate and poured out some soup. Poor old Herbie pecked and scooped with his long, long beak, but however hard he tried he couldn't swallow more than a teaspoon's worth of soup. "Thank you for dinner," said Herbie politely. "Why don't you come to my house tomorrow night?" Freddie ate nothing next day, leaving plenty of room for what he hoped would be a delicious supper. But when he got to Herbie's house, he was given a tall narrow vase with a fish at the bottom. However much he stuck his tongue out trying to reach the bottom, he couldn't get any food at all, while Herbie had seconds. Freddie staggered home weakly, feeling very silly.
A rich merchant went on a journey with his two donkeys. On the first he loaded boxes full of money. On the second he loaded heavy sacks of corn. The first donkey was very proud of himself. All the way he kept talking about how important he was because he had been chosen to carry the money.
The second donkey knew perfectly well that it was only because he had been nearer the door at the time, but he said nothing. The first donkey kept on making such a noise that some robbers, hiding in a cave nearby, heard him. They rushed out with their swords and there was a terrific fight.
They cut all the boxes of money off the donkey's back and, in the process, gave him several nasty cuts. Now he felt very sorry for himself. The second donkey just looked at him. "I think I'm very lucky to be so unimportant," he said.
You know that a bee stings hurts. But did you know that although a wasp can keep its sting, even though it has already used it, a bee can't? When a bee has used its sting, it dies. They say this is because once, a very long time ago, the bees went to complain to the king of all animals and insects. They were cross because, as fast as they made honey in their nests, people came to steal it.
The king listened to their complaints. "What do you want me to do about it?" he asked them. "Buzz," went the bees angrily. "We want to have the power of stinging to death anyone who steals our honey." The king of animals and insects was very shocked. "That is cruel," he said in a voice like thunder. "I refuse your request. What is more, you shall have one sting only and, when you have used it, you shall die."
Fanny the farm dog didn't like Dusty the dog. He was very rough, and was always going about biting other dogs. Dusty's master got pretty cross with him, and hung a big bell from his collar to warn everyone about his bad temper. Dusty didn't know this. He thought the bell was to make everyone see how special he was. He strutted about ringing his bell loudly. One day in the market place he was showing off as usual. "Look at my prize for being the stronger," he boasted. Fanny just looked at him. "It's only to warn people that you haven't any friends" she said. Dusty got such a shock that after that he was a nicer dog.
Although Dusty became a nicer dog to other dogs, he was still pretty pleased about how brave he was. One day in the forest, he saw a lion cantering away from him through the trees. "Just a pathetic old lion," he thought. "I'll show him who I am." He gave chase, barking loudly. The lion stopped, turned round, looked at Dusty and gave a mighty roar. "Oo-er," said Dusty, coming to a sudden stop. "Time to go." As he rushed away on his short legs, Freddie the Fox poked his head out of the bushes. "Not so brave as you thought when the lion roars, eh Dusty?" he said.
There was once a miser who became richer by the day. But the more money he got, the more he was afraid of it being stolen. So he melted down his money into a big brick of gold, and buried it at night where he thought no-one would find it. Still he could not sleep for fear of losing it, and every day he dug it up to make sure it was safe. His life became a misery. But someone had seen what he did, dug up the gold and ran off with it. When the miser came next day there was nothing but an empty hole. He sat down and wailed loudly. Freddy the fox passed by and asked him what was the matter. But when Freddy heard he said: "My friend, you should be laughing. When you had the gold you did not use it, so nothing is changed. And whereas before you were miserable, now you have nothing to worry about."
Josh the farmer went to town with his list of food to buy, but he dropped it. Buster the bulldog was standing there, and so was Denzil the donkey. They looked at the piece of paper.
"It must be a list of all the best foods for a bulldog," said Buster. "You read it to me." He was hoping it might say "donkey," and give him an excuse for taking a big bite out of Denzil.
"Bread, butter, jam…" Denzil read.
"No good," said Buster. "What else?" "Milk, corn flakes and chocolates. That's all."
"Ugh!" said Buster. "Horrible stuff." And he went home in a sulk.+
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