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A Little Book of Short Stories for Boys

A Little Book

Of Short Stories for Boys

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By

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Jenni Francis

 

 

 

 

 

©Copyright Jenni Francis 2016

Published by Jenni Francis 2016

P O Box 89

Matakana 0948

www.jennifrancis.com

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favourite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Shakespir Edition

 

ISBN 978-0-473-35878-5

 

 

 

 

A Little Book of Short Stories for Boys

 

This book is for my grandchildren who are boys. So far, they are Flynn, Beau and Gus. I don’t know why, but I write novels about girls, and short stories about boys.

 

At the beginning of each story, I tell about how the story came to be, and what some of the words mean.

 

 

Contents

Lucy

The Great Eel Fishing Contest

Hero

Practical Joker

The Thin White Line

Shrapnel

A Spot of Trouble

The Tree Climber

 

About Jenni Francis

Other books by Jenni Francis

Connect with Jenni Francis

 

 

 

 

Not long ago there was a dog that lived near us, who would bark every time the owners went out. It used to drive me mad. She would bark for hours.

 

This is not a true story, although it could be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy

 

 

You couldn’t help but love Lucy. She was that kind of dog. She was cute, fluffy, clever and a hard worker, a beautiful black and white border collie. She loved Lachlan and Lachlan loved her, and that was all that mattered.

 

BUT

 

Lucy loved to bark. She loved the sound of her own voice. She’d bark at anything, and sometimes she’d bark at nothing.

 

“Let me in,” she’d bark, “It’s cold out here.”

“Let me out, I smell a rabbit.”

“Hey, here comes the postie!”

“Sheep droppings!”

 

Worst of all though, was “Why have you left me alone? Why did you go without me? Why am I here by myself? Why, Why, Why?”

 

Most of the time Lucy’s barking didn’t matter. Lachlan and his family lived on a farm. A big farm. The nearest neighbours were a long way away. But even they complained sometimes.

 

“Did you know that Lucy barked non-stop for two hours on Wednesday?” Mr. Olsen asked. “We came over to see if something was wrong. But there was nothing wrong, at all.”

 

“Sorry,” Lachlan said. “We went to visit granddad.”

 

Granddad was getting very old and tired. They went to see him a lot, because Mum cooked dinners for him to keep in his freezer. But this last time on the way home Mum said to Dad, “I think we’re going to have to bring him to our house to live.”

“Do you think it’s got to that stage?” Dad asked.

“Yes, I do,” replied Mum. “He’s not eating properly, and if he has a fall, we might not know for a couple of days.”

Dad sighed. “Okay, I think you’re right. We’ll do up the spare room for him, at least he won’t have to climb any stairs.”

 

When they brought Granddad home, Lucy was very pleased to see him.

 

“Hello,” she barked, “Hello, how are you? Do you want to play ball? Go on, throw it.” She leapt around in circles, dropping the ball at his feet.

Granddad looked anxiously at Mum. “That dog doesn’t belong here, does it?”

“That’s Lucy,” Lachlan said proudly. “She’s my dog and she sleeps on my bed.”

“Jane?” Granddad said to Mum. “I don’t like dogs in the house. They give me allergies. You will keep that dog outside, won’t you?”

Mum turned to Lachlan. “Better keep her outside for a while,” she said quietly.

 

Lucy and Lachlan went out to the orchard and sat by the pond.

“I’m sorry, Lucy,” he said to her. He put his arm around her neck. She barked in his ear. She understood.

 

Lucy slept outside at night after Granddad came. She had a kennel with the other farms dogs, but she was not happy out there. Every time the wind blew, or a duck quacked, or a mouse ran through the grass, she’d start barking. That would set the other dogs going and at two in the morning, no-one was happy to be woken by the noise.

 

Dad would get up to see what was happening. He’d yell at Lucy and totter back to bed. “That darn dog,” he muttered to Mum as he warmed his cold feet on hers.

 

One day, Mum was in the calf paddock, dealing with 20 hungry calves. Lucy was running up and down the farm track, barking frantically.

“No, Lucy, you can’t come in here, you’ll frighten the calves,” Mum said.

Lucy ran towards the house and back again, barking and barking. Mum looked towards the house. Smoke was pouring out the kitchen window.

“Oh, no!” Mum ran.

In the kitchen Granddad was scraping the burnt bits off his toast. “Can’t you keep that dog quiet!” he said. “That noise is giving me a headache.”

Mum put her hands on her hips and glared at Granddad. “That dog was saving your life! She thought the house was on fire.”

“For goodness sake! It’s only burnt toast. I can’t stand her constant barking. Listen to her. She’s still going.”

“No, Lucy! Stop that!” yelled Mum. “Yes, I know, she barks a lot, but Lachlan loves her and she’s good company for him all the way out here, so leave off complaining.”

“Okay, okay, I hear you,” Granddad grumbled.

 

The day came when Lucy went too far. Granddad decided to go for a walk. Lucy thought she should accompany him. It had been raining for days and Lucy needed to stretch her legs too.

 

“Go home, you stupid dog,” Granddad yelled at her. “You’re not coming with me!”

Lucy took no notice and trotted on ahead sniffing at new after-the-rain smells, splashing through puddles and crawling into the middle of brambles and bracken when she smelled a rabbit. Granddad grumbled and muttered, but put up with her. After about 20 minutes, he turned for home. He looked back at the house, way up the hill, and thought he’d sit down for a minute or two.

 

Lucy came back from chasing a duck and found Granddad leaning on a fence post. She barked at him. “Come on,” she barked. “Don’t just stand there. We’ve got to get home.”

“Shut up dog,” Granddad said.

 

Lucy was undeterred.

“Move away from the fence,” she barked. “Keep moving.” She began rounding him up, barking and running around and around as Granddad tottered back to the house, puffing and panting.

 

When finally he collapsed onto the front porch, Lucy was as pleased as could be. “There,” she woofed. “I got you home.”

Mum came out to see what the noise was all about. Granddad was lying on the porch, clutching his heart.

“Get my tablets,” he croaked to Mum, “I’m having an attack.”

Mum sat with Granddad until he felt better.

“That perishing dog just kept barking and barking at me, so I tried to go fast to get away from her and her noise.”

 

That night Mum and Dad decided that Lucy would have to go. Dad spoke to a farmer who was happy to train Lucy into a proper sheep dog, and within a week, Lucy was gone.

Lachlan was the loneliest he had ever been.

 

It was less than a week later when the neighbours’ heard a dog barking.

“I thought they’d got rid of that dog.” Mr. Olsen said to his wife.

“So did I,” she replied. “I’ll talk to them when they get home.”

“Oh, are they out?” Mr. Olsen asked.

“Yes,” his wife said. “Jane said they were going to take Lachlan to the movies.”

“Well, it’s no point going over there again, if they are out. I just wish that dog would shut up.”

 

When Lachlan and his Mum and Dad arrived home from the movies, the first thing Lachlan saw was Lucy, still barking. The first thing Mum and Dad saw was an ambulance.

“Oh no,” Mum said.

“Lucy’s come home!” Lachlan said.

Inside Granddad lay on a stretcher, while ambulance officers prepared him for transport to hospital.

 

One of the officers spoke to Mum when Granddad had been loaded in the ambulance.

“It was good your neighbour called when he did, or things might have been a lot worse. He said your dog is always barking and he nearly couldn’t be bothered coming out in this rain. Lucky he changed his mind. The old man was lying here for about three hours. You know what?” he said. “I think your dog knew the old man was unwell. With a bit of training she might make a good support dog. Or at least learn when to shut up.”

 

Two weeks later, when Granddad came home from hospital, Lucy bounced up to him barking joyfully.

“You’re home,” she barked. “I’m so happy to see you!”

“Humph!” said Granddad. But that evening, as Lachlan was saying goodnight to everyone, Granddad said to him, “Lachlan, I’m sorry about sending Lucy away. I’m lucky she came back, aren’t I? So, I was thinking. How about you and I find out how to train Lucy only to bark when it is important? Like rounding up the sheep. Or in an emergency? What do you think?

“I’d like that Granddad. I think Lucy would like that too. What do you think Lucy?”

“WOOF!”

*****

 

 

***

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A Little Book of Short Stories for Boys

Sometimes you just want to read some short stories, and sometimes you just want them about boys. Not girls. In this book you will find boys being naughty; boys being good and boys just being. There's a story about tree climbing, one about a dog one about graffiti and one about a model aeroplane. I hope you enjoy these stories.

  • ISBN: 9780473358785
  • Author: Jenni Francis
  • Published: 2016-07-25 03:50:08
  • Words: 9900
A Little Book of Short Stories for Boys A Little Book of Short Stories for Boys