[+:+] “Phoebe, you were so brave in grandpa’s last story.”
: “Yes, I was, Alicia. The bank robbers didn’t have a chance.”
“The key objectives of my stories
are to promote positive personal
qualities in children and to
provide humor and a little
Learning to Ride
Alicia and Phoebe decide to learn to ride a bike.
This book is suitable to be read to children not quite of reading age. It is also suitable to be read by young children, including the older children aged up to 99 years and beyond.
If you like it, please provide a review, good or not so good. Although grandpa is in his seventies, he is still young enough to learn.
Learning to Ride
I am sure that you have heard about the two witches who lived in the country of Lukina. One was named Alicia and the other was named Phoebe.
Alicia and Phoebe were much loved by everyone, not only in their town but also around the world. People could not get over how wonderful and generous these witches were. Everyone wanted to be friends with them.
Today was very cold, and it was hard to get out of the warm bed. Alicia eventually got up and quickly lit a fire to get the house warm. Phoebe was awake but pretended to be asleep. Thirty minutes later Phoebe decided that the house was now warm enough for her to also get out of bed.
“Oh, I was just going to light a fire Alicia, but I see that you have already done it,” Phoebe said.
Alicia rolled her eyes but said nothing.
Alicia had breakfast ready, and they both sat close to the fire to eat it. As usual while having breakfast they, mainly Phoebe, chatted about nothing really important.
“It’s cold this morning,” Phoebe said.
“Yes, it is, Phoebe. It always is at this time of the year,” Alicia replied.
“I find it hard to get out of bed when it’s this cold,” Phoebe added.
“I don’t like the cold,” Phoebe further added.
“It might even rain today,” Phoebe remarked.
“I don’t mind the rain, but I don’t like the cold,” Phoebe added.
“Phoebe, I don’t like the cold either, but can we please stop talking about the weather,” Alicia said, with a little agitation in her voice.
Phoebe ignored what Alicia had said and started to recite.
“Rain, rain go away, come again another……………..”
“Phoebe, please keep quite!” Alicia shouted.
“Mmmmm, it sounds as if someone has got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning,” Phoebe stated, as if not talking to anyone, but herself.
With her eyes looking up at the ceiling Phoebe then went on to say. “I won’t mention the person’s name because I am not that kind of person.”
All was quiet for three seconds, and then Phoebe continued, “No, you won’t get me mentioning names but I will give you a small clue.”
Phoebe, examining her fingernails, casually revealed that the person’s name started with an ‘A’. “I am not saying any more,” Phoebe said and repeated that she was not that kind of person.
Alicia rolled her eyes again but decided to change the subject.
“Phoebe, I have something that I want to discuss with you,” Alicia said in a soft and gentle tone.
“What is it? Phoebe asked.
“Come and sit here Phoebe and please listen carefully,” Alicia said.
Phoebe was so excited about what Alicia had told her. She rushed over to Alicia and gave her a hug, and said, “When Alicia, when do we leave?”
“Would you like to do it, Phoebe?” Asked Alicia.
“Of course I would, Alicia!” Phoebe replied. “When do we leave?” She again asked.
What Alicia had suggested was that they go on a cycling tour.
“Before we go any further, I need to ask you something, Phoebe,” Alicia said.
“What is it, Alicia?” Phoebe asked.
“Phoebe, can you ride a bike?” Alicia asked.
Without stopping to think Phoebe replied. “Of course I can, Alicia! “I can fly a broom, so I can’t see why I couldn’t ride a bike!”
Alicia rolled her eyes at Phoebe’s response and could not help whispering to herself. “And everyone knows what a great flyer you are.”
“I was riding a bike when I was a child,” Phoebe added.
“Have you ridden since?” Alicia asked without really looking for a response.
The first booking that they could make to go on the tour was four months away. This gave them time to organize some bike riding lessons for them both.
Alicia moved quickly and a week later they were attending a bike riding course at the town’s bike shop which not only sold bikes but also gave bike riding lessons.
The first day’s lesson was taken up describing the bike and the importance of being safety conscious at all times. Alicia listened carefully to all the instructor was saying and asked questions.
Phoebe, on the other hand, acted as if she didn’t want to be there. She fidgeted and kept looking at her watch over and over. Alicia noticed this, and so did the instructor. Alicia was embarrassed at the way Phoebe was acting, but the instructor was not worried. He had people like Phoebe in his classes many times before, but she was probably one of the worst.
The first day’s lesson was over. The instructor gave each student some notes and asked them to revise what they had covered during the day.
On the way home, Phoebe complained that she could not understand how anyone could talk so much about so little.
“Alicia, did you notice that he talked about the bike helmet for at least twenty minutes?” Phoebe asked.
“Well Phoebe, the bike helmet is a very important item when riding a bike,” Alicia replied.
That evening Alicia got her notes and spent 30 minutes revising what they had covered that day. She had suggested to Phoebe that she should do the same, but Phoebe ignored Alicia’s suggestion, and instead laid on the sofa and read a comic.
The following day the lessons did not commence until 10:00 am, but Phoebe dawdled so much that they arrived at the bike shop with only a few seconds to spare.
In addition to Alicia and Phoebe, there were fifteen other people on the bike riding class. The instructor looked at Phoebe and with his finger indicated to her to come up to the front of the class.
The instructor handed Phoebe a helmet and asked her to rate the quality of the helmet from 1 to 3 with 3 being excellent. Phoebe looked at the helmet and without hesitation gave it a rating of 3.
“Can you please explain to the class why you are giving it a rating of 3, Phoebe?” The instructor asked.
“I like the colour,” Phoebe replied.
“Thanks, Phoebe.” The instructor replied and motioned for her to go back to her seat.
The instructor then pointed to Alicia and asked her to come to the front and rate the same helmet. Alicia carefully examined the hat and after several minutes informed the class that she was giving it a rating of 1.
The other students gasped at what Alicia had just said. They were all thinking the same thing. ‘How was it possible that one could give it a rating of 3 and the other a rating of 1?’
Who do you – yes you the reader – think was likely to be right? Alicia or Phoebe?
The instructor asked Alicia to return to her seat. He then turned to one of the other students and asked him to come up and rate the helmet.
The student carefully examined the helmet, then turned to the instructor and in a slow drawl said. “Well, I certainly wouldn’t give this helmet a rating of 1!”
Phoebe did not wait for him to finish and immediately turned to Alicia and said, “Looks like you are wrong this time, Alicia.”
The instructor politely asked Phoebe to be quiet and invited the student to finish giving his rating.
“No, I wouldn’t give it a rating of 1.” The student said. “Alicia is being very kind. I give it a rating of zero.”
“Would you please explain to the class why you have rated it that low?” The instructor asked and at the same time glanced at Phoebe, who was in the process of sliding lower and lower on her seat.
“For a start, the helmet has a fine crack on the left-hand side.” The student said.
The instructor asked him to stop and return to his seat. He then invited Alicia to come to the front and explain why she had only given the helmet a rating of 1.
“I was also tempted to give it a rating of zero, but you asked that the rating be between 1 and 3,” Alicia said.
“Why so low? The instructor asked.
“Two things,” Alicia said.
“The first being the crack that the young man has already talked about and the second being that the strap is shredded, and will very likely snap if the wearer has a fall,” Alicia explained.
“Yes, you are correct,” the instructor agreed.
He then went on to discuss the importance of having a good quality helmet. A good helmet is essential to prevent serious injury in case of a fall, the instructor stressed.
“What do you think could have happened if the wearer was not wearing this helmet when he fell off his bike? The instructor asked.
“If the rider was not wearing the helmet he could have cracked his head,” one of the students responded.
“Why shouldn’t this helmet be continued to be used? The instructor asked.
“Because it is now seriously defective and could break up easily if the wearer had a fall.” The same student responded.
“OK let’s now move on and have a look at a bike.” The instructor said.
Once again, he asked Phoebe to come to the front and rate the quality of the bike in terms of safety. Phoebe looked at the bike, and because she had not paid attention during the previous day’s lessons, she had no idea what to look for to rate it in terms of safety. She could not give it a rating of 1 because she would be asked why and she did not have an answer.
Phoebe decided to play it safe and announced that she was giving the bike a rating of 3. She then went on to justify her rating by confidently stating that she has checked the wheels and the bike seat and as far as she could see they were on tightly.
The instruct thanked her and asked her to return to her seat.
“Alicia, could you please come up and tell us what you think?” The instructor asked.
Alicia, was a little nervous, but set about checking the bike. The first thing she checked were the brakes. She then checked the tyres, cables and finally the chain. The whole procedure took approximately 10 minutes.
Alicia then turned to the instructor and advised him that she was giving the bike a rating of 1.
Phoebe immediately spoke up saying. “Can I change my rating?”
Everyone in the room burst into a loud laughter.
“OK, Phoebe. What do you want to change it to?” The instructor asked.
“I want to change my rating to 1,” Phoebe replied.
“Great Phoebe!” The instructor said. “Could you please come to the front and tell the class the reasons for changing your rating to 1.”
Phoebe reacted by banging her open hand on her forehead over and over. Finally, she spoke. “Can I please change my rating back to 3?” Phoebe asked.
The whole class burst out into laughter, much louder than before. One of the students was rolling around on the floor. The instructor tried very hard to keep a straight face, but finally gave in and also burst into laughter.
Alicia did not like seeing her very good friend being made fun of. She looked around at them with a witchy look on her face which caused the laughter to stop immediately. No one knew what caused them to stop laughing. All they knew is that for now, at least, they were not able to laugh. Only Alicia knew what had happened.
Of course you, the readers, know that Alicia has some special witchy powers that she had used to stop the laughter.
As if nothing had happened, the instructor invited Alicia to explain why she had only given the bike a rating of 1.
“A couple of things,” Alicia said. “The main one being that it has very badly worn brake pads.”
Alicia was about to continue, but instructor raised his hand indicating that there was no need for her to say anymore.
“I have some exciting news to give you,” the instructor said.
Everyone moved forward on their chairs waiting to be told the exciting news.
“We are now going to have a written test on what we covered yesterday.” He announced.
They all looked disappointed and sat back on their chairs.
“Now for the exciting news,” the instructor said.
Everyone moved forward on their chairs once again.
“This is the l00th class and to celebrate this significant achievement, the Manager has decided to give a free bike to the person who gets the highest mark in the written test.
Everyone, except Phoebe, was very excited. Phoebe hastily opened her bag and grabbed the notes that they were given yesterday.
With a disapproving look, the instructor took the notes from her. He then handed out the exam papers and told them that they had thirty minutes to complete the test.
At the end of the exam, the instructor told them that they had finished for the day. “Please be back here at 10:00am tomorrow.”
On the way home, Phoebe did not say much. Alicia tried to start a conversation, but Phoebe only answered with one word or a nod of her head. What troubled Phoebe is that she knew that she definitely would not be winning the bike. If she had known from the beginning that there would be an exam and a prize she would have paid attention in class and would also have done her homework. It’s the instructor’s fault, she thought. He should have let them know at the beginning.
What do you think? Yes, you the reader of this story. Do you agree with Phoebe? I am sure that you don’t! When attending a class, it’s important to always pay attention to the teacher and to do any homework that you are given.
Can you remember what Phoebe did during class on the previous day? Yes, she fidgeted and kept looking at her watch. Did she do any homework? Not Phoebe! She just sat on the sofa reading a comic.
The following, morning Alicia was up early and prepared their breakfast. Phoebe remained in bed.
“Get out of bed Phoebe, we need to leave soon,” Alicia shouted.
“I am unwell Alicia. I think that I will have to give it a miss today.” Phoebe replied with a very sickly voice. She then put her head back on the pillow and pretended to go back to sleep.
Alicia did not say anything. Phoebe just heard the sound of a jug being filled with water. Seconds later Alicia was standing over her bed.
“Phoebe, if you are not out of bed by the time I count to three, I will be pouring this jug of very cold water over your head. One…..” Alicia said in a soft tone.
Alicia did not get to say the number two, as Phoebe was out of bed even before she had finished saying the number one.
Everyone arrived early today. A couple of minutes before ten the instructor and another man who looked important walked in. The man looked around and with a strong foreign accent, but easily understandable pronunciation, introduced himself.
“My name is Barry. I am the Manager here and, of course, you all know your excellent instructor Garry.”
“Garry tells me that you have been one of the best group of students that he has ever taught, and this is reflected in the exam results.” The manager announced.
“Overall this class has achieved a very high mark but, unfortunately, there can only be one winner,” Barry said.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of this beautiful new bike is………..” The manager looked around the room and as he did he momentarily locked eyes with each of them.
He then repeated, “It gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of this beautiful new bike is………..” The time he locked eyes only with Phoebe.
Phoebe could hear her heart beating. ‘Is it possible?’ She thought
“The winner of the news bike is…….. ALICIA!” The manager announced in a loud voice.
Alicia was a very popular student, and everyone in the class stood up to clap and then to line up to give her a hug. Phoebe was the last one to walk up to her. She looked at Alicia, gave her a huge hug and whispered in her ear. “Alicia, you are such a wonderful example to grandpa’s readers.”
“Sit down, please sit down.” The manager shouted. “I have another bit of exciting news for you all.”
Everyone moved forward on their chairs, and it was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop. They could not wait to hear the exciting news.
Barry looked around the room and as before momentarily locked eyes with each of them. He did this not just once, but several times without a word being spoken.
Eventually he spoke. “Yes, I have some exciting news to give you.”
Everyone moved further forward in their chairs. One of the students moved too far forward, and he slipped off his chair. He jumped up and sat back in his chair with an embarrassed look on his face.
Barry looked a little annoyed and said. “After that interruption, I guess that I will have to start again.”
“As I was saying I have another bit of exciting news for you all.” The manager said.
Everyone moved further forward on their chairs. To Barry’s surprise, they all made the same mistake as the boy that had fallen off his chair a few minutes earlier, and they all slipped off their chairs at the same time.
What happened looked so funny! Barry and Garry could not control their laughter. Barry then turned to Garry and told him that he had a meeting to go to and asked him to announce the news once things settled down.
When the manager left the room, everyone felt more relaxed, and they all burst into laughter at what had just happened. Other than the boy who had previously fallen off his chair, all the others had slipped off their chairs with a loud crash.
Eventually, Garry got to make the announcement. It was very exciting news indeed. Another bike would be given to the person who achieved the highest mark at an exam that would take place after the next two days lessons.
Phoebe’s eyes lit up. All of a sudden, she realized that she had another chance.
During the next two days, Phoebe listened attentively to Garry. She took notes and even asked questions when something was not clear. When they went home, she spent several hours revising what they had covered during the day. The next morning she got out of bed early and did more revision.
Exam day arrived. Garry announced that there would be two exams. The first would be a written test and the second would be to test the skills of them riding a bike.
The next morning they were all sitting back on their chairs. Barry reminded them not to move forward on their chairs. As he told them this, he remembered what had happened a few days ago and burst into uncontrollable laughter.
Eventually, he stopped laughing and said. “It gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of the second new bike is………..”
As he had done previously, the manager looked around the room and momentarily locked eyes with each of them.
After a couple of minutes he repeated. “It gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of this beautiful new bike is………..” This time he again locked eyes with only Phoebe.
Alicia had her eyes closed and was thinking. ‘Please, let it be! Please, let it be!’
“The winner of the news bike is…….. PHOEBE!” The manager announced in a loud voice.
Alicia was the first to jump up and start clapping loudly. The other students followed and gathered around Phoebe shouting over and over, “Well done Phoebe! Well done!”
When the other students finally moved away, Alicia went up to her friend Phoebe, gave her a very big hug and whispered, “You are a wonderful example to grandpa’s readers, Phoebe.”
“Alicia, you are the best friend that anyone could ever have,” Phoebe whispered back.
Alicia and Phoebe decide to learn to ride a bike. This book is suitable to be read to children not quite of reading age. It is also suitable to be read by young children, including the older children aged up to 99 years and beyond. If you like it, please provide a review, good or not so good. Although grandpa is in his seventies, he is still young enough to learn.