One Summer night, Sadie, a tiny Skunk, was stomping around a pond in the middle of the forest. Sadie was tired which was making her very cranky. She was looking for a place to sleep before the sun came up, and it was really hard to find one.
The Loud Bush
Walking up to a bush, she peered inside of its leaves to see if anyone was there.
“Who’s in there?” she growled. Behind the leaves, she stopped a tiny bird with her three bird babies. The bird was happily feeding her children and tweeting a little song.
“Hello! Welcome to our home! My name is Tia, and this is my family. How can I help you?” she asked in a joyful voice. The bird fluttered her wings and curtsied for Sadie.
“I need a place to sleep! So, get out!” Sadie demanded. Her whiskers twitched and her ears pointed upward. Sadie wanted to sleep under the bush, and if the birds lived there, they would tweet all night!
“Leave? But this is our home! We can’t leave.” The mother responded, sad. All three of the baby birds looked at Sadie with a scared expression.
“Not my problem!” And without a second to spare, Sadie nudged her way into the bush and tried to make herself comfortable. This way and that, she pointed her bottom, wiggling in and out of the leaves. Because of the birds, and their big nest, Sadie couldn’t find a good spot to lay down.
“Hey, this is our home! And you can’t have it!” yelled Tia. Frustrated, Tia began flapping her wings and pecking at Sadie. PInch after pinch, Tia poked and prodded at Sadie’s head until she just couldn’t take it anymore.
“Ugh! Fine! I didn’t want to sleep here anyway!” Sadie left.
The Small Hole
As she walked further down the edge of the pond, Sadie could see the sunrise through the trees. It would soon be morning, and she needed to find a place to sleep soon.
Angrier than before, Sadie spotted a hole in the ground and thought it might be warm. Peering down into the hole, she stated, “Who’s in there? Come out, now!”
“Who could be yelling into my home with such rudeness!” A tiny eyed mole came climbing out of the ground. He spoke with a proper tone; one that Sadie had never heard before. “Excuse me, dear, but this is my abode. What could you possibly want at this hour?”
“I need to sleep, and it’s almost morning! Move aside, so that I can get some shut eye!” Sadie stepped forward, a threatening look in her eye. She didn’t have time to be chatting with a snooty old mole.
“Well, I never! Have you ever heard of manners? This is my home; I made it! So, if you take it away, where would I have to live? Hm?”
“Not my problem!” repeated Sadie. She charged at the hole, frown on her face. Leaning forward, she’d thought she made it through. Kicking her legs, she dug into the dirt, pushing forward as hard as she could, but it just didn’t seem like she would fit. “Grrr!” she growled in anger, pulling out of the hole to sit on her bottom.
“I told you,” said the mole, “This is my home! Meaning that it’s meant for me!” And with a tiny “hmph!” the mole climbed back into his home, shaking his bottom all the way down. Before disappearing completely, he shoved his head back out one more time. “If you need a place to sleep, you should try to be nicer. An attitude won’t get you anywhere!” and he was gone.
Grumbling to herself, Sadie continued on her search, becoming as grumpy as could be. “Nice? Yeah, right!” she said to herself. Sadie wasn’t in the mood to be nice, and if an attitude was all she had, then an attitude was everyone was going to get!
The Dark Cave
Reaching the opposite side of the forest pond, Sadie found a cave. Looking inside, she saw a big, brown, lump laying on the ground.
“Who’s in here? Come out!” she demanded, for a third time.
No one responded. Sadie could only hear silence as she peeked deeper into the cave. She repeated herself, again, “Who’s in here?”
“Grrrrr…..” a deep growl tickled Sadie’s ears, and she suddenly became very nervous. As she watched the lump on the ground, it began to move. Sadie realize the brown was fur, and the animal had big, gold eyes. “Who are you?” it growled.
“Um… I-I’m Sadie! And I need to sleep! Who are you?” Sade replied.
“Me? Well, my name is Joe.” Pound after pound, Sadie could hear the animal's feet hit the ground. The closer it got, the bigger it was. When it finally reached the light, Sadie saw that Joe was a large, brown, grizzly bear.
“Joe? Well, J-Joe! I need to sleep! This is my cave now, so get out!” Sadie wasn’t going to let Joe scare her.
Joe stared at her for a moment, not saying a word. Then, he politely said, “No.”
Sadie just blinked. “Did you not hear me? This is my cave now, and I need to sleep! Get out!” Sadie crouched down, ready to pounce. She glared at Joe.
“No.” Joe repeated, and crouching down as well, he stomped towards Sadie until he stood right above her. “This is my cave!”
Sadie shrunk down as close to the ground as possible. This bear was really big, and really scary! “But… But, I n-need to s-sleep...” she whimpered.
“Not my problem.” Joe responded calmly. “It’s not nice for you to come into someone else’s space, and have such a stinky attitude. If you want to sleep, you can sleep outside!”
Too afraid to say anything else, Sadie turned around, and ran from the cave. Making it outside, she could see that the sun had finally risen. “Oh, no...” she cried, and her pointed ears drooped low. She didn’t find a place to sleep, and now she had to sleep on the hard, cold ground.
So sleepy...so sad...
There she sat, looking around the pond. Mostly everyone was waking up now, and she was the only one that was sad. Because she slept at night, it was harder for her to find a comfortable place to be. This was truly a sad moment for Sadie.
She thought about what the other animals had told her and cried. Maybe she was being too mean. It’s wasn't her fault, she was just soooo tired. Whenever Sadie was sleepy, she became really grumpy and had a really stinky nasty attitude. “I stink.” Sadie said.
Feeling lonely, Sadie found a patch of grass and tried to lie down. It was cold and wet, but it was the best she could find. Suddenly, a scratchy voice spoke to her, “Hey! What are you doing near my den?”
Jumping up, Sadie saw another skunk looking out of an opening in the dirt. “Oh! I’m sorry! I was just trying to sleep!” she apologized.
“I don’t care! This is my den, and you can’t sleep here.” The skunk chittered his teeth, and snapped at Sadie.
Sadie began to cry out loud. She’d never felt what it was like for someone to have an attitude with her, and she didn’t like it at all. As the tears started to stream down her face, the other skunk became surprised.
“I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to make you cry! I just don’t want anyone trying to steal my home. My name is Bumper,” the skunk came out of his den and stood close to Sadie.
“I’m just so tired, and I haven’t slept at all. I was really mean to everyone else, so no one wants me around them!” Sadie was heartbroken.
“Well, since you’re trying to sleep like me, would you like to come inside?” Bumper asked Sadie.
“Really? You would let me sleep in your home?” Sadie stood to her feet and smiled.
“Sure,” Bumper said as he led her inside, “But on one condition!”
“What?” she replied.
“I won’t be mean to you, if you’re not mean to me!”
After thinking for a moment, Sadie laughed and said, “Deal!”
Author: April Collins
"I believe children are our future and we should teach them accordingly."
Learn more about April in her profile here.
Connecting with your child:
- What do you think Sadie's voice sounded like when she was feeling grumpy?
- How did Sadie feel when Bumper was grumpy with her?
- Have you ever felt grumpy? Do you think your attitude was "stinky" or nice?
SUGGESTION FOR PARENTS:
Kids have a hard time knowing how their own voice and attitude appears to others.
Take the opportunity the next time you have a grumpy moment towards your child and let them know that we all have our moments of weakness where we may feel grumpy but it's not the way we want to treat one another.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
What did you and your child think about our story?
Leave us your thoughts in the comments and look for more stories coming soon!