A bedtime story

Waaay back, when I was five or six, my brother and I received a book of stories and poems from our snooty, uppercrust great aunt. Although published in the USA, it was definitely British in origin, with a number of stories involving colonial India and Africa, teatime, and full of words like “whilst”, “colouring”, and “realised”. I credit the book for planting the first subcionscious seeds of my love for British storytelling and stiff uppper lippitude.

Several years ago, I rediscovered the book in a box of old stuff. I realized that several of the stories were just begging to have their endings re-written to make them a bit more interesting. I got around to doing three of them. Here is one of the improved stories. Enjoy!

Bernie and the Snowman
Bernie was a large St. Bernard dog who belonged to a little boy called Peter. One day, it snowed heavily and Peter decided to build a snowman.
Out he went and busily spent the morning building the snowman until his mother called him in for tea. Peter turned to call Bernie to follow him and what do you think? Bernie was jumping round and round the snowman and suddenly he charged at it and knocked it down!
“Oh, Bernie!” said Peter. “Look at what you’ve done!”
“Never mind,” said his mother.”You can build another one.”
But, whenever Peter built a snowman, Bernie waited until he had finished and then knocked it down. Peter grew tired of of building snowmen just for Bernie to knock down, so he tried to think of some way to stop Bernie. Then he had an idea!
One Saturday, when the snow was still quite thick and when his father was at home, Peter told his father this idea and he agreed to help him. Peter’s mother took Bernie for a walk whilst Peter built the finest snowman you’ve ever seen. As soon as Bernie cam back, he dashed towards it to knock it down.
But, this time, Bernie got a shock. The snowman growled and snarled and waved its arms about and began to walk toward Bernie! Peter’s father was inside the snowman! He had put on some old clothes and Peter had covered him with snow, leaving just the face clear.
Poor Bernie didn’t know what to do. Shocked and confused, he charged at the snowman with his sharp teeth bared. Peter’s father only had time to utter a short “Aargh!” before Bernie’s fangs ripped out his throat.
Blood stained the snow red as Peter and his mother ran into the house. You can be sure Peter never had any clever ideas after that!

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