Charlie and the Silver Bell

When I was growing up both my Dad and Grandad used to write me wonderful stories which they would read to me. Whenever we visited Nana and Grandad I would love hopping into their bed in the morning to hear Grandad’s latest tale. He’d even send me tape cassettes (this was the 90s remember) with stories recorded on them so I wouldn’t go too long without. My favourite stories were about a boy called Peter Edward North (his friend’s called him Pen!).

I love writing stories myself (whenever I get the time!) and i’m so excited to write stories for own little baba. I hope that she gets my love of books because stories can take you anywhere, they introduce you to a whole world of magic.

This is a story I wrote a few years ago for Josh, Jess and Joe. It’s called Charlie and the Silver Bell.

N.B creative license was used here because Charlie never has and never will be a hunter!

Charlie and The Silver Bell

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Charlie loved to catch her owner’s gifts, and leave them at their door.

Birds and Mice, Toads and Frogs she always wanted more.

She loved her owners very much, and wanted them to see

That no other cat would ever love them quite as much as she.


Her owners, on the other hand, were not such a happy pair,

When they saw the little presents they would often just despair!

They talked and talked, and thought and thought, of a way to make them stop.

“Ah ha! At last!” cried Jack, “I have the perfect plot!”


He rushed out and bought a collar with a shiny silver bell,

And they hung it round Charlie’s neck where it would jingle jangle.

“Brilliant!” cheered Carrie, “Now the gifts will cease,

And thanks to you, my smart smart man, the critters will be at peace!”


Charlie loved her silver bell, it filled her heart with glee

To think her owners loved their gifts so much they’d bought a special one for she.

She vowed to work extra hard, to catch them even more

She’d begin right away to leave some at their door.


But try as she might, for days and days, Charlie had no luck.

She tried mice and birds, toads and frogs she even tried a duck!

She knew the animals were mocking her, they laughed from all around

But whenever she tried to stalk her prey they always found her out.


Now a Magpie in the garden, had been watching poor Charlie

He had seen the sparkling silver bell as he sat upon his tree.

“Cat!” he squawked from on his post, “I know the reason why

You cannot catch a single thing, no matter how you try!”

Magpie in rowan (5)

“That silver bell upon your neck is making quite a din,

And while you’re wearing it you will not catch a thing!

Now I propose a deal with you, I’ll peck the bell right free

But you must make a promise not to try to pounce on me!”


Charlie sat and pondered, could the magpie’s words be true?

She loved her shiny silver bell but she loved her owners too.

“Ok Magpie” she meowed, “I’ll accept your deal today,

You can take the silver bell, and I’ll let you fly away”.


The Magpie hopped down from the tree, and pecked with his long beak

And the shiny silver bell came off with just a tweak.

Now Charlie, who was just a cat, decided to be sly

And with a wriggle of her bum she leapt on the magpie!


The Magpie squawked and flapped his wings and feathers flew around

And the shiny silver bell bounced upon the ground.

The Magpie escaped her paws, and left the garden quick.

And Charlie was left alone once more with a few wounds to lick!


“Oh Charlie look!” said Jack that night, “I found your shiny bell

It was lying in the garden, I nearly couldn’t tell!”

He clipped it back around her neck and gave little a smile

“There you go Charlie dear, no more hunting for a while”.


Now to this day poor Charlie still has that shiny bell,

And no one else will help her after the Magpie did tell

Of how she broke her promise, and tried to pounce on him,

And how she can’t be trusted with hide or hair or limb.


But Charlie’s owners are happy now when they open up their door

Because there are never any presents sitting on the floor.

And the animals in the garden no longer live in fear

Because when Charlie is coming, they can always hear!


Pregnancy Books (With a Twist)

There are so many pregnancy books out there it’s hard to know what to read! Personally my gospel has been What to Expect When You’re Expecting. However, my own Mama sent me a pregnancy book with a bit of a difference in the post and it’s truly brilliant.


It’s basically a colouring book for adults although there are other activities too: mazes, word searches, quizzes etc. It’s funny, clever and perfect for those moments when you just need to relax or can’t sleep. It’s divided into trimesters and a section for after the baby arrives.

Some of my highlights include


The idea of pushing a watermelon out of your private parts is certainly a terrifying prospect and makes the fruit comparisons not so much fun anymore! My baby is currently the size of a lemon and even that’s pretty scary! Let’s stop talking about fruit…


Now this one is all wrong for me (apart from the burger bleugh). Chicken is one of the few things that I can eat (especially KFC chicken!). The smells that most make me want to puke are beef, mince meat, lamb, milk, chocolate (sucks to be me right?!) and Dentyl Refreshing Clove mouthwash (hence the poorly drawn picture of Jack who uses it twice a day)! I can’t wait for the nausea stage to pass! What smells make you want to vomit?


Now this page is completely right! My top 5 things to wear are definitely pyjamas, leggings, baggy jumpers, grandma pants and definitely no bra! Sexy clothes are out of the window at the moment (sorry Jack!) I just want to be comfy!

I’m not going to post anymore because I don’t want to spoil it for you but some other highlights include:

  • A maze where the goal is to make it from your desk to the bathroom without throwing up
  • Unconventional Mobile ideas- “let’s get one thing straight right of the bat: your newborn does not care about his mobile because he cannot see more than six inches in front of his face. Even when he does start seeing, he still doesn’t care about the Mozart-playing baby elephants that you so lovingly hung in his direct line of sight; the speck on the wall over there is just as interesting.” (page 57)
  • A word search of bad baby names- Vespa anyone?
  • How many strangers have caressed you today?
  • Unscramble the things that will never be the same once you have this baby.

Basically the book is great when you’re simultaneously dealing with how wonderful pregnancy is (because there’s a magical life growing inside of you that you love so much already) and how horrifying (because you feel and look like crap and want to spend all day eating and crying). It will cheer you up, take your mind of the bloat and make you feel better about yourself and how you’re doing. It’s a really unique pregnancy book and I won’t be putting it down much during this journey!

If you want a copy for yourself or pregnant friend, colleague, loved one you can find it here:

What pregnancy books are keeping you going right now (or kept you going when you were pregnant)?