Gilbert the cricket
Once, a family of crickets lived in a garden. Gilbert, who was the father, used to conduct the cricket choir next to the kitchen door every night. The children of the house, John and Janet, loved to hear the chirping and listened to it whilst eating their supper. As soon as the chirping stopped, they knew it was bedtime.
One night the children sat down for supper, but they heard no chirping. Ever since they could remember, they had heard the little creatures singing. Now, they could not hear anything and they began to worry. It was too late and dark to go out and see what was wrong with the little choir, so they went to bed.
Early next morning, John and Janet went hunting for their little friends, but although they whistled and shouted, they were unable to find them.
Then they heard a ‘meow ‘from their cat who was in a flowerbed. They ran to him and the cat pointed with his paw – there, under a bush, lay Gilbert with a broken leg. His family was very upset because they could not help him. No wonder the chirping had stopped!
John and Janet put some cotton wool in a little box and placed Gilbert gently inside. At first, his family were anxious, in case John and Janet hurt their father, but soon realised that the children were going to help him.
That night they put a little bandage on Gilbert’s sore leg and fed him every few hours like a baby. The next morning, he felt much better and could almost walk. He stayed for a week in the children’s bedroom until he was quite healthy – then they took him back to his family.
Later that night, as they were sitting down to supper, they heard the strangest chirping. It almost sounded like shouting. They listened very carefully and heard: “Hurrah for John and Janet, our friends, who looked after Gilbert.”
Gilbert then conducted the choir as he always had, and the children went to bed – content with their little friend’s chirps, ringing in their ears.
Barbara Louise Gillman