Smiles go miles
One night, when SquareNess was snuggled up in bed, she called out to her mum:
“Mum! MUM! MUUUUUUUM!”
Her mum came hurrying upstairs and looked in through the door.
“Tell me a story…” Said Ness. “please, please, pleeeeeease!”
Her mum sat down on the chair beside Ness’s bed and thought for a moment…
“Well, there was once a little girl called Ness…”
Ness clapped her hands.
“Yaaaay! That’s me!”
Her mother smiled….
“One day Square Ness woke up with the biggest frown you’ve ever seen. When she went down to breakfast her mum took one look and asked:
“What’s set you off?”
Ness didn’t answer – she just frowned. She wasn’t really sure what she was frowning about, it was just a frowny sort of day. She frowned at her breakfast. She frowned at her cats. She frowned at her dad. When she looked at her reflection in the hallway mirror, she frowned at that. Can you imagine – two Ness’s both frowning away at each other, what a sight! When she left the house to go to school, she took her frown with her.
“You want to be careful walking around like that!” said a voice. It was the postman on his round delivering letters and parcels. Ness frowned at him.
“What goes around comes around,” said the Postman, “even in Squaretown.”
Ness walked past the postman – who frowned back. When she turned a corner, she saw her next-door neighbour, Square Mary. What a surprise Ness had, when Mary looked at her and… frowned.
“Did I pass my frown on to her?” she wondered.
Square Ness followed Square Mary down the street and watched. She saw her look at the greengrocer who was standing outside his shop – now he was frowning.
The greengrocer spoke to a square old lady and within moments she was frowning at everyone she passed.
Before SquareNess knew it – the whole street was full of frowning people. By the time she got to school, everyone she passed was scowling and frowning. Her teacher, usually the jolliest of people, stood in front of the class and frowned hard at them.
“Get out your books,” she barked, “we’re going to have a test. An extra hard test. And if you don’t get all the answers right – you can stay in after school!”
Poor Ness watched the children frowning back at their teacher and felt very guilty. The postman had been right. What goes around, comes around. Her frown had gone round the whole town.
Later that night, as she looked out of her bedroom window, she got an even bigger shock – there was the moon, a huge full moon, staring down at the town with a great big FROWN.
That night SquareNess tossed and turned in her sleep. She woke up feeling tired, but she decided that today, no matter what, was going to be different.
Ness’s mum sighed when she heard her clomping down the stairs.
“Here we go!” She thought.
The kitchen door swung open and…
“Good morning everyone!”
Ness’s mum smiled at her daughter. How could she not? Ness was wearing the BIGGEST SMILE anyone in Squaretown had ever seen. She smiled so hard at her breakfast it almost smiled back! She smiled at her cats. She smiled at her dad. When she looked at her reflection in the hallway mirror, she smiled at that. Can you imagine – two Ness’s both smiling away at each other, what a lovely sight! When she left the house to go to school, she took her smile with her.
“Good morning Postman!” she smiled. And the postman smiled back.
“Good morning Square Mary!” And Mary smiled back. So did the greengrocer. So did the old square lady. So did all the people in Squaretown.
“So you see,” said Ness’s mum, coming to the end of the story, “your smiles can travel for miles, but so can your frowns.”
Ness nodded. And then she had thought:
“But what about the moon? You didn’t say what happened to the moon.”
Her mum went over to the window:
“Let’s have a look…” and she opened the curtain for Ness to see.
There were all the stars, blinking and twinkling away. And right in the middle of them, a great, big, SMILING MOON.
You can download a FREE illustrated pdf of this story from the link below:
To listen to a reading of this story by Kara Alberts (thank you so much Kara!) click on the player below: