‘Poochie’ A dog story about keeping calm and not panicking, for children of 5-6 years old. 337 words, 2 -3 minutes to read

Subject Resilience



You know, being a dog is very interesting. Everything smells so different. You have to keep sniffing to see what’s been happening. You can tell a lot from sniffing.

My human, she is called Katie, she can’t tell much from sniffing. In fact the only time I see her sniffing is when she’s sniffing me! She cuddles me and sniffs my head. I hear her telling her mum that I smell nice – sort of warm and fluffy.

‘Are you dog sniffing again?’

‘Yes, I like sniffing Poochie!’

Poochie, that’s what they call me! My real name is Puccini!  I am quite small for a dog. I can fit onto Katie’s lap and fall asleep and she just sits there stroking me.

One day I saw a hole in the garden fence. I sniffed at it and smelt something different. I just had to squeeze through and look around . Katie saw me go. She screamed and shouted to her mother. What a terrible noise she made! I hid behind a bucket. I didn’t want to be with her if she was screaming.

‘Poochie won’t come back if you go on making all that noise. Now dry your tears and get a treat from Poochie’s tin. He’ll soon smell it and come back.’

Well, Katie must have done what her mother told her, because the next thing I knew I could smell my special treat from Katie’s side of the fence. And there was Katie peeping through the hole and calling gently ‘Come on Puccini, come and get your treat.’


Poochie peeps through the hole in the fence, looking for treats.

So I followed my nose, didn’t I? Katie’s mum quickly blocked the hole in the fence behind me and there I was being stroked and eating my treats! Then Katie’s mum was stroking Katie’s head and saying, ‘There you see, it’s much better not to panic and scream and cry. Everyone feels better if they keep calm and get help.’


What was the little dog’s name in the story?

How do dogs get to know what’s been happening around them?

What did Poochie mean when he says that Katie was his human?

What did Katy like to do Poochie when he was on her lap?

How did Poochie’s nose get him into trouble?

What did Katie do when Poochie disappeared through the fence?

What did Poochie do when he heard her screaming and crying?

What did Katie’s mum say when Katy was screaming and crying? 

How did Poochie’s nose sort out the problem? (Why did he come back through the hole?)

Does this story remind you of anything in your life?

Sometimes it is good to cry and shout and let your feelings out.  Then when you have done it, you can stop and tell people who love you about your problem, and then you feel a bit better about it.  In this story Katie’s mum came quickly to help, and that was when Katie needed to stop screaming and crying, so she did!






The Initiation of Grey Wolf. (story to illustrate the base energy centre)

In the days when men and women roamed the plains and young people had to go through an initiation ceremony before they were accepted as adults, there was a young man. He was Grey Wolf. Now this young man was a gentle person who never wanted to hurt anyone or anything. This made life rather difficult for him, because the Red Man survives by cooperating with animal life, respectfully asking permission to kill, and then killing for food and clothing.

The time came for Grey Wolf to perform his initiation. He had to kill a buffalo. There were many ways to tackle this challenge and Grey Wolf decided that he would get us, his family, to dig a pit on the edge of the forest. His plan was to drive the buffalo into the pit. We dug, all of us. It was a huge pit. My father said it was big enough to catch the whole herd, but he was exaggerating somewhat. We covered the pit with branches and leaves so that it looked just like the rest of the forest floor. It was time for my brother to go. Now he was a very fine horseman. He and his horse moved as one. The horse could tell from the angle and the slightest pressure from his body where he was required to go.

A few hours later we heard a great crashing through the trees. It was Grey Wolf. He was driving two buffalo towards the pit! We looked on in amazement. Certainly and surely they neared the hole in the ground, and one after another they fell into it .

The buffalo charged into the pit.

The buffalo charged into the pit.

The first one died instantly, the second he quickly dispatched. Pale and shaking he emerged from the pit. We were all very proud of him. The Chief came to inspect his work:

“I see you were not content to prove you were as strong as one man, you have completed the work of two here, on this day. Well done! You are indeed fit to join the ranks of the men in the tribe.”

And the Chief bestowed an eagle feather head dress upon him. We all looked on in admiration. My brother may not have enjoyed killing, but he knew what had to be done for the survival of the tribe. We must eat, and buffalo is our main source of food. My brother, after that, used to be chosen to do the chasing, and left the killing to the others, but it is all one really. He who eats meat is acknowledging that it is part of Gods plan both in the animal kingdom and in man’s domain.

The base energy centre is situated at  the bottom of the spine.  It is associated with survival, bravery, hunting to feed oneself etc.  

The Boy with the Mop. (A story about making friends, for special needs teenagers)

I wrote this story for a student in our college who found it very hard to talk to others.

The Boy with the Mop

Walter didn’t think he had any friends. People were kind to him in general but he was usually alone. He worked in a large department store, sweeping up. Every Monday he had to sweep the whole of the top floor. On Tuesdays he had to work in the basement, sorting out the bins. He liked Wednesdays best. He worked on the second floor in the toy department every Wednesday. After the customers and staff had gone home, Walter had the toy department all to himself. If he worked fast he could clean all the empty shelves and sweep round all the counters and have a whole hour to spare. How he loved that hour!

Walter considered himself to be a very thoughtful person. His mother had told him so early on in his life.

” Walter, she said, ‘ I can see you are thinking very hard, I can see you are puzzling it out. When you find an answer, just tell me, because I don’t understand it either.’

Walter’s mother was a kind woman. She would notice Walter staring out of the window, or into open space for many minutes at a time. Sometimes he would stare at one of his toys for ten whole minutes as if he was trying to work out how it was made. He would turn it over and over in his hands.

When his mother asked him what he was doing he always replied:

‘I’m just thinking.’

Now Walter could look at any toy for as long as he liked. He was in heaven. Sometimes he would even take the toys out of their boxes and line them up in rows. He particularly liked the remote controlled toys. They made him feel like a god or a king. He was in control. It was a feeling he didn’t have in his normal life. It seemed like everyone else was in control, not him. But he didn’t mind too much. Mostly people were kind, but they got cross if he forgot to do things.

One evening when Walter was on his favourite floor and he had finished work early, he was about to look at the very latest remote controlled toy in the shop. Someone came in over by the stairs and stood looking at him. It was a boy, about his age, holding a mop. He looked lost. Walter wasn’t sure what to do or what to say. He wasn’t very good at being the first one to speak, so he just stared back. The two boys looked at each other for a long time. Walter felt a bit excited. He had wanted to show someone else all these marvellous toys for a while, but thought it might get him into trouble. Eventually the boy took a step forward.

“Hello,” he said. “I’m supposed to clean the toilets on this floor, then I’m off home. Can you tell me where they are?

“No toilets here” said Walter. “First floor only.”

“Done them,” said the boy. “Do you work here?”

“Every Wednesday,” said Walter. “Get to look at all this stuff, see.”

The boy came closer. “Wow, cool. Can I have a go?” He pointed to one of the remotes.

“Don’t break it will you?”

The two lads moved their robots around the floor. Nothing else mattered. Finally Walter’s watch bleeped.

“Gotta go. Come back next Wednesday and we’ll look at those two over there.”

“I will,” said the boy as he disappeared with his mop.

Walter felt a warm glow spreading through his chest. He had found a friend. He didn’t even know the lad’s name but he knew he liked him. He was thoughtful and quiet. He had packed away the toys carefully and made sure that everything was in its place.

Walter knew his mum was teasing when she said he was thoughtful. “Full of thoughts,” she said. But he also knew the other meaning of the word and he was that too. He thought about what other people would like, and tried to make sure others were happy.

“Perhaps I will have a friend now,” Walter said to himself. “Mum said I’d get friends if I was brave enough. Today I was brave and now I’ve got a friend.”

The Medicine Man ( A story about respect between family members) for teens and adults

The Medicine Man.

People live in many different sorts of homes. In my country people live in houses, flats or rondavels. These are round houses made with clay and sticks, with thatched roofs. They are quite small, but since African weather is so good the poorer people need their houses only for protection at night from wild animals and from the rain.

The family in this story lived in a rondavel in a village a very long way from the main road. The people had their own code of ethics, which enabled them to live together in harmony. No one was a murderer; no one was a thief. Although one man may have more than one wife, he chose his wives carefully and took no others, so the children of the wives knew who their father was, and they loved and respected him. In this village no man had more than three wives. Most only had one because they did not have enough land to feed more than a certain number of children. Ah, but I tell a lie, the chief had four wives. The eldest and wisest was his first wife, Bulala. The other wives had to pay attention to what Bulala said, or there would be trouble. Each wife had her own special duties and skills.

Bulala was the organiser. There was much work to be done. The ground had to be broken, the crop sowed, the houses must be kept in good order. Then there were the animals, they had to be fed and water had to be fetched every day. Someone had to make and mend the clothes and cook the food. The wives shared the duties out amongst themselves and their children so that everything that needed to be done was done and there was still time for singing and dancing at the end of the day sometimes.

The chief was the medicine man and healer. He spent his time talking to the elders and making decisions for the village, meting out justice, and healing the sick.

In general the system worked very well indeed, the villagers were happy and healthy. Of course people died every so often, but death is part of life. Those who live must also die. No one wishes to die in pain and suffering, and I think the chief did his best to see that this did not happen to his people.

You will remember that the chief had four wives, Bulala and the three junior wives. The youngest was called Mata, and because she was the most junior wife she felt she was given more work to do than the others were. She had only one child, and the others all had two or three, and they would say,

“Ah, let’s ask Mata to do it. Her baby is asleep, she has time now.” There were so many people telling Mata what to do – the chief himself, Bulala, and the two other wives, that Mata didn’t feel that she ever had a moment’s peace, and since she was married to the medicine man himself, she didn’t feel she could complain.

She started taking long walks in the bush with her child on her back, just to get away from them all. She would sit under a tree and wait for dusk to fall before returning to the village with a small piece of firewood on her head.

When they asked her where she had been she would say:

“I have been searching for firewood. There is so little to be found.”

The wives would toss their heads angrily. “We have been working all day long and you come home with one miserable stick of firewood, Mata, What is wrong with you?” She would turn away and take her baby off to feed him.

The chief loved Mata. She was a kind sweet girl. He could see that she was unhappy and he thought he knew the reason why. He decided he would try to show her how things could be different for her. The next day when she went off to gather wood, he sent a group of young men off to follow her. They kept their distance; she did not notice them at all. She sat in the shade and played with her baby and then she slept. While she was asleep one of the youths stole up to her and picked up the child. The baby was not at all alarmed. He knew the young man very well.

When Mata awoke she was horrified to find her child had gone. What should she do? Distraught, she ran back to the village to tell her husband, the chief.

She was amazed at his calm reception of this terrible news.

“Ah, Mata,” he asked, “How was it that you did not prevent your child from disappearing from you, was he not with you on your back while you were gathering firewood?

Then Mata had to tell the truth, she had been asleep.

“And this is what you have been doing every day, instead of bringing back the wood for the fire you have been sleeping?”

“Yes, my husband.”

“Do you not like cooked food, my wife? If we have no fire we cannot cook our meal. I think you would prefer yours straight from the sack, quite dry, or shall we mix it with a little water?”

Mata was very proud. She did not want to tell the chief why she had stayed away from the village every day. She ate the raw meal for two days. She could not understand why no one seemed to be concerned about the disappearance of her child. On the third day her husband approached her. “Do you have something more to tell me about, Mata?”

Finally she broke down and explained about how she felt being the youngest wife.

The chief laughed and smacked his thighs. “Ah, Mata, Mata, I know exactly what you are talking about. As you know I was the youngest of eight boys. They all told me what to do all the time. I had to learn to say ’No’, and to speak up for myself. That is what you must do from now on. Don’t be afraid of Bulala, she is not unkind. Just tell her what you think is fair, and I know she will be just.”

“But how can you laugh? Your son is missing and I don’t know where he is?” wailed Mata.

At that moment the child appeared in the arms of a smiling young man, Bulala’s eldest son, his own half brother.

Mata screamed and ran towards him, overjoyed; the baby held out his arms to his mother who scooped him up and disappeared into her rondavel with him.

The chief looked at his eldest son. “You, Soli, you learn from this . Don’t use your seniority to make others do more than their share of the work, and do better than me, notice when it is happening to those much more junior than yourself.”