The strangeling and the lost pencil

A teacher walked a lonely road one day long ago. As he walked one path, he saw a pencil on the ground. Unthinking, he picked it up, put it in his pocket, and carried along his way. He arrived at a small village and took up his post as a school teacher for the local children.
All went well for him until one day a strange child entered his classroom. The child was unlike any he had met before, he did not speak, nor did he play. He just sat silently in the classroom, with watchful eyes on the teacher’s every move. Nobody knew where the boy had come from, or what his name was, so they called him “strangeling”.
The teacher wanted to find out more about the strangeling, so asked the class to write a story about their lives and families. All began their tasks diligently, except the strangeling. The teacher offered the strangeling a pencil (it just so happened to be the same one he’d found all those years before), and the strangeling smiled his strange smile, then began to write.
He wrote pages and pages of dense prose, then stood up and left quietly never to be seen again, taking the pencil with him.
The teacher picked up the strangeling’s story and began to read. He was still reading as his students left for the day, and when they returned the next morning the teacher was still there, with a strange faraway look in his eyes. Nobody knows for sure what became of the story he had read, some say he locked it away, some say he burned it, some say the story became a part of him, but no scrap of it was ever seen.
From that day a change came over the teacher, he seemed to be searching for something, and began collecting pens, pencils, straws, twigs, anything that resembled a pencil. All these he would collect together in a tin, and woe betide anyone who forgot their pencil, as they would be forced to endure the punishment they dubbed the “Russian Roulette of Calligraphic Dysfunction”. Poor unfortunates would reach into the tin, and their choice would determine their punishment. The lucky ones would find a pen that worked well, and they would return to their desks unscathed. Others would select pencils empty of lead, and would return home to find all their possessions had vanished mysteriously. One child was especially unfortunate, he picked what he thought was a pencil, but it turned out to be a twig. As the child looked at the twig, she stood rooted to the spot. leaves sprouted from the twig, and blossomed before her eyes. She tried to run, but found her legs were stiff. She tried to throw the twig away from her, but found it was part of her hand, although her hand began to look strangely wooden. Too late, she realised she had been turned into a tree, and she saw her classmates flee the classroom, all except the teacher, who calmly stood up and cut a twig from what had once been the girl’s hair. She saw the faraway look leave the teacher’s eyes as he calmly whittled the twig into a pencil and added charcoal from the grate as a lead.
The teacher turned to the girl and said “sorry, and thank you, the enchantment of the lost pencil was difficult to break, but I have finally done it! I’m free!”
The teacher was seen rushing from the village clutching the tin of pencils, nobody ever saw him again. Some say he leaves rogue pencils for unwary travellers to find, perhaps that’s the truth, but somewhere out there is a school house, in a long abandoned village, with a tree growing right through the centre of it. There are many stories of how that tree came to grow there, each as unlikely as the next, but whatever the story, nobody is willing to cut it down or prune its branches…IMG_0782[1]

Super William and the football tryouts

Once upon a time, there was a boy called William. He was no ordinary boy, he had magical powers far beyond his years. One day William was kicking a ball in the school playground when he noticed his friend Rocky needed his help. Rocky had kicked a football onto the school roof, and needed to get it down. What’s more, it wasn’t even Rocky’s ball, it belonged to the headmaster!
William knew it was time to use his magic, so he ran in a big circle around the playground, gaining speed, then held out his coat like a pair of aeroplane wings and flew into the sky. He swooped round the playground, onto the roof, and fetched the ball down. Once the ball was down, William kicked the ball up almost a mile into the air, bounced it on his knee, and kicked it into the goal, past the biggest boy in school! Rocky was amazed at William’s magic powers, but the headmaster had seen it all, and called William to his office.

William was worried about going to the headmaster’s office, but he tried to be brave because he knew he’d done the right thing rescuing the ball from the roof. The headmaster came in, but he didn’t look cross, he looked very happy. He told William he was not only a headmaster, he was also a top football coach, and he wanted William to try out for his football team. He also gave William a Headmaster’s award for being a good friend to Rocky.
William went home that day and told his mum the news. She was surprised to hear about the headmaster’s secret job, but was pleased that William had been such a good friend, and that he had the opportunity to try out for a football team. William practised every day to improve his football skills until the day of the football tryouts.
William felt very small next to the grown-ups on the team, but he remembered that he was the best at football, and concentrated on the ball. When William’s turn came, he had to take a penalty against an enormous goalie. William took three steps back from the ball, concentrated very hard, and ran as fast as he could towards the ball, giving it his best kick ever. The ball shot at lightning speed towards the goalie, and went into the goal so fast it burst right through the net!
Nobody on the team had ever seen such a good footballer, and they signed him for the team straight away. William kept training and practising, became the world’s best footballer, and lived
The End