A terrific tale

As promised (and I always keep my promises) here is the first Tale of Trembling Tim. If you want more I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until the book is published, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to read it to any children in your life (or even the Inner Child). I look forward to reading your comments (provided you think the story is brilliant, well written and entertaining that is 🙂
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Now listen to me, to the tales I shall tell
Of Trembling Tim, who you’ll get to know well.
Tim is a Tiger who lives in a tree
At the edge of a forest quite near to the sea.
Tigers have stripes and leopards have spots
But Tim is unusual he has two-toned dots!
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The Tale of Trembling Tim and The Pirate Mice.
One fine morning Tim was trembling up his tree. He was trembling because he was frightened of heights, so you might wonder why does he live up a tree? Well, he lives in the tree because he thinks he likes the view and he doesn’t have to do any dusting because the wind blows all the dust away. He used to live in a den down on the dusty forest floor, but the den got damp when it rained and dusty when it didn’t so he moved to the tree. It was only after he climbed to the top of the tree that he realised he was scared of heights, but it was such a nice view that he thought he’d try living there. Anyway he was too scared to climb back down. Charlie the Chimpanzee who was showing him round the tree said it had the best view of all the trees in the forest and this was an opportunity not to be missed. Trees this tall were difficult to find and views as stunning as this didn’t exactly grow on trees, which Tim thought was a strange thing to say because they were on a tree when Charlie said it. Charlie also said that Tim would soon get used to living so high up but he was wrong. Tim never got over being frightened of heights but he did get used to trembling and so he stayed there. Now you know why he was called Trembling Tim. I hope you won’t tell anybody else why all the other animals in the forest called him Trembling Tim because it’s a secret and Tim gets upset if he thinks people know about his secret. When he gets upset he worries a lot and when he worries a lot he trembles a lot and then he thinks that all the other animals are talking about him.
Tim has a friend called Mystic Mouse. Mystic helps animals who worry about things; they come and talk to him and tell him what they are worried about. Mystic ells them not to worry because things could be worse and then they’d really have something to worry about. So far he hasn’t been able to stop Tim worrying about living in the tree and so he still trembles a lot even though he goes to see Mystic once a week, on Wednesday mornings at eleven o’clock sharp. Tim gives Mystic lots of cheese for letting him talk to him for an hour every Wednesday morning. Sonia the Squirrel, who answers the phone and makes appointments for the animals to come and talk to Mystic Mouse, told her friend Mo the Mole that Trembling Tim was more of a pension fund than a patient. Mo asked me what that meant but I didn’t know. I told her I’d have to think about it for a bit.
Anyway, one fine morning, it was a Wednesday morning actually; Tim was trembling up his tree. He was getting ready to go and see Mystic Mouse and he happened to look out to sea. Far, far away, just on the far horizon, he saw some coconut shells floating in the water. Oh, perhaps I should explain that the far horizon is that thing which is a long, long way away. It’s as far as you can possibly see and sometimes it looks a bit like a line. Tigers have very good eyesight and so this far horizon was a very long way away indeed. Tim was sure that there was something unusual about these coconut shells so he waited for a bit before climbing down the tree and going to see Mystic and sure enough, when the coconut shells got a bit closer he could see that they had a mast and sails and that there were lots of mice sitting inside the shells. Well, a few of them were sitting inside the shells but most were climbing up and down the masts and doing what the others told them to do. Tim thought they must be very important if they just sat around and told the others what to do; then he climbed down his tree and went to see Mystic.
Tim said hello to Sonia when he got to Mystic’s office and she said hello to Tim. Sonia is very clever, thought Tim, because she said hello to him without having to stop texting on her mobile phone. She also said that he’d have to wait just a minute because Mystic taking a very important call, so Tim told her about the coconut shells and the mice that he had seen on the horizon that morning. He wondered if they were related to Mystic and what they were doing sailing on coconut shells. Sonia said she thought they probably weren’t related to Mystic but there was going to be something called a convention in the Forest. Mice like Mystic who let people talk to them about their problems, were all going to go along and talk to each other about how much cheese the animals were giving them and how they really should be getting more, so maybe that’s why they were sailing towards the beach. She said that they could be a gang of pirates if they were sailing on coconut shells because that’s what pirates do, and if they were going to the Convention then they almost certainly were a gang of pirates. Tim was going to ask her to tell him more about the Convention but just then Mystic said that he had finished his very important phone call so Tim could come in and see him now. Tim told Mystic he was sorry that he was late and Mystic said not to worry but he was sorry Tim would still have to give him the same amount of cheese even though there wasn’t time for Tim to talk for the full hour. He asked Tim if he was still trembling so much and Tim said he thought that perhaps he hadn’t trembled quite so much this week. Mystic thought this was a very good sign and that Tim must continue to come to see him every week because he was sure that all the talking was helping Tim.
Tim decided to ask Mystic what a Convention was and Mystic kindly explained that a Convention was a very important meeting where mice like him talked about very important things; like how they could be of even more help to animals who came to talk to them and how they could let other animals know that they really, really needed to come and talk to them. Some animals, Mystic said, thought that a Convention was a meeting where mice got together and had lots of fun but this wasn’t true, they were really hard work with lots of talking and something called networking. Then he said that they should talk about Tim’s trembling but Tim wanted to know why mice were working with nets. Mystic said it was difficult to explain and Tim would have to talk to Sonia about making another appointment if he really wanted to talk about it. Tim said he was running a bit short of cheese so Mystic said perhaps they should really talk about Tim’s trembling so that’s what they did.
Tim mentioned the mice in the coconut shells and how he wondered what they were up to. Mystic said Tim should go and ask them once they arrived on the beach but Tim said he didn’t think he could do that and anyway thinking about it made him tremble even more. Mystic nodded and said that Tim should try to be more assertive and that he could help him with that. Tim didn’t know what being assertive was so Mystic explained that it meant asking questions without trembling and if you didn’t get an answer then you had to keep asking the question in a different way in case the person who you were asking the question didn’t understand what you meant. Tim said was that the same as asking Mystic why he gave him so much cheese but still trembled a lot and Mystic said no it wasn’t so Tim was still a bit confused. Mystic said that Tim should try to remember that he was a Tiger and act like one, but then said that what he really meant was that all tigers trembled a bit but that they trembled inside and weren’t as tigerish as people thought. He suggested that Tim should pretend that he was asking the mice in the coconut shells what they were doing and after he had done that a few times he’d feel more confident about really talking to them and wouldn’t tremble so much. Tim said that he had tried imagining talking to other animals and after a while he didn’t tremble at all, but when he actually spoke to them they didn’t say or do what he had imagined they might and that made him start trembling again. Mystic said that life was like that and Tim thought he was awfully clever and how he really was worth all the cheese that Tim had given him over the years.
Tim was walking back to his tree and decided to go along the beach so he could talk to the mice in the coconut shells, just like he’d been practicing with Mystic. Sure enough, when he got to the beach three coconut shells had been pulled up the beach and lots of mice were rushing about shouting at each other. One of the mice was carrying a bit of paper on a sort of board and seemed to be doing most of the shouting so Tim went up to him and said hello. The mouse looked at Tim and for a moment Tim thought that he wasn’t going to say anything, but just when he thought that he’d have to go back to his tree because he was sure he was going to start trembling really badly the mouse held out the bit of paper on the board so Tim could see it and asked him if he’d seen anything like this before. The’this’ he was talking about was a large X on the bit of paper and the mouse said that he was looking for it as it marked the spot. Tim asked what spot was that and the mouse said it was the one marked by the large X. Had Tim seen a large X on the beach? Tim thought about it and said no he hadn’t seen a large X and why was the mouse looking for it anyway? The mouse said it was really none of Tim’s business but it was really important. If he ever saw the large X he should come and tell the mouse immediately. Tim said that he would and went back to his tree. Thinking about it, he realised that he had hardly trembled at all when he was talking to the pirate mouse and he was so excited that he rang Mystic to tell him all about it. He also asked Mystic what he thought the pirate mice were looking for and Mystic said he didn’t know but it really didn’t matter because everybody was looking for something and most of them didn’t know what they were looking for either. Tim thought Mystic was really clever and wondered if he should send him some extra cheese as a Christmas present.

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