by Joyce Grenfell
Children... pay attention, please. Free time is over, so put away your things and we are going to tell our nice story, so come over here and make a circle on the floor all around me, and we'll tell the story together. We've got a visitor today, so we can tell our story to her. Will you be all right there, Mrs Binton? I think you'll get a good view of the proceedings. Hurry up everybody. Don't push - there's lots of room for us all. This group story-telling is quite a feature of our work here in the Nursery School, Mrs Binton. We like to feel that each little individual has a contribution to make to the world of make-believe, and of course many valuable lessons can be learned from team work. We're a happy band of brothers here! Edgar, let go of Timmy's ear and settle down. Come along, everybody. Sidney, come out from under the table and join in the fun. No, you're not in a space rocket. You can't wait for the count-down, you come out now. Don't you want to help us tell our nice story, Sidney? Then say, 'No, thank you.' And stop machine-gunning everybody, please. And Neville, stop being a train and sit down. All right then, get into the station and then sit down. George... No!... Let's have some nice straight backs, shall we? What shall we tell our story about today? Rachel, take your shoe off your head and put it on your foot. Shall we tell it about a little mouse? Or a big red bus? About a dear little bunny rabbit! All right, Peggy, we'll tell it about a dear little bunny rabbit. No, Sidney, he wasn't a cowboy bunny rabbit, and he didn't have a gun. Why don't you come out from under the table and help us tell our nice story? All right, stay where you are, but you must stop machine-gunning everybody. I don't want to have to tell you again. One of our individualists! He does have little personality problems of aggression, but we feel that when his energies are canalised in the right direction he is going to be a quite worthwhile person. That's what we hope... Where did our bunny rabbit live? No, he didn't live in a TV set. No, not in a tree. No, not in a flat. Think please. He lived in a HOLE. Yes, Hazel, of course he did. Only some of us call it a burrow, don't we? He lived in a burrow with - who? His mummy bunny rabbit... and his?... Daddy bunny rabbit and all his? . . . dear little sister and brother bunny rabbits. Wasn't that nice. Yes, it was, Sidney. No, Sidney, he wasn't a burglar bunny rabbit. Nor was his daddy. He was just an ordinary businessman bunny rabbit. David, don't wander away like that. Yes, I know the window is over there, but you don't want to look out of it now. Our story is getting much too exciting. Come and sit down by Neville. Neville, don't pull your jersey down over your knees like that, you'll get it all out of shape. Geoffrey, Lavinia, don't copy him. I don't want everybody pulling their sweaters down over their knees. Now then, Peggy, you tell us, what was our bunny rabbit's name? Yes, I know his name was bunny rabbit, but what did his mummy call him, I wonder? Well, Piggy bunny isn't a very good name for a bunny rabbit. You see a piggy is a piggy and a bunny is a bunny, so we can't have a piggy bunny, can we? Nor a pussy bunny. Nor a doggie bunny. Nor an elephant bunny. Let's be sensible, please. No, Sidney, Silly Old Fat Man isn't a good name for a bunny rabbit. Nor is Wizzle Wuzzle. No, it's not as funny as all that. There's no need to roll about on the floor. Timmy, what have you got in your hand? But we haven't had toast and marmalade for two days. Where did you find it? In your pocket. No you can't eat it... it's all fuzzy. Now don't touch anything. Go and put it in the waste-paper basket and then wash your hands. Peggy open the door for him. Don't touch anything and hurry back, please; we need you. Now then, Hazel, what would you like our bunny rabbit to be called? Yes, I think Princess Anne is a very pretty name, but I don't think it's a very good name for a boy bunny rabbit. We'll call him Billy Bunny Rabbit... Because that's his name. Well, because I happen to know. We're not going to discuss it any more. Sue don't kiss Neville like that. Because he doesn't like it. Yes, I know you like it, but he doesn't. I don't know why he doesn't like it, but he doesn't. No, and you can't go under the table and kiss Sidney, because he doesn't like it either. Well, you didn't like it yesterday, Sidney. You must learn to make up your mind, mustn't you? George... Lavinia, you tell us what our bunny rabbit was doing all day. He was riding a horse, was he? That is unusual for a rabbit, isn't it? I expect he went gallopy gallopy, don't you. Oh good, Sidney, you are coming out to help us tell... no, Sidney, you cannot go gallopy-gallopy... Neville, Susan, Peggy. . . everybody. . . come back here at once. You cannot go gallopy... Sidney, come back here. You know, sometimes I don't think love is enough with children.
The end