Listen and read-along with this story by C.D. Lee.
“Stanley, stay away from Applewhite’s Orchard,” neighed Mum. “Farmer Flint won’t like it.”
Stanley, a Chestnut horse, lived in Farmer Flint’s large field next to an orchard that Mrs. Applewhite owned. Sometimes he would hear her singing as she collected apples.
He could smell the juicy fruit and wondered what they would taste like. And the more he thought about it, the more he wanted to try one. Worst of all, the other animals kept telling him how delicious they were!
“Yummy,” Dora the fieldmouse said, while scampering in the field one day. “You must try them!”
“Scrumptious,” woofed Pip, the sheepdog. “Everyone loves them.”
The truth was none of them had ever tried the apples, but they did love to pretend they knew everything anyway.
‘Somehow, some way I will try them,’ Stanley promised himself, but for now his plan would have to wait.
One day, Mum needed to have a new shoe put on her hoof.
“I’ll be back soon,” she whinnied and left to have it done.
Stanley galloped up the field. No one was looking so he quickly and sneakily jumped over the fence to Mrs. Applewhite’s property. He began looking for the best apple tree he could find but noticed Mrs. Applewhite working and singing in the orchard. He went in the opposite direction and finally came upon a tree filled with beautiful red apples!
“Just one,” he thought, but even stretching his neck high up, he couldn’t reach a single apple.
He nudged the tree using his considerable strength. With a mighty push and shove he shook it hard. But instead of just one apple, bunches of them were hitting the ground, bouncing and rolling everywhere.
He panicked. “Oh no! What’s Mum going to say??”
Mrs. Applewhite stopped singing. She hurried toward Stanley.
He had no time to eat the juicy apples. He galloped as fast as he could. His hooves pounded the ground. Clopity-clopity-clop! Clopity-clopity-clopity-clop!!
Hurrah!! He was through the gate and back over the fence. He was home!
Tired and thirsty from his ordeal, he drank some water. Before too long, his mother returned.
He nibbled some grass, but couldn’t eat much.
‘Poor Mrs. Applewhite. Her apples will be spoiled and Farmer Flint and Mum will be angry with me,’ Stanley thought.
The next day Farmer Flint and Mrs Applewhite strode up to him. There was no time to hide. Instead of looking angry, Mrs Applewhite was smiling.
“Here he is,” Mrs. Applewhite said.
“Well, that’s Stanley,” Farmer Flint said. “He’s a great horse.”
Mrs. Applewhite patted his nose.
“Thank you for knocking the apples off the tree,” she said. “You saved me so much picking time!”
She handed pieces of apple to Stanley and said, “here’s a treat for you. Help me anytime you like.”
The sweet delicious fruit was even better than Stanley had imagined and he neighed a thank to his new friend, Mrs. Applewhite.
About the Author
C.D.Lee works in a primary school in the U.K. She has written stories, devotionals and poems for children and teenagers. In her spare time she enjoys walking in the countryside and reading.