Audio Story – Headstand Henrietta!

Listen and read-along with this darling story by, Jaclynn Grad.

Henrietta ran into the house hurrying to the dinner table.

“We’re almost done,” her mom said frowning.

“That’s okay,” Henrietta replied, not minding cold food. As she took a bite of mashed potatoes a grasshopper jumped out of her hair.

“Eeeew! YUCKY!” squealed her little brother, Charlie.

“You’ve been on your head again,” said her mom pointing her finger at the stairs. “Go.”

Thirty minutes later, bug free and squeaky clean, Henrietta heard a knock at her bedroom door.

“May I come in?” asked her dad. “I brought you a plate.”

“Thanks,” she said.

“The grasshopper was new,” he said, trying not to smile. Henrietta laughed spewing yams everywhere.

“Sorry,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

Brushing the yams back onto the plate her dad continued.

“You know it’s hard for me and your mom to understand why you do headstands everywhere. Can you explain it to me?”

Henrietta thought for a moment. “It gives me a different perspective and I see things I wouldn’t normally see.” she said.

“I understand. Any chance you could not do it in the dirt?”

Henrietta slumped feeling the loss as it was her favourite place to watch the ants. “Fine.” Henrietta looked at the shelf of treasures she collected while upside down and a sadness came over her face.

The next day in Math class, Mr. Applechip wrote a word problem on the chalkboard. He turned around to scan the class. When his eyes fell upon Henrietta’s feet dangling in the air he barked, “Henrietta!”

She quickly righted herself as the rest of the class giggled.

“Good thing you weren’t wearing a dress,” said Sonny, the red headed boy. Henrietta’s faced turned the colour of his hair.

Mr. Applechip pointed to the door. “Out,” he said.

Sitting in the hall, Henrietta watched the clock. Luckily it wasn’t long until lunch.

“Quick, grab the swing,” said Kat, Henrietta’s best friend. They rushed for the swings but some other girls got there first leaving only one empty.

“Come on Kat. Let’s skip instead,” Henrietta said, walking away. But when she turned to hand Kat the rope, her friend wasn’t there. She was swinging on the no longer empty swing.

“Is it true she was kicked out of Math because she did a headstand on her seat?” asked Dana, the most popular girl in her grade. Kat looked over at Henrietta and hesitantly nodded her head. Dana and two other girls laughed.

Henrietta stared at Kat, shocked. Her cheeks burned. She stomped away, then walked straight into the school fountain and plunged her head in. The cool water soothed her hot head and for a moment she forgot what just happened.

She looked in wonder at the upside-down water world. She could only hold her breath for exactly one minute, so she turned herself around to see if there was a treasure to be found.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw a shiny silver object but before she could see what it was, two hands grabbed her ankles and yanked her from the fountain.

Brown leather loafers and a pair of blue trousers told Henrietta those hands belonged to Mr. Smith, the Principal.

“What, Miss Brown, do you think you are doing?” he asked.

“I’m getting another perspective, Sir,” she said.

“Well how about the perspective of my office,” he replied.

Waiting for her mom to arrive, Henrietta overheard Mr. Smith ask his secretary if she had seen his master school key. A slammed drawer told Henrietta the answer was no.

An idea popped into her head.

“May I go to the bathroom, please?” she asked. Once she was out of sight, she turned right towards the front doors. She snuck out to the fountain and jabbed her arm in the water searching around. “Aha!” She walked back into Mr. Smith’s office.

“Is this your master key?” she asked.

“Where did you find it?” he asked, looking at her dripping wet arm.

“The fountain,” she replied.

“Well… thank you,” he said taking the key.

“Hello? Mr. Smith is everything OK?” asked Henrietta’s mom entering his office. Henrietta slumped into the chair waiting for her punishment.

Mr. Smith looked at Henrietta as though seeing her for the first time.

“Yes, Mrs. Brown. Everything is fine,” he said. “Henrietta got a little wet showing me the importance of getting a new perspective.”


About the Author

Jaclynn Grad is a writer of children’s stories living in Vancouver, Canada. She has three children who inspire most of her stories and for whom she writes her stories. She believes if her children like them so will others. She also derives inspiration from nature and spends many hours imagining her next story while exploring the forests surrounding her house. She mixes real life situations and experiences in all her stories with a deeper human theme.

Categories: Audio Stories/Poems

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