the short story project


Corine E. Channell

Tiny Critters with BIG Messages (bedtime stories for kids)






Maren D. the Queen Bumble Bee

Do the Right Thing Because It’s the Right Thing to Do!





“Oh, my goodness, it’s time to go check on my kingdom!” said Maren D the Queen Bumble Bee of Honey-wood.


Maren knew that she had to stand guard every day over her special friends.


She had to make sure the work was done and done right.


Every bee had to work hard to make the best honey in Honey-wood!


Maren had a BEE-u-t-full heart of gold and cared about everyone who worked for her.


She told them that it is important to always make wise decisions in sticky situations!


One day a tiny bee stopped her while she was flying by, and said “Oh Queen Maren why is it so hard to do the right thing?”


Queen Maren sat on a flower next to him, smiled and sweetly said, “Sometimes it is because no one will ever know you did the right thing, so it seems easier to NOT do it at all.”


The tiny bee thought for a second (thoughts don’t last long in a bee’s tiny mind), and said – “Oh yes, like when I wanted to take extra pollen when my mom wasn’t watching but I didn’t. I knew she needed it for the honey.”


Queen Maren clapped her wings together as if in a sweet song, and happily said – “YES! You did the right thing because it was the right thing to do! THAT is called character. It is more important than anything else in the world.”


Queen Maren’s tiny bee kingdom was a happy place because she worked hard and taught them to work hard too!


She told them not to lie, to not be sneaky, to work hard even if no one is watching you, and to always do your best.


Queen Maren had a good name, and she knew a good name was way better than new black and yellow outfits every day! Her kingdom had the best workers AND made the BEST honey in town!


Maren D the Queen Bumble Bee wants YOU to remember that you should do the right thing, because IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!





Keira Praying Mantis

God Wants Us to Talk to Him Every Day





Keira Praying Mantis. Yes, that really IS her name. (She knew that not every creature got his or her own name.) Praying was what she loved to do.


She taught her sweet brother Nick to pray with her every day. She told him that praying is just talking to God.


They loved to just hang out on the neighbor’s porch and would quietly wait for the little boy who lived there, to come home.


It made them happy to see the big boy bend down to smile at them.


One day Nick asked her, “What shall we do while we wait for our friend to come back to see us?”


There weren’t a lot of things for them to do, so Keira didn’t have to think long to have an answer. “We will just stand still and pray.”


They prayed for their friends to be happy, and for their family to be safe. They prayed for peace and love and joy in the big world above their bowed heads.


They prayed for the big boy who was nice to them.  They prayed for warm leaves to sleep under at night.


Keira also prayed she would catch some good bugs for their dinner. (Hey, bugs got to eat too, you know!)


Prayer was just part of their DNA. It should be a part of ALL of God’s creatures, whether a bug or a child.


God made each of us and wants us to talk to Him. He wants to be part of our lives every day. He wants us to know He cares about what we care about.


No prayer is too small. No prayer goes unheard. Not even from tiny kneeling bugs Praying Keira and her little brother Nick.




Lady Lily Bug

If You Want Friends, You Have to be Friendly




Oh, she may be small – but she is a friend to all! Her name is Lady Lily Bug.


“My goodness, my goodness, it’s a beautiful day. So many friends to see, as I buzz on my way!”


She flits from flower to flower in her beautiful black and red dress, gracefully curtseying as she enters a room.


Lady Lily Bug is everyone’s friend because she is kind, and others are always glad to see her!


She knows how important it is to be nice to others. She has a baby sister named Lady Lizzy Bug, and it is important that she teaches her how to have friends when she gets bigger.


Did you know ladybugs gather in groups because they like to have lots of friends?


And they DO have lots of friends because they are ALL so nice to each other.


She is never mean and never has an unkind word to say about anyone.


The best part of Lady Lily Bug’s day is if she can make others smile.


She sings as she flies, “I hope you are happy in your heart, for that’s where all good happy thoughts start!”


Maybe it is just a smile that will make another bug friend have a much better day. Lady Lily Bug and her baby sister Lady Lizzy Bug love to just fly around looking for someone who needs a smile.


It is so easy to be nice, and so much nicer to smile than to frown. When you are nice to others, it makes them happy and it makes YOU happy.


Let’s learn from our new friend Lady Lily Bug as she shakes her wings at us and says – If you want to have friends, you must be friendly!




Nobody Wants-to-be the Stinkbug

Don’t Be a Stinker – Be Sweet to Others




Nobody wants to be the Stinkbug. Whenever he would go, people would run the other way.


Truth be known, he let off an awful stink that made him have no friends.


Nobody didn’t know that maybe if he was sweeter than he would be more welcome.


After all, in the bug world it wasn’t his choice and he couldn’t help it that he was a Stink-BUG.


BUT Kids CAN learn NOT to be Stink-KIDS.


Stink-Kids like to call other kids names and make them cry.


Stink-Kids take toys away and grab the last cookie.


Stink-Kids like to laugh at someone who is sad.


And worse of all, Stink-Kids are just plain MEAN!


Even though Nobody was stinky himself (because after all, he WAS a stinkbug), he got pretty good at warning kids NOT to be like him!


He made up a little song that goes like this –‘Don’t be stinky – please be sweet. Be someone others want to meet. Let the love of God shine through, so others will want to be like you’.


Nobody Wants-to-be the Stinkbug wants to remind you that nobody wants to be the Stink-Kid in the crowd.


Just be nice to everybody and you will never be a little stinker!




Auntie Emma Lee the Ant

Be Hard Working Against All Odds





Auntie Emma Lee the Ant was the best aunt (ant) in town! Every ant wanted to be just like her!


Being an ant is hard work, and Auntie Emma would always say – “how bad do you want it? You have to work for it!”


There are NO lazy ants!


Ants keep running and keep building and keep trying, when their whole world could fall in on them at any moment!


Auntie Emma loved to be the cheerleader for all the ants. If she kept going no matter what happened, she knew they would do the same.


She would sing and dance and do anything she could to keep the other ants happy and working hard.


Her family was so proud of how hard she worked and how she was such a good example to the younger ants.


Auntie Emma knew about hard times. One day she helped build a big city, only to have a mean boy stomp on it. Instead of getting mad, it just made Auntie Emma sing louder and work harder to build another city.


Work, play, dance, and sing your way through a hard day – and just see what you can get done!


Ants don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves if they have a bad day.


They take bad days and turn them into good days by having a good attitude, a happy heart, and being hard workers like their dear Auntie Emma Lee the Ant.




Princess Abigail the Royal Firefly

Be a Light in a Dark Kingdom




In the kingdom of fireflies, it seemed that it had grown very dark.


This made the people feel sad and wish that someone would come and bring the light back into their kingdom.


One day from a far off, a small bright light could be seen!


Everyone gathered in the streets to see what it was!


They all began to dance for joy when they saw it was their beloved Princess Abigail the Royal Firefly.


She had been on a long trip to another land and had left them with no light.


Princess Abigail sat on her throne, shining brightly.


“Oh Princess, why would you leave us here all alone in the dark?” asked one tiny little firefly.


“Why, I would NEVER do that”, Princess Abigail said! “Didn’t you know each of YOU has a light inside of you?”


Princess Abigail stood and proclaimed, “Hear ye. Hear ye my firefly friends! Let me show all of you how to put your own light on!”


She spun through the air, saying hello, shaking hands, holding babies, and singing a happy song.


As she cared for and loved those around her, it made her light inside shine brighter.


Soon all the fireflies began to do the same thing, and all their lights turned back on!


God made each of us special and unique – all different and yet all the same.


We all need to shine our own light for others to be able to find their way!


The kingdom was not dark anymore, and their beautiful Princess Abigail the Royal Firefly had shown them all how to be beautiful lights just by being themselves.




Jack M. and Jack D. Crickets for Hire

Putting the SOUND Back into Your Day




Peeking out behind a tall sunflower stands our two new heroes of the 21st Century – Detectives Jack M. And Jack D. – Crickets for Hire!


It is not hard to know they are around. They are always making noise.


Jack M. laughs a lot and is always talking, talking, talking! Jack D. is a little bit older and wiser, but still just as talkative.


They are CRICKETS after all, and crickets never stop to take a breath.


It bothers our new heroes that the land high above the sunflowers has gotten a lot less…silent.


“Cricket is our name, and noise is our game!”, laughed Jack M. as he hopped on top of asunflower to hear what he could hear, or NOT hear.


Jack D. chimed in to say, “I just don’t understand why I don’t hear any kids making noise!”


They tipped their detective hats to each other, shook their heads, and went off to investigate the lack of SOUND.


They could NOT do this quietly as detectives should do, and so they came hopping into a house as fast and as loud as they could!


As they danced around the feet of the kids on the couch, they noticed they were all holding something in their hands and staring at a big box!


They flew in to get a better look at this…BOX MONSTER!!


“Oh my –Just look at them! They don’t even talk to each other! They just stare straight ahead. That monster has them under its control. We better rescue them!” whistled Jack M. in cricket alarm mode.


The two crickets got so upset they both started clicking and chirping and whistling as loud as they could – and THEN it was like a MIRACLE happened!


The kids turned their heads away from the big box, threw down what was in their hands, and yelled happily, “Crickets in the house! Let’s catch them!”


The louder Jack M. and Jack D. made noise, the more noise the KIDS made trying to catch them.


There were sounds of laughter, cheering, and playing! Let the fun begin as they all ran outside to look for more crickets!


Our two clever detectives knew their work was done there. They had brought the joy of SOUND back into the day. Just like a happy cricket is a NOISEY cricket, so a happy child is a NOISEY child.





Professor Sam Stick Bug

Standing Up for Those Who Can’t Stand Up For Themselves





Professor Sam Stick Bug was well known for taking a stand. Literally. He stood all the time.


He couldn’t sit or roll over. All he could do was stand, so he decided to use his stick like body to teach very young and noisy stick bug kids how to STICK to helping others!


His classroom had a tiny chalkboard when he would stand. “Class! Class! Pay attention! I am not just standing up here for nothing!”


He would write down on the chalkboard all the ways that they could stand up for each other, which just means ‘to take care of each other’.


Some people really need a helping hand, and some people need someone to speak up for them.


Taking a stand is easy if you are a stick bug, and you are very used to standing up all the time.


It is much harder to decide to stick your neck out to help a friend in need, or to stop a fight or to share a toy.


Professor Sam loved to teach others that they should stick to it and be kind and brave and NEVER run away if someone needs you to help them.


If it gets scary being the only one standing up in a room full of others who are sitting down, it is important to be like Professor Sam.


He stood through the pouring rain and through kids putting him in glass jars to gawk at him, and he never once let it bother him.


Professor Sam’s motto was, “Everyone needs to have someone to stand up for them when they have fallen down.”


Did you know if you are lying down, you couldn’t help someone up? The only way to reach down to give someone a hand is if you are already standing up.


You should never make fun of someone who has fallen and can’t get up. You should never laugh at anyone who is having a hard time.


It is up to each of us to TAKE A STAND for someone in need. Professor Sam Stick Bug will be somewhere watching so he can give you a good grade!




Miss Makayla Metamorphosis

Discovering Your Purpose in Life




“Oh my, she is the most BEAUTIFUL butterfly I have ever seen”, said a little girl to her mommy!


Miss Makayla Metamorphosis (or Miss M for short) was enjoying hearing the sweet words as she danced gracefully through the air.


The mother smiled and said, “Yes, but did you know even a beautiful butterfly was first just a caterpillar?”


Miss M landed on a purple gladiola and sighed. Oh yes. How well she remembered those dark days!


She had always known she wanted to be MORE than just a caterpillar crawling on the ground.


Her dreams were to dance and to sing and to soar high in the air, and oh – what girl doesn’t dream that she will be beautiful?


As a worm, she just couldn’t understand how her dream would EVER come true. Her mama had told her that before dreams came true there was a lot of dark times and hard work.


She had awakened one morning to find herself tightly wrapped in what is like a very tight snowsuit. It was called a cocoon.


It was not fun. it was way too tight, and she did NOT like it at all. (And who turned out all the lights?)


Miss M had to stay still for a while inside the cocoon, so she did a lot of thinking. She remembered what her mama had said.


She was a tiny bit scared and she hoped someone would come and rescue her, but no one did.


Finally, one day she got very sick of the dark and how she was so tightly wrapped, so she decided to try to bust her way out.


Her mama was right – it WAS very dark, and it was a lot of HARD work to get out of this thing!


Day after day Miss M. pushed and shoved and heaved and twisted and turned until she finally broke out of that dark cocoon!


She was so happy to see the daylight; she didn’t even notice she was no longer a caterpillar.


All that hard work she had done in the dark, had turned her into a beautiful BUTTERFLY!!


Miss Makayla Metamorphosis wants you to know each of us has a special purpose, so don’t ever give up until you find out what it is.


Dreams CAN come true if the dream is born in your heart and comes from the One Who created you.




Daisy the Brave Little Dragonfly

Having the Courage to Face Your Fears




Daisy the brave little Dragonfly was born to fly above the heads of creatures WAY bigger and taller than she!


She never stopped for a minute to worry about her small size or THEIR big size. She was meant to fly and fly she did!


Her courage to dart in and out of danger made other creatures respect her. In fact, when she came flying by, they got out of her way!


Daisy was very nice and not a mean wing on her body, and she soared the skies fearlessly.


It was just that she knew who she was; a dragonfly! She never wondered if she should have been a butterfly or a firefly.


One day Daisy stopped for a second to take a small dragonfly break, and as she did she spotted a little boy who was sitting alone and crying.


He had an empty jar and was clutching a wrinkled piece of paper. She quietly buzzed by to read the words. It said, “Your task is to catch a dragonfly”. (No one knew the little boy was afraid of dragonflies!)


Now Daisy shivered a bit at this; she did not really want to be caught and put in a jar.


She decided to be brave.  She DID seem to be the ONLY dragonfly around! And she did NOT like to see any child cry.


She gently hovered right next to the little boy and he looked a little scared, but then hewatched in wonder as Daisy flew right into his jar!


Now Daisy had no idea if she would ever get OUT of that jar; she just had decided to do a good deed, which required her to be brave.


As it happily turned out it was just a kid’s treasure hunt and each child had to find a stick, an acorn, a leaf, or a cool bug.


After all the kids had oohed and aahed over Daisy the brave little Dragonfly, the little boy let her go.


He whispered to Daisy as he opened the jar – “I know you were as afraid of me as I was of you but now we are NOT afraid anymore. Thank you.”


Daisy tried to wink at the little boy, but that didn’t work out too well so she just waved her wing at him and with a crooked dragonfly smile flew away.


Courage is when you face your fear and find out just how brave you really can be!





Sir Dan the Waterman

Ability to Survive and Overcome Hard Times





“YO! Look at ME bro! I can walk on water! In fact, I can RUN on water!”  Sir Dan the Waterman loved to show his friends how cool he was as he skimmed across the top of the water down at Perry Pond.


Everyone clapped their hands – or their wings – or their antennas…or just whatever they had to clap with, and cheered, “Yay Dan! You’re the waterman!”


No one knew that Sir Dan had overcome a very hard life before he got to be known as Sir Dan the Waterman.


He had lost his family when he was young and been very lonely. He would sit long hours looking at the pond water, dreaming of what could be if he could just swim.


One day while he sat alone, he heard a big family arrive at the pond’s edge. They brought a picnic lunch, towels, and swimwear.


This was no ordinary family – THIS family looked exactly like HIM! He had never seen anybody else that looked like him!


He jumped up in excitement and hurriedly said, “Oh please, can I hang out with you and do you have any cookies and will you teach me how to swim?”


The mama of the family came over to Sir Dan and gently said, “Little guy, you ARE a swimmer already. You are a water bug!”


“WHAT? I didn’t know that…oh my, let me try!” With that said, Sir Dan took off running with all his might, never doubting that he WOULD walk on the water. And he DID.


All he needed was someone to show him the way and teach him to believe in WHO he already was.


The most amazing thing happened that day – he swam and raced and jumped and sprinted across the water with this really cool family, and they decided that day that Sir Dan would become one of them.


So, in one day Sir Dan found his reason for living, AND a new family.


He also was very happy to learn a ‘water bug’   is also called a ‘Jesus Bug’. (They BOTH can walk on water.). And now he couldn’t help but spread his happiness to others.


His new students Jumping Jeska and Twirling Tayla called out to him happily that they were ready for their class! “Whee! Here we come!” And with that Sir Dan the Waterman secured his place as the BEST water-skimming coach of Perry Pond.



Will Save-the-day the Grasshopper

You Are Never Too Small to Make a BIG Difference





Meet our new friend Will Save-the-day the Grasshopper! Look quick, because any moment he may jump 20 feet up in the air, and out of sight!


He is able to leap many blades of grass at one time and singing all the way.


Will is always jumping around looking for someone who needs his special help.


His way of saving the day is by helping those around him sing their way out of a bad attitude.


“Jump, jump, jump! Give me a high five! Sing, sing, sing! Happy to be alive!”


Jumping and singing go hand in hand for Will. He sings as he jumps, and he jumps as he sings.


He doesn’t let life keep him down, and he doesn’t let anything stop his singing.


One day he saw a bunch of kids and he decided to try to make friends. He hopped up to one of the boys, but he knew right away he was NOT a nice boy.


The boy got a mean look in his eye and started to chase him, as he yelled, “I’m going to stomp on you grasshopper!”


The boy was shocked as he went to grab him,and Will jumped high above his head.


All the while jumping, he was singing a happy song.


A mean boy was not going to stop him, or even ruin his day. He may be mean, but Will was NOT.


Will could have jumped straight between his eyes to scare him, or scurry

down the back of his shirt, but he chose to not be mean back.


The more he jumped and sang, the more the mean boy laughed. He didn’t know grasshoppers were so cool, and now he sure didn’t want to squish him.


Will Save-the-day the Grasshopper saved his OWN day by being true to himself and being brave and wise and joyful.


The boy and Will became friends, and often they would walk down the road together.


Well, the boy would WALK and Will Save-the-day the Grasshopper would JUMP, but they BOTH would sing  “Jump, jump, jump! Give me a high five! Sing, sing, sing! Happy to be alive!”





Speedy Gavin (Ready/Set) Gecko

Don’t Let Anything Keep You from Trying!



Our little lizard friend Gavin, whose long official title is Speedy Gavin (Ready/Set) Gecko, is our newest tiny little friend. Oh, but don’t let his small size fool you. He is so fast that you may see him and then, poof – he is gone! 


Size has nothing to do with effort, hard work, and skill. Remember, whatever you want to try to do, you just have to try to do it. 


Gavin’s dad and mom always cheer him on, as he plays Gecko Soccer down at Lizard Hollow. They remind him to BE STRONG and BE BRAVE and tell him there is NOTHING he can’t do.


Gavin always shows up ready to do his best and prepared to take his tiny legs and KICK that ball into tomorrow! His eyes are focused on the goal and he uses his super speed skills to kick the ball into the outfield.


Maybe you are not aware that in lizard years Gavin is still considered a baby gecko. Do you really think that would stop him from doing something he wants to do? NO. He is like the speed of light, or a rapidly approaching soccer ball. His goal is to be an awesome soccer player when he grows up!


We ALL have the same choice to try our hand (and feet) at anything, and to just do our best.  Whatever is OUR best is always enough. 


So, the next time you feel smaller or shorter or younger than the bigger/taller/older kids, just remember Speedy Gavin Gecko. He will be somewhere out in the hollow kicking a ball out of the park and enjoying being just exactly who God made him to be. 


Oh, and the number on Speedy Gavin Gecko green soccer jersey is ONE, because he knows in his dad and mom’s eyes he will always be number ONE.

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