This was written for Julia Ailsa who is the daughter of Francesca, my long-suffering Italian tutor of many years.
It is intended as a Bedtime Story read aloud by a parent or grandparent.
Julia Ailsa is now (March 2015) two and three-quarter years old and is already tri-lingual, English, Italian and French!
Maybe soon she will read this story to me!
A favourite walk of ours is along the River Allander, heading from Milngavie to Dobbie’s Garden Centre and their cheese scones.
One day we met Stephen and his Dad with their Dalmation called Dupree, (a name made famous by the film “Dupree and Me”).
Stephen was racing Dupree, training for his school’s sports day.
My brother Brian has a Whippet called Bonnie.
As far as I know, Dupree and Bonnie have only met on the pages of this little tale.
Suitable for children of all ages.
(1600 words, 8 mins, good for a bedtime tale?)
Granny Morag took her precocious grand-daughter Olivia to the Primary One ‘Induction Day’.
Here is the tale of what might have happened.
Dominic the Donkey was written for “The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust”.
Dominic has his genesis in another story called “Theo the Donkey”.
(Theo is currently being illustrated by my friend, Marlen.)
I sent a copy of Theo to Heather Armstrong at TGHADT.
Heather emailed to ask if I would do a re-write Theo for the kids who attend Stella’s School, a complementary charity which operates alongside TGHADT.
A separate story was provided by my Muse.
Most of the characters in Dominic are ‘real’.
And yes, like us, the Gambians have a water dragon myth, very like our Nessie.
Their water dragon is called Ninky-Nanka.
At the request of TGHADT, the illustrations were provided by the wonderfully talented and generous Nick Hinton, a man I have yet to meet.
Nick kindly donated his time and talents to make sure this tale could become accessible to the children in The Gambia.
(Nick has also illustrated “Korban the Krokka”, soon to be uploaded.)
The “Ghosts etc” title was suggested as a challenge by the lady who sparked “Hook, Lin and Sinker!” into existence. She set it was the title for a story-writing challenge aimed at seven-year-olds and under, as I recall.
Francesca, my wonderful and long-suffering insegnate di Italioano, had recently had a baby, Julia Ailsa.
Although it was written for Julia, then aged around six months, it was really for her Mamma.
A few weeks later, Francesca told me that when Julia was a few months old she would often lie happily awake, gurgling and looking up at the ceiling of her nursery, staring at a particular corner, and seemed to be ‘seeing’ something or someone up there that no one else could see. Answers on a postcard please.
I still have a notion to write a story called The Girl in the Grey Bonnet.