'Nathaniel Willy, Scared Silly'

STORY TIME

May 09, 1999|By Judith Mathews and Fay Robinson

Editor's note: Nathaniel Willy is scared silly by a squeaky door, so Gramma must put the farm animals in bed with him for company.

Nathaniel Willy and his gramma lived in a creaky old house in the country. Every night at bedtime, Gramma came into Nathaniel Willy's room.

She pulled up the blanket and tucked him in,

then kissed him resoundingly -- smack! on the chin.

"Good-night -- eyes shut tight," she said.

Then she went out and closed the door.

But one bitter cold night, when Gramma closed the door -- Eeeeeeeek!! It made a terrible squeak!

Nathaniel Willy got scared. He thought he'd heard a ghost. "Yow-ow!" he cried.

Gramma came muttering into the room.

"Don't be silly, Nathaniel Willy.

My nose is all red and my feet are all chilly!

Now, what if I hurried outside to the shed

And got you the cat and put him in bed --

Would you be scared then?"

"Oh no!" said Nathaniel Willy. "I wouldn't be scared then."

So Gramma hurried outside to the shed

And got the gray cat and plopped him in bed.

She pulled up the blanket and tucked them both in,

Then kissed them resoundingly -- smack! on the chin.

"Good-night -- eyes shut tight," she said.

Then she went out and closed the squeaky old door.

Eeeeeeeek!! It made a terrible squeak!

Nathaniel Willy got scared again. "Yow-ow!" he cried, and squeezed the cat.

The cat went, "Scrowll!"

Gramma came shivering into the room.

"Don't be a silly, Nathaniel Willy.

My nose is all red and my feet are all chilly!

Now, what if I hurried outside to the shed

And got you the dog and put her in bed --

Would you be scared then?"

"Oh no!" said Nathaniel Willy. "I wouldn't be scared then."

So Gramma hurried outside to the shed

And got the brown dog and plunked her in bed.

She pulled up the blanket and tucked them all in,

Then kissed them resoundingly -- smack! on the chin.

"Good-night -- eyes shut tight," she said.

Then she went out and closed the squeaky old door.

Eeeeeeeek!! It made a terrible squeak!

Nathaniel Willy got scared again. "Yow-ow!"" he cried, and squeezed the cat.

The cat went, "Scrowll!" and bit the dog.

The dog went, "Warff!"

Gramma came shuddering into the room.

Don't be silly, Nathaniel Willy.

My nose is all red and my feet are all chilly!

Now, what if I hurried outside to the shed

And got you the cow and put her in bed --

Would you be scared then?"

"Oh no!" said Nathaniel Willy. "I wouldn't be scared then."

And so Gramma hurried outside to the shed

And got the fat cow and dumped her in bed.

She pulled up the blanket and tucked them all in,

Then kissed them resoundingly -- smack! on the chin.

"Good-night -- eyes shut tight," she said.

Then she went out and closed the squeaky old door.

Eeeeeeeek!! It made a terrible squeak!

Nathaniel Willy got scared again. "Yow-ow!" he cried, and squeezed the cat.

The cat went, "Scrowll!" and bit the dog.

The dog went, "Warff!"

The cow went, "Moo -- moo -- mangaroo!" and shot straight up into the air.

She landed -- wumph!

The bed groaned...

then it rattled...

then it wobbled...

then it broke:

CRANK -- CRRAASHHH!

Gramma came thundering into the room! "THIS IS JUST PLAIN TOO MUCH," she bellowed. "I got you the cat, I got you the dog, and I got you the cow. I thought that would help, but the bed's broken now. I am out of good ideas. I am going to get the old wise woman who lives down the road."

She went away and came back soon with the old wise woman.

The old wise woman rolled her eyes and shook her head.

"This is no way to go to bed!"

"But there's a ghost in the door!" cried Nathaniel Willy.

The old wise woman closed the door.

Eeeeeeeek!! It made a terrible squeak!

"That's not a ghost," she said. "Your door has a creak, and that makes it squeak. And now I'm going to fix it." She put some oil right where the door was squeaky. "All done," she said, and went back down the road.

Then Gramma got a hammer and lots of nails. Bang, bang! Bingo, bang! Gramma and Nathaniel Willy fixed the bed.

"No more mess," said Gramma.

"And no squeaky door!" said Nathaniel Willy.

Excerpted from the book NATHANIEL WILLY, SCARED SILLY, text by Judith Mathews and Fay Robinson and illustrated by Alexi Natchev. Text copyright (c) 1994, by Judith Mathews and Fay Robinson. Illustrations copyright (c) 1994, by Alexi Natchev. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., Children's Publishing Division. All rights reserved.

Pub Date: 05/09/99

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