The Baby Tortoise Dog
Freddie woke up in the morning.
“Good Morning,” said his Mum, “time to get up.”
“I’m tired,” said Freddie.
“Come on,” said Mum, “little boys must get up for their breakfast.”
Freddie laughed. “I’m not a little boy. I’m a baby and babies have to be carried.”
“Babies only get milk for breakfast. Nothing else.”
“All right,” said Freddie.
So Freddie was carried downstairs and only had milk for breakfast.
After breakfast Freddie and his Mum went shopping. Freddie put on his big blue boots and his duffle coat and his Mum did up the buttons.
“Babies go in strollers,” Freddie said. “Babies do not walk.”
“Very well,” said Mum.
Freddie climbed into the stroller and was pushed to the shops.
Inside the shop Freddie saw lots of nice things to eat. There were chocolates, biscuits and ice creams.
“Please can I have something to eat?” he asked.
“Babies are not allowed any of those things,” said Mum.
“Oh!” said Freddie.
He sat in his stroller while his Mum shopped.
Very soon Freddie became bored. He jumped out of his stroller.
“I will help,” he said.
“On, no,” said Mum. “Babies cannot help. They stay in strollers.”
“They can crawl,” Freddie said. “They can go on all fours.”
“Not in shops. In shops they have to sit still and wait.”
“I am bored,” said Freddie.
“Babies do get bored,” said Mum.
Freddie jumped out of the stroller and landed on all fours.
“Mummy,” he said. “I’m not really a baby.”
“I know,” said Mum, “now get off the floor.”
“I can’t,” said Freddie. “I am a tortoise. Tortoises stay on the floor even in shops.”
“We have finished shopping now,” said Mum, “so the tortoise can walk all the way home.”
“Please can I go in the stroller?”
“Tortoises do not ride in strollers.”
“Baby tortoises do,” said Freddie. “I’m a baby tortoise.”
“Very well,” said Mum with a sigh, so he rode home in the stroller.
Freddie was a baby tortoise all morning. It made things rather slow but he enjoyed it.
“What would you like for lunch?” Mum asked.
“Sausages and chips, please,” he answered. “They are my favourite.”
“No,” said Mum. “Baby tortoises eat lettuce and cucumber.”
“I don’t like lettuce!”
“That’s a pity, because that’s what tortoises eat.”
Freddie thought about that.
“Mummy, do dogs eat sausages?” he asked.
“Yes,” said Mum, “dogs love sausages.”
“I am a dog,” said Freddie. “Please can I have sausages?”
“I thought you were a baby tortoise?” said Mum.
“I,” said Freddie, rather grandly. “am a baby tortoise dog. They are very special and they love sausages.”
“You are very special,” said Mum, “and you can have sausages.”
“Thank you,” said Freddie. He enjoyed his sausages.
Freddie was a dog all afternoon. He ran like a dog, he played ball like a dog and he jumped like a dog. He had fun.
“What would you like for tea?” Mum asked.
“Woof!” said Freddie.
“Little dogs who do not answer, do not get any tea,” Mum said.
“I would like a bone, please,” Freddie answered. “Dogs like bones.”
“Good,” said Mum. “We will have pork chops for tea.”
Freddie enjoyed his bone.
Then it was time for bed.
“You must have a bath,” said Mum.
“Dogs don’t have baths,” said Freddie.
“Oh yes they do.” said Mum.
“Not every day,” said Freddie. “I don’t want a bath. I want to play.”
“Very well,” said Mum. “Just this once.”
Freddie played doggy games. He picked up cushions with his teeth.
“That isn’t allowed,” said Mum.
He made barking noises very loudly.
“Do be quiet,” said Mum.
At last Freddie became tired.
“Mummy,” he said. “Baby tortoise dog wants to go to bed.”
“But dogs sleep in kennels, outside in the cold,” said his Mum.
“Please can baby tortoise dog go to his bed upstairs?” he asked.
“Sorry,” said Mum.
“I like my bed,” he said.
“I know,” said Mum.
Freddie thought about this. “Mummy,” he said. “I am not really a baby tortoise dog.”
“Oh!” said Mum.
“I am really a little boy.”
“I know,” said Mum, “and a very special boy at that.”
“Can I go to bed now, please?” he asked.
“All right,” said Mum.
“Can I have a story, please?”
“All right,” said Mum, “what would you like?”
Freddie thought for a moment.
“Please can I have a story about a baby tortoise dog!”