The Kallerbay Stories 7-9
By Frances Fahy
Kallerbay was conceived as a short story project for 6 – 11 year-olds, written in a first-person child-related style and the “storytellers” are a class of 25 children in this age bracket. In an uncomplicated environment, we follow the adventures of 25 schoolboys and girls in the fictional sea-side town of Kallerbay where life is adventurous and often exciting. Under the guidance of their teacher, Miss Emerson, each pupil tells a story about family, friends, neighbours, joys and fears. The country location is not mentioned. It’s an anglophile Fantasy Land. It’s where the child wants it to be!
This page contains the second SET OF three Kallerbay stories. New stories will be posted as time goes on and linked from the preceding stories. Depending when you read this, you may find those links already there or not. To go back to the first Kallerbay stories, and follow along in sequence, click here.
Dave to the rescue
by George Hill
Hi, my name is George Hill. I’m ten and I live at The Cottage with my Dad and my two sisters Zoe and Katy. It’s not far from Raven Castle. We have a big paddock where dad sometimes holds animals that he has to keep an eye on because he’s a vet. I like storytelling time at school, but it’s not easy to tell stories in front of the other kids because you feel as if they’re bored listening.
My story is about this guy who stole petrol and found that Kallerbay people don’t like criminals. Tommy Bobs told me this story. He’s quite proud of himself and very thankful to a lot of people.
Tommy Bobs used to work as the petrol station attendant but then they changed it to a self-service so now he works mostly inside in the little station shop that sells chocolate and newspapers and stuff. His brother Johnny is the town gardener and they’re twins. They’re best buddies and are almost identical except that Johnny has a limp. Apart from that, it’s hard to tell them apart. I think he fell on something sharp once and cut his knee very badly. They usually wear the same kind of overalls and caps.
Anyway, one evening it was almost closing time and Tommy was in the shop reading the paper. It was cold and there was nobody around. The door opened and this guy walked in. He was wearing a big jacket and a cap.
“I want you to fill the tank in that car out there,” he said in a low voice. “Just put in the nozzle and don’t run it up on the till.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” Tommy said.
“Well then, you’d better learn how to do it very fast.” The man was still almost whispering.
Tommy didn’t lose his cool.
He looked out and could see the big station-wagon beside the third pump.
At that moment, a motorbike pulled up. It was Dave Loman. He’s Stan’s brother. Stan is one of my school friends. Dave is 16 and he’s got a new bike and he sometimes takes us for a drive even though he shouldn’t! Dave knows Tommy very well and he pulled open the shop door like he always does. Before he could speak Tommy barked:
“Off home with you, young fella! Scram now. Come back tomorrow.”
Dave didn’t need an explanation. There was something wrong. Tommy would never have spoken to him like that.
“See you Johnny.”
Tommy realised that Dave had pretended to get his name wrong and he stopped shaking. As Dave was driving off, Tommy spotted him taking a photo of the car registration plate. He folded the newspaper and then sorted a few things on the counter. He fiddled with the till and pretended to be having trouble deactivating it. Then he went towards the door and walked to the pump. He was doing everything so slowly. He could see the guy in the shop taking some things. Then Dave was back and Tommy’s twin brother Johnny was with him. Johnny got off the bike and walked into the shop.
“Have you finished?” the man asked.
“I’m working on it.”
“I can’t take off the cap. The key won’t turn.”
The burglar looked out and could see Tommy filling the petrol.
“What are you talking about?” he muttered. “Who’s that out there?”
“That’s me,” Johnny replied.
The man looked out again. Tommy looked in briefly and bent down again.
“Is that your brother?”
“The guy filling the petrol.”
“I’ll go out now and fill it.”
“What do you mean? Don’t you see there’s someone out there filling it.”
“No, there isn’t. I think maybe you shouldn’t be driving.”
“Shut up and hurry up.” He was really nervous now.
“Are you paying for those things?” Johnny asked.
“I said shut up.”
“Right you are.”
Johnny spotted Dave standing by his motorbike, out of sight of the thief. He knew he could stop delaying things now.
They reached the car. Tommy was nowhere in sight. The nozzle of the pump was still in the tank.
“I think that’s it,” said Johnny.
“Where’s that other attendant?” The man was looking around, confused and suspicious.
“There’s only myself,” said Johnny holding out the keys.
“Give me those keys.”
The man jumped into his car and had trouble putting the key in the ignition. Then he revved up and was gone.
Dave came over and said: “He won’t get far. They all know.”
The car was stopped at a road block just a mile down the road. Over came Officer Channing and Officer Banks and following them was Tommy Bobs. Officer Channing asked the man to get out of the car. Then he shone a torch on the car door and they could all see I stole a tank of petrol sprayed in white paint on the passenger’s side. Dave had done some cool graffiti.
“Look at my car, it’s ruined! That young delinquent did that. I saw him.”
Tommy Bobs said: “You just imagined you did.”
The guy looked at him and said: “You! But I left you at the petrol station.”
“No, you didn’t,” said Tommy. “You just imagined you did.”
Officer Channing said: “We’ll be confiscating this car and we’ll escort you to the police station.”
“No, please, I’ll pay for everything.” He pulled a bundle of notes from his pocket.
“I’m afraid the law doesn’t work like that sir,” said Officer Banks. “We’ve already checked your registration and I think you’re in serious trouble. You’re driving a stolen car.”
The guy didn’t say anymore and the police told him to give the keys to Tommy Bobs because he had their permission to drive the stolen car back into town. Tommy was really pleased. He called in to the petrol station where Johnny had already closed up and was waiting. He told him about the arrest and that they would get their money back.
“We put on a great show there, Johnny.”
“We did indeed.”
“We were just as good as when we were young.”
“Even better. He just couldn’t fathom out how he was seeing double,”
“You should have seen him when he saw me at the road block. Deathly pale he was. I almost felt sorry for him!”
“He won’t be troubling people for a long time and I’m sure he’ll never set foot in Kallerbay again.”
Well, that’s the end of my story. I love telling it and acting it out. The next story is by Hilda Prasnov. She’s nice and she’s the same age as me. She’ll probably surprise us all. Bye!
My New Life
by Hilda Prasnov
Hello everybody. My name is Hilda and I’m eight. When I was six we came to Kallerbay and I love it. We’ve lived in other places but I don’t remember much about them and now my parents say we won’t move anymore. Living here is a dream for me. My mother is a dancing teacher and I go to her school. I love dancing more than anything in the world. My father is a gym instructor. They both work in the same building and they have made it nice. My grandparents and my cousins are in Russia and maybe next year we’ll go to visit them or they can come to us. I hope they do.
I want to tell you about what I do in school.
When I started school I didn’t speak English, but now I’m improving and Miss Emerson corrects me and helps me. So do my friends. They are very patient with me. They are helping me with this story too! At home we speak Russian, but now I sometimes mix up the two languages and it’s funny. We try not to speak Russian if my friends come in because that’s not very nice. Miss Emerson showed everybody where my city is on the map and we put a sign on the spot. We put signs on other places too because some of my friends come from other countries.
I like school and my favourite subject is Maths. Sometimes we do very strange kinds of lessons like marking the floor with the space the desks take up or seeing how many steps we have to take from the school gate to the door and we make drawings of our steps to see how far one step is from the other.
I love the field-days, too. That’s what we call the things we do when the weather is fine and we do outdoor activities. All the parents think that this is important for us and so do my parents. We have to wear old clothes for these activities and they usually get very dirty!
One day we went to the woods with Miss Emerson and Mr. Lee and we had three problems to solve. They were so much fun. We were asked to see who could find a tree that was two metres in diameter when we measured it one metre from the ground. I wasn’t sure what I had to do but Mr. Lee explained with a drawing. My friends Megan and Libby found the first tree but we found three others. Evanna Hunter wanted to do everything we were doing. She’s blind but she’s not afraid of anything. Her guide dog was with her. His name is Lucky.
Then we had to find acorns to put into a narrow plastic tube that Mr. Lee had brought along and we had to see how many would fit into the tube that was one metre tall. It wasn’t hard to find the acorns. They were everywhere. Then we had another task and some of us got tired doing it. We had to join hands in a big circle and then see what was the largest number of trees we could get inside our big circle of hands. There was one part of the wood where there were so many trees that we made a circle around seven.
Another fantastic thing was that Mr. Lee could tell us the names of all the leaves and flowers just by taking a photo of the ones he didn’t know. He knows so much about nature and he tells us how to take care of the wood too. He got very angry when he found an old bicycle in a ravine and it was rusty. He told us what was happening to the land around where the bike was left. Then he went down and brought it up and he put it near a rubbish bin. After our snack we had some games and we were allowed to climb some trees. Not really tall ones though. Nearly all the boys tried except one boy, Waldon Scott. He was afraid I think.
I hope somebody tells the story of the trip to Raven Castle. That was just fantastic.
That’s the end of my story. I want to thank my friends for helping me. Jack Johnson will tell the next one. He’s a nice boy. Thank you and goodbye.
Skipper Rogers is number one
by Jack Johnson
Hi! I’m Jack Johnson. I’m going to tell you a story about an important lesson I learned.
We live beside the sea and there are lots of boats moored in the harbour. When the waves are too high the boats don’t go out. The harbour master says they can’t pass the pier. But when the sea is calm people come from all over to get into their boats and off they go. There are special mooring areas for the different kinds of boats and I love looking at them all. I’m big enough now to walk down to the shore alone but I never actually go alone. I usually go with Artie and Pete and sometimes with Danny Rossi. We all play football together and we’re on the junior team. Mr. Lee is our coach. He’s good and he makes us train hard.
Pete’s dad, Andy Rogers, has a trawler. He’s a fisherman and he spends a lot of time at sea. One Sunday he took Pete and Danni and me out. Artie had gone away for the day with his dad who’s a taxi driver so he missed a great day. Mr. Rogers made sure we had life jackets and that we knew the rescue drill and he told us where we could go and what we could do. When we were a good distance from land he dropped the anchor and told us we could swim for a while. We’re all good swimmers and we didn’t need a second invitation. We asked if we could dive off the boat but he said no. We knew better than to insist.
There was another boat anchored nearby and the people on board had the same idea as we had but they jumped off the edge of their boat. Mr. Rogers was watching and shaking his head. Then he stood up and looked more closely.
“Is there something wrong?” I asked.
“One of those swimmers is too long under water,” he said.
We all looked over and we noticed that that two people were thrashing about in the water. One of them was screaming for help. Mr. Rogers jumped straight into the water and swam towards them like a shark. Then he went underwater and we waited. None of us said a word. He surfaced, gasped and went back down and this time we were really alarmed.
Suddenly, the water splashed and Mr. Rogers appeared. He had his hand round a boy’s head and the boy wasn’t moving. The boy’s friends lifted him onto the boat and Mr. Roger’s did mouth to mouth resuscitation for what seemed like forever. Then the boy heaved and threw up water and started to breath. They covered him because he was shivering with cold.
After a while Mr. Rogers swam back to our boat and climbed on board. He didn’t seem tired or scared. We were almost too afraid to speak. The other boat started to move almost immediately and we soon raised the anchor too. We didn’t feel like having any more fun. We all wanted to go home. When we docked we put everything in its place. We knew that this was the most important rule for a sailor and that, if we didn’t obey, Mr. Rogers would never again take us out. We couldn’t risk that.
Just as we were leaving the pier a man came over and beckoned to Mr. Rogers.
“Hello,” he said. “I’m Terry Foster.”
“Hi,” said Mr. Rogers.
“I must thank you so much for saving my boy earlier on. They told me what happened.”
“I was very glad to help. Is he OK?” asked Mr. Rogers.
“Yes, he’s fine. Could you tell me more about what happened?” asked Mr. Foster.
“Well, nothing really. The boys were diving from the boat but, if you don’t know the area, you have to be a really strong swimmer because the underwater currents can fool you and pull you down.”
“I shouldn’t have let them out but it looked so calm.”
“Indeed. However, I think they’ve learned their lesson,” said Mr. Rogers.
“It’s our first time in this part of the coast and it’s really beautiful. We’ll have to come back and spend more time here.”
“You should indeed.”
“So, anyway, thanks again, and I hope we meet sometime in the future.”
Mr. Rogers waved goodbye and we turned to walk into town.
“Now you know why you have to listen to people who know the water. It’s a fantastic stretch of sea but you must respect it. Don’t forget to tell your friends and your teachers about what happened. It might avoid another accident.”
I had thought about not telling my parents in case they wouldn’t let me out again but then I thought how important it is to know that it’s risky to mess about in the sea. I decided I would tell Miss Emerson the story and Pete and Danni said it was OK for me to do that.
Thanks for reading my story. The next one is by Evanna Hunter.
We continue next time with stories 10, 11, 12 of The Kallerbay Stories.
- Evanna Hunter. Lucky Evanna’s guide dog is part of life in Kallerbay
- Katy Hill My new Auntie Katy speaks about life in her home without her mum
- Nat Norris My syndrome Nat talks about being a middle child