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Hello. I'm Ken.
What different things make you happy?
How about when it starts to snow?
Or when you can go outside and play?
Or when you see lights sparkling
on a Christmas tree?
Well, I know two mice
who feel very unhappy.
Let's find out if anything will cheer them up.
This story is called Jingle Bells.
Christmas time - a happy time.
Or so it should be.
Why then, on this Christmas Eve
did two small mice look so unhappy?
"It's that cat," grumbled Lottie to her brother, Jack.
"He always spoils things."
Ah, yes. That cat.
It should have been wonderful for the mice, living on a farm.
There were games to play, places to explore and, usually, plenty to eat.
There was one problem -
The mice had been hiding food for Christmas dinner,
but the cat had discovered the hiding place.
He didn't particularly like grapes or cheese or cake,
but still he had eaten every bit and left the mice with nothing.
"Cheer up," said Jack.
"Look what I've found."
It was an old glove.
Jack began to chew at it.
"We can't eat that," said Lottie.
Jack went on chewing.
Soon he had gnawed off two of the glove's fingers. "There!" he said.
"We can hang them up for Father Christmas!"
"Oh, brilliant!" said Lottie.
"I've never had a Christmas stocking."
As the mice went to sleep,
they wondered what Father Christmas would bring.
Lottie had put their names next to their stockings,
so Father Christmas would know who they were for.
Soon Lottie began to snore,
Jack began to dream
and the air was filled with the sound of sleigh bells.
It was fresh and bright
as Lottie and Jack hurried to look at their Christmas stockings.
They were empty!
"Nothing," said Jack, sadly.
"Not even a nut."
Lottie picked up the note which she'd written the night before.
"Look at this," she said.
Underneath their names,
someone had written...
"I know who wrote that," said Jack.
Well, they both knew.
"It's time we taught that cat a lesson," said Lottie.
"But what can we do?" said Jack. "He's so big and strong."
"Well," said Lottie, "I think we should talk to Ton Chi."
Ton Chi was a rat.
His real name was Gavin,
but he liked to be called Ton Chi.
He wore glasses which had no glass in them
and clothes he had borrowed from dolls in the attic.
He also borrowed furniture from a doll's house,
which he said made his own place more homely.
Lottie and Jack made their way
towards the barn where Ton Chi lived,
when suddenly Jack spotted something.
It was shiny and golden.
"It's a bell," said Jack.
"A sleigh bell." said Lottie.
"Fallen from Father Christmas' sleigh!"
"Oh, it's lovely.
"Let's take it with us, we'll show it to Ton Chi."
The mice reached the barn quite out of breath,
but there was still a climb to make. But at last, puffing and panting,
they came to the little door at the top of the barn.
Before Jack could knock, the door opened.
"Good morning and a very merry Christmas to you,"
smiled the rat.
The mice smiled and replied nervously,
then they stepped inside.
Ton Chi shut the door.
Now, it's hard to say exactly what the mice and rat said to each other,
but whatever it was, when the door opened again,
all three were smiling.
"Thank you very much," said Lottie and Jack, together.
Ton Chi smiled.
"The pleasure is all mine," he said.
"Cats can be such a terrible nuisance."
Later, after a Christmas dinner of borrowed fruitcake,
which Ton Chi had given them,
the mice could be seen wrapping a parcel.
Later still, they tried not to be seen
as they cautiously carried their parcel towards the farmhouse.
Mrs Mackie, the farmer's wife,
swung her feet out of bed and into her slippers.
At the foot of the stairs, the cat brushed past her legs.
"Hello, Angus," she said. "What's this?"
She picked up a parcel from the mat and read the label.
"It's an extra present for you!" she said to the cat.
Angus watched as Mrs Mackie opened the parcel.
What could it be?
"It's a little bell," said Mrs Mackie,
"on a pretty red ribbon."
Before he could escape, Mrs Mackie took hold of Angus
and tied the ribbon on his neck.
The little bell jingled under his chin.
"There," she said, "you look lovely."
Angus twisted his neck uncomfortably and the bell jingled again.
He pulled a face and pawed at the bell.
"Don't you dare!" said Mrs Mackie. "Keep it on."
It was about tea-time in the afternoon.
Lottie and Jack were having fun in the snow,
when suddenly they stopped and listened.
They could hear the jingling of a little bell.
"Someone's coming," whispered Lottie.
They ran to hide in the cart shed.
As they peered out,
they saw a very cross-looking Angus go stalking past.
He looked from side to side and shook his head.
The little bell jingled merrily.
"Hmmph!" grunted Angus,
and he stomped off, jingling as he went.
The mice burst into a fit of the giggles and Lottie began to sing,
# Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way
# Now Angus can't sneak up on us when we go out to play. #
They laughed and laughed.
"It may not have been a very merry Christmas," said Jack,
"but it looks like being a happy New Year."
And that story was called Jingle Bells.
Maybe we could put a bell on you, Ginger.
I hope you have a very happy New Year too.
Night-night and have happy dreams.