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Who turned the lights out in here?
Ah! There you are. Hello, I'm Shappi.
I wonder who turned the lights off.
We need to be able to see so I can tell you a story.
There's lots of twinkly lights in tonight's bedtime story
and a big bear who loves eating berries. Yum!
The story is called Bartholomew And The Bug
and it's by Neal Layton.
Bartholomew lived in a cave in a forest at the top of a mountain.
He spent his days sniffing flowers, snoozing in the leafy glades,
snacking on berries and generally taking it nice and easy.
But sometimes, in the evenings, he'd climb up to the top of the cliff
and watch the twinkly lights down in the valley below.
He wondered what they were and what went on.
Perhaps he would go there tomorrow, or sometime next week.
One day, whilst he was reclining in his favourite spot,
a strange little bug flew up and hit him on the nose.
It spoke very quickly in a squeaky voice
and kept gasping for breath,
but eventually Bartholomew managed to work out what it was saying.
Bartholomew led the bug over to the edge of the cliff
to show him the twinkly lights down in the valley.
But every couple of paces, the little bug got caught up by the wind
and ended up flying in a completely different direction.
It seemed obvious the little creature couldn't do this alone
and, being a kindly bear with nothing much in particular
planned for the day, Bartholomew agreed to help him in his quest.
They didn't have a second to lose.
Cradling the small insect in his big paws,
Bartholomew clambered to the bottom of the cliff.
Then they had to cross a huge river
and jump a bottomless canyon.
A frog directed them through the stinking swamps
and over the waterfalls,
until eventually they arrived at a huge, concrete road.
Bartholomew was devastated.
He couldn't read that well, but he knew
that 117 was a very big number
and so 117 miles must be a very long way
and that a very long way was sure to take
much more than a day to walk.
They'd never make it in time.
He sat down by the edge of the road with the bug in the palm of his paw.
He didn't know how he would tell him the bad news.
Just then, a huge truck pulled up and a hairy-faced man got out,
stood beside the road and began to whistle.
Bartholomew and the bug quietly tiptoed out from the undergrowth,
climbed on to the back of the truck
and hid behind some very big boxes.
Neither Bartholomew nor the bug
had ever travelled so fast in all their lives.
They were there in record-breaking time.
The truck screeched to a halt
and Bartholomew and the bug hopped down
to take their first glimpse of the bright lights of the city.
But it wasn't what they were expecting at all.
There weren't any bright lights - only tall, grey buildings.
They must have got it wrong somehow.
There weren't any lights anywhere.
The bug tried to hide his disappointment.
As they wandered through the streets and alleys,
they noticed twinkling lights appearing.
First one, then two, then more and more
until the whole place was awash with luminescent glow.
With the lights came the buzz of thousands of insects
of all shapes and sizes, all there for the same reason.
They rode up and down in elevators,
they drove about in limousines,
dressed in fancy clothes,
they sang and danced
until Bartholomew thought his legs would drop off.
And some of the bugs did.
Just as Bartholomew thought he could dance no more
and the first whispers of dawn began to peep over the horizon,
he noticed the bug staring into the eyes of a rather pretty lady bug
and he thought it was probably time for him to go home.
Bartholomew bade farewell to his insect friends
and thanked them for such a wonderful day.
Until, with a frizzle-frazzle sound, they were gone altogether.
Bartholomew never went back to the big city,
but at the end of each day, when he sits and watches them
from the mountain, he thinks of his little bug friend
and the fantastic day they spent together.
And he can't resist having a little bit
of a sing and a dance and a party.
And that story was called Bartholomew And The Bug.
I'm glad Bartholomew had so much fun with the bugs,
but it's time to turn the lights out again
as you should be snuggling up to go to sleep.
I'll see you again soon.