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Ooh, it's so cold outside. I think it might snow.
Hello, I'm Frances. Have you been outside today? It's very cold.
I think I'll just warm myself by the fire.
What's this Christmas tree doing here?
I think the rabbits in tonight's bedtime story
have put it here while they move house.
Let me tell you all about them.
The story's by Julia Rawlinson and Tiphanie Beeke,
and it's called Ferdie's Christmas.
It was an ice-bright Christmas Eve
and the sky was a dazzling blue.
Every tree in the wood was frost-sprinkled and sparkling
and frozen puddles creaked and crackled under Ferdie's paws.
He padded down the bank where the rabbits used to live,
bounced over the fallen tree that blocked their old door and stopped,
and had a terrible thought.
How was Father Christmas going to find the rabbit's new home?
Ferdie shivered as a chill wind sliced through the wood,
rattling the bare branches.
He thought about how sad he would feel
if he had to leave his cosy den.
He thought about how the rabbits would feel
if Father Christmas did not come.
Then he thought about arrows.
Ferdie began to scrunch around,
collecting sticks from the frosty ground,
making a trail of arrows leading to the new burrow.
"What are you doing?" asked Squirrel,
looking down from the branches. "Making a trail to the rabbit's
"new burrow for Father Christmas." said Ferdie.
"Otherwise, they might not get their presents," gulped Squirrel.
And he scampered down to help Ferdie collect more sticks.
A flock of birds had gathered in the treetops,
their feathers fluffed against the cold, to see what was going on.
"We're making a trail to the rabbit's new burrow," said Ferdie.
"For Father Christmas," added Squirrel.
"We'll help you," chirped the birds.
The trail passed between bare trees
and crossed the tinkling, ice-rimmed stream
as the sun began to set, turning a dazzling gold.
Ferdie and Squirrel shivered with cold
and hurried up the little hill
to where the mice were draping their nest
with holly and ivy leaves.
"What are you doing?" asked the mice.
"We're making a trail," said Ferdie.
"To the rabbit's new burrow," added Squirrel.
"For Father Christmas," added the birds.
"You better hurry," said the mice. "It's getting late. We'll help you."
So Ferdie, Squirrel, the birds and the mice
finished the trail to the rabbit's new home,
which was sweet with the smell of blackberry pie,
cosy and warm.
They gathered round the crackling fire,
thawing out their icy noses,
nibbling pieces of pie
and singing Christmas songs.
And while Squirrel put on a juggling show
with holly, berries and mistletoe,
outside, in the shivery darkness,
it began to snow.
Fat, white flakes
tumbled softly from the heavy sky.
They landed light and whisper-quiet
on the frozen ground.
And when Ferdie went to the burrow door to go home for the night,
the snow was soft and deep and white
and all the arrows had gone!
"Oh, no!" cried Ferdie, blinking back tears.
"What will happen to your presents now?
"Father Christmas will never be able to find your home!"
Ferdie stared out into the darkness,
imagining Father Christmas lost in the snow.
"I know," he said, gathering his friends.
"If we stay awake tonight when Father Christmas visits our homes,
"we can tell him where he needs to go."
The animals said goodnight to each other
and hurried off through the snow-muffled wood.
Ferdie snuggled down in his warm, soft bed
to keep watch for Father Christmas.
But curled in the cosy hollow of an oak tree,
Squirrel began to snore.
High in the snowy branches of the fir tree,
the birds began to doze.
In their toasty warm nest,
the mice dreamt of ribbon-wrapped berries.
And in his snug little bed,
So when Father Christmas came to call,
everyone was fast asleep.
And next morning,
when Ferdie rushed to the rabbit's burrow,
Father Christmas had found them after all.
"I'm sorry I went to sleep," puffed Ferdie.
"But I brought you a Christmas rose."
"And we brought nuts," panted Squirrel,
pulling the mice through the snow.
"And we've brought berries," sang the birds,
spiralling in the snow-bright sky.
"And best of all, you've brought yourselves.
"There's room in the burrow for everyone.
cried the rabbits and they welcomed their friends
into the berry-bright warmth of their home.
That story was called Ferdie's Christmas.
Ooh, I feel all warm and cosy after that story. Do you?
And I'm really glad Father Christmas found the rabbit's new home.
But it's time for you to go to bed and for me to say good night.
Have sweet dreams and I'll see you soon for another story.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd