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Would you like to visit it with me?
CBeebies Bedtime Story.
My name is Aaron.
There's a magic show coming to town.
Would you like to visit it with me?
You would? Great!
I can tell you all about it in tonight's Bedtime Story.
It's called Abracazebra and it's by Helen Docherty,
with pictures by Thomas Docherty.
In Yawnalot, a sleepy old place,
where everyone knew each other's face,
life went by in its usual way,
day after day after day after day.
The children ran out of things to do,
with nothing exciting and nothing new.
So, they'd all sit around and watch old Goat
patching the holes on his fishing boat.
But then, one evening, a stranger came.
Nobody dared to ask her name.
She came on a bicycle, decked with flowers.
They say she rode for hours and hours.
She parked her bike in the village square
and started to build a stage right there.
Word spread fast and the rumours flew.
What was this stranger going to do?
Goat sat and sulked by the sycamore tree.
"She doesn't look all that special to me!
as a drum beat loud and the silence fell.
The animals gasped in sheer delight.
The village had never shone so bright.
Abracazebra bowed down low.
A beanstalk grew from a tiny bean.
The tallest stalk they'd ever seen.
a shower of stars fell from the sky.
And everyone cheered, except for Goat,
who stomped away to mend his boat.
"They think she's clever with all her tricks.
"But I've got important things to fix."
When Abracazebra's show was done, the animals thanked her one by one.
Pig brought a jug of lemonade.
Cow brought some biscuits, freshly made.
Sheep volunteered a bed for the night.
But she smiled and said, "No, I'll be all right.
"The grass is a good enough bed for me."
For the rest of the week, in Yawnalot,
the village square was a lively spot.
With new performances every day
and games for the littlest ones to play.
And under the shade of a sycamore tree, Abracazebra spoke of the sea.
Jungles, hills and grassy plains, of deserts, where it never rains.
Of how after cycling through town after town,
it was time, perhaps, to settle down.
The animals begged, "Oh, stay here with us!"
But Goat just muttered, "What a fuss!
"For a few silly stripes and a travelling show,
"this Abracazebra has got to go!"
So, he started to whisper in people's ears,
conjuring up their darkest fears.
"Abracazebra? I smell a rat!
"You can't trust an animal with stripes like that.
"You don't see stripes on a pig or a cow,
"so why should we welcome stripes here now?"
And one by one, they all agreed, that she was an extra mouth to feed.
And no-one complained, well, not out loud,
when a sign appeared - "NO STRIPES ALLOWED".
She must have left before the dawn. And all but Goat felt quite forlorn.
A guilty silence hung in the air, now Abracazebra wasn't there.
The smallest kid began to cry - "Why is Abracazebra gone, Mum? Why?"
Goat paced around the sycamore tree.
"Should I have made them listen to me?"
Maybe she wasn't all that bad. And now she's gone and everyone's sad.
He gave his beard a sorry shake. "I think I've made a big mistake!"
He tore the sign from the sycamore tree.
But where could Abracazebra be?
"Does anyone know which way she went?"
Dog was first to find her scent. "I think she went down the river track."
"OK, follow me - we'll get her back."
The animals all ran after Goat and clambered into his fishing boat.
They sailed and sailed while the hot sun shone.
But where had Abracazebra gone?
Then, just when they thought they could search no more,
they saw her pedalling by the shore. Goat leapt up to the river track.
"Abracazebra, please come back! I'm sorry I made you go away.
"We need your stripes, so won't you stay?"
Abracazebra smiled at Goat.
And climbed down onto his fishing boat.
Now, Yawnalot is a happier place,
where they welcome any kind of face.
There's a goat, I'm told, who serves up tea,
under the shade of the sycamore tree.
Well, if YOU go, you might just catch her Magic Show!
That story was called Abracazebra. I hope you enjoyed it.
The happiest places are often the ones
where everyone is made to feel welcome.
It's bedtime now.
So, off you go and have a good, long sleep. Night-night!
And I'll see you soon.