Best English Short Stories Collection:
- Midnight O’Clock
- The Frogs’ Race
- Fox in Cart
- Last Boast
- Monkey Business
- The Clever Sheep
- The Foolish Donkey
- Running with Herd
- Hanging Together
- The Foolish Dog
- The Unseen Enemy
- The Hospitality of The Pigeon
- The Arrogant Swans
- The Bonded Donkey
- The Brahmin and His Enemies
- The Clever Crow
- The Donkey and The Horse
- The Abusive Brothers
- The Cure for Death
- Eye for An Eye
- The Dead Father and His Wish
- The Clever Woman
- The Three Wisemen and The Camel
- Three Brothers
Whenever there are monsters in the closet or under the bed or lurking in shadowy corners just out of the nightlight’s reach, I do what any smart kid would. I hide under the covers.
Before long I’m sound asleep. But that doesn’t mean I’m safe. What if I suddenly need a glass of water or there’s a storm rapping at my window or I pop awake from a nightmare? And what if it’s midnight when I do?
I’ll tell you, you don’t want to be awake when midnight rolls around. That’s when all the really bad stuff happens. Think about it. How many scary stories have you heard happen in the morning or afternoon? It’s always the dead of night. And there’s no deader time than the stroke of midnight.
I’m just glad my clock isn’t set to military time. Otherwise it would read 00:00. But even 12:00 has two zeros that might as well be evil red eyes staring at you from the across the room. Of course I’ve never seen either because I do what any smart kid would. I clench my eyes shut and count to 60. Once that minute’s up, I’m in the clear. Midnight-oh-one isn’t nearly as ghastly as midnight o’clock.
It was a little after nine when I finished my glass of milk and went to bed. Warm under the covers, I conked out to the muffled sound of the television down the hall.
I travelled through dreams and deep into the night. Then a slithering noise drifted in on the breeze outside my window. A train was heading down the valley, and I knew I was awake when I heard the whistle blow and echo softly through the air.
I sat up and looked about my room. My gaze slipped past the clock, and my breath caught. 11:59. I clapped my eyes shut and covered them with my hands just to be safe. Counting off the seconds, I imagined all the scary things that had to be happening now that it was midnight o’clock.
The red spots and purple swirls in my vision swam together and twisted into hairy monsters with ten glowing eyes and five huge mouths, each a pincushion of teeth longer than sabertooth tiger fangs. Then black clouds swept in overhead and shot down golden lightning with a zap zap zap! Three knotty, gnarly trees sparked electric. They sizzled and fried and came alive, plucking their roots from the ground and walking, curling their limbs and branches like a million hands and fingers reaching out to grab hold of me.
I clenched my eyes tighter.
The monsters and trees faded like mist, and a wavy splotch of yellow-orange blazed up into a roaring fire. I turned away from the flames and was suddenly stomping through quicksand. I reached for a big rock but it was really a gooey eyeball! I reached for vines but they were really hissing, slithering snakes!
After sinking through the bog I landed back on my bed. But it wasn’t my bed! The sheets were a big, pink tongue and the headboard was a big, green goblin face. I squirmed and squiggled to get away but slipped on the slimy tongue. I fell and tumbled down the goblin’s long, cavernous throat and into its stinky belly. Plop
It was dark again. Pitch black.
I finally opened my eyes and gasped for air. The clock read 12:01. The room was back to normal, the monsters all gone. Schwew! Midnight o’clock was over!
As soon as my heart stopped racing, my eyelids grew heavy again and I snuggled into my pillow. And before I fell back to sleep, I thought–just for an instant–that maybe I wouldn’t have seen all those horrible, scary things if I’d kept my eyes open instead.
The Frogs’ Race
One day, a group of frogs decided to make a race and get to the top of a high tower.
A lot of people came to see them and give them their support, but the race had just begun and everybody was already saying that the frogs would not get there: « It doesn’t make any sense going on! You’ll never reach the top of the tower! »
Little by little, the frogs felt disappointed and discouraged, except for one of them that continued to run. And everybody cried out: « Give up! Give up! You’ll never get to the top! » Listening repeatedly to these negative words led the frogs to abandon the race after all, except for the one frog that, despite what people were saying, and though alone and with great pain, continued to run and finally reached the top.
Deeply astonished, the other frogs wanted to know how she had managed to do it. They came to her and asked her what her secret was.
And it was then that they found out that… she was deaf!
Take a healthy life attitude: Never to listen to people who are negative in their intentions. Be deaf to discouraging words and always follow your dreams to the end.
Fox in Cart
Let us enjoy reading this one of Aesop’s Fables of Fox in Cart .
A fox, observing a fish cart coming, lay down and pretended to be dead.
The cart man, tempted by the idea of making some money by selling the fox’s fur, picked up the animal by its tail and flung it into the back of the cart among the fish.
Then he resumed his journey. The fox ate his fill of the fish and jumped out of the cart.
A wolf saw him jumping out and asked him what he had been doing in it. The fox told him and also how he had got into it in the first place.
The wolf ran ahead of the cart and lay down in its path, pretending to be dead.
The cart man was delighted to find another animal to sell, but he found the animal too heavy to lift.
So he pushed it into a sack, tied the sack to his cart and dragged it away.