A story based on the poem 'Market Square' by AA Milne, using a Basic Code, similar (but not identical) to the one on Debbie's 'Introduction to Synthetic Phonics' page.
Age group: KS1/Lower KS2? (I have reservations about stating age group as I find that some older children are so delighted to find that they can read that they don't mind if the text is a bit on the young side for them!)
It is a dry, sunny day in Spring and Zebedee goes for a walk in the woods. It is cool in the woods and rather dark but all of a sudden, Zebedee spots a round golden coin on the path. It is a pound coin, lying in the mud on the path.
He sets off for the market with the pound coin in his hand.
‘Perhaps I can get a rabbit in the market, like my pal Zak,’ he says to himself. ’Zak’s rabbit is sweet. It plays with him and he has a lot of fun with it. And I think Zak got it from the market.’
So off he skips as fast as he can, all along the path in the deep, dark woods, holding the coin in his hand, until at last he gets to the big market.
Zebedee sees lots of market stalls.
He sees a stall that sells food. He sees jars of plum jam, pats of salted butter, leek and ham pies and lemon tarts. He sees currant buns, buns with a cherry on top and lots of sweets. The stall sells bags of toffees, caramels, boiled sweets, jelly-tots and dried figs too. The fizzy lemon drinks in plastic cups look cool and refreshing on such a hot day as this.
‘But I will not get a fizzy drink with my pound,’ says Zebedee. ‘I am looking for a rabbit.’
Then he sees a stall selling bed linen. He sees plenty of cotton sheets, woollen blankets, the softest quilts ever and travel rugs.
‘I will keep my pound coin. I will not get sheets, or blankets or quilts,’ says Zebedee, ‘That is the sort of thing Mum will get. I will try to get myself a rabbit.’
The next stall sells all sorts of joints for dinner and chops for barbecues.
‘Ribs of beef and loin of pork are not for me,’ says Zebedee. ‘And I will not get boiled ham. I will keep my golden pound coin for a bit longer.’ And on he walks.
Then Zebedee sees a stall selling cloth. The stall has pink satin for dresses, red silk for ties and cord for trousers. But Zebedee walks by and does not spend his pound coin at that stall.
Next is a stall selling shopping baskets, and linen baskets, stiff yard brooms, mats and bags of wooden pegs. He sees brushes and dustpans, dusters and jars of beeswax to polish chairs and tins of polish for the brasses and the silver. The stall has lavender bags, hairbrushes and brushes for the stairs, oil lamps, cooking pots, big, round frying pans. But Zebedee still keeps on walking, looking at the stalls but still not spending his gold coin.
The next stall he sees is selling balls and hoops, red and green spinning tops, dolls in boxes, torches, a big wooden fort and lots and lots of story books.
‘Perhaps I will get a story book with my pound,’ Zebedee says to himself. ‘But perhaps not after all. I will keep my pound for the rabbit.’ And he goes on walking round the market, holding on to his golden coin. He must not drop his pound coin!
On the next stall Zebedee sees garden hoes and garden forks, watering cans and hayforks, hammers and mallets, weedkiller and lots of different sorts of seeds. The stall sells pairs of big, green boots, floppy hats and milking stools with three legs. And in the van parked by the stall, Zebedee sees a basket of chicks, a laying hen, six sheep and a very fat pig!
‘This is a stall for farmers,’ he says to himself and he passes them by and goes on round the market.
The next stall sells pets, such as fluffy kittens, puppy dogs and parrots. But the rabbits are all sold out. Zebedee is tempted to get a goldfish in a jar for a pet. It costs exactly a pound. But it is a rabbit that he needs so he keeps on looking for a stall selling rabbits.
Zebedee walks on past the fish and chip stall. On and on he goes, past stalls selling silver spoons and forks, cups, mugs, jugs and glass dishes for jelly, butter dishes and all sorts of crockery. But Zebedee has not found a stall selling rabbits yet.
A bald old man sees Zebedee and offers him a big bag of sprouts and a small bag of carrots for his pound but Zebedee has no need of sprouts or carrots so he still goes on hunting for a stall selling rabbits.
The last stall in the market sells smart trousers and belts, silk ties and caps, hats and handbags. Zebedee spots a long woollen scarf and he has a look at it. It is very smart but he keeps hold of his pound coin so that he can get a rabbit with it.
Zebedee is very sad that he has not found a rabbit in the market. He has tried very hard but he has not found a stall selling rabbits.
‘It is a pity I cannot get a rabbit in the market but perhaps I will get my rabbit in the shops after all,’ he says to himself. ‘Mum goes to the shops every Tuesday. I will go with her on the bus and get a rabbit from the pet shop. But it is getting dark and I must be on my way or I will get lost in the woods.’
So he goes back up the path, still feeling rather sad that he did not get his rabbit with his pound coin.
Suddenly, Zebedee hears a sound to the left of the path. He looks and he spots a small rabbit sitting under a big, old elm tree. The rabbit is sitting very still and sniffing the air all around him. Then the small rabbit starts to hop about, stopping every so often to munch the fresh grass.
Zebedee stands very still so that the rabbit will not see him. It seems very shy.
Then, as he looks, out hop three rabbits from under the big roots of the elm tree. Then lots of rabbits pop out and run about and Zebedee starts to count the them. ‘Six, seven....ten, eleven.’
‘Oh look,’ he cries, ’Lots and lots of rabbits!’
He keeps as still as a statue, but soon the rabbits run up to him and start to play with him. So Zebedee sits on the grass under the elm tree and plays with them for a bit – and he still has his golden pound coin.
He thinks to himself, ‘This is good. I am very glad I did not need to spend my pound to get a rabbit in the market. I can spend my pound on a gift for my Mum. For I can play with the rabbits in the woods for free as often as I wish! I can play with them every day and I will not need to remember to feed them for they feed on the grass under the tree - this is even better than having a pet rabbit!’
At last Zebedee feels very happy, very happy indeed, as he skips along the woodland path, singing to himself, and thinking about the gift he will get in the market for his Mum!
‘Perhaps I will get her the pink silk slippers, or a hairbrush, or a bag of toffees.....’