Relax, close your eyes and imagine a little girl called Bella who was always getting distracted. One day she was made responsible for a very special task, but she almost forgot to do it. Would you like to know what it was? Listen carefully to her story.
It had rained heavily all night as Bella slept. When she woke the next morning the sun was shining and the whole world sparkled. Bella jumped out of bed and ran to the window. The sunlight flew in and tickled her toes.
“It’s such a lovely day, I must get outside,” Bella thought to herself. She dressed very quickly and jumped down the stairs two at a time. But just as her hand reached for the front door knob, her mother, Mrs Button, called out: “Bella! I need help in the kitchen.”
In the kitchen Mrs Button was wrestling with a big soup pot, trying to get its lid on. Just when she thought she had got it on securely, the lid sprang off into the air! “Bella, can you get me some string?” asked Mrs Button.
Bella went to a drawer and found some string and handed it to her mother. “I’m making magic soup,” said Mrs Button. “It’s got a lot of pepper in it and a lot of magic, and its so powerful its making the pot sneeze.”
“Ah-choo!” cried the pot and the lid flew through the air. Mrs Button caught it and, quick as a flash, she got it back on the pot and tied it down with the string. “Phew, what a bother!” she said, wiping her brow. “Now Bella, I’ve made this special magic soup for Granny. She’s had a small accident.”
Tears sprang into Bella’s eyes, but her mother reassured her quickly. “Granny’s all right. She just slipped over while she was doing some work in the garden. I want you to take her this Bumps and Bruises Cure Soup to help her get better,” said Mrs Button.
“Poor Granny Button,” replied Bella. “I’ll take the soup to her right away.”
Bella rushed out of the kitchen and through the front door and was halfway down the path before she realized she had forgotten the soup.
“You’d forget your own head if it wasn't stuck on,” said her mother, smiling. She handed Bella the pot of soup.
“Now, concentrate and take this straight to Granny’s house, and no dilly-dallying on the way,” said Mrs Button.
“Yes, Mum” replied Bella as she clutched the soup.
Bella headed for her granny's house, but soon she was feeling rather hot. It was hard work carrying the heavy pot of soup, especially as it kept sneezing. Bella stopped in the middle of a field of flowers and, putting the pot on the ground, she peeled off her coat.
“Phew, that's better” thought Bella. Just then a breeze rustled the flowers, and a beautiful cloud of butterflies rose into the sky. Bella clapped her hands in delight and danced after them as they fluttered away. She didn't notice as the pot sneezed again and bounced off into the long grass.
A big red butterfly landed on Bella’s nose and tickled her. She sneezed and that reminded her about the soup pot. She ran back to where she had left it, but it was gone! Bella searched everywhere, but the pot was nowhere to be seen. Hot, bothered and upset, she sat down and began to cry.
Her crying woke a caterpillar from his afternoon nap. “Young lady, why are you so upset?'' asked the caterpillar. “Can I help?’’
“My granny hurt herself and I was taking her some soup. Only I got distracted and I put down the pot, and now it's gone and it's all my fault,’’ sobbed Bella.
“There now, don't cry,’’ said the caterpillar. “I’m low to the ground and see everything. I’ll find your pot.”
And sure enough, after a little while the caterpillar called out to Bella, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with P”
“Pot?” asked Bella hopefully Just then the pot gave an extra large sneeze and flew into the air. Bella ran and caught it before it could fall back into the long grass.
“Thank you, Caterpillar,” said Bella. “I’m off to Granny's house now and nothing is going to distract me this time.”
“Right you are,” said the caterpillar. “Oh, look out!” Bella had set off again, but almost walked into a tree. “That was close!” Bella thought, “I need to concentrate while I'm looking around.”
The beautiful cloud of butterflies wafted around her but this time Bella didn’t get distracted. She came to a wood where some of her friends were laughing, climbing trees and swinging from the branches. They called out to her but Bella kept her eyes on the path. Although she longed to go and join the fun, she called out, “I can’t play today, I’m busy.” She concentrated on what she had to do, and wasn’t bothered by her friends’ teasing.
Bella’s best friend, Daisy, ran after her. Wait! She called. “I have pocket money Mum says I can buy ice cream. Do you want to come with me?”
Bella's mouth began to water. An ice cream would have been so lovely. But she remembered her poor granny and held on to the soup pot firmly. “I would if I could, but I can’t, thank you,” she replied.
With a rumbling tummy, Bella finally made it to her granny's house. Granny ate all the magic Bumps and Bruises Cure Soup and was soon feeling much better.
When she’d finished, Granny put a large bowl of Bella’s favourite chocolate-chip ice cream in front of her and poured her a tall glass of homemade lemonade. “There you are, Bella,” said Granny. “That's my gift to you in return for your kindness in bringing me the soup.”
Bella smiled. Knowing she’d helped to make her granny well again was the best reward she could have had. It’s easy to get distracted and not finish something we’ve started. Try to concentrate on what you have to do and remember that other people may be counting on you.