by Gordon Dioxide

* this story may be unsuitable for some very young children *

Mufty the squirrel was a sweet little thing. He was cuddly and snuggly and buggly and sometimes he was even a bit scruggly. He was as kind as Father Christmas and softer than a very soft thing.
One day (I think it was Tuesday) he got a letter from the post-squirrel.
He thought it would be a good idea to open it, because that would be the best way to find out who it was from. So he did. And it was from someone called Giant Claws the Gruesome Grizzly Bear.
This is what it said ...
Dear Mufty
I am very very hungry. In fact I am starving. Can I come to your house for supper on Saturday?
Yours sincerely
Giant Claws the Gruesome Grizzly Bear

Mufty had never heard of this bear before, but he felt very sorry him. A tear started to appear in his eye, so he decided to write back straight away.
This is what he wrote ...
Dear Giant Claws the Gruesome Grizzly Bear
I would be delighted if you come to my house for supper on Saturday. I will prepare some delicious acorn soup using my special secret recipe which involves opening a can of tomato soup and pouring some acorns in.
Lots of love and cuddles
from Mufty

Mufty read the letter back to himself to check for spelling mistakes, and then noticed that he’d given away the secret recipe.
Never mind, he thought, and he set off to town to post the letter.
On the way he saw an elephant with its trunk tangled up in some bushes. Being a kind and sweet little thing, Mufty helped free the elephant.
Then he helped an old lady across the road. She didn’t really want to cross the road, so Mufty had to help her back again.
Then he found a spider caught up in a web, so he carefully pulled it out and placed it on the ground. The spider was a bit irritated because it had been building the web for hours. It was even more irritated when a bicycle came along and squashed it.
As you can see, some of Mufty’s good deeds didn’t work too well.
He went into the Post Office to buy a stamp for the letter. There was a newspaper on the ****f, and the headline was “Seven Squirrels Eaten by Grizzly Bear!”
The good news is that Mufty hadn’t yet posted the letter inviting the Grizzly to his house. So there was still time for him to throw the letter away. The bad news is that Mufty didn’t look at the newspaper. Instead, he bought a stamp, stuck it on the letter and dropped it into the letter box.
He headed back home, humming a happy little tune as he went.
Wednesday came and went.
Thursday came and went.
Friday came and went.
And then Saturday arrived. The big day. The day that he been looking forward to.

He spent all day getting things ready. There were napkins, party hats, flowers, candles, and everything you normally see when you go round to a squirrel’s house for supper.
At six o’clock there was a loud banging at the door. Mufty opened it and found a huge fearsome bear with big teeth and giant claws.
“Please come in” said Mufty.
Giant Claws barged in shouting and yelling about how hungry he was.
“Would you like some of my delicious acorn soup” asked Mufty.
“NO!” shouted the bear “I hate soup.”
“Oh!” said Mufty “what would you like then?”
“Squirrel pie!” yelled the bear.
“I don’t think they sell that at our supermarket” said Mufty.
“That’s okay” said the bear with a grin “I like to make it myself!”

“And how exactly do you make squirrel pie?” asked Mufty.
“Well, its quite simple really” said the bear. “First, you get a squirrel. Then you add a touch of salt, not too much and not too little. Then, you stuff it in your mouth!”
“I don’t think I like the sound of that” said Mufty, “can’t we have chocolate cakes instead?”
Then the bear went mad. He grabbed Mufty. Then he grabbed the salt and sprinkled some in his bushy tail. Then he opened his mouth really wide and pulled Mufty towards his giant teeth. Then he sneezed. Then he sneezed again. Then he sneezed again, and again and again. He couldn’t stop sneezing. He sneezed so much that he dropped Mufty, who ran off and hid in the kitchen.
Eventually, the bear sneezed so hard that his head blew off and landed in the butter dish.
Mufty was safe at last. He came out of his hiding place and mopped up all the bear blood. He put the bear’s head in his glass trophy cabinet, which had been empty for years because he’d never won anything before.
He decided never to invite grizzly bears into his house again. In fact, he needed a good holiday after this ordeal, so he flew off to Majorca to get a sun tan.
So that was a happy ending, but there is one very important thing you must learn from this story ...
When you’re making squirrel pie, make sure you use salt instead of pepper!

Here are some questions to see if you have been listening ...
1. What happened to the spider?
2. What was Mufty’s special recipe for making acorn soup?
3. What was the bear’s special recipe for making squirrel pie?
4. Where did the bear’s head land?
5. Can you think up a delicious recipe that no-one has ever thought of before?