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The Little White Foal Stories

by Beth 

Posted: 11 July 2007
Word Count: 2224
Summary: Thirteen seperate stories but all follow each other

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The animals today were playing joyfully in the woods, this been their home. A home full of joy and wonder. All the animals talked to each other and for the majority of the time they got on remarkably well. However on this particular day there was great excitment, for today af all days it was felt would be a new beginning.

The birds sang while they watched over the little town in the distance. The town was called Bethlehem, it was here that all the excitement was about. News travelled fast, soon the birds were calling out to anyone who would hear their song.

It was a song og good cheer and of great tiding there had been a birth in the town, the birth of a new king, so the message had said. Soon all the animals were gathered around to decide what to do. They felt a celebration was needed but the older animals disagreed.

Two owls sat high up in an old oak tree they were listening to this conversation, soon chaoz arose and someone would have to intervene. The owls who were very wise looked at each other they did not need to speak for they could read each others thoughts. So with out another moment to loose they flew from thier seat of safety and landed in the centre of the little gathering. Again they did not speak they stood perfectly still, sending out a vibration of peace, within moments there was not a noise to be herd, you could have herd a pin drop.

The squirrels came out of hibernation th see why it was so suddenly quiet and so still. Each animal looked around to see who might take the lead and have the courage to speak, for it wasnt often the owls would intervene like this.

Then suddenly the white owl spoke, "today is a new beginning for all upon the earth, a saviour has been born unto mary, who was choosen by god, for unto us this day a king is born, he shall be a teacher, he shall be a healer, but first he must grow and develop just as you or I. His mission is a simple one, to teach of love and of peace, this is his goal. Now my friends you of this woodland , you may decide for yourself if you would wish to celebrate this day. Look only to yourself and see how you are with each other. This will be the greatest gift you could give at this time." With out another word the wise white owl flew off to the trees high above.
He sat down and closed his eyes he now needed time for himself to contemplate.

Back down on the ground the animals began to discuss what had been said to them. Why would the greatest gift of all be to look at themselves, they truely at this time did not understand. The other owl who as yet had not spoke a word lifted his wing for silence, he waited till silence fell. Then very slowly and in a gentle voice he spoke, but he did not as they had all hoped answered their questions, instead he asked them to sit quietly and to close their eyes. Each animal wondered about this, for to sit and close your eyes means to trust, and to hope that the person sitting next to you wont suddenly nip or hit you.

But none of the animals wished to disobey, so they closed their eyes and waited. Sammy Squirel wondered, what next as he could hear his heart beating ever so fast, he also noticed he kept holding his breath. He had better breath soon or that would be that! no more Sammy Squirel, as he did this everyone began to laugh. He opened his eyes and looked directly to the wise old owl, who looked towards him with great compassion and understanding, he felt this touch him, he wasnt sure how but suddenly he felt safe. Why had everyone laughed?, hed done as asked.

The wise owl looked around at the other animals and spoke gently but firmly,"that is just what the white owl had meant, to look only to yourself, why laugh at Sammy Squirel when he was allowing himself to get in touch with his own feelings." He looked over to Sammy and asked if he would explain to the others what had happened. Sammys first reaction was to look around to see if anyone else fitted this name. For underneath he really was quite shy at speaking out, especially in front of everyone. He looked down at the ground a little embarrased, but slowly and nervously he began to speak. He went back over what had happened quietly sharing his experience with all who would have the respect to listen. As he finished speaking a little white foal appeared who had only joined the group two days previously. Quiet unexpectedly he stood up and walked quietly to the middle of the little circle and spoke to the owl, he was been polite, he wished to speak to the group.

He turned around and with very thoughtful eyes he looked over to Sammy Squirel. Sammy suddenly felt enveloped in pure white light, then it was as if a pink ribbon had been wrapped around him, he broke down and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.

The wise owl walked over to Sammy and placed his wing around him. Some of the animals had decided enough was enough they could not understand what all the fuss was about.

However a small group of animals remained and slowly one by one they went over to Sammy Squirel to comfort him, to share his experience for in that moment Sammy had found himself. He had opened up to what to him would have been the impossible, to allow the others in the group to see his feelings.

That had been the teaching of the day, to look at yourself and what you feel and to not worry of the reactions of others. For in that moment Sammy Squirel had experienced true compassion, first from the wise old owl and then from the little white foal, who had now mysteriously dissapeared.



It was dawn and mist covered the mountains which lay in the distance. The sun was just rising and peace privailed in the wood. Soon all around you could hear the dawn chorus of the birds as they sang a song of joy from thier hearts which flooded over the whole valley.

None of the animals were up yet, the day before had awakened in some a new meaning, but yet in others it had caused confusion. Today would be a day to reflect and to understand, for to learn we must always understand.

Sammy Squirel sat at the foot of the big oak tree, this was his favourite place. He often sat and talked to the trees about his problems this he felt comfortable with. However this particular morning felt different, he wasnt sure if he could put into words how he felt. It felt like he had been touched by some magical power, but yet he knew he hadnt.

He sat and thought for a moment about the events of the day before. All the feelings that he had felt for the first time, his heart beating fast, the sudden feelingof not been able to breath, the awful feeling in his stomache when all his friends had laughed at him, but yet then he had experienced something which had transformed him. A gentleness, genuine concern, a feeling of great compassion. But most of all he had seen colour coming from the little white foal, a pure white light, followed by a haze of pink, had he imagined this.

He blinked his eyes and nipped himself, just to be sure he was awake, or was it a dream. Well he supposed as the day unfolded he would find out. Hed have to ask his friends, maybe a good place to start would be with the old oak tree.

So Sammy Squirel addressed the tree, "Hello tree," the tree replied, "Hello my friend how can I be of help to you today Sammy Squirel." Sammy paused, a little hesitant, but the great oak tree always knew how to help in these times. "Sammy" he said gently, "just say what is on your mind, then I can help and reply."

So Sammy asked the oak tree about the previous day, the osk tree knew all the answers, as he had lived for thousands of years and although many of the animals ignored the trees, they saw all and would talk to anyone who who give them their time.

The great oak tree began to explain to Sammy, "oh yse Sammy Squirel yesterday did happen, you recieved a valuable lesson, which in time you will understand in more detail. But for now hold on to that moment, do not doubt, do notlet fear veil you, trust my little friend." With this the oak tree closed his eyes.

Sammy Squirel knew this was a sign that the osk tree now had other things to do. So he sat very still and closed his eyes, this time he would remember to breath, it seemed to Sammy that in the woods everything was still asleep.

Suddenly he could hear the wind whispering a song it seemed to come from all directions. It was singing to Sammy. It was calling his name, Sammy Squirel, Sammy Squirel. Then the birds seemed to join in as if in harmony Sammy Squirel this is your wake up call. Sammy then felt the warm sun on his cheeks, it felt like a warm glow of yellow had rushed through his body/ The next thing he felt was as if he were floating high above the wood it was as if the sky was calling to him, then he saw the white clouds scurry by. He jumped onto the clouds, now he felt like a magician on a magic carpet of white. It was as if to him he could go where ever he wished.

Suddenly he felt someone touch his arm, he opened his eyes, there stood befroe him was the little white foal, around him was a colour of pink. It was like the foal was wrapped in a blanket of pink, it was the same pink that had wrapped around Sammy the previous day.

Sammy Squirel blinked, then blushed, the little white foal then sopke, this he had not done the previuos day. "Hello my friend, how are you today" Sammy wasnt sure how to reply, because he felt different but confused, as he thought this the foal looked and said "worry not my little friend, give it time there you will understand your experience, from your own experience you can help others to understand" and with this the little white foal vanished.

Sammy Squirel got up anf decided to look for the others, he walked down the woodland path, at each edge side beautiful flowers laidened the edge. The smell was wonderful, the bees were dancing from flower to flower and butterflies were dancing in the wind.

Sammy Squirel could hear the stream in the distance and thought he might try there as usually some of the animals from the wood would gather here. It was a community hall, sure enough it was a hive of activity, rabbits were playing chase and Larry the Lion was laid resting.

Sammy decided to go talk to Larry, his roar was loud but he was a very gentle soul. As Sammy walked over to Larry suddenly out of the bushes jumped two gorrilas, which made Sammy jump. They began to tease Sammy. But Sammy suddenly found a strength he did not know existed. He stood still and quiet just as hed seen the wise owl do. He didnt react to thier shouts, but instead stood and smiled at them, they looked puzzeld and ran off.

As Sammy looked round at Larry Lion, he was rolling around roaring with laughter, Sammy saunted upto Larry and sat down beside him with his nuts and began to eat them in silence. He and Larry were good friends and Sammy was indeed amused by Larrys out burst of laughter as usually he was very thoughtful and quiet.

After a moment Larry the Lion spoke, hed been amazed to see the gorrillas run away from a tiny squirel, as it was usually the other way round. Something had definately changed for Sammy Squirel.

Sammy Squirel spent the rest of the day with Larry, who mostly slept and Sammy sat and thought. He needed now to understand what had happened, but he remembered the words of the little white foal. You will understand in time, these words kept coming back and the colours that he has seen so clearly, also the feeling of floating on the clouds.

As the day came to a close it had not been as eventful as the previuos day but for Sammy Squirel the doors were justopening. Little did he know of the adventures that now lay before him. He closed his eyes and was soon fast asleep.

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Comments by other Members

Simabuka at 20:14 on 11 July 2007  Report this post
Hi Beth

Gosh I am going to leave this to the experts on this site because I might be wrong in what I say....

But here goes:-

First of all you have a very good story telling style and the piece is well written.

However I think you are going to hit real problems with marketability because.....

1 If, as I suspect it is aimed at 5 to 7 then the word lengh is too long, by about 11,000 I think. Books for that age are generally about 2000 I think, but someone may correct me.

2 Larry Lions, Sammy squirels do have a tendency to turn publishers off, but that said your characters work well, and perhaps need name changes.

3 Culturally you might hit problems by excluding other faiths etc.

But if you can overcome the cultural problem ( or others tell me it is not a problem) and change the characters names, then you might consider breaking down all thirteen chapters into manageable lumps that form stories in their own right and perhaps have a continuing theme.

Hope this helps, and i am sure the others will put me right.

Well done in your writing


roelsami at 05:23 on 15 July 2007  Report this post
Hi Beth,

I used to gain and lose weight quickly. One day one of my friends said
"Jim, you're fat, you're thin; then you're fat again, then thin again.
For gods sake, pick a body and go with it."

Why do I mention this?

You're story reminds me of the same message. You travel between heavy religious meaning
based on serious Christian teachings; and then flip flop to the make believe world of talking
animals in a fairy tale. It reminds me of the cartoons where Santa Claus pulls his sleigh over
to leave presents at the manger for Jesus.

Also, much of the story seems stereo typical with a "been there", "read that" feel.

I would recommend breaking up the story into smaller chunks as Simabuka has suggested,
and make each one stand on it's own.


Issy at 16:22 on 15 July 2007  Report this post
Hi Beth, I actually feel rather unqualified to comment as this is clearly religious writing which will have its own style, message and story line about which I really don't know anything.

Looking at it from a purely commercial story type book, I would agree with Brian that 2,000 to 2,500 words is appropriate for an early reader for this age group, with probably black and white illustrations and split to short chapters, and I do think this could be written in this way, maybe just touching on the description and the message.

I know this probably sounds pretty drastic, but again, I don't know the special requirements of this type of writing, which is obviously in the nature of a parable.

I have however had the benefit of being a student of Andrew Melrose who wrote the Storykeepers series for Children for TV (often televised still on Christmas Day) and the associated books. His advise on this type of writing was that in order to keep the child's interest, the religious history and aspects were much in the background of an exciting adventure, which brought out the moral or message in a less direct way.

There were lots of elements in the two chapters that did attract me. Here are the parts that stood out for me:

"To trust...animal not to you not to nip or hit you." This brought home to me exactly how brave Sammy was being.

I personally would have regarded the natural start of the chapter as "Sammy Squirrel could hear his heart beating fast" And then go on to describe the scene around from him viewpoint, and heightened state, bringing in the awe of the owls, the confusion he must have felt at the animals arguing over the celebrations, and what he thought about the new king.

"Oak...thousands of years." Loved this, and couldnb't help thinking that the oak was probably had the wisdom of years - maybe even wiser than the wise owls. The age also seemed to reflect the thousand plus expectation of the birth, and I wondered if the Oak could even comment on this expectation as it had been around, perhaps waiting for that time.

"Whispering wind calling to him..." There is a great mystery that is being carried on the wind and through nature, and felt this was touching the mystical aspects that Sammy was beginning to sense. "Stood still and quiet" also carries on that feeling (for me)

Maybe Larry should actually speak the words in direct reported dialogue.

Again from a commercial point of view I would agree with Jim, that the names Sammy and Larry would be better changed to something more unusual. Who would you see Sammy representing within a religious terminology? Maybe an awakening of one of the disciples, (Peter?) which might suggest an alternative name.

Not sure if I've been much help here. Please do ignore anything that isn't helpful. I think this is saying something relationships and behaviour, which is driving the story, and it's great to have such a strong theme.


This piece of writing was triggering something in my mind and I've only just recalled what it was. Wasn't it the Buddha who smiled silently and showed his disciples the Lotus Flower, which became the symbol of Zen enlightenment?


PS Welcome to the group.

NMott at 21:18 on 20 July 2007  Report this post
Welcome to the group, Beth :)

It would be helpful to have a bit of an intro. to the story (is this a first draft or something you have been working on for a while). And indicate what sort of review you are looking for - concentrating on technique or plot or marketability?

My initial comment would be the incongruity of a squirrel coming across a lion (strange, I could have sworn I saw a couple of gorillas in there a moment ago -?).
I won't comment on spelling or grammar at this stage, as a spell checker would sort out most of that.

- NaomiM

Steerpike`s sister at 19:16 on 21 July 2007  Report this post
Hello there,
You've had really good, helpful feedback from everyone else, so there is not much for me to add, really. It is true this will be a hard piece to find a publisher for, and you might consider (if, indeed, you are thinking of publishing at all) contacting a Christian publisher or self-publishing, maybe with the help of your local church.
If you did want to publish in the mainstream, I would suggest that you take the first story, introduce Sammy much sooner, and develop it into a typical Christmas-story picture book text by cutting it down to a few hundred words.
There are many spelling mistakes which you need to sort out, if you want this to look professional.
Best of luck!

SarahT at 22:50 on 22 July 2007  Report this post
Hi Beth,

I'll echo the comments of others. I'm not sure what market you are aiming at. If you are aiming for a Christian publisher, then I don't see the problem with excluding other religions. But, I do see a problem with the animals and I will go one step further than some of the other comments that have been made - none of the animals felt Middle Eastern. They all felt very English, apart from the lion. It could be that there are squirrels just outside Bethlehem but unless you mix these in with animals that actually sound more like they are from the region, I suspect nobody will believe in them.

The problem with using the wrong animals is that the story loses authenticity. Christian publishers don't want to skate over authenticity any more than non-Christian publishers. Similarly, the woods felt all wrong. The landscape is very harsh and brutal out there and this is reflected in some of the very stark imagery of the bible, which relates to people surviving very harsh climes.

I hope this isn't too disheartening.


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