I was a scriptwriter for the children’s Radio and TV programmes on the BBC for many years and wrote loads of stories for them. Here’s one I wrote about Fergie who was pestered by a wee pest, the bogeyman. I hope your kids and grandkids enjoy reading it.
Fergie Ferguson was a clockmaker who lived in a little village on an island off the west coast of Scotland where the great Atlantic Ocean smashed and crashed on to the shore. He spent his days mending and repairing clocks and when he’d fixed them, setting them at the correct times that they could chime along with the rest. For Fergie Ferguson’s house was full of clocks. They sat on every surface in every room of his house and stood on every square of floor he had.
From every room in his house could be heard the tick tocking of his clocks. Some were slow, deep sounds….
TICK …. TOCK…..
….others were busy, hurried rhythms…..
….and others were so quick and quiet you had to put your ear tight up against them in order to hear them……..
tick tock tick tock
All day long, the sound of ticking and tocking could be heard through the house. It was so loud it drowned out the thunder of the Atlantic waves crashing on the nearby shore. Fergie didn’t notice the noise, he was used to it but not many people came to visit because they couldn’t stand it for very long.
One day a visitor came to stay in Fergie’s house. Fergie hadn’t invited him and he didn’t even know he was there until one morning, Fergie got up as usual.
He was just in the middle of washing his face when he stopped.
‘Something’s wrong,’ he said to himself. ‘Something’s not right.’
He stood and listened, the water still dripping off the end of his nose and his hands all soapy. He could hear the clocks all ticking away – the big grandfather clock with its deep slow tick….
TICK …. TOCK…..
the clock that sat on the mantelpiece with its quicker ticking…..
and the little clocks whose ticks could hardly be heard…..
tick tock tick tock….
….yes they were all there and none of them had stopped.
But still Fergie was sure that something was wrong. He quickly dried his face and rushed downstairs. Then it dawned on him.
‘They’re ticking the wrong way,’ he said. ‘My clocks aren’t going tick tock any more, they’re going tock tick.’
He listened carefully to each one. Sure enough, every clock was going tock tick. The big grandfather clock,
the clock on the mantelpiece,
and the little quiet clocks….
tock tick tock tick.
‘Who’s done this?’ he shouted. ‘Who’s been tampering with my clocks?’
It was then that Fergie heard a little chuckle. It was so quiet that he scarcely heard it over the ticking, or rather tocking, of the clocks.
‘A bogey-man!’ said Fergie. ‘Don’t tell me a bogey-man has moved in.’
There was another little giggle.
‘Come out, you wee rascal!’ Fergie yelled. ‘Come out and show yourself!’
But of course, the wee bogey-man didn’t.
Fergus spent all day putting his clocks right so that they went tick tock and not tock tick, and then after supper he turned his whole house upside down looking for the bogey-man.
He didn’t find the wee man so at midnight, tired out, he gave up and went to bed.
It was very early the next morning when Fergie suddenly awoke. This time he knew at once that something was wrong. Very definitely wrong.
‘My clocks have lost their tick,’ he cried jumping out of bed and scuffling for his slippers in the half light. Sure enough, all his clocks were just going tock.
The big grandfather clock said,
TOCK………..TOCK…………TOCK very slowly and sadly,
the clock on the mantelpiece said
tock – tock – tock as if it had a limp
and the little clocks seemed to start and stop all the time,
tock. tock. tock.
Fergie was furious. ‘Just wait till I catch you, you wee menace,’ he yelled.
The wee bogey-man just laughed. Fergie chased after it till the sun was high in the sky but he did not manage to catch it or even a glimpse of it. All he heard was its laugh leading him a merry chase.
The rest of the day Fergie spent fixing his clocks so that they all went tick tock again. That night he was so exhausted he fell into bed with his clothes and boots on. When he woke the next morning, it was to the sound of the Atlantic Ocean crashing on the shore nearby. Fergie listened for a moment then leapt out of bed.
‘Where are my clocks?’ he shouted. ‘I can’t hear any of them.’
He ran downstairs and there they all were, still keeping good time but silently. Not a tick or a tock from any of them.
‘What have you done with all my ticks and tock, you wee pest?’ he yelled. ‘Give them back to me at once.’
But the wee bogey-man just laughed.
Fergie hunted high and low throughout the house looking for his ticks and tocks. It wasn’t until he took the lid off his teapot that he found them all crammed in and desperate to get out. It took Fergie many hours to sort out what tick went where but at last all the clocks were back to their usual tick tocking.
‘I’ve had enough,’ said Fergie, mopping his brow. ‘You win. You can have this house to yourself. I’m leaving.’
The wee bogey-man was quiet. The next morning, Fergie was surprised to find that nothing had happened to his clocks overnight, every one was ticking and tocking as it ought to.
But Fergie’s mind was made up. He hitched his pony to the cart and loaded all his belongings and all his clocks on to it. The grandfather clock with its deep
the clock from the mantelpiece with its
and all the little clocks with their quiet
tick tock tick tock.
Then he shouted ‘Giddy-up!’ and he and his pony set off for a place as far away from the wee bogey-man as he could find. But the noise from the Atlantic waves crashing on the shore was so loud that Fergie didn’t hear a little laugh coming from the back of his cart!
I collected many of the poems and stories I wrote for the BBC into A Drop of Rainbow Magic leaving blank pages for the children to use their imaginations to illustrate the stories in their own way.