Do you love reading? Here are some short stories are written in English that kids can use to practice reading and their comprehension. Short Stories For Kids include the following:
About the Poet Michael Morpurgo,
The Best Christmas Present in the World is a touching story by Michael Morpurgo. The narrator buys an old desk and finds in it a letter written by an English soldier Jim Mcpherson to his wife Connie whom the narrator goes to meet and hand over the letter.
Best Short Stories For Kids Introduction
There are some dates or periods of time in the history of the world that are so significant that everyone knows and remembers them. The story you will read mentions one such date and event, a war between the British and the Germans in 1914. Can you guess Which war it was?
Best Short Stories For Kids Summary of the Stories – Part I
The author went to a junk shop in Bridport, a roll-top desk. The man said it was the early nineteenth century and oak. I had wanted one, but they were far too expensive. This one was in a bad condition, the roll-top in several pieces, one leg clumsily mended, and scorch marks down one side.
It was going for very little money. I thought I could restore it. It would be a risk, a challenge, but I had to have it. I paid the man and brought it back to my workroom at the back of the garage. I began work on it on Christmas Eve.
I removed the roll-top completely and pulled out the drawers. The veneer had lifted almost everywhere it looked like water damage to me. Both fire and water had clearly taken their toll on this desk. The last drawer was stuck fast. I tried all I could to ease it out gently. In the end, I used brute force. I struck it sharply with the side of my fist and the drawer flew open to reveal a shallow space underneath, a secret drawer. There was something in there. I reached in and took out a small black tin box.
Sello-taped to the top of it was a piece of lined notepaper, and written on it in shaky handwriting: “Jim’s last letter, received January 25, 1915. To be buried with me when the time comes.” I knew as I did it that it was wrong of me to open the box, but curiosity got the better of my scruples.
It usually does Inside the box, there was an envelope. The address read: “Mrs Jim Macpherson, 12 Copper Beeches, Bridport, Dorset.” I took out the letter and unfolded it. It was written in pencil and dated at the top “December 26, 1914”.
you about at once. We were all standing in our trenches yesterday morning, Christmas morning. It was crisp and quiet all about, as beautiful a morning as I’ve ever seen, as cold and frosty as a Christmas morning should be. I should like to be able to tell you that we began it.
But the truth, I’m ashamed to say, is that Fritz began it. First, someone saw a white flag waving from the trenches opposite. Then they were calling out to us from across man’s land, “Happy Christmas, Tommy! Happy Christmas!” When we had got over the surprise, some of us shouted back, “Same to you, Fritz! Same to you!” I thought that would be that. We all did.
But then suddenly one of them was up there in his grey greatcoat and waving a white flag. “Don’t shoot, lads!” someone shouted. And no one did. Then there was another Fritz up on the parapet, and another. “Keep your heads down,” I told the men, “it’s a trick.” But it wasn’t.
One of the Germans was waving a bottle above his head. “It is Christmas Day, Tommy. We have schnapps. We have sausage. Do we meet you? Yes?” By this time, dozens of them walked towards us across no man’s land and not a rifle between them. Little Private Morris was the first up. “Come on, boys. What are we waiting for?” And then there was no stopping them.
I was the officer. I should have stopped them there and then, I suppose, but the truth is that it never even occurred to me I should. I could see men walking slowly towards one another, grey coats, khaki coats meeting in the middle all along their line and ours.
You cannot imagine, dearest Connie, my feelings as I looked into the eyes of the Fritz officer, who approached me, hand outstretched. “Hans Wolf,” he said, gripping my hand warmly and holding it. “I am from Dusseldorf. I play the cello in the orchestra.
Happy Christmas.”Captain Jim Macpherson,” I replied. “And a happy Christmas to you too. I’m a school teacher from Dorset, in the west of England.” “Ah, Dorset,” he smiled. “I know this place. I know it very well.”
We shared my rum ration and his excellent sausage. And we talked, Connie, how we talked. He spoke almost perfect English. But it turned out that he had never set foot in Dorset, never even been to England. He had learned all he knew of England from school, and from reading books in English.
His favourite writer is Thomas Hardy, his favourite book Far from the madding crowd. So out there in no man’s land, we talked Bathsheba and Gabriel Oak and Sergeant Troy and Dorset. He had a wife and one son, born just six months ago.
As I looked about me there were huddles of khaki and grey everywhere, all over no man’s land, smoking, laughing, talking, drinking, eating. Hans Wolf and I shared what was left of your wonderful Christmas cake, Connie.
He thought the marzipan was the best he had ever tasted. I agreed. We agreed about everything, and he was my enemy. There never was a Christmas party like it, Connie.
Then, someone, I don’t know who brought out a football. Greatcoats were dumped in piles to make goalposts and the next thing we knew it was Tommyagainst Fritz out in the middle of no man’s land. HansWolf and I looked on and cheered, clapping our hands and stamping our feet, to keep out the cold as much as anything. There was a moment when I noticed our breaths mingling in the air between us.
He saw it too and smiled. “Jim Macpherson,” he said after a while, “I think this is how we should resolve this war.
A football match. No one dies in a football match. No children are orphaned. No wives become widows.” “I’d prefer cricket,” I told him. “Then we Tommiescould be sure of winning, probably.” We laughed at that, and together we watched the game. Sad to say, Connie, Fritz won two goals to one.
But as Hans Wolfgenerously said, our goal was wider than theirs, so it wasn’t quite fair. The time came, and all too soon, when the game was finished, the schnapps and the rum and the sausage had long since run out, and we knew it was all over.
I wished Hans well and told him I hoped he would see his family again soon, that the fighting would end and we could all go home. “I think that is what every soldier wants, on both sides,” Hans Wolf said. “Take care, Jim Macpherson. I shall never forget this moment, nor you.” He saluted and walked away from me slowly, unwillingly, I felt.
He turned to wave just once and then became one of the hundreds of grey-coated men drifting back towards their trenches. That night, back in our dugouts, we heard the singing a carol and singing it quite beautifully. It wasStille Nacht, Silent Night. Our boys gave them a rousing chorus of While Shepherds Watched. We exchanged carols for a while and then we all fell silent.
We had had our time of peace and goodwill, a time I will treasure as long as I live. Dearest Connie, by Christmas time next year, this war will be nothing but a distant and terrible memory. I know from all that happened today how much both armies long for peace. We shall be together again soon, I’m sure of it Michael Morpurgo
Best Short Stories For Kids CHECK Part – I
Q. 1. What did the author find in a junk shop?
Ans. The author found a roll-top desk for sale in a junk shop. It was made of oak wood, but it was in very bad condition.
Q. 2. What did he find in the secret drawer? Who do you think had put it in there?
Ans. In the secret drawer of the desk, the author found a small tin box. There was a letter in it. I think the previous owner of the roll-top desk might have put it in there.
Q. 2. Why was the letter written – what was the wonderful thing that had happened?
Ans. The letter described a wonderful event. The two armies – the British and the German – fighting against each other celebrated Christmas together.
Q. 3. What jobs did Hans Wolf and Jim Macpherson have?
Ans. Before they joined the army, Hans played the cello in an orchestra and Jim was a teacher.
Q. 4. Had Hans Wolf ever been to Dorset? Why did he say he knew it?
Ans. No, Hans had never been to Dorset. He had only read about Dorset in Hardy’s novel ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’.
Q. 5. Do you think Jim Macpherson came back from the war? How do you know this?
Ans. No, Jim Macpherson never came back from the war. We know this from Connie’s note. There she writes that the letter in the envelope was the last one received from Jim. The letter was written on December 26, 1914. The war went on for another four years. Possibly, Jim was killed in action soon after Christmas.
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