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Written by Bertie
Read by Natasha

This is the very first Bertie story - from Christmas 2005.

Now, this morning it is a bit cold in this part of the world. Mr Frosty has been to visit, and the vegetable patch is white and glistening. There is ice on the pond.

“Brrrr,” said Colin the Carp. “It is too cold in this stupid pond.”

“You know what today is, don’t you?”
said Bertie.

“Nope,” said Tim the Tadpole, who had not learned to say no properly yet.

“It is Christmas,” said Bertie.

Bertie, Tim the Tadpole, Sadie the Swan, the lovely Princess Beatrice, and even Colin the Grumpy Carp, all wish you a Wonderful Christmas and a very Happy Holiday, wherever you are in the world!

Story by Bertie.

Read by Natasha. Duration 8 minutes.
Proofread by Claire Deakin.

Now, this morning it’s a bit cold in this part of the world. Mr Frosty has been to visit, and the vegetable patch is white and glistening. There’s ice on the pond.

“Brrrr,” said Colin the Carp. “It’s too cold in this stupid pond.”

“You know what today is, don’t you?” Said Bertie.

“Nope,” said Tim the Tadpole, who hadn’t learned to say, “no,” properly yet.

“It’s Christmas,” said Bertie.

“Not interested,” said Colin, who is a very grumpy fish, who doesn’t like anything much. Not even Christmas.

“What’s Christmas?” Asked Tim.

Everybody was used to little Tim asking stupid questions, but Prince Bertie was amazed that his friend hadn’t heard of Christmas.

“You don’t know about Christmas, young Tim,” boomed Bertie. “My, my. I’ll show you. Let’s go over to the palace.”

“But I can’t walk,” said Tim. “I haven’t got any legs.”

So Tim climbed onto Bertie’s back, and then Bertie hopped up the garden to the palace. Tim was a bit frightened, because he had never left the pond before.

“Hold on there, little Tim,” boomed Bertie, as he leaped up onto a ledge. They looked through the window. Tim was amazed, as he saw the Christmas tree with the lights sparkling on it. He saw all the children opening their presents, and the huge feast on the table.

“I’ve never seen anything so magical, Bertie,” he said. “How I wish we could have Christmas down on the pond.”

Bertie felt a little tear in his froggy eye as he thought of all the lovely Christmases he had enjoyed when he was a prince, opening hundreds of presents, and stuffing himself with chocolates, mince pies and cake until he felt quite sick. He remembered how in the afternoon, when he had taken his nap, he would go out onto the balcony of the palace and make a special Christmas speech to all the crowds of people who came to see him. “May you all be happy this coming year,” he would say, “And thank you for all the toys and lovely presents you sent me for Christmas.”

Then Princess Beatrice, who is as kind as she is beautiful, would go to the hospital, and give some of Bertie’s toys to the poorly little children who were spending Christmas there. Prince Bertie had so many toys, that he didn’t really mind letting her give some away, although he probably would have minded if somebody not quite so lovely as Princess Beatrice had done it.

So Bertie sat on the window ledge remembering all the happy Christmases he had spent in the past. Then he remembered how he had been turned into a frog, and how the lovely Princess Beatrice could no longer marry him. He would never spend another Christmas with Princess Beatrice now. “Sniff sniff, croak croak,” he said, because this was the saddest Christmas Day he had ever spent.

Just then, as Bertie was crying some more froggy tears, the door of the palace opened. The noise startled Bertie, and he fell from the window ledge onto the ground. “Argghhh,” he croaked. “Eeeekkkkk,” yelped Tim.

“Oh, look, there’s a frog,” said Princess Beatrice, as she stepped onto the pathway.

She picked him up in her hand and carried him back to the pond. She didn’t even notice little Tim who was clinging by his tail with all his might, hanging on to Bertie’s big toe.

Bertie felt very happy to be so close to Princess Beatrice again, because he loved her so very much. But he also felt a bit sad, because she didn’t realise he was Prince Bertie at all and just thought he was a frog.

How he longed to be a prince again! “Croak croak,” he said. Princess Beatrice just laughed because she could not understand any of his croaks. Then she put him down by the side of the pond, and she took a mince pie out of her handbag, where she always kept nice things in case she saw a little child or a furry animal to whom she could give a present. “I’m sure all the creatures who live in the pond would like that,” she said, in the loveliest, gentlest voice that Tim the Tadpole had ever heard.

Colin the Grumpy Carp wanted to look out of the water at her, but he banged his head on the ice. “Mince pies!” He grumped. “I don’t like them. Why can’t she give us some dead insects?”

“Oh, do be quiet Colin,” said Sadie the beautiful black swan. “I think Christmas is lovely. I think we should celebrate it every year on the pond from now on.”

If enough children keep listening to Bertie’s Stories, perhaps by next year he will have turned back into a prince and he can marry the lovely Princess Beatrice. Then the royal couple will come down to the pond and bring lots and lots of mince pies and Christmas Pudding and fat juicy flies for the pond life to enjoy a super duper lunch.

So tell all your friends to go to, to visit Bertie, and hear all his stories, so maybe next year Bertie will be able to open all his presents again in the palace with Princess Beatrice.

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