Audio: Puggleton’s Ps and Qs

By Drum Digital
09 May 2014

Do your kids love listening to stories? It’s perfect when boredom strikes over the weekend or long car rides. This week’s SuperMom story is Puggleton’s Ps and Qs by Lisa Bubear-Craemer.

Listen to the audio recording of Puggleton’s Ps and Qs here or read it to your kids yourself (below).

Puggleton’s Ps and Qs

By Lisa Bubear-Craemer

Puggleton the prickly porcupine awoke early one morning to a heavenly smell. He sniffed the air, his nose twitching with delight as he realized his grandmother had baked a fresh batch of dandelion bars. Puggleton’s mouth began to water, and his tummy started to rumble.

He jumped out of bed and slid down the staircase, landing with a thud in the kitchen, giving Granny Quiverquill quite a fright.

'Really, Puggleton!' she tutted. 'What a peculiar entrance.'

Puggleton grinned broadly and sat down at the large tree stump table to wait for his favourite treat: dandelion bars (or dandy bars, as he called them). Instead, Granny Quiverquill placed a heaped bowl of seedy cereal and toasted tree bark in front of him.

'Ugh!' exclaimed Puggleton, wrinkling his nose in disgust. 'I don’t like seedy cereal. I want dandy bars!'

'The dandelion bars are a special supper treat, so you’ll have to wait until later, my dear,' explained Granny Quiverquill patiently.

'I don’t care,' shouted Puggleton, his lower lip jutting out. 'I want dandy bars NOW!'

Without waiting for an answer, Puggleton scrambled off his chair and snatched a dandelion bar from the cooling rack. Just as he was about to bite through its golden crunchy surface into the gooey honey centre, Granny Quiverquill whipped the bar swiftly out of his hands.

'I said "no" Puggleton.'

She led him back to the table and sat him down in front of his cereal.

Crouching down to his level, she warned, 'If you want any dandelion bars for supper, you’ll have to learn to mind your Ps and Qs.'

Granny Quiverquill put the tray of dandelion bars on the highest shelf and, without another word, bustled off for a leisurely day of foraging in the woods.

On his walk to school, nestled deep in the forest, Puggleton furrowed his brow and thought hard about his granny's warning: 'Mind your Ps and Qs.'

'I don't know what that means,' he muttered.

Just then, Puggleton's friend Sophie the grey squirrel leapt from a nearby oak and joined him on the path.

'Why so glum, chum?' she squeaked, seeing Puggleton's gloomy expression.

'My Granny made dandy bars this morning and ...,' but before Puggleton could finish, Sophie interrupted rudely, licking her lips.

'Ooooooh, yummy dandy bars! Can I have one, just one, can I, can I, pleeeeease Puggleton?'

'I don't have any! Now will you just listen?' Puggleton snapped grumpily. Next he described his granny's cryptic warning.

“She told me to mind my P’s and Q’s. Whatever did she mean?”

Sophie listened carefully.

'Don't worry, Puggleton. I'm sure we can work this out.' She rummaged around in the nearby bushes for a sturdy stick and scratched the words into the sandy path: Mind your Ps and Qs.

Sophie's head tilted, her eyes narrowed and her nose twitched as she concentrated on the words.

'Well, Ps and Qs are letters of the alphabet, right?' Sophie murmured. Puggleton nodded.

'And minding must mean keeping in your mind.'

'So,' Sophie ended proudly, 'minding your Ps and Qs must just mean remembering all the words you learn that start with those letters of the alphabet!'

Puggleton danced about on the path excitedly.

'That makes sense! My Granny always helps me with my spelling homework, so she must want me to work on my Ps and Qs today. You're so clever, Sophie!'

Just then the school bell jangled noisily, and the two friends scampered down the path through the shiny red gates of Acorn Primary.

As soon as Puggleton reached his desk, he whipped out his notebook and turned to a clean page. At the top, he wrote 'Minding my Ps and Qs' underlining it neatly.

Throughout the day, Puggleton listened to his teachers carefully and wrote all the P and Q words he heard in his notebook. After school, he ran home, excited to share his list with his granny and, of course, claim his dandy bar reward.

Puggleton burst through the little cottage door and found Granny Quiverquill poring over her recipe book in the kitchen. She looked up as he clattered in, dropping his school bag on the polished wood floor.

'Hello, Puggleton,' Granny Quiverquill beamed. 'How was your day at school?'

Puggleton opened his notebook and searched through the list of words for a good answer.

'My day was PER-FEC-TLY PRO-DUC-TIVE but ended QUITE QUICK-LY,' he explained, sounding out the difficult words. Puggleton made sure to say each P and Q word a little louder than the rest.

Granny Quiverquill stared at Puggleton in surprise, not understanding why he was shouting words at her.

Puggleton continued, 'In Art, we used PURPLE and PINK paint. In History, we learned about the PHARAOHS and QUEENS of Egypt and their PYRAMIDS, and in Biology, we studied PORCUPINE QUILLS.'

'Oh, and here,' Puggleton produced a flower from behind his back, 'I picked you a POPPY from the forest.'

Finished with his list, Puggleton demanded, 'Now give me my dandy bars.'

'Puggleton!' Granny Quiverquill exclaimed, 'I thought I told you to mind your Ps and Qs!'

'But I did,' wailed Puggleton, showing her his list. 'See, I wrote all the P and Q words down like you said.'

Granny Quiverquill laughed and ruffled Puggleton's quills affectionately.

'No, dear. Minding your Ps and Qs is something entirely different. It means that you need to learn your manners and be on your best behaviour."

So Granny Quiverquill started a new list for Puggleton, reminding him to say please and thank you and never to grab things from others.

And because Puggleton had listened so well, Granny Quiverquill decided to reward him with a plate of dandy bars after all. When she placed the plate on the table, he even remembered to say 'Thank you.'

Puggleton finished his dandy bars hungrily, and when not one crumb was left, he let out a loud buuuuuuurrrp!

Granny Quiverquill smiled and said, 'Puggleton, I've just thought of another word to add to your list, and it even starts with a P: IT’S PARDON!'

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