It was a warm summer’s evening in the town of Chewington, so Poppy and Ronnie asked their
human, called Mark, if they could go camping in the garden.
“Can we sleep in the tent tonight please?” asked Poppy.
“Yes of course you can,” said Mark.
Poppy and Ronnie’s garden is beautiful, with many colourful flowers and has the entrance to a large
forest at the end of it.
They packed some toys, picked up their teddy bears and went out to the shed to get the tent.
Once inside the tent they decided to play some games before bedtime.
“Let’s play Snakes and Ladders,” suggested Poppy.
“Yes,” said Ronnie producing a gold cup, “and the winner gets this and can call themselves the
“It’s not about winning and losing Ronnie. It’s about having fun,” she replied.
Ronnie got all the way to the end of the board and just needed to roll a ‘6’ to win. He rolled the
dice, but it fell off the table and onto the floor. It had landed on a ‘3’. Ronnie quickly checked the
board. A ‘3’ meant he would slip down a big snake back to the beginning.
“I win!” shouted Ronnie, moving his counter six spaces to the end.
“You jammy thing!” said Poppy.
Ronnie had cheated to win the game and hadn’t been honest. This was very naughty.
“I’m tired now,” yawned Poppy.
They each got in their sleeping bags, Ronnie clutching his gold cup.
“I want to dream about lots of food,” he said.
Ronnie always thinks about food and his favourite is dawberry ice-cream.
As the stars twinkled and the moon glowed, they drifted off to sleep. Ronnie started to dream.
He found himself with Poppy in the large forest at the end of the garden and they were heading
towards a distant light. As they got closer, they could see a team of owls and a team of badgers
facing each other on a football pitch. The light was coming from lanterns hanging in the trees.
“What’s going on here then?” asked Poppy.
“We’re playing for that!” said Mary the owl pointing to a gold cup. “Then we’ll prove that
we’re the best!”
“You won’t win!” scoffed Harry the badger. “We are the best!”
“That’s not a nice attitude,” said Poppy.
“We’re always fighting and arguing about who is the best. So we’re going to settle it with a football
match to crown the champions of the forest,” replied Mary.
The match kicked off.
The badgers immediately started cheating by digging tunnels under the pitch, carrying the ball down
them, and burrowing up into the goal to score.
When the owls got the ball they would cheat too. They would pick it up with their claws and fly over
the badgers’ heads, before dropping it into the goal from above.
“Stop!” shouted Poppy. Everyone turned their heads.
“This isn’t how you play football. You’re not playing fairly.”
“But we have to beat them!” replied Harry.
“Why do you fight so much?” asked Ronnie.
“We hate the owls because they can fly and we can’t,” said Harry.
“And we hate the badgers because they can live underground and we can’t,” said Mary.
Poppy knew this was called jealousy and decided to help.
“Ronnie and I can’t live underground or fly either!” she said. “But it doesn’t give us a
reason to fight with you.”
“I wish I could fly!” interrupted Ronnie.
“Not now!” said Poppy. “We need to accept our differences and celebrate them, not use
them as a reason to hate each other. If we were all the same, life would be boring.”
“But how do we decide who is the best?” asked Harry.
“You don’t need to, that’s the point!” said Poppy.
“They could play Snakes and Ladders?!” suggested Ronnie.
“But not the way you think!” said Poppy, who then disappeared and returned moments later with
some ladders and cushions.
Poppy explained to the badgers that if they wanted to be like owls and sit in the trees, they could
use the ladders to climb them. Turning to the owls, she explained if they wanted to visit the badgers
underground, they could use the cushions to slide down the badger tunnels like flumes.
The owls and badgers realised Poppy was right. They didn’t need to fight because they were
different. If they got to know each other better they could have much more fun.
“I’d make a good football referee wouldn’t I?!” laughed Poppy.
The owls and badgers presented Poppy and Ronnie with the gold cup as a gift for bringing peace to
“I want the cup to fill up with dawberry ice-cream,” wished Ronnie.
“Okay,” said Mary producing some dice, “you have to throw a ‘6’ to make it happen.”
Ronnie rolled the dice and it landed on a ‘3’. Ronnie covered it with his paw to hide the
“I did it!” he shouted, and half the cup filled with dawberry ice-cream.
Ronnie sat down on a cushion to start eating, when suddenly a long snake popped up through one of
the badger tunnels under him. He began to slide down it very fast and lost his grip on the cup.
“Where am I going?” he screamed out.
“To a place where cheaters go, where no-one ever plays games and there is no ice-cream,” a deep
Ronnie knew that a world without games and ice-cream would be very sad. He never wanted to
The next thing Ronnie knew, he was being shaken by Poppy who was stood over him.
“Good morning sleepyhead. Come on! It’s breakfast time,” she said.
“Phew!” said Ronnie. “You saved me from a horrible nightmare.”
At the table they both sat down to eat their eggs and soldiers. Ronnie noticed Poppy’s egg cup was
different. It was the gold cup.
“Where did you get that from?” asked Ronnie all confused.
“Last night of course, don’t you remember?” she said. “You were so tired you fell asleep on the
Snakes and Ladders board, so I won! You started talking about owls and badgers in your sleep too,