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Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

The Tortoise Shell Comb and The Hair


Jamie was no ordinary third grader. She loved to wear polkadot dresses, she had fourteen pairs of shoes in her closet, and she could sing better than anyone in the school choir.

Now Jamie didnít mind the freckles that were sprinkled all over her face, that was okay, but her hair was a different story indeed!

Jamie had wild hair!

It was red and bushy and so tangled that Jamie couldnít even run her fingers through it.

No matter what she did, she could not get her hair to relax.

People said Jamieís hair had a mind of itís own.

"I have broken many a comb," thought Jamieís hair. "She has tried everything, but nothing can tame me. Iím the wildest hair around and no comb will ever settle me down."

It was true, Jamie had tried everything; conditioners, detanglers, brushes, and every style of comb you can imagine. It seemed hopeless. That hair was thick and quick and would always win.


One day Jamieís grandmother came to visit. She brought Jamie a lovely package wrapped up in pink ribbon. Of course, Jamie hoped it was another pair of shoes, but when she opened it she saw it was a beautiful tortoise-shell comb with gold trim. She was delighted!

She took it straight to her dresser mirror and decided to comb her hair. "Oh, why waste your time?" the hair said. "Many combs have tried racing through me and I always come out on top."

"Iím in no hurry," said the comb with a lazy voice. "I just take my time. Iím as slow as a turtle."

Well, that comb was right, because Jamie looked at it and thought of all her other combs that were broken, bent and just plain useless. "I do not want to lose this comb," thought Jamie. "Iím going to take my time and go slow so it wonít break".


And that is just what Jamie did.

She started at the top of her head and pulled that tortoise-shell comb slowly through her hair.

"Go slow? Take your time? What a joke," said the hair. "You wonít get me without a fight."

So Jamie's hair began to snarl and twist and tangle.

But the comb went slowly...veeeeery slowly.

Then Jamie's hair tried to wrap himself around the comb and knock out some of its' teeth. But the comb would just back up a little and go slowly...veeeeery slowly.

That hair was so stubborn. It started curling and braiding and knotting. But the comb went slowly...veeeeery slowly. After a while, the hair got so tired it decided to lay down and rest. Now that is just what the comb wanted it to do.

By the time the hair got back some of its energy, the tortoise-shell comb had made its way through every single strand.


Now Jamieís hair is silky and smooth and no longer has a mind of its own.

And the moral of this story is:




The Tortoise Shell Comb and The Hair by Dotti Enderle
Copyright 1996 - All Rights Reserved


About the Author:

Dotti Enderle lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and two daughters. As a professional storyteller, she has shared her stories with children at libraries, schools, and museums in the Houston area. As a writer, her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Joyful Child Journal, Babybug Magazine, The Writer's Gazette, Taler Tales, and more. She also writes a column on storytelling for Folk Artist News. You may contact Dotti Enderle at

About the Illustrator:

Mariah Grupp was born and raised in a cottage settled on a beautiful farm in rural New York. She has been happily drawing all her life which lead her to attend Savannah College of Art and Design. She now pursues freelance illustration. Mariah has her own line of greeting cards, and bookmarks, she licenses her work and illustrates storybooks. Contact can be made through her website or e-mail at

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