For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages


Good Morning Fish

From the time I was little, I remember catching glimpses of my grandpa
heading out into the forest early in the morning before the sun had risen,
when most of the earth's inhabitants were not even beginning to stir. He
would carry a small pack, which I knew held a pencil and a notepad.

Sometimes I would see him returning from the forest, pack in hand, with a
look of wonder on his face. He would always return home in time for lunch,
and my grandma would have something yummy ready for him.

If I happened to be visiting, Grandpa would tell us amazing stories that
couldn't possibly be true. Or so I thought.

One day, when I was fourteen, Grandpa gave me a small package and said
"Grandson, take this notepad and pencil. Some early morning, before the
daytime animals wake up but after the nighttime animals have gone to bed,
find a spot deep in the forest where you can sit and watch the forest as it
wakes from sleep. Use this pencil and notepad to write down what you see
and hear."

I promised Grandpa I would do as he suggested. I had never seen what he had
written on his own notepad, but I always thought it had to be the
fascinating stories he would tell Grandma and me. Now that I had been given
a notepad and pencil, I decided I would write amazing things just like him!

It was late fall before I got the opportunity to visit the forest. It was a
chilly morning, but not frosty, so I could walk along the paths without
making a sound. I had no idea where I should go, so I just pushed deeper
and deeper into the forest. Finally, I realized the animals would probably
start waking soon. I spied a big pine tree and sat down at the base, my
back against the trunk, looking out at a small meadow.

I could faintly hear running water and guessed that a stream was nearby. I
took my notepad and pencil from my bag and looked them over carefully in
the dim light. With surprising speed, the light grew brighter and brighter.
I soon noticed the sun's rays tickling the tops of the trees around the

Somewhere far above me, an early rising squirrel dislodged a pinecone, and
I listened to it bounce from branch to branch as it fell from the tree I
was sitting under, finally landing softly near me. Even as I made a note of
this on my notepad, I realized I would not be able to write stories as
wonderful as my grandpa's. But I continued to wait and watch.

Birds are always the first to awake, and soon I could hear them singing
their morning songs as they welcomed the sun and the new day. Birds
fluttered here and there through the trees. The forest was finally waking

At that moment, I felt very warm and realized a ray of sun was painting me
with its golden light.

It felt nice. It made me sleepy, but I was determined to stay alert to
watch the forest finish waking up from the long night.

Suddenly, I noticed a movement near the edge of the meadow. Something was
weaving through the trees. Soon I saw it was a deer'”a buck'”with a large set
of antlers on his head. He was magnificent with his crown, looking like the
prince of the forest as he bravely stepped out onto the meadow.

He was in the prime of his life: strong and confident, sure of his every
step, knowing every sound that reached him. I watched him take noiseless
steps, pausing now and then as his alert ears moved and turned, catching
all the forest sounds.

"This is fantastic!" I thought to myself. But I didn't dare move to write
any of this down. I knew the deer would leave if he knew I was watching
him, so I sat very still, barely even breathing.

Cautiously he crossed to the other side of the meadow near where the stream
was flowing. He looked around, and his ears were very busy twitching this
way and that. When he was confident there was no danger, he dipped his head
down to take his morning drink.

At that very moment, as soon as he had dipped his head down, the loudest
sound I had ever heard erupted from the stream. The buck leapt straight up
into the air, entangling his fine antlers in the tree branches overhead. He
hung there for a second or two, thrashing about before he broke loose, fell
to the ground, and then quickly bounded away into the forest, never to be
seen again.

I jumped to my feet at the loud sound, dropping my pack, pencil, and
notepad. My heart was racing, the sound of it pounding in my ears. But the
whole forest had gone silent. I stood there a long time, letting my heart
slow down, wondering what I should do next.

Then it dawned on me: my grandpa would go over to the stream where the deer had been to investigate the noise. I couldn't let my grandpa down, so
trembling with fear and excitement, I picked up my things and went quietly,
even stealthily, across the meadow to where the deer had stopped to drink.

I reached the stream and looked carefully around me. Even though I couldn't
twitch my ears from side to side, I still listened intently for anything
unusual. A few birds had begun to sing again. An occasional breeze rustled
through the mostly naked trees. The stream gurgled gently in front of me.

After a few minutes of just standing there, I decided I would take a drink
from the creek before writing down what I had seen and heard that morning.
I carefully stepped to the edge of the water. A school of fish was having
recess in the creek, and the thought crossed my mind to bring my fishing
pole next time. As I bent down toward the water, one fish immediately rose
toward me. Just before my lips reached the water, the fish popped up and
very clearly, very loudly, louder than anything I had ever heard, said,


The sound and shock of it all caused me to slip and fall. My legs got wet
in the stream, and my hands and clothes got all muddy as I quickly crawled
up the bank. My ears were ringing as I ran all the way across the meadow
back to the pine tree, where I threw myself down at its soft base again. I
lay there for a long time trying to figure out what I had just witnessed.

Finally, I sat up again, pulled my pencil and notepad from my pack, and
carefully wrote what I had seen and heard that day. My arms and legs began
to dry in the warm sun. As I was writing in my notepad, I was excited to
realize I was writing a story almost as unbelievable as one of my
grandpa's! I hurried to finish, packed my things, and quietly left the

It was a long walk back to Grandpa's place, which made me hungry. When I
came out of the woods, Grandpa was sitting on the porch watching me. We
looked at each other knowingly. I could see he knew that I now knew
something peculiar and special about the forest. And then he said,
"Grandson, your grandma has made a fine lunch of potato soup with homemade buns. Why don't you join us?"

Of course, I did. Nobody passed up Grandma's buns. While we ate, I told
them an amazing story that couldn't possibly be true. When lunch was over,
Grandpa looked at me real hard, then winked. I winked back at Grandpa and
said, "Thanks for the notepad and pencil."

His eyes sparkled, and he nodded his head. Then I excused myself to go
home and take a nap. It had been a long day already!

The End

Good Morning Fish
Don Smith
Copyright 2018 - All Rights Reserved

About the Author:

Don Smith is a resident of Washington State. He tells us, "I began telling stories as a way to entertain my children at bedtime, to give them one last burst of wonder before drifting into dreamland. My bedtime stories spark a child's imagination and fill their dreams with adventure. I hope the children or grandchildren in your life enjoy these stories, too!" Send an email to Don Smith and tell him how much you enjoyed his story!

Good Morning Fish is available in paperback book form too! We think it would make a wonderful gift.
You can order a copy from Amazon by clicking here:

About the Illustrator:

Putut Putri is an illustrator of stories for children's books. After graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 2008, she worked as a flash game programmer about five years. There she recognized the various types of images and characters used in the game. In 2015, she started learning to draw and work online as a freelancer while also focusing on being a wife and mother. With Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as her tools, she enjoys making illustrations. And children's books are her favorite type of project.

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Hi there, my name is Don Smith. I've been writing children's stories for a couple of years now, all of which can be found here at https://dwsmithbooks(dot)com. My contact info is: Phone: 206-714-4630 Email: donwsmith(at) Address: 22418 3rd Place West, Bothell, WA 98021 I would like to offer my story, Good Morning Fish, for your consideration. Thank you!"I have read, understand, and agree to abide by the requirements for inclusion as specified on the SUBMISSION INSTRUCTION page. If my submission should be selected, I grant permission for its inclusion.