Mother’s Day

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‘What’s wrong Cyril?’ asked Obby.

‘I’ve just remembered its Mothers Day.’

‘ You’re only half way through the day so you still have time to pick her flowers and wish her,’ Obby said.

‘ She will think I love her half a day less,’ Cyril said in a sad voice.’

‘ No she won’t,’ Obby reassured him. ‘

And with that reassurance Cyril hopped off to pick a bunch of flowers.

When Cyril was gone,  Obby  took a leaf and with a small twig he wrote, ‘ I love you mommy’ and held it up to the breeze. It danced all around him. It tickled his nose, fell between his toes and landed on his chest, before kissing his cheek with the gentlest touch, and then with a final twirl it was swept away with the breeze

Obby smiled.

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Serious stuff

‘What you drawing?’ Cyril asked.

‘I’m working on a project,’ answered Obby.

‘That sounds exciting.’

‘It’s a very serious project,’ Obby said in a serious voice.’

‘What it’s about ?’

‘It’s about how children can  feel after they have been through something horrible or seen something horrible,’ Obby said.

‘But why do you want to do a project like that, it doesn’t sound like much fun,’ Cyril asked him.

‘Because it’s important for everyone to understand why children sometimes act like they do and then we can all help.I am trying to share information through drawing-  sometimes drawings can be more powerful than words.’

Cyril listened to Obby. He didn’t seem convinced about this, ‘Serious‘ Project.

‘Remember that day when something horrible happened to you, and how you felt and nobody could understand why you were acting differently,’ Obby reminded Cyril.

‘That was the worse day of my life,’ Cyril said, ‘ I was enjoying an ice-cream, and next minute out of nowhere three gangster dassies told me to hand it over OR ELSE- one even had a sharpened chicken bone and was threatening me with it too.’

‘And afterwards, how did you feel?’ Obby asked him.

‘ I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I didn’t want to eat and I couldn’t sleep. All I kept seeing was those three horrible faces and I didn’t want to go near the place where I was robbed!

I was lucky to have you Obby because you understood what was happening to me and it wasn’t long before I was eating ice-cream again.’

‘And nibbling chicken bones,’ Obby added.

‘Now can you see how important this project is?’ Obby said.

‘Is this project only for people?’

‘No,for dassies too,’ replied Obby.

‘Good, because we also have feelings you know.’

And with that Cyril hopped off.

 

Trauma-Signs to look out for.

Trauma refers to a situation where a child or adult is faced with an experience that threatens life or serious harm either directly or indirectly, such as witnessing death, or serious injury, witnessing acts of violence, sudden death of a family member, good friend or class mate.

Children can react in many different ways-however these are more typical reactions than others ( see pictures). If in ANY doubt, please seek professional advise.

Thoughts and Images About The Event

These thoughts or images are like seeing pictures or a film over and over again.Sometimes they are also auditory where they hear repeatedly what they heard turning the event.

Afterwards, different stimuli may trigger these images, such as a police car or ambulance, or someone who looks similar to the perpetrator etc.They may try and avoid places and people who may remind them of the event.

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Physical Complaints– such as stomach aches, headaches and nausea.

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Anger and Demanding Behaviour– some children may feel confused, angry and can act younger than their age demanding attention.

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Some children may have a greater need for physical closeness as they are afraid that something else will either happen to them or their family.

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Some children withdraw and want to be alone. This may indicate that they do not find the same pleasure in activities as they did before. It may be a sign that they need more help.

 

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Guilt-Children can blame themselves and their actions for causing the event.

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Traumatic Play and repetition of what they experienced.

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Problems Sleeping and Nightmares- children may find it difficult to fall asleep or may wake up having nightmares. They may need to sleep with the light on and door open and to know their family is nearby.

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Basic Guide

-Provide an immediate sense of being taken care of

-Physical closeness if the child allows it

-Allow the child to express what has happened-in talking, playing or drawing

-Be open and supportive, tell the school teacher to ensure further support for the child

-Return to normal routines at home and school as quickly as possible

-If concerned seek professional advice/support

 

 

Stillness

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Sometimes we all need a little stillness in our lives. That is what Mrs Sidebottom had told him. And today was one of those days where he felt he needed to make time for stillness.
He sat outside his cave, high  in the mountains where he could see the sea in the distance. He listened to the  birds and insects making their sounds. The leaves rustling in the slightest of breeze. He looked at the wonderful hand of nature and all her creations.

His thoughts lead him to thinking about his mother, father and little sister. How loving and kind they were.He missed them and his little sister who was more mischievous than him ( hard to believe I know).

He doesn’t like to think of the bush fire that separated them and made them run in a different direction.
He survived. And deep down in his heart he believes they did too.

He knew he was different. They had explained this to him when he was little. They told him he was a descendant from a mountain clan and that his ancestors were little in stature but big of heart.  They also told him that there weren’t many of his clan left and of the ones  left none were in Africa. He asked his father how they arrived in Hermanus and his father smiled and said, ‘ On a whales tail’. His father gave him his necklace, a small whales tail made out of clay. His most precious object in the world.

His father had also told him that life takes on many adventures -some further than others. Some good, some not so good. But all have a lesson in them which you might only understand later.

He wondered where his next adventure would take him. Would it be close to home or far away?  As he looked out into the distance he saw a huge southern right whale breach and heard his named being called.

The End.

 

Gone Fishing

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Chapter One

‘Knock Knock,’ shouted Obby.

Toby opened the door.

‘I’ve told you to use your knuckles, you don’t have to shout.’

‘Next time.’ Obby replied with a big cheeky grin.

‘I’m going fishing and I was wondering if Ollie would like to come with me.’

Ollie was wagging his tail excitedly. He was always happy to see his little friend.

Toby knew that Ollie liked spending time with him and so agreed thinking that they would go to Obby’s favourite fishing place in the nearby little harbour.

Chapter Two

‘Climb on-board,’ Obby said to Ollie, who leaped into the little fishing boat. It was the first time he had been in a boat and he was enjoying the sea spray in his face as Obby was steering the boat at full speed over the waves as they headed out of the little harbour.

‘Hello,’ shouted Obby waving  from the boat at Cyril sitting on the rocks. Obby had turned off the boat’s engine and him and Ollie were bobbing up and down in the calm water.

‘What you doing?’ asked Cyril,who had climbed down the rocks so he could get closer to the boat.

‘I’m fishing,’ Obby said.

Ollie lazily watched Obby casting his fishing line into the water. The sun was making him sleepy.

Chapter Three

Toby was bored without Ollie and decided that he would go down to the little harbour and see if Obby had caught any fish.

When he got there they were nowhere in sight. He called their names.

He wondered where they had gone.And he was worried.

He asked an elderly fisherman if he had seen a little boy and a dog and the fisherman told him that he had seen a boy and a dog in a boat fishing near the rocks out of the harbour and he pointed in the direction.

Toby was very cross as he walked along the footpath to where the fisherman had pointed.

When he got to the rocks he looked down and saw Obby fishing quite happily and Ollie looking at him with eyes half closed.

He climbed down the rocks to get nearer them.

As Obby was about to caste his fishing line in again he saw Toby climbing down the rocks and knew he was going to be in trouble so he quickly turned on the engine and raced back towards the harbour.

Cyril was surprised that Obby just left without saying good-bye but soon realised when he heard footsteps behind him and saw Toby’s angry face.

‘Hello Cyril,’ said Toby.

‘Do you know where Obby and Ollie have gone?’ he asked.

Cyril didn’t know what to say.

‘I haven’t seen them,’ he told Toby.

‘But they were just here,’ Toby said.

‘I was sleeping so I don’t know,’ he answered.

He didn’t like not telling the truth but he didn’t want his friend to get into trouble either.

Chapter Four

Obby raced back to the little harbour and quickly he and Ollie walked to Toby’s house before he got there.

Uncle Yitzhak was home,’ Hello Obby’, he greeted him.

‘Hello Uncle Yitzhak,’ Obby said,’ I’m in a bit of a hurry so I can’t talk. I’ve bought Ollie home- all safe and sound,’ he told Uncle Yitzhak who was surprised that Obby was speaking so fast.

‘And I have three fish for you too,’ he said, handing the fish over to him.

‘Thank you my dear boy,’ Uncle Yitzhak said. ‘Nothing better than fresh fish,’ he added and patted Obby on the head.

‘I must be off,’ Obby said and hugged Ollie good-bye.

Chapter Five

Toby ran back to the harbour. When he got there he saw Obby’s boat tied up and him and Ollie were nowhere in sight.

He asked the elderly fisherman if he had seen the boy and the dog, and he told Toby that they walked off very fast and he pointed in the direction they had gone.

When Toby got home he was happy to see Ollie and Ollie was happy to see him. He knew Obby would be gone.

Uncle Yitzhak held up the three fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marmalade

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Marmalade was an unusual  name for a cat that was white.

Obby knew that marmalade was a sort of orangey colour because Mrs Sibebottom liked marmalade on her toast. The jam that is and not the cat!  Marmalade is not really a jam it’s more of a jelly he thinks that is what Mrs Sidebottom told him.He liked jelly especially the red jelly with custard.

They say opposites attracts. He had heard that somewhere and he was sure that was the case with Marmalade and her owner who was a friendly lady called Prunella Smithens. She always greeted everyone with a big smile including Obby when she saw him taking a short cut through her garden. She would always ask him how he was and what he was up to- of course he never told her as all his adventures were top secret! Once he had driven across her garden on Mrs Sidebottom’s scooter because he was in a big hurry. Fortunately nobody saw him.

Marmalade  on the other hand was neither friendly nor sociable. When she wasn’t sitting on the garden wall she was sitting in the middle of the pavement where everyone would have to walk around her. And when Obby greeted her she would look at him up and down and would turn her back on him. Obby thought she had no manners. But as Mrs Sidebottom had told him once that sometimes you have to be the bigger person even if someone is rude to you and he thinks that maybe that applies to cats as well, so as the bigger person he greeted her despite her having no manners.

Chapter Two

Obby and Cyril were sitting on the rocks talking when Cyril called out, ” Hello Marmalade,” and Obby turned around to see her stretched out in the sun. She greeted Cyril with a Hi Five  and when Obby greeted her she ignored him, as usual.

” That cat has no manners,” Obby said to Cyril,” She never greets me and she sits in the middle of the pavement and everyone has to walk around her.

Cyril looked at Obby, ” Maybe there is more than meets the eye.”

“What do you mean by that?”asked Obby.

” Maybe she thinks you have no manners for taking a short cut through her garden, especially when you were on Mrs Sidebottom’s scooter and  rode over all the plants,”Cyril told him.

“But nobody saw that,”Obby said.

“But you still ruined some plants that didn’t belong to you,” Cyril told him in a soft but firm way ,” And maybe  you should  look at the pavement when she is not sitting there because you may notice that there is a big hole and many people have twisted their ankels by stepping in it,”Cyril said.

Obby looked over at Marmalade and thought to himself that maybe he wasn’t the bigger person after all. He only saw what he wanted to see.

Marmalade was a good cat . And he needed to work on his manners.

Politics

 

Cyril was not in a good mood. In fact he was in a bad mood.

“Why are you in a bad mood?” Obby asked.

“Its all the politics going on”, Cyril replied.

Obby remembered that it was coming up to election time for the dassies. They had their elections every three years.

“Everyone is talking politics everywhere I go.I can’t even just sun myself in peace anymore”,he complained,”Asking questions like are you on the left ,right or middle centre? I’m so confused”.

“So what are the parties mangofestivals,”Obby asked sounding like he knew all about politics. He had overheard Mrs Sidebottom talking about politics so he felt informed enough to ask questions.

“What is a mangofestival?” Cyril asked.

“Its like a party plan.What they going to do for the voters.”

Cyril thought that Obby was  very clever and he knew everything about most topics.

” The mangofestival of the Dassies National Party is Hermanus for Hermanus. Self interest and protection of all Dassies born here. Outsiders will need to approach the  party leaders for reasons why they want to move here and to prove that they will not be a burden on the locals  and they must be fluent in HDD.”

“HDD?” asked Obby.

“Hermanus  Dassies Dialect.”

“That will be hard to learn if you’ve never lived here,”said Obby.

“Who is the party leader?”

“Its Mr Pratt,”said Cyril.

Obby knew Mr Pratt. He was not very friendly. In fact he was rather unfriendly.

“And the other parties,” asked Obby.

“There is the DDM (Dassies Democratic  Movement) and they are all about free movement of Dassies and welcome all dassies.”

“That sounds like a good party,” Obby said.

“But the Dassies are worried that they will all come here and take over and set up home on all the prime rocks, eat our food and steal the hearts of our young maiden dassies.”

“And who is the leader of that party?” Obby asked.

“It’s Mrs Dashing”.

He liked Mrs Dashing. She was always dashing here and there, like she had drunk too much coffe.

” And there is the DGP- Dassies Green Party, and their mangofestival is Going Green and that we should get out the bins and off fast foods and back to greens”.

Cyril didn’t sound too keen on this party. Obby knew he liked fast food and it was showing on Cyril’s waist line.

” And the party leader is Mr Dilly”, Cyril told Obby.

Obby knew Mr Dilly. He was always hopping and bopping along the cliff path or doing push ups on the rocks. Especially in front of the ladies.

” And the last party is DFP- Dassies Freedom Party. Their mangofestival says that they want to nationalize all the rocks in Gearings Point as they have been stolen by the artists who put their art on it”.

“And their leader is who,” Obby asked.

” It’s Mr Serious,” Cyril replied.

Obby knew Mr Serious, he said there was no time for jokes.

” And to make matters worse,” Cyril said, “Mom  and dad are going to vote for different parties. So they are always arguing at home. Mom says dad is an old Dassie Duddy as he likes Mr Pratt’s Party. And mom says she is voting for The DDM and dad says her liberal ideas will get Davina’s heart broken when a foreigner steals her heart. And she says that dads hairstyle is looking more like Mr Pratt’s with his combover.

Cyril carried on complaining, ” And when Mr Dilly comes to visit mom and dad tell us to be quiet and pretend we aren’t in. And poor Alfie is still a baby and to keep him quite we have to give him a chicken drumstick to chew on. If only Mr Dilly knew!” Cyril said.

” It all sounds very complicated,” Obby said  feeling sorry for his friend who seemed completely overwhelmed.

” You mustn’t let politics get you down. They’re all on the gravy train, making false promises, feathering their own pockets, or  furrying their own pockets, jobs for pals and tender – trop – in ears, with friends with deep pockets in foreign countries ,” Obby said.

He spoke with confidence on such matters. He had heard Mrs Sidebottom use words like this when talking politics.

Cyril felt much better listening to Obbys wise words.

” I think I will start a party, called LETSNOTBEBOTHERED- LNBB and hopped into the nearest bin looking for something tasty.

Cyril was in a good mood.

 

 

Do your Best

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Chapter One

‘Hello Sa’ood,’ said Obby.

‘Hello Obby,’ said Sa’ood.

‘Why you not playing cricket today?’

‘I don’t feel like it,’ he said.

‘Are you sick?’ Obby asked.

‘No, I’m just cross,’ he said.

‘Why?’

‘Because the teacher made me class room helper for the whole term. Nobody volunteered  except Gugu-she volunteers for everything!Her hand is anyways in the air,’ Sa’ood complained.

‘So why didn’t the teacher chose Gugu?’ asked Obby.

‘She did and me too,’ he said, ‘Teacher said she needed two class room helpers’.

‘It sounds like an important job,’Obby said. ‘ So what is the problem?’

‘It’s Gugu, she’s very bossy and she takes her duties very seriously.’ Sa’ood said.

‘Sounds like she will be a good helper,’ Obby told him.

‘When the teacher told us what we must do as class room helpers she wrote every thing down -word for word,’ he said.

‘And did you write down anything?’ Obby asked.

‘No, I didn’t need to because Gugu was taking notes,’Sa’ood replied.

‘If Gugu wasn’t making notes would you have remembered what the teacher said?’

‘Yes, some of the stuff’.

‘So what does a class room helper do?’Obby asked Sa’ood.

‘We have to make sure that blackboard is clean, and there is enough chalk. We help the teacher hand out stuff and collect stuff. I can’t remember it all’.

‘Maybe you should have taken notes then’, Obby teased.

 

Chapter Two

‘Hello Sa’ood, why you not playing cricket again?’ Obby asked.

‘It’s Gugu,she is driving me crazy.’

‘Whats she done now?’

‘She’s drawn up a list of duties for me’.

Sa’ood handed  Obby the list.

It read:

Sa’ood’s duties(in bold)

Before Class:

-to open the windows every morning for fresh air.

-make sure all the desks and chairs are in a straight row.

-all school bags to be hanging up on the bag hooks.

blackboard is clean and there is enough chalk.

During Class:

– help teacher hand out notes or collect home work books.

Lunch Break:

-make sure every learner in the class has something to eat.

Home time:

-make sure learners packs their things away.

Obby read the list. He was very impressed how Gugu was so organised.

‘I think it’s an excellent list’, Obby told Sa’ood.

Sa’ood was hearing none of that.

‘I think it’s a long list with lots of things to do AND I bet you my list is longer than hers and I’m doing MOST of the work’, Sa’ood said.’I’m not falling for her tricks and I am going to ask her to swap lists-see if she likes that.’

‘Maybe you should talk to Gugu first and tell her how you feel and draw up a list  together.’ Obby suggested.

‘No, I don’t want to talk to her- girls like to think they are cleverer than boys so I’m going to ask to swap lists,’ Sa’ood said sounding very happy with his plan.

Chapter Three

‘Hello Sa’ood  how was your day at school?’ Obby asked.

‘It was terrible.’

‘Why?’Obby asked.

‘I told Gugu I wanted to swap lists and so she did,’he said.

‘That’s what you wanted,’ Obby reminded him.

‘Have a look at the list of what my duties are now’, and gave the list to Obby.

Gugu’s duties(in bold)

-make sure teacher has a fresh jug of water on her desk.

-dust bookshelf.

-write a positive (feel good) message everyday and pin on board.

-pick flowers for the vase so the class room looks pretty.

During class:

– help teacher with handing out or collecting books or homework.

Lunch break:

Go to the kitchen and make sandwiches for learners who don’t have something to eat.

 Home Time: 

Make sure the windows are closed and the class room looks neat.

Obby read the list, ‘ Gugu’s list was longer than yours,’ he told Sa’ood.

Sa’ood was hearing none of that.

‘Do you know how silly I felt arranging flowers and dusting while Gugu was moving desks and opening windows, and then at lunchtime she gives me a list of who must get sandwiches and I must go and make them. Alroy says he is going to bring me his ouma’s apron and all my friends are teasing me,’ he said.

‘ Why don’t you speak to Gugu and ask if you and her can share both lists?’ Obby suggested.

‘I told her I wanted my  list back and she said NO.’

‘Maybe you  could tell Gugu how you feel?’Obby suggested again.

‘No, she tricked me because she knew I would ask to swap lists,’ Sa’ood told Obby.

‘Gugu must be very clever if she can read your mind,’ Obby said.

‘She thinks she is clever but I am going to show her that I can do anything-so I am going to go to the library to use the internet and get the BEST positive messages to put on the board and I am going to ask my ouma to help me pick the prettiest flowers in her garden,’Sa’ood said, ‘and I’m going to make the tastiest sandwiches too’.

‘I think that is an excellent plan,’ Obby said,’ Just do your best.’