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Roddy the Rude Bear


Once upon a time, there was a little bear named Roddy, who had a rude and ill-mannered way of behaving. Roddy never said "please" or "thank you" and often spoke to others in an unkind and cheeky way. His parents tried their best to teach him good manners, but Roddy simply ignored them and now they were at their wits’ end. One night Roddy’s father said ‘I wonder if Good Manners Granny could help us?’

 

‘You mean Tilda Table Manner’s Granny? That’s a very good idea’, said Roddy’s Mum ‘she is so kind and has very good manners, I am sure she would know what to do’.


Roddy’s Mum had invited Shiloh Sharing Bear to play for the day. She was rather dreading it as often Roddy was so rude that sometimes his friends went home in tears.


The bears were playing in the sand box, building bridges and making tunnels for their cars. ‘My car is bigger than yours’ said Roddy with a smirk ‘It will go faster than yours!’


‘Maybe, maybe not,’ said Shiloh. ‘Let’s wait and see.’ Both the bears began racing their cars through the tunnels. Roddy’s car came out first. ‘Told you I would win!’ shouted Roddy. ‘Your car is stupid.’  


‘Cars can’t be stupid’ said Shiloh. ‘Let’s have another go.’


They had another go and this time Shiloh’s car was the winner. Roddy wasn’t at all pleased and said he was fed up with the game.


‘Let’s go on the swing’ Roddy said as he ran to the swing, making sure he got there first.


Shiloh waited patiently for a while, but then he asked if he could have a turn.


‘No you can’t.’ shouted Roddy ‘You are a slimy toad, and I don’t see why I should let you have a go on the swing.’


“That’s not very nice’ said Shiloh. “I don’t call you names like that.’


‘Well, I’m not a toad, but you are’ said Roddy as he began to swing higher and higher. ‘And you’re a scaredy cat. I bet you can’t swing as high as I can.’ With that he gave a huge push and the swing twisted and Roddy Rude Bear came tumbling down. There was a horrible thud as he landed on the ground.


Shiloh came running. ‘Are you alright?’ he asked as he knelt down beside Roddy. ‘Let me help you up.’


‘I don’t need your help’ said Roddy, scrambling to his feet. ‘I just want to play on my own.’


Shiloh wandered back to the house. ‘Hello Shiloh’ said Roddy’s Mum. ‘Have you finished your game?’


‘Roddy doesn’t want to play any more’ muttered Shiloh.


‘Has he been rude to you?’


‘A bit,’ whispered Shiloh, looking at his feet.


‘I’m so sorry Shiloh,’ she said ‘would you like to come again another day?’


‘No thank you,’ said Shiloh politely. ‘Could I go home now please?’


Roddy’s mum called Shiloh’s mother, who came to take him home. Roddy’s mum was sad as she went to talk to him.


‘Why were you rude to Shiloh? He has gone home.’


‘He’s just a wally who can’t take a joke’ mumbled Roddy, continuing to play in the sand.


‘Sometimes I think you are a rude little bear,’ said Mum. She shook her head and went back to the house. Roddy made a face behind her back and carried on playing.


The next day at school, Good Manners Granny Bear came to assembly to talk to the little bears about good manners and why they were important. ‘Good manners means being kind, considerate and respectful to each other’ she said. ‘What is Politeness?’ she asked the assembled group. She got a lot of answers.


 ‘Is it using polite words such as please and thank you?’ asked Tilda Table Manners Bear (Good Manners Granny was her Granny, so she knew most of the answers)


 ‘Is it saying excuse me and I'm sorry?’ said Theo Thank You Bear.


‘Yes, it is’ said Good Manners Granny. ‘That is all polite behaviour, and politeness shows respect and care for others. Being punctual, arriving on time for school, parties or playdates is also polite because it shows respect too. That’s enough from me this morning, but I have a little rhyme for you: Feeling angry, feeling mad, try not to make others sad. There’s no excuse for being rude, just because you’re in a mood.


All the little bears stood up and said ‘thank you’ as Granny left the room except for one. That one was Roddy. When the others looked at him, he said ‘I think that rhyme is stupid!’


‘No it isn’t’ said Tilda ‘you do make others sad when you are in a mood, and there’s no excuse for it!’ with that she ran out of the room, followed by the others leaving Roddy alone.


Teacher Bear came up to him. ‘Tilda is right, Roddy. You do make the other bears sad. Why do you like being rude?’


‘I don’t know,’ he said.


‘We all have choices you know, and if you carry on being so rude you might find your friends choose not to play with you. Would you like that?’ Roddy shook his head.


Teacher Bear patted him on the shoulder ‘Go back to class now but think about what Good Manners Granny said.’


In his bedroom that night, Roddy thought about the day. Nobody had wanted to play with him, and he realised that other bears said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to each other, especially at lunch time when they passed round the food. It had been a shock when Shiloh had gone home early and didn’t want to play with him again. ‘Perhaps I ought to start being nice and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ too.’  He said to himself.


When Mummy came up to say goodnight, he said ‘I’m sorry I have been rude. I am going to stop being in a mood from tomorrow….if I can.’ His mother gave him a kiss and told him how much happier he would be if he was nice to the other bears. Roddy smiled at her and said ‘thank you.’


As he settled down to sleep, he realised he was looking forward to tomorrow. Maybe he wouldn’t be Roddy Rude Bear anymore.


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