John Smith's Long Curly Bright Red Hair

Once upon a time there was a little boy called John Smith.

John Smith was a very popular boy, very clever and good at sports. He always had lots of friends. Everyone loved his witty personality, his lively sense of humor and his colorful clothes. But most of all people loved his long, curly, bright, red hair.

Smashed windowJohn's best friend was Tommy. One day John was playing at Tommy's house. The two boys were practicing soccer in the garden when John took a great big powerful kick at the ball. He kicked it so hard the ball went flying through Tommy's Mom's kitchen window.

Tommy's Mom came out demanding to know who had kicked the ball. Quick as a flash John told her that Tommy had kicked it. As much as Tommy tried to tell her it was John she didn't believe him. Tommy was locked in his room for a month and his pocket money stopped until the window had been paid for.

From that day on Tommy and John Smith were no longer friends. Everyone else continued to love John, and no one believed Tommy when he tried to tell them what John had done.

After leaving school John Smith quickly found a good job and began earning lots of money. Somebody told him that Tommy had moved to Australia.

As a man John continued to be very popular. He loved parties, and had lots of friends. They loved his lively personality, his witty sense of humor and his colorful clothes. But most of all they loved his long, curly, bright, red hair.

One Saturday night, or more accurately early Sunday morning, John Smith went to bed after an especially noisy party at his house. As usual he quickly fell asleep, but this particular night he was woken by a bright flash in his room. He was astonished to see his old friend Tommy, still looking like a little boy, standing by the side of his bed.

"You told a lie and caused me lots of suffering," said Tommy. "Now it's your turn to suffer. By midnight next Saturday I'm going to cut off all your long, curly, bright, red hair. And it'll never grow back again. Never, never, ever."

Tommy laughed as he vanished into thin air. John was terrified. He was shaking and sweating. He tried to go back to sleep but he couldn't.

Next day, as usual, John's friends called on him. They were surprised to find he wasn't his usual lively, joking self.

At first John didn't tell anyone what was wrong, just saying he felt a bit tired. But eventually he told them about Tommy.

"Silly old John, scared of a bad dream." they laughed.

But then they saw John was really scared. They all agreed to come over to John's house on Saturday night and to stay with him until midnight.

The week passed quickly and soon it was Saturday. John's friends came over, but they didn't have a party. Everyone just sat quietly drinking tea and watching the clocks. Eventually midnight came. Exhausted, but relieved to still have his long, curly, bright, red hair, John said goodnight to everyone and went to bed.

As his friends left the house they talked about how they had moved all John's clocks forward an hour to stop him worrying. How they would all laugh about it tomorrow.

Next morning John was woken by the sun streaming through his bedroom window. He smiled at how he had been so scared.

Then he put his hands up to his head. He was as bald as an egg. He let out a scream. Then he looked down. There on the bedroom floor was all his beautiful long, curly, bright, red hair. Every last bit of it.

And it never grew back again.

Next: Max and the Christmas ghost