Aunty Nelly's new house

Aunty Nelly was really excited. She had just moved into a new house. Well, actually it was a hundred years old, but it was new to her. It was a lovely house, overlooking the sea and harbour in Lambsgate. Aunty Nelly was looking forward to sitting on the upstairs balcony reading her books and watching the yachts come and go.

Aunty Nelly thanked the moving men and began unpacking her things. All her life she'd dreamed of moving from the big city to the seaside and now her dream had become reality.

In a cupboard in the bedroom, right at the back on the floor, Aunty Nelly found a teddy bear. He was a bit old and had some loose stitches and a missing ear. But he looked cute. She didn't know why, but she decided to call him Albert. The name just came to her. She placed him gently on her dressing table.

Tired after a busy day she made herself tea, had a bath, and took her book to bed for an early night. It wasn't long before she was fast asleep.

But after a while Aunty Nelly woke. There were noises in the house. They sounded like footsteps. Was it a burglar? She looked at her clock. It was 3:33 in the morning. Aunty Nelly was just about to call the police when all when the noises stopped. She lay awake awhile, feeling a little scared, but then drifted back to sleep.

In the morning she almost forgot about the noises in the night until she was having breakfast. She checked around. All the doors and windows were tightly locked and nothing had been disturbed. Perhaps she dreamed it. Perhaps it was just the old house creaking like her old bones sometimes did. That was OK. "Old houses are so much prettier than new ones", she thought to herself.

Next night she also awoke at 3:33 to what sounded like footsteps, and the night after, and the night after that... Soon she learned to just turn over and go back to sleep.

Sometimes Aunty Nelly would hear the sound of crying. She wondered if one of her new neighbours had a baby or young child.

Aunty Nelly loved crossword puzzles. One morning she was just about to do the crossword puzzle in her newspaper. She went to get her lucky pen from the top of the television, but to her surprise it wasn't there. She looked on the floor to see if it had rolled off. It hadn't. She couldn't find it anywhere so she had to use the spare pen in her handbag.

The next day when Aunty Nelly was in the kitchen she thought she felt something brushing against her legs. It was a warm day and so the garden door was open. She wondered if a neighbour's cat or dog had got in, but when she looked around there was nothing.

She took a cup of tea into the living room to enjoy as she watched her favourite TV programme. As she switched the television on she was amazed to see her lucky pen, right back in its usual place.

A couple of days after Aunty Nelly decided to go for a walk by the sea right after breakfast. It was such a lovely day she thought she'd leave the washing up until she came back. As she walked along the promenade she noticed how beautiful the little yachts looked with the bright sun on their sails. She particularly noticed one yacht in the harbour, it was called "Albert's return". She thought of the teddy bear on her dressing table.

Aunty Nelly walked some more then she had a delicious lunch of fish and chips in a seafront cafe.

As Aunty Nelly returned home she thought of the washing up waiting in the sink and decided to get it done so she could enjoy the rest of the day in peace. But when she went into the kitchen the breakfast things had all been washed, dried and neatly put away.

"I must be going crazy", she thought to herself.

That evening as she was watching TV she thought she suddenly felt a little chilly. The she thought she saw something moving in the corner of the room. She turned round quickly, but there was nothing there. A few moments later she saw it again. This time she just caught a glimpse of a little boy before he disappeared.

Aunty Nelly felt angry. She'd heard there were some naughty children in the area, but how dare one of them come into her home. She checked all through the house, but there was no one there. She checked the doors and windows. But all were locked tightly shut.

"I am going crazy", she thought sadly to herself. But she wasn't, as she would soon find out.

Next day there was a knock at the door. Aunty Nelly opened it to find a man, lady and little boy. Strangely, the little boy looked very much like the boy she'd seen in the living room the night before.

"We're terribly sorry to trouble you", said the lady. "We used to own this house before you."

"We were wondering", continued the man, "if by any chance our little boy, left anything behind?"

"He used to have an old teddy bear, Albert he called it. It was falling apart but he loved it so much."

"Anyway, in all the chaos with moving, he must have lost it. We've tried buying him other bears and toys, but he just can't sleep without Albert."

Aunty Nelly smiled. "Come in", she said.

She offered the family tea and orange juice and went up to her bedroom. She came back down with Albert in her arms and gave him to the little boy. He smiled the biggest smile she'd ever seen as he hugged the tatty old bear.

After the family thanked her and left nothing strange ever happened again in Aunty Nelly's new house.

Next: John Smith's long curly bright red hair