Roger and the Tiger
Roger loved tigers. His room was full of toy tigers, his walls were covered with pictures of tigers, he had a tiger bedspread, tiger pajamas, a tiger bag and a shelf full of tiger videos. But what Roger wanted most of all was a real live tiger.
As his birthday drew near he asked Mom and Dad for a tiger every single day. They just smiled.
On the day of Roger's birthday he went downstairs excitedly looking for his presents. There was a nice hat from Nanny and Grandad, and a pair of stripy socks from Uncle Joe. But Roger started to cry. Where was Mom and Dad's present?
"Don't cry, Roger." he said. "Follow me."
Dad led Roger out to the garage and opened the door. There in the corner was a big box.
"Open it." said Dad.
Roger opened the box. Inside was a great big orange and black tiger. Roger put his arms around the tiger and hugged his soft, warm fur. The tiger licked Roger's face.
"Thanks Dad, he's great. I'll call him Peter." said Roger, hugging the tiger even tighter.
That afternoon Roger and Dad went to the pet shop, where they bought a strong leather leash and a giant collar so Roger could take the tiger for walks.
Next day Roger gave the tiger his breakfast and put his leash on.
"Come on," said Roger, "I'll take you to the park to meet my friends. They'll be so amazed when they see you."
Roger and the tiger arrived at the park. Roger's friends were playing on the swings and slide. Roger called out to them. But instead of being amazed they were absolutely terrified at seeing the huge tiger and ran away crying as quickly as they could.
Roger was a little surprised, but he just stroked the tiger's ears and said, "Don't worry about them Peter, they're just kids. We don't need them anyway."
Next day Roger took his tiger to school. He knew everyone would love his new pal. His teacher often told them stories of tigers in the jungle, and once they watched a DVD about a tiger. But when Roger opened the classroom door and everyone saw the tiger they all screamed and jumped out the window. Even the teacher who had told them all those tiger stories.
Roger was starting to feel a little sad. Why didn't anyone want to meet his new friend. Sure, the tiger had big teeth, but he wouldn't hurt anyone. Roger tickled the tiger's tummy. The tiger purred contentedly.
Then Roger had a wonderful idea. He'd take the tiger to see Nanny and Grandad. Whenever he felt sad he always went to visit them and they always managed to cheer him up. And Roger remembered that Nanny and Grandad loved animals; they always put their stale bread out for the birds.
He reached their house and knocked on the door. Nanny opened it. But instead of being pleased to see them she screamed and ran back inside the house. Roger went inside, but could only catch a glimpse of her vaulting over the garden fence.
Grandad was asleep in his armchair. He woke up when he heard Nanny's screams. When he saw the tiger he jumped out of his chair making a big hole in the ceiling.
Now Roger really didn't know what to do. He went back home. Dad was watching television.
"Dad." said Roger.
"Yes." said Dad.
"I know I really wanted a tiger," said Roger, "and I really do love Peter very much. But everyone's scared of him. All my friends ran away, I couldn't take him to school, and even Nanny and Grandad didn't want to meet him."
Dad thought for a moment and then picked up the telephone. A few minutes later a man arrived in a big truck.
"He's going to take the tiger back to India." said Dad, "He'll be much happier there, and I think you'll be much happier too. Perhaps having a tiger wasn't such a good idea after all."
Next day Dad took back to the pet shop and they chose a cute little puppy.
"I'll call him Paul." said Roger.
Roger took Paul to the park to meet his friends. This time everyone came over and stroked the little dog. Then Roger took his new pal to school. Again everyone loved him.
That afternoon Roger took Paul to meet Nanny and Grandad. Grandad was standing on a ladder mending the hole in the ceiling. He climbed down and stroked Peter's ears, and Nanny opened a can of dog food for him.And every summer Roger and his family went to visit Peter the tiger living happily in the jungle.
Next Roger and the castle