All About Animals: Adapted from: ‘Dont Cut the Lawn’ by Margaret Mahey, A Treasury of Stories for Six-Year-Olds, chosen by Edward & Nancy Blishen

 

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Mr Pomeroy went to his seaside cottage for the holidays. The sea was right, the sand was right, the sun was right, the salt was right. But outside his cottage the lawn had grown into a terrible, tussocky tangle. Mr Pomeroy decided that he would have to cut it.

He got out his lawnmower, Snapping Jack.

Mr Pomeroy began pushing the lawnmower, and the grass flew up and out. However, he had gone only a few steps when out of the tangly, tussocky jungle flew a lark crying:
Dont cut the lawn, dont cut the lawn!
You will cut my little nestlings who have just been born.

Mr Pomeroy went to investigate and there, sure enough, were four baby skylarks in a nest on the ground.

No need to worry, Madam! cried Mr Pomeroy to the anxious mother. We will go around your nest and cut the grass further away.

So they went around the nest and started cutting the lawn further away. But just then, out jumped a mother hare crying:
Dont cut the lawn, dont cut the lawn!
You will cut my little leveret who has just been born.

Mr Pomeroy went to investigate and there, sure enough, was a little brown leveret, safe in his tussocky form.

Well have to go further away to do our mowing, Mr Pomeroy said to Snapping Jack. So they went further away but suddenly a tabby cat leaped out of the tussocky tangle and mewed at them:
Dont cut the lawn, dont cut the lawn!
You will cut my little kittens who have just been born.

Mr Pomeroy went to investigate, and there, sure enough, were seven stripy kittens in a little, golden, tussocky, tangly hollow.

There was nowhere left to cut and so the lawn was left alone. Mr Pomeroy sat on his verandah enjoying the sun, or swam in the sea enjoying the salt water, and day by day he watched the cottage lawn grow more tussocky and more tangly. Then, one day, out of the tussocks and tangles flew four baby larks who began learning how to soar and sing as larks do. And out of the tussocks and tangles came a little brown hare who frolicked and frisked as hares do. And out of the tussocks and tangles came seven stripy kittens who pounced and bounced as kittens do.

Whod have believed that a tussocky, tangly lawn could be home to so many creatures? asked Snapping Jack. Theres more to a lawn than mere grass, you know.

And Mr Pomeroy, the larks, the hare and her leveret, and the cat with her kittens all agreed.

Let’s Talk! Issues for your class to discuss
1. Think about your garden or a park or a field nearby. How many animals and birds can you think of that live there? Why not make a list?
2. Why is it important that we take care of the homes of animals?