Monday, 9 May 2011

Jeannot has a Narrow Escape

For Georgia and Oscar
It was a very hot summer night in the Lot and it was so stuffy in his burrow that Jeannot just had to get some air. He climbed out, but it was just as hot outside, and there was no breeze near the burrow, so he made his way into the next door neighbour’s garden.
Jeannot was very, very hot and the neighbour’s swimming pool looked so inviting. Without a second thought he jumped into the cool blue water.

Suddenly there was a horrible noise “Blaaa aaa eeere!! Blaaa aaa eeere!! Blaaa aaa eeere!! Blaaa aaa eeere!!”
Jeannot was very frightened and looked around for a place to climb out and run away. But then he realised that he didn’t know how to get out, and he panicked! “Help ! Help ! Help!“ he cried as he swam up and down getting more and more tired.

“EEEEk!, EEEEk! Over here! Over here!” On the other side of the pool there was a rat squeaking at him very loudly and beckoning him over.
“Grab hold of this!” shouted the rat. Then he sat on the edge of the pool with his long tail hanging down to the water. Jeannot grabbed it and the rat strained and pulled. Suddenly Jeannot plopped out of the water onto the stone slabs where they both fell together SSHHPLOTTT!! in a wet furry heap.
“Quick follow me!” said the Rat as he scurried off into the dark, away from the pool, and Jeannot had to hop very fast to keep up with him. When they reached a hole in some rocks the rat stopped!

“OK we’re safe here!” it said. “It’s a good thing that you’re so small. If you were much bigger I wouldn’t have been able to pull you out! My name’s Ratatouille, what’s yours?”
“Hello I’m Jeannot”. “Thank you so much for rescuing me!”
“Well Jeannot, do you often go jumping into things without thinking” said Ratatouille. “It’s not easy to get out of that pool if you are as small as you are. But you’re very lucky they’ve put that alarm on and that I was nearby.”
Now Ratatouille was a wise old rat. He talked about all the dangers around them – owls and cats, dogs and kites. Jeannot said “Thank you” and “Yes” several times, then after that he was rather quiet because his mummy was always telling him to be careful about this or that, and he wasn’t very good at listening!  But Ratatouille, had, after all, rescued him from the pool, so he nodded politely while he thought about how hungry he always was these days, and how useful it would be to have a long tail!
Jeannot already knew about how dangerous owls, dogs and cats were for young rabbits, so he had stopped listening by the time Ratatouille started explaining about the kites. Suddenly Ratatouille let out a cry “Keeeeoooo, Keeeeeooo!” “And that’s a Black Kite,” he said.
Finally Jeannot thanked Ratatouille again and went home, still feeling rather damp. He sneaked back into the burrow without his mummy noticing and helped himself to some spinach, red lettuce and sweet corn for dessert.

The next day it was still hot while Jeannot was sleeping in his burrow. In the late afternoon he was woken up by a drone from some machines outside, Brrrrrrmmm, Brrrrrrmmmm, Brrrrrmmmm, Brrrrrmmmm. He crept to the entrance of the burrow and looked out. The noise was coming from some tractors which were working in the next field. There were some big birds circling overhead but he just had get out to have some air. He crawled carefully along the hedge, after he had gone a short distance he saw a particularly nice patch of grass in the field. It looked so fresh and green, that he couldn’t resist a closer look, so he hopped over to it.

All at once there was a mewing cry overhead. “KEEEEEEOOO! KEEEEEEOOO!” it cried. He looked up and saw that it was a Black Kite!!

“EEEEk! EEEEk! Jeannot! Run! Run! Quick! Quick! This way! This way!“ Ratatouille called out to Jeannot from the edge of the field.
“Run as fast you can! A Black Kite is after you!!” shrieked Ratatouille.
Jeannot ran as fast as he could but the Black Kite was faster. In desperation he jinked from side to side as he ran, trying to put the kite off. Just as it had its yellow claws out, and was about to grab him, Jeannot reached Ratatouille’s hole in the rocks and shot down it. He tumbled over Ratatouille and they fell together FFFFLLOPPP! in a furry heap once again, but this time they were dry.

“Didn’t I say that there were kites around here at the moment?” said Ratatouille. “Jeannot you really must listen to what people tell you!”
Jeannot was gasping for breath and trembling at the same time. He said “sorry” and “thank you” so many times that Ratatouille took pity on him. So he stopped scolding him and said “Why don’t you stay here until after dark, the kites don’t fly at night, then you can go back to your own home.”
Jeannot had never been so frightened in his life before and he was very glad to stay with Ratatouille for a couple of hours while he recovered.

Later, as he went home, Jeannot heard a very loud familiar chirping nearby. It was Connor O’Connor the chirpy very green, friendly conehead cricket.
CHIRP! Top o’ the CHIRP! CHIRP! evening to you Jeannot, have you CHIRP! had a CHIRP! CHIRP! day?“ chirped Connor cheerily.
Jeannot explained to Connor about his narrow escape from the kite. “Well, Jeannot CHIRP! if I were you CHIRP! CHIRP! I would CHIRP! tell your mummy CHIRP! CHIRP!” Because CHIRP! mummies always find out in the end CHIRP! CHIRP! and it would be CHIRP! CHIRP! much, CHIRP! better that she CHIRP! heard it from you first!” CHIRP!
Jeannot thanked Connor O’Connor for his advice and hopped off towards home.

Now Jeannot had made up his mind that he really would listen to what people told him, so he decided that he should tell his Mummy what had happened.
When he had finished she told him off, but this time it wasn’t like before. She seemed very upset, and at one point he thought that she might even be crying as she turned away!

She threatened not to give him any tea but finally, after she had been angry for about twenty minutes, she relented. “There are some lettuce and beetroot sandwiches if you want them, “she said.

“Delicious, my favourite!” said Jeannot. But he knew that he really didn’t deserve them and he also knew how lucky he was to have escaped the kite.
“I don’t think I’ll go out again tonight” thought Jeannot after he had finished the sandwiches.
“And I really will listen properly in future when people tell me things” he said to himself, just before he fell asleep.

That night he dreamed about flying green rats with long tails, black beaks and yellow claws. “EEEEk! EEEEk! CHIRP! CHIRP! KEEEEEEOOO! KEEEEEEOOO!” they cried, as they circled overhead.

You can read more Jeannot stories here:


  1. Greetings. My name Elizabetn Florida. I am impressed with the work and writing. Can I have some drawings. Thanks

  2. @Anonymous
    Hello Elizabeth,
    thanks you for your compliments, they are much appreciated. I don't have any drawings because unfortunately, I'm not an artist so that's why I used photographs. But I agree that stories for children are better with drawings, so if you know an artist who likes the Jeannot stories please let me know.