Table of Contents: All Bedtime Stories
Listen to the Bedtime Story Counting Sheep, based around our arrangement of the Nursery Rhyme Little Bo Peep. Here you can listen to excerpts of all stories (narrated by Peter Bradbury). You can read along with every story online on our website or you can download all story texts and soundtracks individually (MP3 + PDF). In addition, all 20 stories are available together as an illustrated eBook with audio included (our full package download).
Once upon a long, long time ago there was a little girl who lived on a green hill. She lived there all alone in a tiny little shed with her dog. It was a time when there were no cars and no computers, no television and no radio. There wasn’t even a school; in fact there were no shops and there was no town and there were no villages for as far as the eye could see. But of course the little girl didn’t miss any of these things because she had never even seen them. She just knew about her dog that she loved dearly and about the sheep that she looked after.
The little girl’s name was Little Bo Peep. She was a clever girl but she had never learned how to count because she had not been to school. She used her little fingers to help her count the sheep.
But the sheep always moved and ran and jiggled around while she was counting them and she had to start counting again and again and again. Those naughty sheep!
Little Bo Peep counted ten sheep using all the ten fingers of her two hands but there were still some sheep left over that she had not counted - what could she do now that she had run out of fingers?
One day she had a fine idea to use her little toes as well as her fingers to count on. But sometimes Little Bo Peep counted ten fingers and two toes and sometimes she counted ten fingers and three toes. She never knew if she had missed a sheep when she had counted twelve, or if she had counted one sheep twice when she had counted thirteen. “Oh dear,” she thought.
Anyway, it’s not important whether you look after twelve sheep or whether you look after thirteen sheep, they were still naughty sheep.
One day when the sun was high in the sky, Little Bo Peep decided she needed to practice her counting on something that wouldn’t move and run and jiggle around like her sheep did. So she started to count the trees on the green hill.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. There were seventeen trees on the green hill. She used all her ten little fingers and seven of her little toes to count them and it was so easy to do because they stayed perfectly still. She was very pleased.
Then she counted her dog: One! That was also very easy even though the dog was moving around. Next she counted some butterflies who did move around a little bit and then the things in her shed. “Ooooh, counting is so much fun,” she whispered to herself. There were two chairs, three plates, four cups, six spoons but just one knife.
Now at the end of the day Little Bo Peep had counted everything in her shed and everything she could see on her green hill. The sun had gone to bed, the moon stood full and clear in the sky and she started to count the stars which were shining brightly. She used all of her ten little fingers and all of her ten little toes but there were still many more stars in the night sky left to count. Little Bo Peep stood on the hill and wondered. There were so many stars, she thought, it is impossible to count them all, even if I use all my little fingers and all my little toes.
Little Bo Peep had a lovely day counting things and she was still wondering to herself how many stars there were in the sky when she suddenly realised that she couldn’t see her sheep anymore. Where did they go? She had been so busy counting the stars she’d forgotten to look after her own sheep. Where had they wandered to? Where could she find them? She went down the hill, around the hill and up the hill again but there were no sheep to be found, she could not even find one sheep.
Oh dear! What was she supposed to do without her sheep? Little Bo Peep started crying and she cried herself to sleep that night.
In the morning, when the sun rose she sighed sadly as she remembered that her sheep had all gone. But when she looked out of her little shed window all the sheep had returned and were waiting for her; there they were … all twelve sheep wagging their tales behind them. Or was it thirteen sheep? Anyway, they had all come back … so maybe they weren’t naughty sheep after all.
Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep
And doesn’t know where to find them
Leave them alone and they will come home
Wagging their tails behind them
© 2015, written by Mike Wilbury