Bedtime: Soothing Good Night Stories

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The seed of the Sleepy Tree

Based on the Nursery Rhyme Old King Cole

Listen to the Bedtime Story The seed of the Sleepy Tree, based around our arrangement of the Nursery Rhyme Old King Cole. 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).

All Bedtime Stories (based on Nursery Rhymes)

Good Night Story based on Old King Cole

(Story 9 of 20)

Old King Cole

The seed of the Sleepy Tree

Curly the elf rested his back against the old oak tree with a mug of tea in his hand, he felt very pleased with himself. He had made the kingdom a very happy place and he had managed to put a few gold coins in the bank.

Perhaps I should explain: Old King Cole loved to throw a party, in fact he loved to throw a party every night. He never went to sleep and he expected all the Lords to come to party as well. Every night he would turn up at a different Lord’s castle and command that the Lord organise a party. Now this was all very well and a lot of fun, but the Lords had to pay for the parties because as everyone knows, Kings don’t carry money around with them. The King never came on his own and he always arrived with his servants and his soldiers and Old King Cole had many, many servants and soldiers.

Old King Cole was very particular about his parties, he demanded that his food be served from a golden bowl and that his favourite band played, (who were three violinists called “The Elbows”). The Elbows were famous throughout the land, they were the best fiddlers around and it cost a lot of money to hire them. So, the Lords had to pay for the golden bowls, the best band in the land and all the party food and drinks for the King, all his servants and all his soldiers! Now, as you can imagine the Lords got fed up with all this partying, never sleeping and always having to pay for everything.

Three Lords in particular decided to do something about it. They were Lord Toodle-Pip, Lord Mind-How-You-Go and Lord Nighty-Night. These weren’t their real names of course but the names their servants called them because the Lords always said these things when people were leaving: “Toodle Pip, Mind How You Go, Nighty-Night.”

These three Lords sent for Curly the elf and asked for his help. Curly was well known for his special magical powers. The Lords explained and complained that Old King Cole was always partying and expecting them to pay for the parties AND expecting them to stay up all night, every night … AND IT HAD TO STOP! Curly agreed to help in return for a large purse of gold.

Off Curly went to his house in the old oak tree deep in the forest and from the top of his cupboard he took a special packet of seeds. During the night when everyone was at another one of the King’s parties he crept into the King’s palace garden and planted one of the seeds. It was the seed of the SLEEPY TREE. Curly watered the seed and said:

“I am Curly the elf
And I plant this Sleepy Tree deep
Make it grow into a tree
With fruits that make you sleep”

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By magic the next morning, in the palace garden, there was a beautiful tree covered in the most delicious, juicy fruits. Well, when Old King Cole saw this he commanded a servant to pick the biggest, juiciest fruit so that he could have it for his breakfast … you see he wanted a change from porridge, toast and jam. Almost as soon as he tasted the fruit of the Sleepy Tree the King started to feel tired. He took another bite and felt even more sleepy and after the third bite he called for his servants and Lords Toodle-Pip, Mind-How-You-Go and Nighty-Night.

“I am very sorry my Lords,” the King said. “I feel so sleepy that I will have to cancel the party for tonight.”

“Oh that is such a shame,” said Toodle-Pip.
“Oh really … that is … unfortunate,”
said Mind-How-You-Go.
“Oh dear, dear, dear! What a terrible shame,” said Nighty-Night.

But really everyone was so happy that they almost decided to have a party to celebrate. No, no … they decided that at last everyone could get a good night’s sleep. Just like you.


Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
He called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three
Ev’ry fiddler had a fiddle so fine
And a very fine fiddle had he
Oh there’s none so rare
As can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three

© 2015, written by Trevor Dobson

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