Excerpted from The Mindful Monster by Darcie Nuttall, a therapeutic story about mindfulness for kids.
Oliver Bear’s monster jumped onto his tummy! He jumped so hard that he felt like he had a heavy rock inside his stomach. He felt sick!
“GO AWAY MONSTER!” Oliver said. “GO AWAY NOW!”
But the monster jumped harder inside Oliver’s tummy. He only stopped when Oliver invited the little girl bear to play with him. It felt good to help the little girl bear.
Oliver looked at his monster. He looked smaller than before. And wait… what was that on his head?
Underwear? How silly! Oliver giggled.
At the end of the day Oliver’s teacher announced, “Oliver Bear, please report to the office.” All of the other bears in the class looked up from their lessons.
Then Oliver’s monster came back! He pinched Oliver’s cheeks until they turned red and felt hot. Then the monster jumped on his belly again and again! Ouch!
“NOT NOW, MONSTER!” said Oliver. “PLEASE!!!”
The monster did not go away. He never did what Oliver asked him to. Oliver looked at his monster closely.
Oliver remembered that his monster didn’t usually stay long. This made Oliver feel brave. Now his monster didn’t look so big… in fact, the monster looked small and cute!
Oliver opened the office door and peeked inside. “Am I in trouble?” he asked the secretary.
“No, silly bear! Your mother is here to drive you home!” said the secretary. Oliver ran into his mother’s arms. He was so happy!
Oliver’s monster hugged him too! Oliver was surprised to discover that the monster’s arms were fuzzy and warm. It felt good.
His monster whispered, “Just so you know, my name is Fred, not ‘monster.’ Will you be my friend?”
“Really?” Oliver said. “OK, but why do you jump on me?”
Fred said, “I only jump on you when I have a message for you.”
Strange, thought Oliver.
“Why do you do it so much?” asked Oliver.
“So you will listen.” said Fred. “ When things are new, scary, or wrong, I remind you to be brave and caring. I even tell you when things are wonderful! If you listen to me then I won’t need to stay long.”
“Oh,” Oliver said.
Oliver took another look at his monst… ooops… Fred. Now he did not look so scary. He was, in fact, very small. He looked harmless, although his taste in fashion was questionable.
Oliver decided that he liked Fred. Besides, Fred was just trying to help.
“OK, Fred. You can visit from time to time.”