Last Updated: April 2nd, 2019

Excerpted from The Mindful Monster by Darcie Nuttall, a therapeutic story about mindfulness for kids. 

Monster jumping on bear - The Mindful Monster fiction

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!

Boy and girl bear - The Mindful Monster fiction

“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.

Monster wearing underwear on head - The Mindful Monster fiction

Oliver looked at his monster. He looked smaller than before. And wait… what was that on his head?

Underwear? How silly! Oliver giggled.

Bear in class - The Mindful Monster fiction

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.

Monster jumping on bear's head - The Mindful Monster fiction

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!

Bear looking at monster - The Mindful Monster fiction

“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.

Small and cute monster - The Mindful Monster fiction

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!

Bear with mother - The Mindful Monster fiction

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!

Bear and monster hugging - The Mindful Monster fiction

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?”

Bear asks monster question - The Mindful Monster fiction

Really?” Oliver said. “OK, but why do you jump on me?”

Monster and bear touch noses - The Mindful Monster fiction

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.

Monster explains actions - The Mindful Monster fiction

“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.”

Monster with sock on head - The Mindful Monster fiction

“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.

Bear and monster sit as friends - The Mindful Monster fiction

Oliver decided that he liked Fred. Besides, Fred was just trying to help.

“OK, Fred. You can visit from time to time.”

Darcie Nuttall is a counsellor, author, and mindfulness educator. She has worked with children, schools, and families in the greater Boston area for 18 years. Her children’s books, Yipper and His Quest for Mindfulness and The Mindful Monster, are used in schools and private counselling settings to promote mindfulness practices.

Text (c) 2013 Darcie Nuttall, LMHC. All rights reserved. Images 2 to 14 (c) 2013 Darcie Nuttall, LMHC. All rights reserved.

image 1: mom daughter and son via Shutterstock