The Naughty Dog

Join storyteller Sandra Agard for a retelling of a classic Aesop fable featuring a talking dog.

Our storytelling videos are designed for you to enjoy as a family or with friends. So get ready to cozy up together and be transported by Sandra’s wonderful stories.

When you've finished watching, discover how you can create new animal characters for your very own stories.

Hello, my name is Sandra and I'm joining you as part of the British Library's digital storytelling session. Do you like stories? I know I do. In the British Library, we have many special books, about many different talking animals who are crafty, who are curious. Please check out our Discovering Children's Books. You'll find many such animals there. You'll find the Aesop Fables. I'm going to tell you an Aesop Fable about a very, very greedy dog, a naughty dog. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

There was once a naughty, greedy dog who one day, decided to go into town to get into mischief. He passed shop after shop after shop. But it was at the last shop, the butcher shop on the counter he saw a fat, juicy, yummy, scrumming bone. That naughty dog did a very naughty thing. He grabbed the bone and began to run and run and run and run and run and run and run and run and run.

Can you join in with me? Run and run and run and run and run and run and run and run and run. He ran so far and so fast because he wanted to find out a secret place to eat his bone. He stopped at the river and was just about to cross it, to find his secret place, when he looked in the water and he saw a very, very big dog. And the dog had a bone. And he thought, "That bone looks better than my bone." Then he had an idea. If he could have that bone with his bone, he could have many bones. And so that naughty dog did a very, very, very naughty thing. He jumped into the water.

Now, I do not want you to ever try this. And he forgot he couldn't do one little thing. Can you guess what he couldn't do? Shall we say it together after three? One, two, three. Swim. You're right. He couldn't swim. He began to bark loudly. He barked so loudly his mom and dad heard and came running. Brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, teachers, librarians, they all came running. And they pulled him out and they looked at him, and they asked, "What are you doing in the water?" "There was this other dog with a great big bone." "Other dog, great big bone? Are you sure?" "Yes, yes, look he's there. You can see him."

They looked at the water. They looked at each other. And they all shook their head and said, "There was no other dog. It was..." Who was the other dog? Have you guessed who the other dog was? Shall we say that together as well, after three? One, two, three.

"It was you", they all said. "It was your reflection." "Oh", he said, "my reflection. Oh, I didn't know." "No", they said. "I'm sorry. I'll be a good dog from now on."

And indeed he was. They all went home and the greedy dog wasn't greedy or naughty ever again. And in fact, he grew up to become a very, very good dog. He grew up to become, you're going to like this bit, a professor of bones at the bone university, studying bonology. I saw him last week and he's doing fine. Yeah, we saw each other. We phone. We text. We email. You don't believe me? Look at my face. I only ever, ever tell the truth.

Now, I wonder if you can create your own story after a crafty, a curious animal, a talking animal. Can you create one? Can you tell one? Can you write one? Can you draw? We love to see them here at the British Library. What adventures can you take them on?

Please share them with us. Go into Discovering Children's Books and see what curious and crafty animals are there. We look forward to hearing from you. My name is Sandra. Thank you for listening. Happy stories. Goodbye. Goodbye.

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