long, long time ago, not long after the world began, it started to rain. This
was the kind of rain that really soaks you, that hammers down from the heavens like
steel rods and simply never stops.
But one man called Noah was wise, he
began building a lifeboat. It was made of great huge trees and it was called
Noah went round everywhere gathering
together all the creatures he could think of. He even invited onto the Ark
slugs, spiders and other slimy creepy-crawlies most people get rid of by
spraying or standing on.
Last of all the dog paddedon board to
Noah. He was such a funny mixture of things it was impossible to tell what sort
of dog he really was. But one thing was for sure, he had a big, black, soft
Then the ark gave a great groan and
listed to one side. Noah held his breath, for he was afraid that the Ark was so
huge and heavily laden that it wouldn’t be able to float at all. Then came a mighty
wave, and the boat went from one side to the other. But it floated all the
same, and began its voyage into the unknown.
They sailed away over the great sea. The
land had vanished, and all that remained were sea and sky. The rain fell
heavier than ever, and from the black clouds came zigzags of lightning like
snake tongues. But apart from the noise of the rain and the thunder, there was
complete quiet. There were no other sounds in the whole world.
Apart from on the Ark, of course! There
it was never still day or night – there was always the shriek of parrots or the
howl of a hyena. Noah had no peace and not a wink of sleep. He was too busy finding
hay for horses or hazelnuts for squirrels, or unmentionable things for pythons.
As soon as the last animal had had dinner, it was time to think about breakfast
for the first again.
Then, early one morning, after they’d
been our on the great sea for twenty days and twenty nights, something utterly awful
happened. They sprang a leak! The hole between the planks wasn’t bigger than a
nut. Perhaps not much in a boat the size of a football pitch, you might think.
But before Noah had time to shout ‘Help!’, there was water everywhere and a
rabbit had to be rescued. ‘What in all the world are we going to do now?’ Noah
said to the dog. They needed a plan, and fast!
The donkeys brayed, the monkeys
shrieked, the mice clapped their little paws, and Noah and Mrs Noah danced on
the deck for joy. At last the leak was fixed.
The rain fell for forty days and forty
nights, and the ocean stretched as far as the eye could see. Noah’s dog could
do nothing but stay completely still. He knew his master wanted him just where
he was with his nose in the hole. The water washed up over that hole night and
day, but not a single drop came in. and one morning the dog got the scent of
Outside, a great mountain stretched up
through the mist, and behind it was the tiniest bit of blue sky. It had stopped
raining at last, and a magnificent rainbow stretched across the sky from east
They’d reached land! And what a beautiful
sight it was. Things of all kinds were growing once more on the earth.
‘Good boy’, whispered Noah, and gently
stroked the dog’s tummy. ‘Woof!’ answered the dog, and leapt up to give his
master a kiss with his damp nose. Never again would he have to go to sea, but
for ever after the dog’s nose would be wet and cold.