One dark night, Onke was fast asleep in his little bed, in his little room, in the house he shared with Mama, Papa, Granny, and his little pet dog called Puppy. Puppy was asleep on a red blanket at the foot of Onke’s bed. She was snoring quietly and dreaming of catching squirrels in the park.
Suddenly Onke heard a loud noise and woke up with a fright. “What’s that noise?” he said, shaking. He pulled the blanket over his head. “I hope it’s not a monster or a scary ghost. I don’t like ghosts.”
CRUNCH! “There it is again,” he said, trying to sound brave. “I have to find out what made that noise.” So Onke picked up the green plastic torch he kept on his bedside table, and shone it around the room.
“Do you think a ghost made that noise?” Onke asked Puppy, who was still fast asleep and dreaming about chasing squirrels. Onke patted her head.
HOO! HOO! A new noise came from outside.
“Is that a ghost?” asked Onke, shining his torch through the window.
A big, fat brown thing, covered in feathers, with a yellow beak, sat on the branch outside. Onke laughed and said, “That’s not a ghost. It’s just a big owl sitting in the tree outside my room. But I wonder what made that crunching sound?”
HOO! HOO! The big owl spread its wings and flew off across the garden.
“Owls hunt for mice and rats at night, that’s why people never get to see them. It’s quite lucky to see an owl,” said Onke. “Isn’t that right, Puppy?”
But Puppy was still fast asleep, so Onke rubbed her furry little tummy and she snored and rolled over on her red blanket.
“Maybe I’m just being silly,” thought Onke. But then he saw something dark and scary in a corner of the room. It looked like a big monster with vulture wings and lion’s claws and long tusks like a warthog’s.
“Is that a ghost?” he said, shining his torch into the corner of the room. Onke laughed when he saw what it really was. “That’s not a ghost! It’s just my dirty clothes, hanging on a chair. I should have put those away like Mama asked me to. Isn’t that right, Puppy?” But Puppy was still fast asleep and was now drooling onto her red blanket.
“But what was that crunching noise I heard earlier?” said Onke. CRUNCH! He heard the noise again and shivered. “That must be a ghost,” he thought, “and it sounds like it’s floating around just outside my room.”
Onke was trying to be very brave, even though his knees shook like jelly. He peeked out from behind his bedroom door, and looked into the dark passage.
But there was nothing there, just his parents’ shoes next to the wall, and Puppy’s water bowl on a little mat. Onke crept along the carpet in the passage, past his parents’ bedroom, and peeked into the kitchen.
“It’s a ghost!” he shouted, shining his torch onto a black shadow standing near the stove. The ghost wore blue pyjamas with fluffy sheep on them.
“Those are Granny’s pyjamas,” said Onke. “Why have you stolen Granny’s pyjamas, Ghost?” Onke shone his torch up to look at the ghost’s face. There was Granny!
“Onke,” said Granny, her mouth hanging open in shock. “You gave me such a fright. I thought you were a ghost.”
“I thought you were a ghost,” Onke said, giggling. “What are you doing in the kitchen so late at night, Granny?”
“I couldn’t sleep,” said Granny, “so I came into the kitchen for a mug of warm milk and some biscuits. Do you want to have a midnight snack with me?” Onke smiled and nodded his head.
So he and Granny sat at the kitchen table chatting quietly as they dunked delicious crunchy butter-biscuits into mugs of warm milk. Then they made a toasted sandwich to share, with pickles, ham, cheese, tomato, and fresh green lettuce.
When they had finished eating and drinking, they brushed their teeth for the second time that evening. Then Onke said goodnight to Granny and went back to his bedroom. As he opened the door, Puppy jumped up and barked.
“Puppy,” said Onke, patting her head, “it’s only me, you silly dog. Did you think I was a ghost?”
Puppy licked his face and rolled over on her red blanket.
“I solved a mystery tonight. Did you know that, Puppy?” asked Onke.
But Puppy had already curled up and closed her eyes.
“That looks like a good idea,” said Onke. “Goodnight, Puppy.”
“Goodnight,” said a friendly ghost on the ceiling, who was just passing through the house looking for warm milk and biscuits to eat.
But Onke was already fast asleep.