A week ago last Tuesday, Boris The Tiger’s Granny paid him an unexpected visit, bringing with her two lively young tiger cubs, wearing smart uniforms. Both were really excited to see their Uncle Boris.
‘We are Helpful Cubs!’ said Buttercup, ‘look at all my helpful Badges!’ and she proudly showed Uncle Boris her shirt sleeve.
It was covered in sewn-on badges, from the shoulder down to the cuff.
‘I’ve got one Helpful Badge!’ said Biffa as he barged past Buttercup, pushing her out of the way to show Uncle Boris his badge. He was much bigger than Buttercup. ‘I helped by sitting VERY still and QUIETLY and I’m going to get an ARMFUL OF THEM, just like Buttercup, only better!’
‘They’ve been “helping” in my house’ said Granny, who looked a bit tired; ‘they are quite a handful and now they want to help in your house!’
When Granny had gone, the Helpful Cubs looked at Boris.
‘Now, what helpful things would you like to do?’ said Boris
‘Play with your drums!’ shouted Biffa. ‘I’m not sure that’s very helpful’ said Boris.
‘Draw a picture for you?’ said Buttercup.
‘NO!’ shouted Biffa, in Buttercup’s ear. ‘PLAY WITH DRUMS!’
‘We can do both’ said Boris, as Buttercup’s bottom lip began to wobble.
BANG! BANG! BANG! went Biffa on the drums, as Buttercup sat down to draw. BANG! BANG! BANG!
‘That’s very loud’ shouted Boris over the noise.
‘That’s cos I’m DRUMMING!’ shouted Biffa and he left the drum and tapped on the table, TAP, TAP, TAP, BANG, then on the sofa, BING BANG BOSH and on Buttercup’s head too…
‘Biffa!’ said Boris, ‘say sorry to Buttercup!’
‘Ugh, SORRY!’ shouted Biffa as loudly as he could, ‘can I get my other Helpful Badge now?’
‘You haven’t been helpful’ said Buttercup, wiping her nose on her drawing paper. Biffa stuck his tongue out at her.
‘Why don’t we do some gardening, that would be helpful’ suggested Boris, quickly. ‘Come on!’
But Biffa wasn’t helpful in the garden. He made mud pies with earth, soil and puddle water, and put a fat, wiggly worm on Buttercup’s head.
‘Time to stop!’ said Boris and so they stopped.
‘It’s not nice to be mean to other people’ said Boris ‘bullies don’t make friends, do they Buttercup?’
Buttercup shook her head, ‘and they don’t get Helpful Badges’ she said.
‘But I’m big and strong!’ said Biffa ‘I can do Incredible leaps and lunges and my Tiger Roar is deafening, just like yours… ROOOAAARRRR!!!!!’
‘If you are big and strong, then you must try even harder to be kind and gentle’ said Boris. ‘I am big and strong, but it would mean that I was weak if I used my strength to bully other people. Real strength comes from kindness.’
‘I want to be strong and kind, like you’ said Biffa, ‘but it’s VERY DIFFICULT.’
‘I know’ said Boris, ‘which is why you must practice. Practice your jumps and lunges, but also practice being kind and gentle too, especially to the smallest-of-all-cubs, like Buttercup.’
‘And then I’ll get a Helpful badge?’ asked Biffa. ‘Yes, an ARMFUL OF THEM, just like Buttercup!’ said Boris.
“I’m sorry I was a bully Buttercup, I’ll try my hardest to be kind and gentle like Uncle Boris says”.
Buttercup grinned. “Thank you Biffa” she said, “and I’ll try to like worms”.
Boris smiled, “Well done you two!” he said. “Now who would like to practice some leaps and lunges?”