The next morning Archie wakes up cheerful. He forgets that his friends left while he was telling his stories. Alright – so maybe he did tell a lot! No matter. He will go and see if Knut is ready for more stories. After all, he is not even halfway through telling all his adventures!
Knut is not very kind.
‘I’m sorry. I don’t have time to listen to your stories. I have a lot of homework!’
Archie does not believe this. Knut always starts his homework the minute he comes home from school, so he can finish early and go out to play.
Archie goes to Bertie.
‘So sorry, Archie,’ Bertie says. He does not look Archie in the eye. He says that he has some chores to do. And he can’t come and play or listen to any more stories.
One by one his friends turn Archie down. No one has time to play or listen to stories. Archie goes home. He feels a little sad. He kicks little pebbles on the way home, his eyes to the ground. When he passes by the pond, he hears Coffee Toad call his name.
He goes to the water. Coffee Toad looks at him.
‘Would you like a hot cocoa?’ He asks. ‘I have tiny marshmellows to go with that!’
Coffee Toad knows Archie very well. Archie nods.
A few minutes later they are sitting on a waterlily leaf.
‘Nobody has any time for me,’ Archie says. His lower lip trembles a little.
‘Well,’ says Coffee Toad. ‘Maybe they want to play with you rather than hear stories all the time?’
Archie sighs. ‘But I had so many great adventures,’ he says.
‘Yes,’ says Coffee Toad. ‘But maybe you should tell them one by one. They have been very worried about you! You didn’t tell anyone where you were. And when you came back, you were a hero. It makes them feel very strange.’
Archie thinks long and hard. Has he been a little arrogant? At first he just wanted to tell his friends where he had been and all the great things he has seen. But more and more he wanted to show off! He is a hero and everyone must know it! He now sees how this was maybe unpleasant for his friends…
‘Coffee Toad, what should I do?’
Coffee Toad hands him a cookie to go with the hot cocoa with marshmellows.
‘What do you think you should do?’
Archie sighs. ‘I think I should say I’m sorry. I made them feel unhappy by showing off… That’s not what I want!’