by Sandy B.
Teaching children that facing their fears is not always as bad as it may appear.
|Freya the Frightened Frill-Neck Lizard.
Freya the frightened frill-neck lizard hid in the shade behind a rock watching the other desert animals play tag. She dreamed of joining them, but she didn’t dare. She couldn’t, Freya was too frightened.
‘Come and play, Freya,’ begged Joanna the Goanna.
‘Yes, please come and play with us,’ chorused the twin geckos, Grace and Gillian.
‘It would be so much more fun if you joined us Freya,’ they agreed.
Freya peered over the top of the rock.
‘No!’ she squealed. ‘I can’t.’ Her frill prickled on the back of her neck. Freya jumped back behind the rock.
‘What is it?’ Joanna asked. ‘Why are you always so afraid?’
‘Don’t you see it?’ Freya replied.
‘See what?’ Joanna looked around. ‘There’s nothing here!’
‘Over there!’ Freya pointed. The others could see nothing but Freya’s trembling claw pointing from behind the rock.
‘There’s nothing out there Freya,’ said Gillian. ‘Come out and play or we’ll go and play somewhere else.’
Freya the frightened frill-neck lizard shook her head and refused to move. The other desert animals tired of waiting ran off to play without her.
Freya darted from the shade of one rock to another and then another.
‘You have to get some sun at sometime,’ said Sly the snake as he slithered off the top of the rock she now hid behind. Sly yawned and flicked his tongue at a fly. ‘There’s nothing to be scared of out here,’ he continued as he circled around Freya.
‘Don’t you see it either?’ Freya fretted. She jumped back just a little.
‘All I see is a very frightened little lizard,’ said Sly. He slid even closer.
Freya jumped back a little more. Each time the snake crept closer, Freya backed further away.
Sly lunged to attack. Freya ran into the open. She screamed and scurried under a nearby scrubby bush.
After she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, Freya the frightened frill-neck lizard peered out between the branches. Sly the snake had slithered back on top of the rock and was sleepily sunning himself again.
‘It wasn’t the snake that frightened you was it?’ asked Molly the mouse as she nibbled on a twig.
‘Can you see it?’ Freya shivered.
‘Not really,’ said Molly. ‘But you think it’s real.’
Freya was puzzled. She carefully crept out from under the bush. The mouse followed.
‘What do you see?’ .
‘I see a huge monster thing with scales and a shield around its neck.’ Freya shivered. ‘It looks like a huge scary dinosaur.’
Freya panicked and ran away as fast as she could. Her nerves were so frayed she didn’t know what to do. Finally she stopped and hid behind a huge boulder. Her heart was racing and she was out of breath.
‘Tag, you’re it!’ she heard Grace the Gecko giggle. Freya watched her friends have so much fun. Oh how she wished she were brave enough to join them. Freya looked all around but could not see the dinosaur anywhere. But as soon as she came out into the sun, there it was again, looming over her. She darted for the safety of the shade.
‘Freya’s back!’ Gillian the gecko shouted. ‘Come on Frey, come out and play,’ she pleaded.
‘Oh I wish I could,’ Freya replied. ‘I really would like to but I’m much too frightened.’
‘Let’s play shadows,’ suggested Molly the mouse as she joined them. ‘You know how to play. Grace you’re in, you try and step on all our shadows and we’ll try not to let you by moving out of reach as fast as we can.’
Freya quietly watched for a moment from the safety of the rock. She crept forward around it, little by little to watch closer.
‘You’re in Freya!’ Grace shouted. Grace the Gecko stood grinning on top of the dinosaur.
Freya stared at her shadow. Then she looked around at all her desert friends, a large smile began to beam across her face.
‘I’ve got an even better game to play,’ she laughed. ‘Hide and seek, and I know all the best places to hide.’
Freya the not so frightened frill-neck lizard darted from rock to rock.