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Six-year-old Rony was in a very good mood while returning from school one day. On his mind was the new storybook he would read before bedtime that night.

But as Rony walked into his bedroom, he found that his mother had moved all of his toys, clothes and books from his room to the big bedroom at the top of the stairwell.

Rony ran into the big bedroom and found his mother cleaning the cupboards.

“Why have you moved my things here, Mom? I don’t like this room!” cried Rony.

“Didn’t you say the other day that you loved the view from this room’s window? You can see the streets and the cars that pass by. You can see our entire garden and the valley from this window!” said Mom, excited.

Rony looked around the room. The window did have a beautiful view. Rony walked over to the window. His pet cat, Mister Paw, was sleeping under the huge spruce tree in the garden. His golden-brown fur shone in the afternoon sun.

Soon, the sun would set, and everything outside would be dark. Rony shivered at that thought.

“I know, but I don’t like this room at night!” cried Rony, his eyes full of fear. He didn’t want to be in this room alone. This room was farthest from his parents’ bedroom.

Mom patted Rony’s head and said, “You are a big boy now. There is no need to be scared, we are right across the hall. You can call me and I will be by your side. You have a big reading area here and look at the cupboard and trunk where you can keep all your toys. Isn’t this a much better place than your small bedroom?”

“No! I don’t want this room! Trisha says there’s a little old man with a long, white beard that reaches his shoes, he lives on the tree outside this window,” said Rony, pointing at the spruce tree. “She also said that he comes into this room every night! He searches the house for chocolates. If he doesn’t find any, he takes away little children and keeps them in his treehouse forever!”

“Rony, don’t listen to everything Trisha says. She reads horror stories all the time and gets scared. There are no old men in trees,” said Mom.

Rony stubbornly said, “I heard him last night! He was searching for chocolates outside my room! I will not sleep in this bedroom, Mom!”

“Rony, no more excuses. This is your room from today onwards and you will have to start sleeping here. I will not listen to your silly stories. You are going to be a big brother soon. You must start acting like one,” Mom firmly said.

Mom finished cleaning the cupboard and went out. Poor Rony could do nothing but sit on his little armchair and cry!

That night, as Rony finished eating his dinner of carrot soup and soft, warm bread, he suddenly realised he would be sleeping in his new, big bedroom. There was only a crib in his old bedroom, for the baby his parents were expecting.

Even the storybook at his bedtime failed to make Rony happy. He slowly made his way towards his bedroom with Mister Paw.

Standing in the doorway, Rony carefully looked around the room. His bed was in the middle of the room. To the right, there was a tall, wooden bookshelf that covered most of the wall. Mom had put all his books neatly.

There were a table and chair, along with a couch where Rony could lay all day and read his favourite books. Opposite his bed, there was a wardrobe which had his clothes. To the left of the bed, there was a big trunk with his toys. And right above the trunk was the window. Rony felt his legs wobble.

Rony decided to be brave, as his mother had told him to be. He thought to himself, “I am a big boy. Mom is right. I must not get scared. If the little old man comes tonight, I will be ready.”

Rony opened his school bag, took out a bar of milk chocolate and kept it in a corner of his room. He took his wooden sword and shield out of his toy trunk and got into bed. He hid them well under his blanket.Children fiction

Rony’s room was nice and warm, and he felt much safer under the blankets. Surely, the little old man with a long beard would be cold outside. Rony jumped from his bed and went to the window. It was a windy night, with no clouds in the sky. The moon and stars shone against the deep blue sky.

Rony looked down. The leaves of the spruce tree in the garden was moving in the wind. Or was it the little old man climbing it? Rony ran back to his bed.

Rony tucked his sword and shield properly beside him and tried to fall asleep. He could feel the quietness around him. His parents had gone to bed already. The window was locked, he was safe for now. If the old man did manage to come in for the bar of chocolate, Rony thought he would spring out of his bed and beat him up.

Thinking about the old man, Rony fell asleep. Suddenly, he was woken up by a noise in the room. Someone was knocking at the window!

The knocks grew louder and louder. Rony stayed under his blankets, not daring to look outside. All of a sudden, he thought he heard a noise in the room.

“It must be the little old man! He has managed to sneak inside!” thought Rony.

Rony grabbed his sword tightly and jumped out of the blankets.

“Where is the little old man?” thought Rony. He switched on the bedside lamp and looked around. There was no one in the room!

Rony suddenly heard a noise from the corner of the room. He tiptoed across the room quietly. When he reached the corner, he found a big squirrel seated comfortably there, biting on the bar of chocolate Rony had kept for catching the little old man!

“It has been a squirrel all this time?” Rony sighed in relief. “Mom was right! There was no little old man! I have nothing to be afraid of.”children fiction

The next morning, when Mom asked Rony if he was comfortable in his new room, Rony said, “I love my room, Mom! I am a big boy now!”