The Dancing Green Sky

The Dancing Green Sky


Belinda’s life turned upside down at Thanksgiving dinner.

“Grandpa Calum has sent us the best Christmas present ever, aeroplane tickets to visit him in Scotland.” announced Mummy.

“Will Santa know where to deliver my presents?” asked Belinda.

“Scotland is closer to the North Pole than here, Santa will find you before he finds your friends.” said Daddy.

Belinda thought about her friends, she wouldn’t see them on Christmas Day, she saw them every Christmas Day. She could talk to them on FaceTime but it wasn’t the same. She no longer felt hungry she just pushed her turkey around the plate. She thought Christmas would be a disaster, adults were so selfish.

“How exciting for you Belinda, your first time on an aeroplane and you get to go all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.” said Daddy.

“And you get to see the house and village where I grew up.” said Mummy.

All Belinda could think about was not being home for Christmas and not being able to spend time with her friends. Belinda thought life was so unfair. Then she asked herself lots of questions, ‘what was Scotland like? Would there be children there? Would she make new friends? Would Santa really find her?’


Belinda loved Christmas at home. She loved having her friends come round and play. But she loved Grandpa Calum too and only saw him once a year when he flew over to see them. Mummy always said Scotland was far, far away. It all became a big worry for her.

That night Belinda couldn’t sleep. And the next day she didn’t feel like eating.

“Is everything alright Belinda?” asked Mummy.

“I’m fine thanks. I’m just not hungry.” said Belinda.

But Belinda’s Mummy and Daddy were concerned about her. She had lost her smile and would get narky if things didn’t go her way.

One night at bedtime Mummy told Belinda a story rather than read her one of her favourite books.

“I know it’s hard to believe but I was once a little girl just like you. I lived in Scotland with my Daddy, Grandpa Calum, in his cottage on a hill. Every Christmas I would get excited about Santa coming. What would he bring me? Would he find me on the hill? I would get so excited I wouldn’t be able to sleep or eat. One year I didn’t sleep properly for a week, I was so tired on Christmas Eve, I went to bed early. I woke up late on Christmas morning, I had missed a good part of Christmas Day. After that I stopped worrying and slept every time I went to bed.

I haven’t spent Christmas in my old home for many years. I miss it sometimes.” said Mummy.

“What’s Scotland like?” asked Belinda.

“It’s beautiful. Very different from here. You might see snow on the mountain tops, brown bracken on the hillside and in the glens everything is green, all shades of green. Sometimes if you are lucky the sky would turn green too!” said Mummy.

“A green sky?” asked Belinda.

“Yes, it’s called the Northern Lights. The sky turns green at night with flashes of pink, blue, yellow, violet, orange dancing.” said Mummy.


“That’s the tallest tale you’ve ever told me.” said Belinda.

Mummy often told her tall tales. Belinda began to feel a little tired. She liked the idea of a green sky and she wanted her Mummy to spend Christmas in her old home. Maybe Scotland was going to be alright after all. That night Belinda fell alseep dreaming of a green sky.

The next morning she was starving, she ate all her pancakes. Things were slowly getting back to normal.

A week later Mummy started packing for their trip. They went to the mall to buy Grandpa Calum’s Christmas present and some winter clothes for Belinda.

The night before the flight Belinda couldn’t sleep, she kept thinking about the plane, would it break down or fall out of the sky? She was awake before the alarm went off. She really didn’t want to fly off to Scotland and leave her friends.


The day of their flight they arrived at the airport early. Belinda had only visited the airport to meet people arriving she had never been through the big departures doors. Belinda thought the departure area was just like the mall, lots and lots of shops. Instead of people carrying their shopping they carried their luggage. She’d never seen so many chairs in one place. Belinda and Daddy watched planes land and take off, guessing where they had been and where they were going. Soon it was their turn to take off.

It was a long walk down and along ramps to get to the plane. When Belinda got on the plane all she could see were seats and more seats. It seemed really big inside not at all what she thought it might be like.

The take off was loud it made Belinda’s tummy summersault. Once in the air she felt fine and safe.

The flight to Scotland was very long Belinda spent some of it watching a movie, listening to music plus she had a sleep.


When the plane landed the doors opened, Scotland smelt different to home. Belinda thought it felt cold, a cold she’d never felt before.

The airport was busy, everyone was wrapped up, wearing hats, coats, scarves, gloves and boots. Belinda spotted Grandpa Calum first amongst the crowd waiting. She squealed with delight, he had the biggest smile on his face. She gave him the tightest hug, his cheeks were warm but prickly and smelt of mint.

The airport and city didn’t look too different from home thought Belinda. When they headed out of the city into the countryside Belinda began to understand what her mummy said about the many shades of green. Belinda had never seen so much green before. The countryside was lush, the colours were like the drawings in one of her story books, bright and vivid. Looking out of the window made her smile and wonder.

As the car started to climb up a hill Belinda caught sight of Grandpa Calum’s cottage, it looked like a cottage you would find in a fairytale. The cottage was old it had been in Mummy’s family for years and years. The stone walls were thick and smoke was pouring out the chimney.

Once inside the cottage and her clothes unpacked Belinda spoke to her friend Gina on FaceTime. She told Gina about the airport, the flight and Grandpa’s Cottage. Seeing Gina made her feel sad about being away from her own home and the warmth. But she was so tired she fell asleep as soon as Mummy finished reading her a story.

That night Mummy was so excited she sat up talking to Grandpa Calum until dawn.

On the morning of Christmas Eve Mummy knocked on Belinda’s bedroom door.

“There’s something outside you might want to see.” said Mummy as she opened the door.


Belinda sprung from the bed to the window she opened the blinds, it was snowing! Belinda had never seen real snow before. It looked magical, the trees looked liked they had been sprinkled with sugar and fields covered in marshmallows.

It looked and felt cold, she loved ice cubes in her drinks, it made her brain freeze and her fingers numb. She wondered if snow was as cold as ice. The whiteness made her blink. The sky was bluer than Mummy’s eyes and the sun was shining but it wasn’t warm like back home.

“It looks like a movie. Can I please go outside?” asked Belinda.

“Breakfast first then you need to get dressed so you’ll stay warm and dry.” said Mummy.

Belinda ate her porridge in record time. Mummy helped her get dressed.

Belinda opened the cottage door, the whiteness and cold hit her straight away. Her nose, cheeks and chin tingled as if she’d been slapped by Jack Frost. Her eyes blinked again until she got used to the brightness. When she stepped out of the cottage her feet disappeared into the snow making a strange crunching noise. Belinda was amazed to see her own breath in the cold air. She pretended she was a dragon.

Walking on the snow wasn’t as easy as Belinda thought but it was fun. She enjoyed looking at the patterns she had made with her footprints. Just like the footprints she left behind in the sand when she went to the beach.

Grandpa Calum appeared with a shovel.

“Do you want to help me clear the path for Santa?” asked Grandpa Calum.

The snow was heavy when she filled the shovel, Grandpa Calum had to do all the lifting and throwing. After the path was clear Grandpa Calum made a perfect round snowball and handed it to Belinda.

“If you roll this around in the snow we can start building a snow man.” said Grandpa Calum.

A snowman! Belinda gently rolled the snowball around and around the garden. It gradually got bigger and bigger until it was so big she couldn’t roll it any longer. Grandpa Calum rolled it until it was big enough for the body of a snowman.

“Now to make his head.” said Grandpa Calum as he handed Belinda another perfect snowball.

Belinda set off again rolling the snowball until it became big enough for the snowman’s head.

“Good job, now we need to make him more life like.” said Grandpa Calum.

“How do we do that?” asked Belinda.

“We’ll give him eyes, a nose, mouth, maybe a hat, scarf, coat and gloves? When that’s done we’ll give him a name.” said Grandpa Calum.

Belinda put two brussel sprouts on the snowman’s head for eyes, a carrot for his nose and orange peel for a mouth. Grandpa Calum found some of his old clothes, together they dressed the snowman. He looked very realistic when they were done.

“What will we call him?” asked Grandpa Calum.

“I think he looks like a Barnaby.” said Belinda.

“He does. Great choice. Do you want to get Mummy and we can introduce her to Barnaby?” asked Grandpa Calum.


Belinda nodded then ran into the cottage. When she came back with Mummy, Grandpa Calum had disappeared.

“Wow. Hello Barnaby. You are awesome!” said Mummy.

Suddenly Grandpa Calum popped up from behind the garden wall and threw a snowball at Mummy. It hit her on the shoulder.

She squealed “Snowball fight!”

Mummy giggled like a little girl then she and Belinda grabbed some snow, shaped it into balls and threw them at Grandpa Calum. Belinda ran behind Barnaby for shelter. Poor Barnaby took a direct hit and his nose went flying. When Grandpa Calum came through the gate to repair it Mummy hit him on the arm with a snowball and Belinda hit him on the leg with hers. They had great fun and they didn’t feel cold at all.

At lunch time Grandpa Calum made Scotch Broth, they ate mince pies and drank hot chocolate as they sat round the log fire. Belinda’s cheeks glowed red and her toes felt as warm as toast.

“Let’s go sledging.” said Mummy when they had finished lunch.

They climbed up the high hill behind the cottage. From the top they could see the whole village, people were building snowmen and clearing paths below. Mummy took a photo of the three of them with the village in the background.

“Now BeIndia hold on tight and keep your hands inside the sledge until it stops.” said Grandpa Calum.

Mummy had a sledge too she was going to race Belinda to the bottom of the hill. Belinda sat on the sledge she could feel the cold snow beneath her.

“One, two, three!” shouted Grandpa Calum as he pushed Belinda’s sledge.

Belinda went flying down the hill in front of Mummy. The sledge glided over the snow and occasionally raised off the ground when it went over a bump. The Village got closer and closer. Belinda’s heart raced and she was disappointed when the sledge came to a stop. She looked behind her there was Mummy laughing and waving, she looked like a little girl again.

“Again.” shouted Belinda as she grabbed her sledge and ran back up the hill. She went up and down the hill until it started to get dark.


That night by the log fire Belinda hung her Christmas stocking, she realised she didn’t mind the cold. It had many bonuses.

“Get your hats, coats and gloves on everyone Barnaby has something to show us.” said Grandpa Calum.

Belinda opened the front door and everything looked a little strange. She looked at Barnaby, he was pointing to the sky. She looked up, there dancing in the sky were the Northern Lights. The sky had turned into a mystical green colour and bright flashes of pink, violet, blue, yellow lights danced and flickered. Belinda smiled at Mummy and squeezed her hand. She was going to remember this Christmas forever and ever.

Belinda couldn’t wait to tell her friends about the snow, Barnaby, the snowball fight, sledging and the Northern Lights. These were best gifts Belinda, Mummy and Grandpa Calum had ever shared and Santa was still to come!

That night in bed Belinda decided she loved Scotland as much as Mummy does then she fell asleep under the dancing green sky.



2 Replies to “The Dancing Green Sky”