Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

Stories for Children

lower-intermediate level

Sick Day

Episode 210122 / 22 Jan 2021




One morning Joe woke up with a sore elbow.

He prodded it carefully with one finger. Ow! That really hurt!

Joe climbed out of bed and put on his dressing gown, very, very carefully, so as not to joggle his bad elbow. Then he went downstairs.

Mum was in the kitchen, searching for cereal in the cupboard.

“We're out of cornflakes again,” she said, not looking round.

“Mum,” Joe began, “I think there's something wrong with my -”

But at that moment, Bella came into the kitchen. She was clutching her tummy.

“Mum,” she cried, “I'm very, very ill! Very ill indeed! My tummy hurts really, really bad! I am far too sick to go to school!”

Mum was worried. She felt Bella's forehead. “You do feel hot. But you were fine yesterday.”

“I'm not fine now,” said Bella. “Please, Mum. Can I go back to bed?”

Bella didn't even want breakfast. Joe tried to tell Mum about his elbow. But Mum was too worried about Bella.

“Please just get dressed, Joe, or you will be late for school!”

Mum stayed home to look after Bella. Dad gave Joe a lift to school, and Joe tried to explain about his elbow.

“I was playing football yesterday and I banged it and it still hurts,” he said.

“Probably just a bruise,” said Dad. “I hope Bella is better soon. She looked a bit feverish to me.”

It's always about Bella, thought Joe crossly.

At school, Joe had to be very careful of his elbow. He had to keep it really still. Luckily he could still write with his other hand.

At home, Mum was looking after Bella.

She put her back to bed and tucked the covers round her.

She brought her a glass of water to sip slowly.

She stroked her head and read her a story.

“How do you feel now?” she asked. “Would you like to try a little breakfast?”

“I can't eat a thing,” said Bella.

Mum was worried. It wasn't like Bella not to eat anything. She leaned over to pick Bella's teddy bear off the floor. As she did so, she caught sight of something under the bed.

A huge pile of sweet wrappers! And an empty box!

“Bella!” Mum cried. “Are those the sweets that Aunt Jackie sent you? And that you were supposed to save for your birthday?”

Bella turned very red. “I woke up early and felt hungry,” she said in a small voice.

“But Bella,” said Mum, “no wonder you've a bad tummy! You've eaten every one!”

An hour later, Mum and Bella were walking into school. Bella's tummy was better, and Mum wanted to get back to work.

Mrs Smailes, the headteacher, came running to meet them.

“Oh good, you're here,” she said. “I think you need to go straight to hospital!”

“Hospital!” said Mum. “She's only eaten too many sweets!”

“I'm not talking about Bella!” said Mrs Smailes. “I'm talking about Joe! Didn't you notice that he'd broken his elbow?”

“What!” said Mum.

At the hospital, Mum and Joe had to sit in the waiting room, until Joe could have his X-ray.

“Why didn't you tell me?” Mum said.

“I did try,” said Joe. “But you wouldn't listen. Then my teacher noticed I couldn't move my arm.”

At the hospital they were very kind to Joe. They took an X-ray of his arm, and the doctor showed him the picture of the crack in his bone.

A nurse wrapped up Joe's elbow in a bandage. Then they put his arm in a sling.

Joe was sad that he wouldn't be able to play football for a few weeks, so Mum bought him a box of sweets from the hospital shop to cheer him up.

“I hope Bella doesn't steal any,” said Joe, opening the box.

“I don't think she will,” said Mum, smiling. “I think she's had enough sweets to last her a long time!”  

Latest Stories for Children

  • Car journey

    Car journey

    Episode 210312 / 12 Mar 2021

    In this episode, Bella and Joe go on a car journey and get lost on the way – can Bella help them find their way?

  • Exam time

    Exam time

    Episode 210305 / 05 Mar 2021

    In this episode, Joe struggles in his exam but gets a little help from his sister, Bella, and a magic pencil!

  • Shopping trip

    Shopping trip

    Episode 210226 / 26 Feb 2021

    In this episode, Bella and Joe’s family go on a shopping trip – but Bella goes missing! Where could she be?

  • Rainy day

    Rainy day

    Episode 210219 / 19 Feb 2021

    In this episode, a rainy day spoils Bella and Joe’s plans for the day so they have to make their own fun.

  • School trip

    School trip

    Episode 210212 / 12 Feb 2021

    In this episode, Joe goes onto a school trip to the zoo – but things don’t go quite as planned!

  • Camping


    Episode 210205 / 05 Feb 2021

    In this episode, Bella goes on her first camping trip and Joe gets a fright!

  • No Pets Here

    No Pets Here

    Episode 210129 / 29 Jan 2021

    In this episode, Bella and Joe want to get a pet but will their parents let them? Watch to find out!

  • Sick Day

    Sick Day

    Episode 210122 / 22 Jan 2021

    In this episode, Bella has a sick day but should Joe also have a day off? Watch to find out!

  • Football Match

    Football Match

    Episode 210115 / 15 Jan 2021

    In this story for children, Bella helps her big brother, Joe, make the most of a golden opportunity.

  • Back to school

    Back to school

    Episode 210108 / 08 Jan 2021

    Bella has her first day in school but needs some help from her big brother, Joe! Find out what happens in 'Back to School'

  • The Robot

    The Robot

    Episode 191202 / 02 Dec 2019

    Cara's tired of waiting at the airport until she meets a robot! What happens next? Find out in The Robot.

  • Nell's Books

    Nell's Books

    Episode 191125 / 25 Nov 2019

    Can Nell convince her friends and you that a book is more exciting than a mobile phone or a tablet? Find out in Nell's Book.

  • Little Monsters

    Little Monsters

    Episode 191118 / 18 Nov 2019

    Who can help a scarecrow if a scarecrow can't scare away crows? Find out in Little Monsters.

  • Best Job in the World

    Best Job in the World

    Episode 191111 / 11 Nov 2019

    What job can you do when your father's an inventor? Elli's about to find out in The Best Job in the World.

  • Abdu and the traffic jam

    Abdu and the traffic jam

    Episode 191104 / 04 Nov 2019

    Abdu is going home with his mother when they get stuck in a traffic jam. But this is no ordinary traffic jam as Abdu soon finds out.

  • The Perfect Thing

    The Perfect Thing

    Episode 191028 / 28 Oct 2019

    Amy's going to a big birthday party on Saturday. But she's got herself all upset. Can Gran make everything OK?

  • Joe Goes Fishing

    Joe Goes Fishing

    Episode 191014 / 14 Oct 2019

    It's Joe's special day and he decides to go fishing. What could possibly go wrong and how can a beautiful white swan help him?

  • Milly and the Rainbow

    Milly and the Rainbow

    Episode 191007 / 30 Sep 2019

    Milly finds a rainbow at the bottom of her garden. What happens when Milly tries to touch the rainbow?