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Bullying: Patch, the Annoying Puppy

Bullying is not acceptable

by Jan Edmunds (revised, originally published in 2009)

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1


To discourage behaviour that could annoy or hurt others.

Preparation and materials


  1. If appropriate, begin by explaining that you have noticed that some children are not being as kind to others as they could be. Point out that this concerns you because in school, we should be like a family and all care for each other all the time. Unkind behaviour is something that no one likes to see.

    Explain that today’s story is about a little dog (show the image of a puppy if available) who enjoyed annoying other animals. We are going to find out what happened to him.

  2. Patch, the Annoying Puppy
    by Jan Edmunds

    Patch was a puppy who loved to bother other animals and creatures. He found great pleasure in annoying or frightening them.

    Show the image of the spider, if available.

    He would watch a spider climbing up a wall, but then knock it down before it reached the top. Each time the spider tried again, Patch would knock it down again. He took pleasure in seeing it eventually scuttle away.

    Show the image of the woodlouse, if available.

    Patch also liked to put his paw over a woodlouse. Then, when the woodlouse tried to get away, Patch would flip it over on its back and watch it struggle.

    Show the image of the ladybird, if available.

    Patch would flick ladybirds from their bushes and make them very angry.

    One day, a ladybird said to him, ‘You’re a bully, Patch. We’re little and you’re big. How would you like it if someone was unkind to you?’

    Then, the ladybird spread its wings and flew away.

    Show the image of the caterpillar, if available.

    Patch was just about to squash a caterpillar that was feasting on a nearby plant when he saw a big beetle. It was an enormous one with funny claw-like things that waved as it walked.

    Show the image of the stag beetle, if available.

    Patch forgot all about the caterpillar. Putting his nose to the ground, he went to see just how he could annoy the beetle.

    However, when Patch got close, the beetle suddenly took hold of his nose, and clung on with its sharp, claw-like pincers.

    ‘Ow!’ wailed Patch. ‘Let me go!’

    ‘I will when I’m ready,’ said the beetle.

    After a few minutes, the beetle did let go and the little dog ran away as fast as he could, sporting a very sore nose.

    ‘Come back and bother me some more,’ the beetle called after him.

    ‘Never again!’ shouted Patch. He rubbed his nose and decided he’d stick to chasing the falling leaves instead. They would never hurt him!

  3. Discuss the following questions with the children.

    - What did Patch enjoy doing?
    - What did he do to the spider?
    - Which creature did he flip over onto its back?
    - Which creature called him a bully and why?
    - What made Patch forget about the caterpillar?
    - What happened when Patch tried to annoy the beetle?
    - Do you think Patch learned his lesson? What did he decide to do instead?

Time for reflection

We should not get pleasure from hurting or annoying others. Just like Patch, we may one day meet someone or something that may hurt us back.

Read the following two sayings and ask the children to suggest what they mean.

- ‘Being kind to others helps us, too’ (Proverbs 11.17)
- ‘Do as you would be done by’ (well-known saying)

Listen to a range of responses.

If appropriate, ask the children to suggest some rules or sayings that everyone in school could try to live by. For example, We’re all happy if we care for each other.

Write up the children’s suggestions. Use these sayings as a prayer.


‘From the tiny ant’ (Come and Praise, 79)

Publication date: November 2017   (Vol.19 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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