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A reminder for bonfire night

To remind children to look after their pets on bonfire night.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To remind children to look after their pets on bonfire night.

Preparation and materials

  • You might like to read through the story in order to tell it in your own words, depending on the age of the children.

  • Optional: picture of a terrier.


  1. Explain that several years ago an article appeared in a local newspaper about a little terrier called Jack. You might choose to talk about dogs in general to establish what a terrier looks like and show a picture. Then go on to tell the story:

  2. On bonfire night Jack was out in the garden watching the fireworks in the garden. He was always playful and very curious. Unfortunately he could not resist the temptation to rush forward and pick up a firework in his mouth. The firework had just been lit and it exploded.

    The family were horrified as they watched the dog rolling on the ground frantically in extreme pain. He was taken to the emergency veterinary clinic with severe injuries, bleeding from his mouth and nose. The vet was surprised that the dog had survived the ordeal and soon realized that not only had he been badly burned but also the loud explosion had made him completely deaf. Jack was given strong painkillers but things did not look good for him. Sadly his owners felt that his treatment was going to be too expensive so they decided to sign him over to the RSPCA. They did not want him back.

    Poor Jack had to receive several weeks of intensive care. He was in a dreadful state and was a very unhappy little dog. The nurses at the clinic grew very fond of him. They gave him a lot of loving care and, although still deaf, Jack gradually began to recover. Soon he was well enough for him to be found another home. He was placed with a very kind couple who were sorry to hear what had happened to Jack and how he had been abandoned. They decided they could give him a loving home. Jack continued to improve and two years later, much to everyone’s surprise, his hearing returned and his scars had disappeared. Jack is now a healthy, happy little dog, no worse for his terrible ordeal.Point out that this was a nasty accident that could have been avoided. Even though Jack survived he suffered a great deal and could easily have died. Remind the children how important it is to make sure that all pets are kept safely indoors during firework displays. Some time could be spent here discussing the story and reminding children about the firework code and stressing the importance of adult supervision. You might also mention local organized displays.

Time for reflection

Our pets give us so much love and affection.
They are always pleased to see us and we have such happy times with them.
Let’s spend a few moments thinking about how to be sensible where our pets are concerned and how we can look after them especially at noisy times like bonfire night.

Lord of the loving heart, may mine be loving too.
Lord of the gentle hands, may mine be gentle too.
Lord of the willing feet, may mine be willing too.
So may I grow more like to you, in all I say and do.


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

Publication date: November 2006   (Vol.8 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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