Stories for Children


In Spring 2013 I packed up my corporate career and my three year old daughter and I spent two months on my parents farm. Our favorite pastime was making up stories... GRANDDAD'S MAGIC TRACTOR is one of stories inspired by her fascination with my father's old tractor and trips to the forest looking for wild strawberries...

Illustrations by Natia Mosashvili

Martha’s Granddad and Grandma live in a large farmhouse next to a big forest.
They love it when Martha comes and stays with them.

One weekend Martha’s Mummy and Daddy went to a wedding
and left Martha with Granddad and Grandma.

As soon as their car disappeared behind the bend, Granddad said:
“Let’s go to the forest!”
They put their jackets on and Grandma grabbed a thick green blanket.

Granddad climbed into the cab and turned the engine on.
“Ready, steady, go!” he shouted.
The tractor woke up like a green dragon.
The engine roared like a lion.
And the tyres screeched impatiently.
Off they went; out of the courtyard and into the forest.

They drove past the badgers’ hill,
the hedgehog’s house,
the brown bear’s lair
and stopped by the river.
Granddad cut wood and Grandma and Martha picked wild strawberries.

Suddenly dark clouds gathered.
The wind blew fiercely.
The rain came down in giant and heavy drops.
“Granddad, what are we going to do now?” asked Martha.

“Don’t you worry” said Granddad and pointed to his tractor.
“This is a magic tractor and it will rescue us!”
Then he pressed the green button on the steering wheel and shouted:
“Trick trock track, tractor turn into a house!”

The wheels turned inwards.
The cab moved backwards.
The sides of the trailer grew tall and joined at the top.
And there it was: a big, solid, green house!
“Wooow!” shouted Martha.
“Quickly, let’s get inside!” called Grandma.

The tractor-house had everything:
a stove in the corner,
a table with three chairs and
a bed covered with the green blanket.

They had doughnuts for tea and then went to sleep.
Grandma and Martha slept in the big bed and Granddad in the cab.

The next morning Martha looked out of the window.
There was a lot of water everywhere!
“Granddad, what are we going to do now?” asked Martha.
“Don’t you worry!” said Granddad, and Grandma added:
“But let’s have breakfast first!”
For breakfast they had pancakes with strawberries.

Once they had all eaten, Granddad pressed the green button
and uttered the magic words:
“Trick, trock, track, tractor turn into a boat!”
The trailer sides opened and expanded
and the tyres turned into lifeboats.

The tractor-boat coughed and roared
and then ploughed smoothly through the water.
They went up the river,
around a small island,
through a tunnel
and up the canal.

And then they reached the mountain.
But - the boat could not go any further.
“Granddad, what are we going to do now?” asked Martha.

“Don’t you worry! My tractor will rescue us again.
Do we need a helicopter…or a plane?”
“Plane Granddad, please, plane!” shouted Martha.
Granddad pressed the green button and uttered the magic words:
“Trick trock track, tractor turn into a…plane!”
The trailer sides stretched out to form the wings and the tail.

“Ready to go?” asked Granddad.
Martha and Grandma nodded
and the plane’s engine started whizzing and roaring.
And off they went high in the air:
above the large forest,
the sharp peaks of the mountains
and a swollen lake.

On the other side of the mountains there was a motorway.
“That’s the road you take when you come to visit us” said Grandma.
“Are we going to drive down there?” asked Martha.
“Yes!” said Granddad.
“But planes and tractors are not allowed on the motorway…”

Granddad landed the tractor-plane in a quiet cornfield,
then pressed the button and uttered the magic words:
“Trick trock track, tractor turn into a racing car!”
The wings turned backwards and the wheels expanded.
And there it was: a long green racing car.
It was as fast as a dragon and it overtook all the other cars on the road.

In no time at all they reached the road leading to the farm.
Granddad stopped behind a tree
and when there were no other cars on the road
he pressed the button and shouted:
“Track, trock trick, tractor turn back into…a tractor!

“Is there anything else your magic tractor can turn into?” asked Martha.
“Oh yes, many other things – a submarine, a helicopter, a rocket, a lorry,
a scooter…but let’s leave that for another time!”
“Can I tell Mummy and Daddy about it?”
“Of course you can…”

Martha’s Mummy and Daddy were already waiting.
Martha ran and hugged them.
“Mummy, this is a magic tractor! It can turn into a house, a boat,
a plane and whatever else Granddad tells it too!”
“Oh yes…right…” said Mummy.