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Poor Little Ted

Jack had a huge plastic bag full of conkers. He spent the whole of one evening with a skewer boring a hole in the conkers and threading each one on a piece of string. When he went to school next day he spent every spare minute in the playground playing conkers with his friends. He lost quite a few to start with, but he soon became very proficient, and watched with delight as his opponents' conkers gradually smashed and disappeared.

Jim had spent a long time searching for conkers and managed to find enough to fill a small paper bag. He too threaded his conkers on string and went off to play. He had a lot of fun in the playground, and although he nearly lost the lot, eventually he began to win until he too was regarded as a something of a champion.

Little Ted forgot to go searching for conkers. When he realised all the other children were playing with conkers at school, he rushed home to try and find some for himself. But almost all the conkers were gone, and little Ted only found a few. He bored holes in them and threaded them on to string, but he was so afraid of losing the only conkers he had that he refused to play with them. That night little Ted hid the conkers under his pillow where no one could find them.

Jack had a big canvas bag full of marbles given to him for his birthday. He loved to play marbles with all his friends, and he got better and better at the game. He lost quite a few to start with, but soon he found he was winning nearly every game, and so his collection of marbles grew bigger and bigger.

Jim had some marbles too. They weren't exactly his own, he'd borrowed them from his older brother. He played a lot with his marbles and had a lot of fun. At one point he nearly lost the lot, but eventually he began to gain marbles from the other children, until he was able to give back his brother's marbles because he'd gained so many of his own.

Little Ted had just six marbles in a little plastic container. His granny had given them to him. He loved his marbles so much that he was terrified of losing any of them, so he refused to play with them. That night little Ted hid the marbles under his pillow where no one could find them.

Jack grew up to be a brilliant businessman. He started in a small way and made lots of mistakes in the early days, but as his confidence grew he expanded his business until he became a millionaire.

Jim grew up to find a steady job. He had to search for a long time before he found work he loved, and it was all very uncertain at first. But he had a lot of fun. He was always the life and soul of the party, and people loved to be near him.

Little Ted couldn't find a job when he grew up. He didn't dare look, in case people told him he was no good. He did have one pleasure in life. He married a beautiful wife whom he loved very much. But he was terrified of losing her, and so he hid her away at home where no one could find her.

One day his beautiful wife left him because she couldn't bear her restricted life any longer. Little Ted shrivelled up inside and hated the whole world. Poor little Ted. He tried so hard to keep what he loved most just to himself, that he lost everything. And he never, ever, had any fun.

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