“Five minutes till bedtime, Tristan,” Grandpa Jake said, poking his head around the door to Tristan's room.
“Do I have to go to bed now?” Tristan asked.
“Sleep is good for you,” Grandpa Jake explained. “It helps you stay healthy, grow properly, and have energy.”
“Can I read for a little longer?” pleaded Tristan.
“How about instead I tell you a story about Wesley and what happened to him when he didn't get the rest he needed?”
“Okay,” Tristan said, putting his book away.
“Tomorrow we are going on a nature hike,” announced Mr. Nuggin.
“Hooray!” chorused the excited students.
“It's very important that everyone gets a good night's sleep before we leave,” Mr. Nuggin said. “We're going to leave early in the morning, and you'll need a lot of energy for the hike.”
On the way home from school, Wesley and his friends talked about the hike.
“I'm going to stay awake the whole night!” Wesley exclaimed. “That way I'll be the first one ready.”
“That's a silly idea,” said Suds. “If you don't sleep tonight, you'll be very tired tomorrow.”
“No, I won't,” answered Wesley. “I'll show you.”
That night when all the other dinosaurs went to sleep, Wesley did his best to stay awake. He read for as long as he could. He crept around the den when his family was asleep.
He got a snack and told himself stories. Wesley even tried to count all the stars in the sky, though he always seemed to lose count and would have to start again.
I'll show Suds and Crispin that I can stay up all night, Wesley told himself. I'll be just fine, and more ready for the hike than they are!
As the sun crept over the horizon, Wesley jumped out of bed and hurried to get his hiking gear together.
“Good morning, Wesley,” his mother said. “You're up bright and early. Did you sleep well?”
“I didn't…” Wesley began. “I mean … just fine, thank you.”
“From what Mr. Nuggin told your father and me, your hike today is going to be quite a big one,” his mother said. “It's good you rested.”
“I'm ready before you guys,” Wesley boasted when he saw his friends. “And I stayed up all night long!”
“You're going to get tired,” Suds said.
“I don't think so!” replied Wesley.
When the group of hikers had gathered, Mr. Nuggin set a few rules and then reminded them to stay with the group. They were ready to set off.
At first, Wesley was right at the front of the group of hikers. However, as the morning wore on, Wesley started to fall to the back of the group. The mountain path got steeper and steeper, and Wesley was often yawning and out of breath.
“Is something wrong?” Suds asked Wesley when she saw him lagging behind the group. “Are you tired?”
“Not at all!” Wesley lied. “If I stay behind everyone, I can see the trees better and catch things everyone else misses.”
“I'm so glad I slept well last night, because I have lots of energy for this trip,” Suds said.
Wesley didn't answer. With each step, his legs felt heavier and heavier. The higher they climbed, the colder Wesley felt. He put on both his sweaters, but he still couldn't get warm.
“Where's Wesley?” Mr. Nuggin asked a short while later. Everyone looked back down the path. Wesley was nowhere to be seen.
“We'd better find him,” Mr. Nuggin said. “I hope he's not lost!”
After several minutes of searching, they found Wesley curled up at the base of a large tree. He was shivering, and his eyes were tired and droopy.
“Are you okay, Wesley?” Mr. Nuggin asked.
Wesley's bottom lip quivered, and he yawned. When Wesley tried to stand, his legs were shaky. He was completely exhausted and couldn't hike any further.
“Oh dear, it looks like we're going to have to head back home,” Mr. Nuggin said.
“But Mr. Nuggin, we haven't made it to the top yet,” Crispin said.
“I know. But I don't think Wesley will be able to make it any further. We'll have to head back and perhaps try this climb again another time.”
The group of hikers sadly turned back down the mountain and made their way home. Wesley had to ride on Mr. Nuggin's back as he was too exhausted to walk.
For several days Wesley was sick in bed. His head hurt, and he felt dizzy, tired, and chilled.
“I think Crispin and Suds are upset at me,” Wesley told his mother one evening, when she came to check in on him.
“Why is that?” his mother asked.
“Because I ruined the hike. You see, I … I lied when I said I slept well the night before our hike. I actually stayed up all night. I thought that I'd be more ready for the hike.”
“Well, that explains why you got so tired and sick,” his mother said. “Your body didn't have enough energy for the hike or to keep you warm.”
“I'm so sorry,” Wesley said with tears in his eyes. “If I had known this was going to happen, I wouldn't have stayed up all night. Instead, I would've gone to sleep.”
“I'm sure you would have, but sometimes you need to follow instructions even though you don't understand all the reasons.”
After Wesley was better, he returned to school. Wesley asked Mr. Nuggin if he could say something to the rest of the class.
“I'm very sorry that because of me everyone had to stop the hike before completion,” Wesley began. “The truth is that I had decided not to sleep the night before our hike because I thought I'd be more ready if I didn't sleep. But I was wrong. I ended up getting sick, and because of me, no one was able to make it to the top of the mountain. I'm also sorry for not telling the truth.”
“Thank you, Wesley, for explaining your lesson to the class,” Mr. Nuggin said. “We forgive you, and I'm sure it's a lesson that everyone can learn from, too.”
A couple of weeks later, Mr. Nuggin said they were going to try to climb the mountain again. He reminded everyone to have a good night's sleep.
Wesley went home and asked his parents if he could go to bed earlier than normal. He wanted to be fit and ready for the hike.
The next day Wesley was full of energy. He wasn't tired at all. The group made it to the top of the mountain and back without any problems.
“If I was going to go on a hike, I'd be sure to sleep super well the night before,” Tristan said.
“I'm happy to hear that,” said Grandpa Jake. “But you know, it's important that you are faithful to get good rest all the time.”
“Your body is strengthened when you sleep,” Grandpa Jake explained. “Sleep gives you energy for the next day. If you don't get enough sleep, then your body gets weaker. When your body is weaker, you're more likely to get sick.”
“I don't like to be sick,” Tristan said, “so I'd better rest and go to sleep.”
Moral: Your body needs proper care in order to stay healthy. If you sleep well and eat well, you will be less likely to get sick.
Authored by Katiuscia Giusti. Illustrated by Agnes Lemaire. Colored by Doug Calder. Designed by Roy Evans.Featured on My Wonder Studio. Copyright © 2008 by Aurora Production AG, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved.