Once upon a time there lived three children. They lived with their mother, father, and their big dog, Nana, in an old London house, not far from the river. Their names were Wendy, John, and Michael Darling. Michael was seven, John was ten, and Wendy was almost thirteen. Now, in London at that time, thirteen was the age that a girl ceased to be a little girl, and began to grow up. For some odd reason, Wendy was afraid of growing up.
On the day before Wendy’s thirteenth birthday (the day she would move out of the nursery) Mr. and Mrs. Darling had to so to some Charity Ball or something and left the kids alone with the dog, who was a very smart dog because she played the role of Nanny, which is why they called her Nana.
Wendy, John and Michael were just getting off to sleep that night when a little green man flew into their room. Or rather, he was dressed in green; he wasn’t an alien or anything like that. His name was Peter and he had lost his shadow. I’m not really sure how he lost his shadow, maybe for the same reason Wendy didn’t want to grow up. Anyway, here he was looking for it.
There was a big crash and all the children woke up. Peter had found his shadow in a drawer and his little fairy friend had shown off her too-small body and went in through the keyhole to get it, only that didn’t really work. So now everyone was up and watching Peter chase around his shadow.
"Don’t just stand around! Who will help me catch it?" panted Peter.
"Not me, "said Michael. "You woke me up and scared Teddy."
“Not I,” said John.
“Not I,” said Wendy. “Anyone who is foolish enough not to keep their shadow sewn on tight deserves to chase it himself.”
So Peter spent the next ten minutes chasing after his shadow. When he finally got ahold of the darn thing, he was very upset. “See here! Who’s going to sew this on for me now?”
“Boys don’t sew,” said Michael.
“I don’t know how,” said John.
“Woof woof,” said Nana.
“Oh stop that nonsense,” said Wendy. “You are so sexist. Even though I could sew it on I won’t, you should learn yourself.”
Peter was very mad now. “Who are you to order me around, girl! I say do as you’re told and sew it on!” So Wendy had no choice but to get the needle and thread from the door (and rescue poor Tinkerbell, since of course Peter wouldn’t) and messily sewed on Peter’s shadow, poking him in the foot a couple times.
“Now then,” said Peter. “Who would like to come to Never Never Land with me and live with the Lost Boys?”
“No. You’re mean,” said Michael.
“And rude,” said John.
“And a sexist pig,” said Wendy.
So Peter, who was really feeling loved at this point, yelled at Tinkerbell to spray pixie dust all over them to make them fly. The children found it great fun, but they didn’t really want to go to Never Never Land, but like it or not, Peter made them. All that second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning stuff was just made up to make the story sound adventurous.
Well, they got to Never Never Land and Peter left Wendy with a bunch of dirty dishes and the boys got to amuse Peter’s cronies, the Lost Boys. They didn’t mind as much now, because they could fly, you see, and didn’t make a big fuss. Suddenly, a message comes to Peter.
“Hurry! Captain Hook has Princess Tiger Lilly! You must save her!”
So Peter, of course, asks, “Who will help me save Tiger Lilly?”
“Not I,” said Wendy. “I’ve got to do these filthy dishes, remember?”
“Not I,” said John.
“Not I,” said Michael. “I’m having too much fun flying.”
So Peter went off on his own to ‘save’ Tiger Lilly, who was really just sitting on a rock chatting with Captain Hook, because she had a crush on him and didn’t like Peter because he always made her do the dishes.
Meanwhile, the other pirates happen upon Wendy, Michael, and John having fun flying about everywhere and offer them a ride on Captain Hook’s boat. Of course, anything is better than being near Peter’s dirty dishes and Lost Boys, so they go with him (Tinkerbell does, too.)
Now, Peter is getting back to the Indian village with Tiger Lilly and discovers the Darlings are missing. “Who will help me save the children?”
“Not I,” said Tiger Lilly. “I am a fair maiden, and if I spend any more time with you I’m gonna puke.”
“Not I,” said the chief. “My daughter no you like. I no you like. Out of my village get.” (Indian Chiefs always speak bad English in these stories).
So Peter goes off to ‘rescue’ the Darlings by himself, and ‘pretends’ to get Captain Hook and feed him to the crocodile, who is really his best friend. The Darlings are too busy flying around and playing tag.
“Well, since I rescued you, I think I would offer you a choice to stay in Never Never Land, do you want to?”
“Will we get to fly?” asked Michael.
“Yes! Yes! We’ll all stay!!” cried the Darling children, who only wanted to fly and have fun and never grow up forever and ever.
“Well you can’t!!!! HAHA!!” cried Peter. You’re so mean and nasty and will never help me with anything unless I force you so you’re going back to London!!”
So the Darling children were once again forced to do what Peter said and were made to go back to London were they all grew up and became successful and never once were able to fly again.