Monday, 28 September 2015

The rabbit, Warren.

The king of all rabbits, King Flopsy the third
Sat on his throne watched by the herd
He yawned and he lifted a kit by his scut
Said "I name this rabbit Fluffy" and kissed his left foot

He handed each child back to it's mother
Who stepped away smiling, replaced by another
More and more children, his day had dragged on
Then a buck with a book said, "Sir, here's the last one"

He held up the kitten but, for the first time
As hard as he tried, no name came to mind
Each that he thought of he'd given before
He'd used all the names, there weren't any more

Flopper and Tufty and Cotton-tail Jill
Fluffy and Bunny and  Lop-eared Bill
Bella and Topper, Tufty, Snowball
He had no more names, he'd now used them all

He looked left and right and up and around
Until, suddenly, inspiration he found
He smiled at the mother who'd brought him her son
And announced to the world, "I'll name him Warren"

The king of all rabbits made his way through the crowd
As the does did their curtsies and the bucks bowed their bows
And the trumpeter sounded the royal fanfare
Leaving young Warren's mother just stood standing there

Now, young Warren's mother wasn't best pleased
She thought that her son would be mercilessly teased
With a name so outlandish what would others say?
So she spoke to the book buck about her dismay

"But Mrs. McFluffykins, I can't change his name
The king, he has spoken, the name must remain
I've written it down in my book, anyway
And I've not got a rubber on my pencil today"

Kits are like kids, they can't half be horrid
But Mrs. McFluffykins needn't have worried
The others did tease him, though he teased them back
Along with his best friend, a rabbit named Jack

And it didn't last long, before many years
Warren became the kit known as "big ears"
An insult to some, but not to this bunny
Water off a duck's back, he thought it was funny

Warren grew quickly and Warren grew strong
And grew into those ears before very long
Handsome and smart, quick of wit and of mind
Both caring and strong and above all else kind

Then came the day that the old king did die
All the bucks, does and kits in the kingdom did cry
Then, once the old king was placed in his crypt
A new King of all Rabbits had to be picked

The contest was held in the time honoured way
On the top of the hill on the first day of May
The oldest and wisest doe held aloft a stopwatch
And began the contest with "Ready, steady, HOPSCOTCH!"

Thousands of rabbits set off down the hill
Leaping and bounding and racing until
Just the two fastest were left in the race
Hopping and scotching and red in the face

Neck and neck as they neared the finish
Warren and a buck by the name of Spinach
But just as they were about to cross
The line poor Spinach trod on a wasp

He shrieked and tumbled to the ground
Tears in his eyes as he rolled all around
A one rabbit race now that Spinach had fallen
Warren must win, even if he were crawling

But, no, he stopped short, turned around an returned
To the rabbit now sobbing as his poor, stung foot burned
He smiled as he crouched down beside the poor buck
And said "Here was I thinking our feet were good luck"

He put vinegar on Spinach's wound and checked the wasp was okay
Then helped the stricken buck to his feet and was cheered upon his way
When finally had Warren crossed the finishing line
He'd spent so long being kind he was a hundred and eighty ninth

The wise, old doe that held the stopwatch
Met the pair at the line and exclaimed "That was top notch!
You'd already proven yourself the most fast
But the King of All Rabbits needs far more than that"

The trumpeters fanfare filled the air
As the buck with the book stepped forth and declared
"The race has been run and the new king selected
Now let's have a party, get the marquee erected"

You've never partied 'til you've partied rabbit style
The conga alone was over a mile
The carrot cake was delightfully light
A jamboree running right through the night

The new king slept with his crown on his head
Yawning and tucked safe in his royal bed
So proud of himself that he felt he might burst
The King of All Rabbits, King Warren the First


Friday, 18 September 2015

The foul chicken.

Racing 'cross meadows and forests and streams
Chasing away the dark and our dreams
The warm, golden fingers of the morning's new sun
Telling the chicken the day had begun
He fluttered his feathers and puffed out his chest
Perched on the gatepost, his back to the west
And signalled the start of a day that was new
With a hearty cock-a-doodle, a-doodle-cock-do

His day's toil over, his job being a doddle
He went down to where the ducks quacked, flapped and waddled
He strutted and clucked his way through the crowd
Of ducks gathered there and announced rather loud
"There's a pond needs be swum in and quacks to be quacked
Now get to work or I'll see you all sacked"
The same every morning, he'd appear with his frown
Squawking his orders and making ducks down

He bullied the cows, was a swine to the pigs
Got on nanny's goat and upset her kids
He scared all the lambs by shouting "mint sauce!"
Then went to the paddock and sat on the horse
Watching and waiting for that moment when
He'd catch a glimpse of that lovely, plump hen
The one that he'd fallen for, hook, line and sinker
Who just couldn't stand him, who thought him a stinker!

He saw her and called out, "cock-a-yoohoo"
But she just called back "Can't stop, things to do"
The horse looked around at the bird on his bum
And said "Tell me, chum, why you looking so glum?"
The chicken didn't answer, just stared hard and long
"What's up?" Asked the horse, "Did the cat take your tongue?"
"Oh my word," The chicken did squawk
"I had no idea that horses could talk?"

Now, the horse had been horsing around and about
Long before the proud rooster had cracked his way out
Of the egg that his mother had laid on the floor
Older and wiser, he'd seen it before
"Go on then, old timer", the chicken enquired
"She really should like me, I'm cock of the yard!"
The old horse just snorted, "If you want my advice
Learn to be nice or she'll never look twice"

He thought it a long shot, but well worth a try
Tomorrow he'd be a far nicer guy
That night he slept with a smile on his bill
And woke as the sun rose from behind the hill
He knocked on the door of the farmer's old house
Then whistled and wandered over to the little duck-house
Popped his head through the door and called quietly
"Cock-a-doodle-doodle, a-doodle-cock-dee"

All that day long he kept a smile on his beak
And took extra time to stop and to speak
With every farm animal, the great and the small
He smiled and was pleasant to one and to all
Silly songs he sang and silly jokes he told
All about chickens crossing a road
He'd struggled at first, he'd have to admit
But by that afternoon he'd got the hang of it

He went back to see his new friend, the old nag
Who stood in the field with his nose in a bag
"I did it, I've managed to be nice all day"
"That's great" said the horse as he munched on his hay
"And was she impressed with the new, nicer you?"
The chicken said "Impressed?  Impressed with me who?"
So busy being nice to the pigs in the pen
He'd forgotten all about the lovely, plump hen

A voice from behind, "cluck cluck cluck cooee
I'd heard you'd be here, waiting for me"
He stammered and stuttered, his cheeks flushing red
Lost for words, he nodded his head
"There's a barn dance tonight, I hear you'd like to go"
"I'd love to", Said the chicken, "but how did you know?
A cough from the horse, he looked over his shoulder
The horse smiled and said, "It was me who told her"

The barn didn't dance, but the barn-dance was great
The cock and the hen danced until late
They giggled and laughed as he walked his date home
He said he liked her eyes, she said she liked his comb
Then she said goodnight with a peck on the cheek
And ensured his new smile would last for a week
The cock of the yard strutted home to his bed
And dreamed of the chicken that one day he'd wed

The farmer's far happier with his new alarm call
As are the cows, the pigs, lambs and all
Each morning's now lovely if you're a duck
And, after a while, the chicken's smile stuck
Now older and wiser, each morning he wakes
And sets off for work as each new dawn breaks
A peck on the beak as he walks out the door
The cock of the yard, foul fowl no more.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Games without frontiers.

Playing a game, we're playing a game
He'd told me when the day to leave came
And so began our epic fun
Just me and my daddy on the run

He smiled and he joked as we walked through the night
He promised me soon that all would be right
We talked as we walked and we walked as we talked
Until meeting a van where the dusty road forked

We clambered within and joined playmates new
Who shared with us water and laughter and food
Songs sung and chats chatted along the ride
'Til we finally arrived at the windy seaside

To the boats for our final intrepid expedition
Just this one more peril upon our mission
To leave behind those sandy shores
And find a brave, new world to explore

Smiling and laughing as dad held my hand
We set off for the promised land
We're nearly there, he promised me
As he pushed my boat out into the sea

He and two others clung to the back and paddled the boat with their feet
As I sat with new brothers and a half dozen others and dreamed of the food I would eat
When finally at the end of dad's game I could stop and take a rest
Maybe watch some Sponge-Bob and fall asleep with my head upon his chest

Our little boat was tossed left and right
Giving me and the others a terrible fright
But I'd worried not when that last great wave came
Because, after all, this was only a game

As that wave struck I was tossed from the boat
And salty water filled my throat
Playing a game, just playing a game
Though the deep, briny sea took my life all the same