A Day on the Farm

The sun’s our clock, rooster alarm.

Up to start a day on the farm.

Fresh air and sunshine all long day.

Eat our breakfast then on our way.

.

I put on my boots, coat and hat.

And find a glove under the cat.

Out the door to the bunnies hutch.

They eat  pellets they don’t like much.

.

My dog follows, opens the door.

Sometimes gone for hours or more.

Jumping high, trips latch with paw.

The cutest thing I ever saw.

.

Next we’re off to feed the plump hens.

Gather eggs, clean muddy pig pens.

We’ll hose it down then slop the sows.

Grab our pails and milk the cows.

.

Feed the mare, sleeps in the sable.

I’ll ride her soon when I’m able.

First she’s brushed then gets oats and hay.

We do all these things twice a day

.

In the garden, vegetables grow.

Sprout from seeds we plant in a row.

Water well, pluck weeds in between.

Shoe away pests when they’re seen.

.

When all the digging and feeding’s through.

There’s still more on a farm to do.

Pick fresh fruit for mom’s best jelly.

Yummy sweet, wiggles in my belly.

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Orange balloons float above ground.

Pumpkin pies shared all around.

Our beans are red and peas are green.

The tastiest rainbows ever seen.

.

Life on the farm is so much fun.

Little to do when work is done.

Get up early, busy all day.

We eat our supper then hit the hay.

*

The End

 

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Hannahbelle’s Folly

Welcome back to Hannahbelle’s folly

where dreams broken yet most stayed jolly.

The factory was shut, tourist didn’t stay,

the impatient grew impatient for a better day.

Most old town folk not wanting to go

agreed to a change in the Hannahbelle show.

Their now was the present, past’s time of old,

the gooey center betwixt is this tale told.

It starts with Charlie, who lacked business sense.

All money made was but half his expense.

Having won the factory therefore the town,

he became a fair leader, albeit a clown.

Yet a kinder soul there could never be.

All hungers fed, anytime, always free.

The workers prospered with newfound wealth,

not only from raises but dental and health.

The village glistened, all gloom washed away.

Their Renaissance grew brighter each passing day.

Charlie married soon after, a remarkable bride,

their love for each other they couldn’t hide.

Hannahbelle followed within that same year.

She’s properly pampered and handled with care.

By noble decree the eldest of elders proclaimed;

In honor of Charlie the towns to be renamed.

A contest was held to find the best name.

Most of the entries were all the same.

The town’s new name was Hannahbelleville,

from miles around people came for the thrill.

With towers of brick placed one at a time

all topped with a bell for the hourly chime.

The windows sparkled, doors welcomed all.

Just step right in and we’ll all have a ball.

Neat lines form long to be part of the show.

There are twists and turns wherever you go.

A bib and bags are given free at the door

to save what’s left for when you want more.

Ponchos welcome but most haven’t a care,

sweet diversions are why they’re all here.

Where chocolate waterfalls splash at their base,

what a tasty surprise to the passerby’s face.

There are also cakes, cookies and candies galore.

There’s shirts and hats at the little gift store.

The shelves always stocked, but not for long,

their prices are good so sales are strong.

On paper everything seemed OK.,

until a new town sprouted across the bay.

This new town was grander, factory too.

They stole Charlie’s recipes, yet he hadn’t a clue.

They built a new park with rides big and small.

It’s better than Hannahbelles that had none at all.

The competition soon became bold and brutal.

The rivals charged half for twice the strudel!

Though Charlie’s reluctant to change his way,

he worked all the harder without any pay.

Then Hannahbelle’s tuition became overdue,

not just one term but quite a few.

She’d have to go home without a degree.

The long spring stretched, she worked as three.

Side by side the little family all toiled.

Cooking and cleaning and keeping things oiled.

Summer arrived and thoughts were blooming.

She had to think fast, payday was looming.

Then a plan was hatched to save the day.

She called her classmates to all have a say.

Her idea was shared to change their fates.

The chefs and chemists mixed heated debates.

Mathematicians integrated their permutations.

The statisticians juggled interpolations.

The engineers tinkered to make all precise.

Artist’s flourished to make all look nice.

A manager’s needed to book weekend bands.

Then there’s the overhead and two hired hands.

There are taxes, tariffs and hidden fees.

We’ve a lawyer’s retained to shoot the breeze.

Bankers were safe with their calculations.

The accountants left to balance frustrations.

Our writers wrote slogans, jingles and ads.

Their pieces placed in papers for new I.T. grads.

A final test given for last minute tweaks.

Then code was input by computer geeks.

The output emerged and everyone’s thrilled.

Soon teeth and tummies both less filled.

It’ll be safe to consume whenever you please.

They’ll never melt and cannot freeze.

There’s no a messy wrappers or sticky streets.

When enjoying the new Hannahbelle binary treats.

Though you will need a dongle for a spare port,

to call up our server of cheese mocha torte.

You can try any flavor you think to choose,

try them all, there’s nothing to loose

We’ve green apple slush and warm fuzzy peach.

There’s seven billion in all, that’s one for each.

Just fill in the form and enter your pin.

Sit back, relax and let the digiconfection begin.

Pay what you can, take what you need.

The business is sweet without any greed.

And after all the bills are paid,

what’s left is ours; it’s what we’ve made.

What was made is what we make.

What Hannahbelle makes icing on her cake.

Hannahbelles treats now second to none,

without competition you’ve already won.

And as the creator of all that’s digiconfectionary,

she’s thought now to be a true visionary.

A university was founded, tuition’s free.

Hannahbelle was first to earn a degree.

Soon she was mayor of Hannahbelleville.

She could serve for life and probably will.

The company grew large, built in its niche.

Everyone did well, though no one got rich.

Hannahbelle shares all her profits and good will.

So all ends happily in Hannahbelleville.

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Sandbox

.

Shades of blue peeking through gray

Spring is here and outside we’ll play

First thing I’ll do is hug my tree

It’s waited alone all winter for me

~

In my backyard under that tree

Is my most favorite place to be

Swing’s on one side, sandbox the other

And a house above for my big brother

~

I’ll fly for a while on my swing

And listen to the birdies sing

Then to the place I love the best

Where I can build castles or take a rest

~

My sandbox is this magic place

A shipwreck beach or planet in space

It’s a summer toy box in my backyard

And cleaning up is never hard

~

Though last summer we made a big mess

I played in the mud in my best dress

We found a small puddle, my friend and I

The last thing needed for our mud pie

~

First scooped with shovels, most was spilled

Thought of a bucket, then soon filled

A couple of pails and puddle’s dry

But the sand’s to soupy for our mud pie

~

So we dug in the yard to get more sand

The sand was brown, squishy in hand

But it was fun, mushy and wet

A sandbox time we’ll never forget

~

Then my brother jumped in with a splash

Mud flew high, our clothes where trash

Then mom came out, we thought she’s mad

Till she hosed us down, now we’re all glad

~*~

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Alesha the Cat

Alesha_poem_skittell

Daddy, daddy come quick and see.

There are big eyes staring at me.

In the window there, can you see?

It’s a kitty looking back at me.

~

Please can we keep her, can we please?

I’ll wash her good if there are fleas.

We gave her some milk on a plate.

It seemed like hours I had to wait.

~

Then mom came home, was kitty there?

Yes! – She’s napping on the porch chair.

Mom and dad had a little chat.

They called me in and there I sat.

~

Hoped to hear we have a new pet.

“First” they said “a trip to the vet”

“Vet” I said “whatever is that?”

They said “a doctor for your cat.”

~

Found a box, she fit just right.

Curled in a towel ” out of sight.

Into the car and off we go.

To a new place I didn’t know.

~

Never been to a vet before.

Many new things behind the door.

There’s lots of cats and dogs of course.

But shocked to see a tiny horse.

~

Saw a snake and a talking bird.

Said some words I’ve never heard.

The vet was fun just like the zoo.

But I was glad when we were through.

~

We brought her home, she disappeared.

Hid under the bed like mom feared.

To get her out we had a plan.

Gave her some tuna from a can.

~

That didn’t work, mom tried a trick.

She tied some yarn on a long stick.

I wiggled the yarn on the floor.

We saw a paw and then two more.

~

Next was a tail then furry head.

Now she’s out from under my bed.

Gave her a scratch as she ran past.

To the new food she ate too fast.

~

We gave her some time to explore.

She made a big mess on the floor.

Dad cleaned it up, almost got sick.

Mom finished the job; I said “Ick!”

~

And when done we all had a laugh.

Thankful our cat wasn’t a calf.

Then made a list for a quick shop.

A litter box was at the top.

~

Boxes and bags of this and that,

Much was needed for our new cat.

While we were out dad took a nap.

Our new kitty curled on his lap.

~

She woke with a stretch and a purr.

Licking her paws and stripey fur.

Dad woke next and was surprised.

By his new friend’s big sleepy eyes.

~

He cuddled her close, scratched her ears.

Mom smiled, I thought I saw tears.

Then we all had a good giggle.

Watching kitty twist and wiggle.

~

Mom picked her up, gave her a hug.

Put her down gently on the rug.

The cutest thing I ever did see.

But what to call my new kitty?

~

She’ll be Alesha, our cat “A”.

Like in the book I read today.

By a doctor who wrote fun rhymes.

I’ve read them all oodles of times.

~

Now’s time to sleep, our day is done.

I hope tomorrows just as fun.

Tucked in bed, Alesha and me.

Soon to dream of little cat “B”.

~

The End

~

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Available at :

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/468855

READER SETS PRICE!!!

Beach Day

SK_BeachDay_4

Tomorrow’s to be the best day.

A day of sunshine, swim and play.

Must get to sleep, morning is near.

We’ll wake early, much to prepare.

*

Eat breakfast, find my pail and rake.

Great big castles of sand we’ll make.

Pack cooler with lunch, bring a hat.

Bags for towels and this and that.

~

Morning has come, wide open eyes.

Hoping for those clear blue skies.

It must be early, sky’s still gray.

Maybe I woke on the wrong day.

*

Waited all winter, now’s in reach,

sunny day of fun at the beach.

Went back to bed, nothing to do.

Closed my eyes then the sun shined through.

~

Jumped out of bed, day’s second chance.

Brush my teeth and put on short pants.

Ran downstairs for breakfast and more,

a surprise friend waits at my door.

*

We all got packed into the car.

Hoping the drive won’t be too far.

Wheels turn, were almost there.

Windows open, I smell the sea air.

~

Pull in the lot, our fun begins.

Unpack the car, pull out the bins.

We carry the bags, two for each.

Umbrellas up, blanket on beach.

*

Cooler wheels stuck in the sand.

Dad asked me to lend him a hand.

We’re all set up, time to explore.

There’s much to do at the seashore.

~

We hurry down to take our dips.

First toes then knees, up to hips.

The water’s cold, we jumped back out.

To thick towels we run and shout.

*

My fingers wrinkle, lips turn blue.

The sunshine’s warming me and you.

Sand’s sticking to my wet swimsuit.

Mom gets lunch; sandwich, drink and fruit.

~

Our feast is done, time to play ball.

Huffing and puffing, shared by all.

We blew it up then threw it high.

Caught by the wind, kept by the sky.

*

Grab our shovels, pile the sand.

Moats and towers, kings of this land.

Then waves came in with a crash.

Hours to build, gone in a splash.

SK_BeachDay_6

Now we’ll find some big new sea shells.

Some are flat some shaped like bells.

Some you hear the sea in your ear.

Some will have things living in there.

~

Sifting for treasure in the sands.

Time slipping through our small wet hands.

We keep the best in a small sack.

To be explored when we get back.

*

Now let’s try the water again.

First you go then I’ll jump right in.

Dive and swim, watch seaweed float by.

Then the sun sank low in the sky.

~

We all go home, skin pink, eyes red.

Take a cool bath then off to bed.

Going to sleep dreaming of more,

a day at the beach is best – I’ m sure!

*

The End

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https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/472691

Jen and Ben #3 – Dad’s Day

Wakey! – Wakey!  it’s morning time.
So says the clock and its chime.
It wakes the twins up every day.
It lets them know it’s time to play.

Jen’s up first, been awake since dawn.
Ben is next after a stretch and yawn.
Kitty’s last with a scratch and a purr.
All’s ready for breakfast that’s for sure.

Today’s milk and toast with jam for Jen.
Always cereal with berries for Ben.
Mom has a muffin and Dad has two.
Kitty has fish and seafood stew.

Mom works today and Dad stays home.
Dad likes to read while Ben likes to roam.
Kitty likes newspaper, but just to chew.
Jen helps dad find where Ben went to.

Ben was found hiding under a sheet.
Couldn’t see his head but saw his feet.
Ben’s much faster than dad believed.
Everyone laughed, Dad was relieved.

Jen picks the clothes, it’s time to get dressed.
Tee shirts and shorts is what they like best.
Sneakers or sandals, that’s hard to decide.
They bring them both and choose on the ride.

They park in the shade near the swing.
It’s a bright sunny day and the birdies sing.
Ben tries to whistle just like the birds.
Jen makes up a song and sings the words.

Dad took a picture with his new phone.
The twins want one, but not ‘till they’re grown.
Ben wants red and Jen wants white.
With a bright shiny light to light up the night.

Jen takes a picture of Ben and dad.
Then tries another because Ben looks sad.
Ben snaps a shot of Jen and dad.
Dad sends them to mom and everyone’s glad.

Dad turns on the speaker to hear mom talk.
All chatted merrily, until Jen takes a walk.
But Jen’s not lost, she’s on the slide.
Ben got scared, he almost cried.

Dad was glad, but a little bit mad.
Jen had to sit and talk to dad.
Ben sat too and gazed to the skies.
Jen rolled in the grass, dad rolled his eyes.

Now all three lay in the tall cool grass.
Watching the clouds and birdies pass.
Jen likes the birds and sings them her song.
She gets up to dance and Ben sings a long.

“Birdies, birdies in the sky,
When I get big I hope to fly.
I’ll fly to grandmas that’ll be great.
I’ll fly all day, but won’t be home late”

Dad starts to whistle Jen’s catchy tune.
Ben tries too and catches on soon.
Jen stomps her feet, her lips are stuck.
She tries and tries without any luck.

They all take a break and sit back down.
Dad helps Jen with her whistling sound.
Now everyone’s happy, the sun smiles bright.
But now’s time to go and make supper for tonight.

The twins both love to play in the park.
If they could they would stay until dark.
But mom’s home soon and they love her more.
There’s hugs and kisses that wait at the door.

Now back in the car and ready to go.
But lunch-time traffic makes the trip slow.
The twins in the back make funny faces.
Dad’s up front, pretending he races.

The trip was long but not very far.
Everyone’s glad to be out of the car.
There’s lunches to make and naps to take.
So we’ll see you all later when the twins awake.

to be continued…

`
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Jen & Ben’s Afternoon

Jen & Ben – Part 2

~

Back in the car, strapped in their seat

Mom weaves through the lot onto the street

There’s bunches more cars than before

It’ll be a long ride home, that’s for sure

.

Jen’s dozing off with the music down low

Ben tries not to, but he’s starting to go

Mom takes a corner onto their street

Ben perks up, kicking his feet

 .

Today’s long journey was soon to end

Jen wakes up and sees a friend

There are smiles and waves all around

Everyone’s friends in their little town

 .

Jen sees a school bus and wave’s hello

Ben asks mom why they didn’t go

Mom explains that they’ll go soon

Jen wants to go that afternoon

 .

Mom pulls in the drive they unpack the car

Then a break for all, mom plays her guitar

Jen starts dancing, Ben plays drums

Table-top thumping with fingers and thumbs

 .

Now upside down, the hands on the clock

Soon dad will be home and we’ll take a walk

But first is supper and the twins can’t wait

Tonight’s twisty spaghetti’s that’ll be great

 .

Jen likes them cut with not much sauce

Ben likes them long, to slurp of course

There’s green beans and bread on the side

With glasses of milk for pink smiles wide.

 .

Now’s time for dessert, it’s pie with fruit

Mom’s whip cream nose is extra cute

Jen tries it too then Ben and dad

The funniest dessert they’ve ever had.

.

Now’s time to clean up then a short walk

Back at home they make puzzles and talk

The twins get sleepy, bath time’s soon

It’s time to wash off their fun afternoon

 .

Now’s time for bed, time to choose, no concern

Whether the top or bottom, each has a turn

The top has adventures, but dark at night

The bottom’s bunk cozy with never a fright

 .

Ben gets the top, he’s thinking of space

Jen picks the bottom, her quiet place

Mom reads a book, Ben watches the moon

Jens eyes start to close, all to dream soon

 .

Now dad comes in, his turn at dishes done

But everyone’s too tired to have more fun

He reads the last pages of the twin’s new book

Then kisses goodnight, mom takes a last look

 .

Kitty’s close by on her window sill

Dad flicks the switch and all is still

The twins now asleep in their night lights glow

Dreaming of stories they’ll share – tomorrow

 ~

To be continued…

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Jen & Ben

Jen and Ben, they’re a silly pair,

they are twins with bright red hair.

One wears it short the other long.

One’s always right, one’s never wrong.

 .

They’ve been together since day one,

always happy, always fun.

They dress the same most every day,

pj’s for bed and overalls for play.

 .

One is bright and one is sunny.

One’s more sweet, one’s more funny.

Both love to giggle all the time.

Or they sing loudly, a nursery rhyme.

 .

One likes to run, one likes to jump.

One gets a bruise the other a bump.

In the backyard, their favorite place,

Today’s the day for the big race.

.

Teddy’s in the carriage, pushed too fast.

Bunny’s in the wagon soon to be past.

The tree is near, the race is done,

It’s a tie, they both won.

.

Now mom’s calling, time to eat,

something yummy then a treat.

First a wash of hands and a comb of hair,

then mom helps them up into the chair.

.

Yeah! It’s celery sticks with peanut butter,

then an oatmeal cookie like no other.

Mom baked them fresh, just today,

with raisins and nuts, just our way.

 .

Then it’s time to help mom clean,

There’s never a spill or crumb to be seen.

Then the pair find pillows to share,

for a nap with bunny and bear.

.

Snuggling atop their blanket for two,

Mom reads aloud something that’s new.

But first funny faces silence then yawns,

followed by dreams of swings and lawns.

.

But a nap’s never long when kitty’s about,

A nose-tickling tail serves as a shout.

The twins awake in a flash, ready to play.

But mom has some errands to do today.

.

First a surprise, a trip to the park,

the twin’s sleepy faces light with a spark.

There are swings there and a tall slide.

Jen climbs bars, Ben finds places to hide.

 .

They see other kids who know their names.

Then together they play jumping games.

Ben jumps high and Jen jumps far.

They all jump together back to the car.

 .

Mom hops in and turns the radio up.

Jen plays drums on her sippy-cup.

Ben sings along snug in his car-seat.

All banded together to a favorite beat.

.

Then off to the store and away they go,

reading the signs that they all know.

Ben gets excited by a speedy fire truck.

Jen giggles at a waddling road crossing duck.

.

They stop at a light that’s yellow then red.

Green means go! – to the store just ahead.

The wheels turn and blinkers blink,

Mom hit a bump, Ben spilled his drink.

.

Parked in the lot mom finds a cart,

with a wobbly wheel and a shaky start.

Through the door that opens like magic.

Ben waves his arm, pretending it’s his trick.

.

Their carriage a fortress, tank and ship,

sailing down aisles in search of bean dip.

With Jen in the seat and Ben in the back,

they guard the goodies in case of attack.

.

Jen checks off the list and grabs for a treat.

Sometimes mom finds them under the seat.

The breads now a pillow for Ben’s sleepy head.

So Jen gets to pick the new book to be read.

 .

At the check-out they chat with some friends.

Mom’s chat with the grocer never ends.

The carriage ride bumpy back to the car.

But that’s okay it isn’t too far.

.

Plus there’s a hill that goes that way.

So mom jumps on and we all get to play.

Everybody helps putting bags in the back.

Then a surprise, it’s a new kind of snack.

 .

They both get a straw for juice to share.

A flavor for each of the silly pair,

one likes the lemon and the other lime.

But that’s a story for another time.

.

To be continued…

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Easter’s Egging

~*~

The church bell rang and doors flung wide.

We raised our heads and ran outside.

Sitting’s done, now’s time for fun.

Our Easter egg hunt has now begun.

.

It’s a perfect day with bright sunshine.

Our baskets ready we waited in line.

Till all were scattered on the count of three,

in every direction kids ran free.

.

I ran first to my favorite tree.

I found it’s the favorite of not just me.

So off to the hedge where eggs always found,

none’s left there so to the playground.

.

While the others searched I rode the swing.

When they had gone I heard birds sing.

I glanced to the trees and sounds nearby.

Then off jumped I and into the sky.

.

I landed in sand on two feet and one hand,

then a tumble or two and up I stand.

I turned to the fence where tall trees grew-

to search for a prize of an egg or two.

.

The chirps grew louder with each step I took.

Did they tell me to leave or tell me to look?

I kneeled near bushes and peeked below.

I stuck in my hand as far as would go.

.

Feeling around for a tasty surprise,

I pulled out an egg but smaller in size.

Holding tight it felt warm to the touch.

Then I knew why that bird chirped so much.

.

Gently I put the egg down on the ground,

took a few steps back not making a sound.

A whistle blew, the hunt was now done.

But silently I waited in the midday sun.

.

My basket is broken and clothes dirty and torn.

I knew I’d face my mother’s scorn.

But there’s more to life than clothes un-ripped.

There are some events that can’t be skipped.

.

There’s saving the things that you love.

Then a bird swooped down from above

She tapped the shell lightly with her beak.

A tiny head popped out to take a peek.

.

The mom  nudged her chick back into the bush.

Her frightful chirping turned to a shush

Then another whistle blew, louder than ever.

To stay any longer just wouldn’t be clever.

.

I hurried back, joining up with the rest.

Our search was now over finding the best.

My cousin won second, they had four.

I found just one but I think I won more.

~*~

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http://www.childrens-stories.net/featured-childrens-story/featured-childrens-story.htm

Flight Lesson

~

With the first bird tweet before sunrise
An eager young fairy opened her eyes
Impatient she was to explore a new day
To discover new things, have fun and play

Silently venturing from the hollow of her tree
Taking the leap to be fluttering free
She soared through the dark above the treetops
Seeing first the sun shine on morning bunny hops

Reaching new heights she dove for the green
There twisting and turning through branch barely seen
She then came to a stop with forest floor near
Where she sat on a twig spying something unclear

The rays of dawn peaked betwixt shadowed leaf
A lone beam shone on a nest wove beyond belief
Twas silken hung with shimmers and wiggles
Whence out pops a butterfly to bright eyes and giggles

The pair swiftly flew off, with each a new friend
A flight of fancy they hoped without end
Their forest was waking from the dark of night
Ferns were unfurling to welcome the light

Morning blossoms blooming’s a colorful treat
Dew drop reflections fragrantly sweet
The bumble bee’s buzz in search they roam
Lady bugs lingering wished to be home

Crickets stopped chirping, they’re done for the day
The squirrels and chipmunks have come out to play
Frolicking freely time quickly passed by
Their world growing smaller the higher they fly

Sensing danger circling above
The butterfly thought a game the fairy would love
For his instinct foretold of a life to be short
All else he knew the fairy had taught

He said “wait down below, I’ll hide and you seek”
“But count to a thousand before you peek.”
The adventurous fairy dove quick for the wood
The brave butterfly flew higher than was good

Counting’s completed, now’s time to discover
She opened her eyes while humming birds hover
She asked of them if a butterfly was seen
One with big wings of red, yellow and green

The little birds knew not of his hiding place
Sadness now shaded the young fairy’s face
She searched high and low, both left and right
Her sight’s now shrinking in falling sunlight

Shadows grow longer with the moons turn to rise
A blanket of stars soon covered sleepy eyes
The quiet night passing, she dreamt of her tree
And the nightmare had unprepared to be free

Awakening again to a song she knows well
Birds summon the sun as the pale moon fell
The fairy sat patient on a stump by a stream
Butterfly! Oh butterfly she did loudly scream

The butterfly didn’t hear her mournful cry
Though the echo carried through valley and sky
Her parents did hear their lost child’s voice
Soon by her side they all did rejoice

The young fairy’s joy soon returned to tears
She spoke of the butterfly and of her fears
Her parents assured her he lost his way
But would surely return somehow, someday

The family swiftly flew back to their cozy home
A place shared with others in a honey comb
The fairy now waves to the butterflies, they in return
For keeping friends close is what she did learn

~*~

sck050116

Time for Time-Out

timeoutimg002

Time for time-out it’ll end soon.

Dug in the yard with mom’s good spoon.

She’s had it since her wedding day.

Used just for holidays, not play.

*

I said that it was shaped just right,

to dig a trench where armies can fight.

Needs to be deep but not too wide.

Had to dig fast so they can hide.

*

Buried far down just like a tomb.

Guarding treasure found in your room.

Found in a box high on a chest.

It’s the booty pirates like best.

*

I must protect those shiny things:

chains, charms, bracelets, baubles and rings.

Hid them good, remembered the map.

But then forgot after my nap.

*

To help me dig I found a pet.

The best digger there is I’ll bet.

Finished our yard then went next door.

Found nothing, ran off to dig more.

*

Chased our cat high up in the tree.

Grandma called the police for me.

Her nurse had to help make the call.

The police came, that isn’t all.

*

While chasing his dog that I found,

the man fell from holes in the ground.

He said he’ll sue, just wait and see.

I said it was his dog, not me.

*

His face was red, limping away.

But grandma’s heart will be okay.

And I have some more good news.

While digging today, I wore no shoes.

*

They’re nice and clean and tucked away.

I’ll try no pants some other day.

Though mess was made with my bare feet,

I cleaned it up with hose and sheet.

*

Pushed all the water out the door.

Then to your room, I cleaned some more.

Too bad the hose didn’t quite reach.

I luckily then found the bleach.

*

You’ll smile when you turn on the light.

I know you like things clean and white,

with spots of color here and there.

You’ll surely hug your little dear.

*

I’m glad you’re home early today.

Don’t believe what the neighbors say.

The rescue came, Dad’s all right.

Not much pain, he’ll wake by tonight.

*

Go to the doctor, I’ll just wait.

I’ll be good and won’t stay up late.

I missed lunch; I’ll make us a snack.

Fix the chair dad broke with his back.

*

He climbed too high to find his keys,

lost his balance from wobbly knees.

I found some socks to wrap dad’s head.

Then found soldiers under my bed.

*

Recalled the mission to be done.

Ran downstairs to start the fun.

Found no spoons not already bent.

But then found yours and out I went.

*

And that’s where my story began.

Now come sit close mom, hold my hand.

I know that time-outs hurt you too.

But when it’s done I’ll still love you.

*

The End

sck2014

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/468259

A Christmas Tail

sleepy town

Chapter 1 ~ The Beginning

All’s quite this early winter’s night.
Embers fade in the candles dancing light.
I was thinking of Christmas, many years past.
Those fond old memories’ now fading fast.

I recalled when our home came alive.
I was just a small girl of about five.
It was a grand old house for mom, dad and me.
Sat perched on a hill overlooking the sea.

It’s still a museum in our little town.
It was built by a General of historic renown.
Shared with his bride Martha, she had a sad life.
The General’s a hero, she a young widowed wife.

h varnum door 2

We cared for the house and gave the tours.
All year long we opened our doors.
We welcomed the guest to step back in time.
So come on in and share our rhyme.

I lay awake and tossed and turned.
Thinking of school and all I learned.
Letters and numbers and new friends,
I hope kindergarten never ends.

My thought disturbed by shapes on the wall,
a moonlit dance, shadows big and small.
It pranced to my table that’s set for tea.
There’s a seat for Teddy and Dolly plus one for me.

It climbed the chair with a dancer’s grace.
She must be a girl with a whiskered face.
Dolly left some crumbs on her plate.
When I remembered it was too late.

I Left a treat each night for a week.
I tried staying awake to catch a peek.
I’ll call her Martha, like our homes bride
But when I giggled she ran to hide.

Chapter 2 ~ New Friends

The days passed, she’d visit most nights.
She kept unseen until I turn out the lights.
She knows I’m cozy in my warm bed.
She smiles and winks, thankful she’s fed.

One night I waited, still in my chair.
Starlight warmed the chilly night air.
Eyelids dropped like the falling moon.
I hope my visitor gets here soon.

Night turned to day, feet cold on the floor.
I missed my friend but goodies no more.
The next night I brought a cookie to bed.
I woke with my new friend by my head.

Days got colder, Christmas was near.
I looked forward to the snacks we share.
Each passing night our friendship grows.
We chat and laugh, I scratch her nose.

h 3

Thanksgiving’s past, Santa’s on his way.
The tree goes up, brighter each day.
We’re happy to welcome all our new guests,
while I wore my new colonial dress.

I tell them of the homes long past,
Of all that’s lived here, my family last.
I tell them of their history.
But never a word of Martha and me.

On the last day of school before the break,
we celebrated with carols and cake.
We shared cards and hugs then on our way.
We’re off to the bus and our long holiday.

Glad to be home, much to be done.
Baking and wrapping with mom will be fun.
I think Christmas is the best time of year.
There’s lots of visits from friends far and near.

Chapter 3 ~ Good and Bad

tree 4

It’s not just gifts that makes Christmas best.
It’s all the excitement, no time for rest.
One snowy day mom and I went to town.
Main Street’s so merry, never a frown.

When we returned from our last minute shop,
we saw a truck with a light on top.
A man in a hardhat talked with my dad.
They both spoke quietly and looked very sad.

My parents whispered, thought I didn’t hear.
Something’s was broken too much to repair.
Said we’re leaving, where they don’t know.
I loved our home and didn’t want to go.

I gave the last tour on that very sad day.
We finished our cocoa with little to say.
Mom read aloud then kissed me goodnight.
Dad tucked me in, turned out the light.

I lay sobbing at the loss of our house.
No new friends, no Martha the mouse.
I then had a plan and ran for my bank.
Shook out the coins and my little heart sank.

Martha came close, she knew I was sad.
I forgot the snacks but she wasn’t mad.
We counted my pennies in moonlight,
then crept downstairs later that night.

We tucked my bank under the tree.
It’s for our old house from Martha and me.
But one last thing and then back to bed,
a snack for Martha and a pat on her head.

My dad woke me early that Christmas day.
I knew he was sad, he smiled anyway.
We met mom in the hall, headed downstairs.
We all acted happy while holding back tears.

 

Chapter 4 ~ New Beginnings

The cookies were gone, Santa was here.
Beneath the tree, present are there.
But shocked to see something I’d never seen.
There are stacks of coins, sleeping mice in between.

They ate Santa’s cookies then took a nap.
All snuggled together in the Christmas wrap.
Sleeping soundly until mom screams.
Then all were awakened from their dreams.

Martha stood out front and winked at me.
She waved me over to come and see.
The piles of treasure they found last night.
That was lost under the floorboards out of sight.

The Generals treasure, his coins of gold.
There’s enough to fix our homes splendor of old.
Martha saved our house and Christmas too.
She helped write this rhyme to share with you.

mouse 5

From all of us here at our house of fun,
we’re glad to have shared our time as one,
We wish you the all best this holiday.
And may all your days be just your way.

The End

Steve Kittell 120114

 

Sweet Dreams

Monsters and ghouls prowl the street.
Ghosts hide beneath their sheet.
Zombies limp on bloody feet.
All are happy when they meet.
~
Black cats blend to be discreet.
Witches conjure but never cheat.
Werewolf’s howl when they greet.
All awaiting their Halloween treat.
~
Children rush for goodies to eat.
Parents long to take a seat.
Then the spell’s finally complete,
ending with dreams so sweet.

~*~
SCK103019

Bearly a Story

With a snowy blanket to ward of the chill,
deep in the forest a den lay still.
Then spring arrives, eyes soon gaze,
all that’s missed in the winter’s haze.
~
The most daring, of course, popped out first,
the second unsure but for their thirst.
While the last clung to their hungry mom,
till out she burst, not seeking calm.
~
In the new light the young family squinted.
Then in a blink the awed group splintered.
Mama was busy with breakfast in her sights.
The cubs were curious of nature’s delights.
~
Full of fear the timid cub sat alone.
With teary eyes closed all was unknown.
The adventurous pair now frolicked out of view.
Mama roared and they all knew what to do.
~
Back at the den the family again met.
Mama spoke firmly and new rules set.
Wherever she goes the cubs will too.
And what she says is what they’ll do.
~
Each a reason to not like what was said.
Each had ideas in their very own head.
Sticking together down the path they forged,
when new grass found for all to gorge.
~
A stream nearby was sure to taste nice,
it’s wintry fresh but cold as ice.
The foolish pair dove in and quickly back out.
The timid one laughed and mama was in doubt.
~
For the cubs it was their second spring.
But mama feared they hadn’t learned a thing.
Their season’s short with much to do.
Will her cubs be ready, she hadn’t a clue.
~
Back safe in their den all were glad,
bellies were full and fun was had.
The next day started much the same.
For two of the cubs it all seemed a game.
~
Grabbing for a beehive and to their surprise,
this prickled pair soon felt it unwise.
Fallen from the tree to roll down the hill,
a vacant hive was about to thrill.
~
While the humbled duo ran off in fright.
The shy little cub had lunch in sight.
With hardly a care they lunged for the treat.
Head first they met, the greeting sweet.
~
Mama returned hearing her cubs horrid wail.
But seeing her sticky one she knew the tale.
With a quick loving lick down the path she rushed.
At least for now one cub was hushed
~
Back at the stream the others found unharmed.
Mama’s relieved though still alarmed.
Did the cubs recall or was it a whim;
a lesson learned that bees can’t swim.
~
The bears then flew back, hasty to arrive.
There they all dove into that tasty hive.
The cubs soon napped and mama felt less fear.
And this is barely a story, unless you’re a bear.

~*~
SCK031919

Scaredy Cat

Found a scarred baby kitty near my house.
I snuck up from behind, quiet as a mouse.
With the speed of a rabbit I swooped to snatch.
Firmly grasped this beast was no match.

I wrestled it home then in a box placed.
But out it jumped and off it raced.
Hours passed, they’re nowhere in sight.
Darkness brought hunger, I turned on the light.

Heading to the kitchen to sharpen my knives,
a delicacy awaits, best of our lives.
The table now set but the cat still unfound.
My stomach growled with a roaring sound.

A smell overwhelmed one I knew well.
The cat had pooped, I slipped and fell.
Hitting the floor my head hit hard.
Waking much later, the kitten stood guard.

Rolling over I grabbed the fury beast.
Then back to the kitchen to prepare this feast.
With pepper, mayo and onions diced my way.
Our sandwiches gobbled then together we play.

~*~
SCK080618

Rememidies

Loaded all the way,
I devoured my fifth hot dog.
Then off to woods to play.

Soon thereafter I paused for a nap.
Into the night I dozed.
Till awakened by a dragons tap.

Not knowing what to do.
Into my pocket I reached.
I then found a tums, then two!

I hurriedly hurled them at the beast.
They landed squarely in their mouth.
The dragon thought they a tasty feast.

Swallowed far, fizzling as it they go,
twas the taste of pure magic.
A feeling a dragon doesn’t know.

The Beast soon burped a thunder.
Yet flames failed to spew.
The creature thought what a wonder.

Seems a dragon’s fire’s easily explained,
tis simply a diet gone awry.
And with it their agony ingrained.

Best of friends we both now be.
So if you should see a dragon.
Remember – nothing spicy!

~*~
SCK080318

A Christmas Tail

Chapter 1 ~ the Beginning

.

All’s quiet this early winter’s night.

Embers fade in the candles dancing light.

I was thinking of Christmas, many years past.

Those fond old memories, now fading fast.

.

I recalled when our home came alive.

I was just a small girl of about five.

It was a grand old house for mom, dad and me.

Sat perched on a hill overlooking the sea.

.

It’s still a museum in our little town.

It was built by a General of historic renown.

Shared with his bride Martha, she had a sad life.

The General’s a hero, she a young widowed wife.

.

We cared for the house and gave the tours.

All year-long we opened our doors.

We welcomed the guest to step back in time.

So come on in and share our rhyme.

.

I lay awake and tossed and turned.

Thinking of school and all I learned.

Letters and numbers and new friends,

I hope kindergarten never ends.

.

My thought disturbed by shapes on the wall,

a moonlit dance, shadows big and small.

It pranced to my table that’s set for tea.

There’s a seat for Teddy and Dolly plus one for me.

.

It climbed the chair with a dancer’s grace.

She must be a girl with a whiskered face.

Dolly left some crumbs on her plate.

When I remembered it was too late.

.

I Left a treat each night for a week.

I tried staying awake to catch a peek.

I’ll call her Martha, like our homes bride

But when I giggled she ran to hide.

.

Chapter 2 ~ New Friends

 .

The days passed, she’d visit most nights.

She kept unseen until I turn out the lights.

She knows I’m cozy in my warm bed.

She smiles and winks, thankful she’s fed.

.

One night I waited, still in my chair.

Starlight warmed the chilly night air.

Eyelids dropped like the falling moon.

I hope my visitor gets here soon.

.

Night turned to-day, feet cold on the floor.

I missed my friend but goodies no more.

The next night I brought a cookie to bed.

I woke with my new friend by my head.

.

Days got colder, Christmas was near.

I looked forward to the snacks we share.

Each passing night our friendship grows.

We chat and laugh, I scratch her nose.

.

Thanksgiving’s past, Santa’s on his way.

The tree goes up, brighter each day.

We’re happy to welcome all our new guests,

while I wore my new colonial dress.

.

I tell them of the homes long past,

Of all that’s lived here, my family last.

I tell them of their history.

But never a word of Martha and me.

.

On the last day of school before the break,

we celebrated with carols and cake.

We shared cards and hugs then on our way.

We’re off to the bus and our long holiday.

.

Glad to be home, much to be done.

Baking and wrapping with mom will be fun.

I think Christmas is the best time of year.

There’s lots of visits from friends far and near.

.

Chapter 3 ~ Good and Bad

 .

It’s not just gifts that makes Christmas best.

It’s all the excitement, no time for rest.

One snowy day mom and I went to town.

Main Street’s so merry, never a frown.

.

When we returned from our last-minute shop,

we saw a truck with a light on top.

A man in a hard-hat talked with my dad.

They both spoke quietly and looked very sad.

.

My parents whispered, thought I didn’t hear.

Something’s was broken too much to repair.

Said we’re leaving, where they don’t know.

I loved our home and didn’t want to go.

.

I gave the last tour on that very sad day.

We finished our cocoa with little to say.

Mom read aloud then kissed me goodnight.

Dad tucked me in, turned out the light.

.

I lay sobbing at the loss of our house.

No new friends, no Martha the mouse.

I then had a plan and ran for my bank.

Shook out the coins and my little heart sank.

.

Martha came close, she knew I was sad.

I forgot the snacks but she wasn’t mad.

We counted my pennies in moonlight,

then crept downstairs later that night.

.

We tucked my bank under the tree.

It’s for our old house from Martha and me.

But one last thing and then back to bed.

A snack for Martha and a pat on her head.

.

My dad woke me early that Christmas day.

I knew he was sad, he smiled anyway.

We met mom in the hall, headed downstairs.

We all acted happy while holding back tears.

.

Chapter 4 ~ New Beginnings

.

The cookies were gone, Santa was here.

Beneath the tree, present are there.

But shocked to see something I’d never seen.

There are stacks of coins, sleeping mice in between.

.

They ate Santa’s cookies then took a nap.

All snuggled together in the Christmas wrap.

Sleeping soundly until mom screams.

Then all were awakened from their dreams.

.

Martha stood out front and winked at me.

She waved me over to come and see.

The piles of treasure they found last night.

That was lost under the floorboards out of sight.

.

The Generals treasure, his coins of gold.

There’s enough to fix our homes splendor of old.

Martha saved our house and Christmas too.

She helped write this rhyme to share with you.

*

We wish you the best this holiday.

May all your days be just your way.

We’re glad to have shared our time as one.

From all of us here at our house of fun.

.

The End    

sck112914

A Gift of Sixty-Four

Fancy wrap can’t hide from my eyes,

A gift that’s familiar in shape and size.

It’s the present that I adore.

They’re the toy that’s never a bore.

*

They’re a box of possibilities,

a forest full of Christmas trees.

Blanket of snow and garlands bright,

with flicker of lights in the night.

*

They’re singing birdies just for me,

or sailing ship on a stormy sea.

They’re autumn play and a summer breeze,

the colors of spring and buzzing bees.

*

With this one gift I’ll need no-more.

It’s a box of sixty-four!

There are colors for sad, colors for glad.

They’re all perfect, none are bad.

*

What endless choices to be found.

But what is the color of sound?

What is the color of a kiss?

I’ll someday find those colors amiss.

*

They’re jewels in a treasure chest.

Something shared with a special guest.

We draw and print or color books,

while snuggled in our secret nooks.

*

I’m glad they float, though labels’ lost.

Nothing left to peel and be tossed.

Then guides are gone for shades unknown.

But I’ll know them all, when I’m grown.

*

My cat swats greens under my bed.

My dog’s favorite to eat is red.

We all roll fast and giggle for more.

When they’re like bearings on the floor.

*

We build rainbows to the sky.

Stacked like logs to make towers high.

We lose the ones we like the best.

Then have extras of all the rest.

*

They’re a gift that’s always welcome.

They’re used up quick or saved by some.

Look what Harold did with just one.

My sixty-four are much more fun.

*

Stored neat in a box with lid that flips,

and hole on back to sharpen tips.

Enough to share with all my friends,

we’ll draw a line that never ends.

*

Though mostly used sparingly,

tucked safe in a drawer, just for me.

They somehow seem to go away –

just in time for Christmas day.

*

The End

SCK100814

{Holiday Revision}

The Princess and the Puppy

~

 Once upon a time in the great northlands, there stood an ancient castle built long before anyone’s recollection. It was thought that the castle represented time itself and had grown naturally from the rocky hillside since the beginning of time. These great northlands were a gloomy and cold place most of the year with only a few months of sometimes warm, dry weather. It was a land of rocky hillsides sloping upwards to the north and the jagged, snow covered peaks of the hither land, home to the lost spirits.

The east and west were mostly rocky hillsides, thick brush leading to dark and dense forests beyond. The south was mostly grassy hills sloping gently downward to the forest and the river, a fortnight’s ride in the best of weather.

The inhabitants of this formidable dwelling were the nobility, who ruled, not only the land but also time itself on this lonely hillside. The king of this land was a kind and gentle man of middle years, middle height, and middle weight.  Having ruled since boyhood, due to his parents’ untimely deaths, the king was very respectful of his loyal subjects as they were of him.

The people of the surrounding village lived a very simple but difficult life, some spiritual, some superstitious, some not. Life for these villagers was indeed harsh, though not knowing differently they were content to be safe from invasion, warm in the brutal winter months and adequately fed. Their safety was mostly insured by there isolation. Though it was agreed by all that the king was there protector and they having no formal religion, was also their savior, there was actually a type prayer chanted at meals and there only holiday; Blessed be the king, his sword, his bread, babies nursed, bellies fed, hovels warm, demons dead, blessed be the kings sword and bread.

Luckily for one of the villagers, this harsh life was not absolutely horrible in this foreboding place, it was, by all standards quite comfortable. That of course was the life of the princess, the kings only child and future heir to the throne and ruler of this unbounded kingdom. A very kind and sweet young girl, she was loved by all.

Upon the princesses twentieth birthday the king called for his four most trustworthy, loyal and brave knights, to serve as messengers and venture to the four points of the compass with hopes of finding a suitable princely husband for the future queen.

The most valiant knight was to take the northern route. By far the most difficult journey, high into the rugged cloud covered mountains, endless winters and the unknown. As the days wore on, the snow grew steadily deeper and each night more frigid than the night before. Despite the hardship the gallant knight persisted for many weeks, until he and his faithful companion of many years, the chestnut mare, could go no further. The poor old mare burdened by not only the terrain and weather, but also the weight of the dwindling supplies, the kings bag of gold, the very heavy golden shield and her rider. The shield of course was not intended for battle, but ceremony and was to be given as a gift to some unknown king. It was a very special shield, crafted especially for the king when he ascended to the throne. Several more weeks pass and the knight and his old friend trudge together side by side until the snow was far too deep to walk in. Sensing his demise, the tired and weak knight built a small shelter under a tall spruce tree and let his horse go free, hopefully to return to the castle.

***

The Eastern route was chosen for the largest and fiercest knight, as his journey was sure to encounter danger and skullduggery, thus he was armed appropriately with a huge broadsword slung over his wide shoulders, a large and heavy battle shield and his kings’ fathers’ sword, worn proudly on his hip.  This magnificent sword was not however the knights, but was intended to be a gift for the king of the east, whoever that may be.

After many, many weeks of uneventful riding through the thick forest, yet another chilly and misty day was coming to an end.  Through the dusky light he saw in the distance a dilapidated old wagon and an equally dilapidated old horse, though not another living soul seemed to be about. The knight rode closer and gazed all around, seeing nothing and hearing nothing but the usual sounds of the awakening night forest. He did however smell something, the smell of freshly burnt wood. Following his nose, so to speak, he detected a hint of smoke wafting from a small pile of rocks nearby. “Who be there, show yourself at once” the knight rumbled into the dusky forest.  There was no reply, again the knight shouts, though less harshly “Who be there, I bring thee no harm”. This time a timid and frightened voice answers, “Please kind sir, do not hurt us, we are just a poor family trying to get our sick baby to the village”. The knight dismounts his horse and walks cautiously to the pile of smoldering rocks.

“Show yourselves at once” he says. Slowly the small pitiful family appeared from the shadows. “I beg of you sir, please don’t hurt us, we have nothing, we need to get our poor, little, dying baby to the village”, whimpers the distraught young mother.

The knight responds “fear not, I have not come to harm you, I too am headed to the village to see the king”.

“Oh, please kind sir, will you help us?” cries the scruffy young woman. “My baby will die if we don’t get to the village soon”.

The knight, as kind as he was large, offers a solution “we shall harness my horse to your wagon and go to the village together”.  

“Oh no, kind sir” snaps the women in reply “the trail ahead is very bad and would be to slow”.

The knight now fully sensing her urgency offers another suggestion “I shall ride with the baby to the village” he says.

“But sir, I am sure you are a true and proper knight, but a mother cannot give her only child to a stranger, you must understand” cries the evermore insistent mother.

“Of course I understand” replies the befuddled knight. “You shall ride to the village”

The young woman interrupts “Thank you kind sir, that is most generous of you, but I cannot ride such a large and magnificent beast, though” she pauses,” my husband is an excellent horseman”.

The kind and gentle knight could not refuse, as he could not bear the thought of this small helpless family losing their only child, as he too had but one child. “So be it, but you must leave at once” decides the knight.

With great appreciation, the couple bowed and praised and thanked the blushing giant. When all was said, the husband quikly mounted the reluctant beast. He took the swaddled bundle from his tearful wife, clutched it close to his chest and was off into the growing darkness with only the light of the rising moon to guide him.

The young women, now more relaxed offers to share with the knight some bread and wine from her meager supply. The hungry giant gladly accepts. Moments later our gentle and kind knight is sleeping as soundly as a baby.  At first light the knight awakens from a very deep and refreshing sleep, only to realize he was now alone, very alone.  The young mother was gone, the wagon was gone, even the lame old horse was gone.  But worse, his trusty broad sword and shield was no were to be found, yet worse still, the kings gold and gifts had also disappeared. Stumbling to his feet, the embarrassed and ashamed knight knew he had been tricked. Brushing the leaves from his cloak, he reluctantly headed home, head hung low, for his sense of duty and loyalty were greater than his sense of shame and the king must be informed of this unfortunate event at once.

***

As it was assured that the southern route would eventually lead to a large and powerful kingdom, the most intelligent and affable knight was selected. Having received the gifts and instructions from the king, he shared a sad, heartfelt goodbye with his loving wife and children and then was swiftly off to his unknown destination.

After three days of brisk and invigorating riding, the lonely knight reached the well-known river, running unusually very strong and fast for this time of the year. Unable to cross, the perplexed knight’s only choice was to follow the mighty river downstream to a suitable safe place to cross. After weeks of hazardous riding through the trail less and unfamiliar forest, he comes upon a sharp bend in the river were the water began to flow far less rapidly and he was finally able to cross. After several more weeks in the hard and unforgiving saddle, the dense forest began to thin and vast fields and pastures appeared. By late evening, lights could be seen in a tiny village beyond. The next morning the relieved knight rides through a small village, more fields and pastures and finally to a larger bustling town and the huge, foreboding castle at the end of the road.

Shortly before nightfall the triumphant knight arrives at the castle gate and there he was promptly stopped by two heavily armed and humorless guards. The largest and fiercest of the two ordered him down from his horse and explain his business at the castle. The friendly knight gladly obliged, not wanting to cause a problem. He then reached into his saddlebag to retrieve the letter of invitation from his king and then presented it to the guard.  The guard, not being able to read, passed it to the more senior guard who read the fanciful vellum scroll and inquired politely about these so called gifts. “Show me these gifts and I will bring them to my king at once” said the old guard with a smile.

The Knight feeling more at ease gives the seemingly cheerful guard the small bag of gold and the old jewel handled dagger with the gold sheath and waited.  The sun had now set and the night was growing darker when finally the old guard returned.

My king has no wish to see you; your tiny bag of gold was an insult, fortunately for you, the dagger pleased him, a little, so when you return with your king he will see you both. Now be off at once” he barked.

The confused knight stood silently for a moment, then asked for his gifts to be returned. This caused a great roar of laughter from the two guards, who then shook their long and sharp swords at the red-faced knight and repeated their order to leave; they then went back into the castle and locked the gate behind them. The disgraced knight knew there was nothing more he could do, with a long heavy sigh he mounted his horse and began his long, long journey back home.

***

The western route, like the north was scarcely traveled as the legends of the dark and evil forces beyond the forest were well known and often repeated. There was little expectation of success for this journey but was thought to be a good test for a young messenger and possible future knight. For this reason the youngest, least experienced, but most enthusiastic messenger was selected, assuming he would be frightened soon after the start of his adventure and promptly return, demonstrating at least his good judgment.

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for him, the weather was quite nice, the journey mostly pleasant and the change in scenery was intriguing and exiting to the young, bristle headed messenger. After many, many weeks of riding and experiencing the endless new sights, sounds and smells of this uncharted wilderness he eventually came upon what appeared to be an endless body of water crashing on the rocky shore. The water was cool and refreshing but tasted very strange so he drank no more. Following the rocky shoreline for another day it began to transition from large slippery jagged boulders and rocks to smaller smoother rocks and stones and finally to tiny stones and sand where endless ripples of this strange liquid rolled onto the shore. The sun now high overhead blazing in the cloudless sky, our parched knight was beginning to feel quite uncomfortable and stifled in his many layers of old woolen clothing.  He dismounts his equally uncomfortable horse and removed his thick robe, heavy quilted vest and high leather boots. Feeling the cool, wet sand disappearing beneath his feet for the first time, the young messenger was quite amazed at this strange new sensation. He walked on and on with his four legged friend the rest of the afternoon in an almost blissful and jubilant state, if not for their hunger and thirst. Luckily for the parched and weary messenger the large glaring sun was now beginning to set over this vast expanse of water, creating vivid colors in the sky he had never seen. As the intense light of the day transitioned into dusk the young man spotted tiny glowing orange dots far down the beach, perhaps a village he wished out loud.  The sun had by now disappeared below the horizon and the moon and stars were glowing brightly when the much relived messenger arrived at this strange new place, there a small group of villagers, some still tossing their nets into the wondrous sparkling effervescent sea saw the bedraggled stranger and rushed to his aid. The exited and curious villagers welcomed him to their village and gave him much needed food, water and a comfortable place to rest.

After a few of hours of blissful slumber the refreshed messenger awoke to a feast in his honor. There he ate, danced and filled his kings’ gold chalice many times with the strangers potent berry wine.  It was late the next morning when the still dazed messenger stumbled from the tidy little hut perched on the lush hillside to find a perfect day and a perfect and picturesque village spread out before him, the warm and welcoming sandy beach, the brilliant emerald sea beyond and a canopy of pure blue above. He pauses for a moment to absorb the beauty and tranquility all around and with hardly another thought, he decides to stay and make his new home among the happy, friendly and seemingly carefree villagers.

***

Another winter passes and again the ice thawed to mud, the mud turned green and life once again shone on the village. Yet none of the messengers had returned and there were no suitors for the princess. Harvest time quickly arrived and most of the villagers where out of the village picking, digging or otherwise scavenging for anything of possible use during the upcoming long and dreadful winter.

As another cold damp night rapidly approached a young mother with her two crying babies nearby was hurrying to pick the last few reachable berries when she was startled, when suddenly from the fog shrouded forest appeared a man unknown to the frightened woman.  She screamed and plucked her young children from the nearby makeshift pen and ran out of the forest as fast as she could. Within minutes of the blood-curdling screams, the villagers ran to her rescue and the intruder was easily subdued, for the kind and gentle boy prince did nothing to resist. He was brought before the Master-at-arms to explain himself, the prince tells his story of his weeks in the dark and frigid forest on his way to return found treasures and the kings’ livery and to inform them that the messenger sent to the north was found barely alive, but improving.  The Master-at-arms was skeptical and wanted to throw him in the dungeon. Fortunately the King was informed and could find no reason to disbelieve the young Prince as he had already returned the small bag of gold and had nothing more to gain from further deceit. The master-at-arms then pressed the prince about the still missing golden shield.

“That was how your clever knight was found” said the prince “he hung it high atop the giant spruce tree he was sheltered beneath. Our scouts saw the glow from miles away”

The King and the Prince continued their lengthy discussion about this great kingdom to the north and of course the messenger. Having heard all the details of his heroic knights adventure and rescue, as well as the princes own treacherous journey, the king was absolutely convinced of the prince’s honesty an bravery and was then formally introduced to the lovely young princess. The two became fast friends and spent much time together; their fondness for each other grew daily and was very apparent to all, especially the jubilant king.

As the sun begun to rise over the usually harsh northern landscape our charming and considerate young prince ventured out of the formidable ancient castle. He much enjoyed his morning walks, though most days were not nearly as pleasant. As this day began clear and dry, the morning dew rose from the fields giving way to the wildflower blooms in subtle reds, yellows and lavenders all-around.  Now finished gathering a large bunch of the tiny flowers to be placed at the princesses’ bedside, as he did every day nature would allow since being in this strange new place. Returning to the castle he met with the old mid-wife who was struggling with a small log for her morning fire.

“May I help you with that” inquires the polite young prince.

“I surely could not ask that from a noble like yourself” responds the frail old woman.

“You did not ask for anything, I offered” said the prince.

“Well then, it will be much appreciated kind sir” she says in an uncommonly polite and friendly tone.

After several more trips to the wood pile, the prince returns to the mid-wife’s tiny cottage with the last of the wood needed for a week of morning fires. The cottage was very small, having only one room containing a makeshift bed, a table with but one rickety old chair and shelves everywhere they could possibly be built. These shelves were full of dusty old boxes, crocks and jars, the contents of which only the midwife knew. On one end wall of the tiny cottage stood a large, to large in fact for such a small space, stone fireplace, lined with all manner of sooty cast pots and forged utensils, the opposite wall was the heavy wooden door and the rooms’ only small, not quite transparent window. If not for the numerous rays of sunlight streaming through the old moss covered thatched roof there would be almost no light at all.  The morning blaze began to grow brighter in the blackened hearth; the prince could now more fully comprehend the cramped and dirty space, thick with the smell of old smoke and wet rotting wood.

“Please let me share with you my morning tea and biscuit kind sir” begs the lonely old woman, “it is all I have to offer you for your generous labor”.

I unfortunately cannot, for I must bring the flowers to my princess”, replies the prince. Sensing the old midwifes loneliness and despair, he promises to return directly and with an awkward wave, he dashes through the door without waiting for her response. He ran as fast as he could back to the castle, where he found the angelic princess still sound asleep. The prince, now in a rush to return to the wretched old women at the edge of the village, forgot to get a colorful piece of ribbon or string to tie the bunch of slightly wilting flowers. With little time or little thought, he pulls out several strands of his own hair and ties the fragrant bouquet, places it gently on the princesses’ bedside table and quickly leaves without a sound. Back at the mid-wives cottage the hesitant prince knocked gently on the old wooden door.

“Come in, please” snapped the old woman, “the tea is just ready, now sit please”.

The prince enters and takes a seat on the rooms’ only chair. She promptly serves the fidgety young man his tea in a tarnished and dented pewter cup as well as a small hard and stale biscuit, which she places directly on the dirty old wooden table in front of him.

“Splendid, Thank you kindly” says the polite young prince slowly sipping the hot putrid brew. “Tis very good indeed ma’am”.

The old woman nods silently and blankly gazes at the drowsy prince. Within minutes the prince is fast asleep and the transformation complete. The cunning old woman then removes the princes many layers of fine clothing and quickly replaces them with her own old torn and soiled garments. She then poured herself a cup of tea from a different pot and guzzled it triumphantly.

Moments later the old ladies neighbors were abruptly startled by the piercing howls and growls of what must be some distressed creature crying out in pain. When the frightful noises subsided to mere whimpers, the scared but curious villagers assembled on the path that winded between their cottages and hovels. There they could hear clearly the noises origin and cautiously approached the dilapidated old cottage at the end of the twisty trail. A barking sound was now heard that grew louder and fiercer as they drew near. Pausing at the open gate, the bravest of the neighbors, an overly curious little girl, pushed through the stunned crowd and rushed to the ancient wooden door and slowly pushed it open.  Before the heavy old door was less than half open a flash of white appeared, dashed by the surprised little girl and into the crowd of screaming villagers.

The confused crowd burst into a nervous laughter at the source of those demonic screeches for it appeared to be nothing more than a frightened little puppy. The adorable little dog now panting and playfully sniffing each of the relieved villagers seemed also relieved. The master-at-arms had by now been informed of the disturbance and swiftly arrived at the scene.

After much useless discussion with the villagers he proceeds to the doorway of the old woman’s cottage. Hesitantly he peaked into the tiny, cluttered cottage; there he saw the old mid-wife slumped over the small table in the center of the dark room. Slowly he approached and awoke her with a purposeful yet gentle nudge to her bony old shoulder. The dazed old woman slowly opened her eyes and slowly rose from the wobbly old chair.

***

Back at the castle the king was informed of this most unusual occurrence and immediately summons the silent old women and his typically gruff master-at-arms, now gently cradling the adorable little puppy in his massive arms.  He then explains to his puzzled king, the events he had personally experienced as well as the accounts of the other witnesses.  Leaning closer to the seated king, he quietly expresses his long-standing suspicion of the cunning old mid-wives dabbling’s in the black arts and strongly suggest that she should be locked away at once.

The king, being of a cooler head and as his fondness and partiality for her had grown over a life-time as she had helped with his only daughter’s birth, his birth and his fathers as well; therefore he must give her the benefit of the doubt until more questions were answered.

After many hours of contemplation, debate, innuendo, assumptions and frustration the king then politely asks the terrified old woman for her explanation of these unusual events. The old women’s wrinkled and puckered lips moved as her withered limbs gestured franticly, though not a single word was uttered. The king, now growing impatient, fetches pen and paper and thrust them at the midwife. The poor confused old woman reached out for the quill, but her gnarled and arthritic old hands could not grasp the slender shaft. After several more unsuccessful attempts the weeping old woman gives up and hangs her head in disgust and despair. The kind old king, sensing her despair tries to comfort the sobbing old women with a gentle pat on her cold and bony arched old back. He then summoned one of his many attendants and instructs them to take the old women to a nearby warm and comfortable guest chamber were she could rest. While the exhausted little dog slept comfortably on a soft and thick rug by the fire in the kings large but dingy chamber, the king pondered and he too soon dozed off with the comfortable puppy at his feet.  However this blissful rest was not to last for the tired old king and his new friend.

His hysterical daughter had burst into the solemn chamber to notify him of more bad news. Shaking the old man franticly, she cried over and over, “my prince is gone, my prince is gone”.

The stunned old man quickly jumped to his feet and held his distraught little princess close. “Calm yourself my dear, please calm yourself and tell me why you think your prince is gone” he says to his sobbing little girl.

“I’ve searched everywhere father and he is nowhere to be found, not anywhere, he’s gone, gone!” she cried.

The dutiful father then summons his master-at-arms and orders an immediate and thorough search for the young prince. While waiting nervously the entire afternoon, the now slightly calmer princess cuddles and bonds with the very cute and sweet little visitor, temporarily taking her mind off the terrible events of the day.  The sun now setting, the night noises beginning to rouse, the search is postponed and the villagers instructed to continue at daybreak.

By morning the search resumed and the tired villagers, who after years of gossiping, all agreed with the master-at-arms, the cunning old mid-wife was indeed a witch. As the day wore on, the prince was not be found, the reluctant king could no longer harbor any doubts of the old mid-wives guilt and she was promptly sent off to the dungeon.

***

The deeply saddened princess adopted the precious little orphaned puppy. She cherished their time together and would each night kiss his velvety little head, hoping to awake and find he had returned to his princely self. Months passed and the kissing and wishing did nothing. Another day began and the princess lay half-awake gazing at her slumbering companion nearby, trying to figure out how such an innocent and adorable little creature could bring so much pleasure and yet so much pain. Her deep contemplation however was interrupted when her chamber maid arrived with breakfast.         The withering princess was by now at her wits end, more distraught than the day before and again she ate no breakfast.

She borrowed her chamber maids’ cloak, so not to be recognized and hastily put it on over her night clothes, she then hurried to the dungeon to confront the old mid-wife. Arriving there, she found the old woman slumped in the far corner of the cold and damp windowless stone cell. The young princess, being a very kindhearted and forgiving person pitied the poor old woman and though she was indeed angry; she could not hate her. “Sorry to see you this way dear old friend” She whispered through the heavy rusted gate, “Please, I beg of you, change my prince back and I promise no more harm will come of you.”

The old women still huddled in the shadows, peering from beneath her tattered hood at the distraught young princess, didn’t respond. The princess moved cautiously closer to the gate and carefully raised her flickering candle to better see the wicked old mid-wife.   The old women now seeing the sadness and distress in the face of the beautiful princess slowly rose and hobbled toward her.  As she drew closer she could now fully sense the profound sadness in the princesses’ teary eyes. Hoping to comfort the young girl the mid-wife reached painfully to the floor and gathered a small bunch of damp and molding straw. She then pulled a long white and brittle strand of hair from beneath her hood and trying as best as she could, tied the hair around the straw and presented it to the princess. The princess slowly and cautiously reached through the bars and received the unexpected gift thankfully.  Now seeing the old women’s face closely for the first time, she peered into her eyes and immediately realized these were not the eyes of an evil old witch, but the deep blue young eyes of her handsome prince. Simultaneously they moved closer and kissed through the rusty old gate. When the much surprised princess opened her eyes she was astonished to see standing before her, her much loved and much missed prince. Her tears of sorrow now transformed to tears of joy, she then giggled for the first time in many months at the thin and gangly prince with his bare arms and legs jutting out from the very small tattered old woolen clothing and his long unkempt hair bounding from his head in all directions.  The guard was summoned and the giddy pair reunited. Hand in hand they ran as fast as they could back to the princesses’ chamber. There they found the wrinkled old women still blissfully asleep in a contorted lump at the foot of the princesses’ comfortable old bedstead.  Silently the prince approaches and gently nudges the old woman. Slowly she awakes, first with a sniff then a scratch. The scratch however proved unsuccessful as her spindly old legs could no longer reach her ears. Her blurry old eyes now wide open sees the laughing prince sitting beside her and quickly realized she had returned to her pitiful old self.

***

After many questions, few answers and much rejoicing, life on this desolate hillside slowly returned to normal. The knights from the east and south returned to a hero’s welcome and rewarded for their brave attempts. The knight of the north recovered and returned with the princes’ father and court, luckily in time for the wedding.

The wedding, of course was that of the prince and princess, it was, by far the most beautiful and festive ceremony these great northern kingdoms had ever witnessed. The knight of the north was cheered by all, awarded the kingdoms’ golden shied and given the new title of “Knight General and Ambassador of the Northern Kingdoms”. As for the old mid-wife, she was eventually forgiven and also bestowed a new title. Her new title and duty was now “Caretaker”, for she was now the caretaker of the princesses’ new bristle headed and seemingly carefree puppy.

 

The End

 

Steve Kittell

©sck090313

The Littlest Dragon Slayer

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A little scared of our trip last year,

to the far north-lands, home of the bear.

Mountains, forests and an ice-cold lake,

no swimming or castles of sand to make.

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Fresh air and sunshine, stars in the sky,

camping and hiking, climb mountains high.

That didn’t sound like much fun to me,

I’d rather visit a nice warm sea.

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Drive lasted hours, slumped in the backseat.

We ran out of snacks, then nothing to eat.

We read a new book of funny rhymes,

I fell asleep a couple of times.

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Some stories were good, some I got bored,

some I laughed loudly, others I snored.

Arriving late in the darkness of night,

waking early to rising sunlight.

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First we ate breakfast then a short hike.

Had lunch with dessert, what’s not to like.

Then a museum of the natives past,

legends of old and now fading fast.

.

Heard some stories, we saw a show.

My favorite was of long ago,

it was of a little kid like me.

The bravest kid there could ever be.

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She was the daughter of the great chief.

He died protecting all from the thief,

who flew in the night stealing their food.

And the cause of their thousand-year feud.

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The girl shortened her father’s long spear.

Then roamed the forest without a fear,

to find who took her father away.

Then slay the dragon, no time for play.

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I laid in bed thinking of all I heard.

Remembered almost all, details blurred.

Woke the next morning ready to go,

to fill in the blanks I didn’t know.

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I went to the shore before sunrise.

I climbed on the rocks. That wasn’t wise.

Had to know if the legend was true,

then fell in from slippery shoe.

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Hit the water with a splash and scream.

I floated down and started to dream.

I woke up much later warm and dry.

But there’s no sign of bright morning sky.

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I felt all around for a way out.

Then saw light from something’s big snout.

I screamed and jumped, bumped my head and then,

I knew I was in that dragon’s den.

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Her nostrils grew bigger, warm and bright.

Would I be cooked for a tasty bite?

She started to laugh and I to cry.

Was I to live or was I to fry?

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She said “Hello” in a dragon tone.

“Glad to see you, I’m always alone.”

I was much surprised to hear her speak.

Her nature was gentle, almost meek.

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Now in the brightness of her warm light.

We sat and chatted into the night.

She told me the truths I had to know.

And when she’s done burping I could go.

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Dragons can wait to burp but it’s slow.

Or blow out flames with a mighty glow.

A truly bad idea, we both think.

So we waited for her belly to shrink.

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We waited and waited for hours or more.

So she could shrink and unblock the door.

And when most all of her gas gone away,

I could slip out to the light of day.

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By now it’s late and dragon’s still plump.

Rocks all around, I sat on my rump.

She spoke of the last to be with her –

It was the littlest dragon slayer.

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“She was three feet tall and very bold,

Not much more than eight or nine years old.

She charged at me with her tiny spear,

tears pouring down, she showed no fear.

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She plunged the stick in my outstretched paw.

She tried pulling it out to poke me some more.

The tip broke off; I’ve had it since then,

tucked away safe in my dragons den.

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The girls cause noble though a mistake.

Her dear father’s life I didn’t take.

He chased me into the dark of night.

Belly swollen, I couldn’t take flight.

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I ran and ran then climbed a tall tree.

But the brave young chief followed me.

He heard some chicks cry out on a limb.

Surviving the wind their chance’s grim.

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Was the branch to weak, he couldn’t be sure.

But reached for the nest and made it secure.

He was a brave man, doing his best.

But fell to his death saving the nest.

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The small girl glad to know what was right.

But she’s still very sad at her loss that night.

It wasn’t my fault but I share the blame.

Though sad, she forgave me all the same.

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While in the forest the rest of that day,

we planned how to keep others away.

I promised to sleep most of the year,

hiding when there are people to scare.

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The slayer agreed to spare my soul.

Keeping her friendship is my life’s goal.

She would try to visit when she could,

into the darkness of the night wood.

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I gave her a claw as proof of who won –

that famous dragon slaying mission.

She wore it always and was admired by all”

I said it was now on the museum’s wall.

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The dragon then shared more of her life,

her times of happiness, times of strife.

There’s never to be any flying at all.

Unless to answer another dragons call.

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Said she’s free to swim under the ice,

but never when the weather is nice.

And while out for her last swim of the year.

I fell in and she found me there.

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She brought me back to her cozy den,

where she’d hibernate all over again.

Our chat ended as her eyes turned red,

her tummy stirring, she warmly said.

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“Please take the tip of the slayers spear,

So you can recall your time spent here.

Think of me fondly now that we’re friends.

And trust that a dragon’s love never ends.”

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She finally burped, I held my nose,

but that’s how a dragon friendship goes.

Then out the backdoor and into the wood,

I ran as fast as ever I could.

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Now thinking, of course of mom and dad,

the sooner I’m back the less they’ll be sad.

Then the rangers soon found me safe and sound.

They were all happy I hadn’t drowned.

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Back at the camp we all hugged and kissed.

I was safe and assured I was missed.

But then all the questions that they had –

Over and over until I got mad!

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They didn’t believe my dragon tale.

I showed them my proof to no avail.

It was thought that my memories blurred –

by all the stories that I had heard.

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Tales of dragons and slayers in the night,

all normal causes of a child’s fright.

A doctor checked the bump on my head,

then sent me back home for time in bed.

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I’m glad for the friendship of a dragon.

But all in all it wasn’t much fun.

I’ve learned new things and a good lesson had.

That a kid all alone is very very bad!

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And now I’ve shared my legend with you.

Like the slayer’s, it’s mostly all true.

But if you don’t believe I’m sincere –

I’ll show you the tip of that little spear.

.

~:~ the End ~:~

 

 

Sck093014

Cherry on Top Sundries Shoppe

Every Sunday me and my Pop

Take a walk to the old sundries shop

Winter’s in boots and summer flip-flops

Anytime to the Cherry on Top

*

It’s not just a store, it’s so much more

A magic box filled with sundries galore

It’s everyone’s first and their last stop

All the time at the Cherry on Top

 *

Welcoming doors always polished bright

Welcoming all to their sundries delight

Every week is a brand new crop

Any time at the Cherry on Top

*

A place with things too many to list

Lipsticks for lips that want to be kissed

There are bouncing balls and bats that bop

All the time at the Cherry on Top

 *

Combs and brushes for hair and teeth

Halloween treats and Holiday wreaths

Baskets for bunnies with ears that flop

Any time at the Cherry on Top

 *

Row after row of this’s and that’s

There are racks for jackets, hooks for hats

Handles for brooms and buckets for mops

All the time at the Cherry on Top

 *

There’s cases packed with trinkets so bright

Batteries stacked for flashlights at night

They’ve got cards to send and cards to swap

Any time at the Cherry on Top

 *

Way at the back, there’s medicines there

Carefully mixed by people who care

They carefully measure, count and chop

All the time at the Cherry on Top

 *

Then the place – my favorite of all

It’s the lunch-counter, where I sit tall

Serving pie with whipped cream and gumdrops

Any time at the Cherry on Top

 *

They’ve cakes, cookies, turkey and roasts

My dad always gets; juice, eggs and toast

Sunday’s best at the old sundries Shoppe

I get my sundae, cherry on top

~

The End

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Sck102314