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…

Sck012015

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…

Sck010915

Ben to Sea

DSCN7227

I am Ben and I’m off to sea,

ships ahoy and aye, aye matey.

I’ll sail all the oceans blue,

or maybe just a chosen few.

*

Pack my coat and hat for my head.

Bring a blanket for my new bed.

Teddy must stay with all my toys.

Sailors don’t need them, just small boys.

*

I’ll have no school or boring chores.

Just climbing rigging, manning oars.

I’ll tie knots and tell sea tales –

of pirates treasure, storms and whales.

*

I’ll sleep at sunset, rise at dawn.

Then swab the decks not mow the lawn.

I’ll eat ships biscuit and dried peas.

But hold the weevils if you please.

*

I’ll make new friends, captain and crew.

I’ll polish the brass just like new.

I’ll travel to faraway lands.

See new faces, shake lots of hands.

*

I’ll grow muscles and learn to swim,

never a splash over the rim.

I’ll grow a beard and get a tan.

Mom won’t know her new little man.

*

I’ll write her name on my sea chest.

Then she’ll know I love her best.

I’ll miss my cat, sister and dad.

I hope leaving won’t make them sad.

*

But I’ll return with gifts for all.

Dads will be big and sister’s small.

Jewels for mom, fish for my cat.

Gramps will get a new sailors hat.

*

Now mom’s calling, bedtime is near.

My journey starts, nothing to fear.

My tub is full, ships wait for me.

Always too short, my trips to the sea.

*

I rub and scrub and have some fun.

Until mom says my bath is done.

Voyage over, out goes the light.

Snug in my bunk I’ll say goodnight.

*

The End

~

Sck090214

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/472790

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

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 sunday, cherry on top

~

The End

.

Sck102314

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

sck081314

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

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

Bad Vacation

Forbidden Pool2

Vacation’s soon and I can’t wait.

On the calendar mark the date.

Planning and dreaming all long year

Soon our vacation will be here.

*

I started to pack weeks before.

A few clothes and toys galore.

I need a lot for our long stay.

But mom repacks it anyway.

*

Alarm didn’t work, taxi was late.

With seconds left we made the gate.

Sat in the plane with no fresh air.

Waiting for bad weather to clear.

*

Hours wasted then off we fly.

Wings wobble, we bounce in gray sky.

Black night rain, runway wet and slick.

Vacation starts, we all get sick.

*

We landed late our luggage not there.

Just full of clothes, I didn’t care.

Late night taxi cost us double,

Big tip needed for his trouble.

*

Get to our rooms, sun starts to rise.

Daylight’s wasted with closed eyes.

Day one of vacation’s now done,

Hope the next six will be more fun.

*

But first a shower then some rest.

Than out for breakfast that’ll be best,

Eggs and juice, toast with warm butter.

Opened the door our hearts flutter.

*

Toilets broke, no shower at all.

A sign on door said tub down hall.

Beds were unmade, hot water cool.

Mom’s mad, dad joked about the pool.

*

We went to the lobby to protest.

Stood in the line with all the rest.

The man at the desk did all he could.

Some of the guests didn’t treat him good.

*

Threw down his pen, could take no more.

Grunting and shouting ran for the door.

“Hotel closed” he said running out.

Leaving us stranded, all in doubt.

*

Where would we go, where would we stay?

Yet another bad vacation day.

We found a place, it wasn’t cheap.

But we needed a place to sleep.

*

Cramped and dark but at least clean.

The tiniest bathroom I’d ever seen.

Just two beds, no TV at all.

One small window looked at a wall.

*

Settling in to rest our eyes.

Then off to lunch in clear blue skies.

But halfway there it starts to rain.

My jackets gone, left on the plane.

*

We ran fast to a place nearby.

Sitting soaked on stools too high.

Fish only menu, not for me.

Hours passed drinking pop, refills free.

*

Bellies bloated, day spent.

The sun came out and down it went.

Saw a movie we saw before.

Back to our rooms, locked the door.

*

Much the same the rest of the week.

Sun came out once, we caught a peek.

Went to the beach, waters to cold.

A bad vacation getting old.

*

Good news came later that week.

Luggage found but in Chesapeake.

Put back on plane, soon to leave there.

They’ll be back late, we won’t be here.

*

Trip soon over saw a new place.

Lots of ant bites, rash on my face.

Dad lost his watch, mom caught a bug.

Stuffed plastic bags with things to lug.

*

Our ride to the airport, not much fun.

Stuck in traffic in the noon day sun.

Bad vacation was had this year.

Being home soon is all I care.

*

One good part of a trip gone bad.

Is getting home and being glad.

Vacations done, better next year.

You go and have fun, I’ll stay here.

*

The End

sck082314

Buttons

buttons_steve~kittell_01

Buttons, buttons everywhere,
they’re on this and over there.
They’re on clothes and touch-screens.
They’re on phones and flying machines

They can be found in boxes or jars,
or in neat rows on boats and cars.
Being on the button is good,
pushing people’s, you never should.

Some buttons are big, some are small.
Some buttons do nothing at all,
some are outies others innies,
silly buttons on our bellies.

You may have a cute button nose,
to enjoy the smell of sweet rose.
While buttoned up or buttoned down,
in the rain or strolling in town.

Buttons in all shapes, any size,
having a spare is always wise.
Buttons for eyes on our stuffed friends.
Uses for buttons never ends.

We glue them on paper plates,
making gifts for special dates.
Add string then sprinkle glitter on,
next curly yarn, name in crayon.

Some are toggles, some are switches.
Some like snaps to hold up breeches.
No zippers for me, I prefer,
buttons to hold all together.

Glad to share my buttons with you,
we’re all buttoned up, story through.
Rhyme’s done, time to button my lip,
I’ll say goodbye, have a safe trip.

The End                        sck081414

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/467759

Empty Lot

Our empty lot’s not empty at all.
There’s a tree that’s big and tall.
It’s a place that kids love to share.
It’s on my street so mom needn’t care.

We spend sunny days in the shade.
There’s lots of dreaming in forts we made.
There’s bunches of dirt to dig deep holes.
Rainy puddles for toy fishing poles.

Our empty lot really has it all,
We hide and seek and sometimes play ball.
It’s the place where adventures begin.
A fence to keep the city out and us in.

We’ve bugs and spiders, squirrels and cats.
There’s soft grass to sit for quiet chats.
We see dogs on leashes and birds in the sky,
Some tweet, sing sweet, bark, run and fly.

There’s rope jumping girls and running boys.
Everyone brings their favorite toys.
Weeds make jungles for our tiny men.
Tiny cars get lost, then are found again.

A place on Sundays for dads to mow.
A place anytime where friendships grow.
When the days fun is done, we all say goodnight.
To our good old friend, under the street light.

SCK102814

Sick Day

~

Bright sunny day, nothing to do.
Stuck at home in bed with the flu.
Watched TV as long as I could.
And did some homework, like I should.

.

I tossed and I turned, sipped some tea.
The warm fall day was mocking me.
Temperature stable, chills no more.
Then a knock on my bedroom door.

.

It was mom come to check my head.
Not hot or cold, then out of bed.
I passed her test, done with my rest.
Going outside will be the best.

.

But that is not to be the way.
Had to stay in another day.
Picked at supper, slept through TV.
Dad tucked me in then read to me.

.

Just to make sure that I’m all right.
Mom checked on me all the long night.
Slept Okay, woke ready to go.
But to do what I didn’t know.

.

Was really bored by midday.
Ran out of things alone to play.
Then found a key looking for more.
I tried every single door.

.

I checked and checked every lock.
I even tried the grandfather clock.
Every drawer, box and chest,
I checked them all, I did my best.

.

Found no treasure, just this old key.
At least it was something to amuse me.
With just minutes before my show,
Thought of another place to go.

.

The dusty, dark, spooky attic,
No place to be, when you are sick.
Turning the knob ever so slow,
Not sure if I wanted to go.

.

I’ve never been up there alone.
Then opened the door to the unknown.
Creaky stairs beneath my cold feet.
Dangers unknown that I might meet.

.

Darkness at the top of the stair.
Felt for the switch, I hoped was near.
With a flick my fear gone away.
More to explore on my sick day!

.

Much the same as when last here,
Boxes and cobwebs everywhere.
But not a lock to be found.
I searched and searched all around.

.

But in a dark corner never seen,
A little door painted green.
It had no slot for any key.
Opening it was up to me.

.

I admit I was very scared.
I stood for minutes and just stared.
Then lifting the latch, my hands shake.
Could this be another mistake?

.

Opened the door, hinges squeak.
Stuck in my head to take a peek.
The room’s empty, nothing at all,
Except a shelf high on a wall.

.

Found an old wobbly chair nearby.
Standing worried, reaching too high.
Pulled down the box hidden on shelf.
More than ever proud of myself.

.

I put in my key and it fit.
But wasn’t ready to open it.
I brought the box back to my room.
Into the light and out of the gloom.

.

Box on desk, took key from pocket.
Put it in slot, turned to unlock it.
Opened the lid ever so slow.
Not sure if I wanted to know.

.

What treasures lie hidden from view?
Something good or a pile of goo.
Lid half-open, footsteps I hear.
Then closed the lid when mom came near.

.

Mom opened it up, said to me;
“That’s no place for a dragon to be.
I’ve looked high and low, all over,
For the dragon Gramp’s called Rover.

.

He wasn’t a creative guy.
But could pluck dragons from the sky.
But only when they’re very small,
Safe in hand and curled in a ball.

.

Then hid for a terrible day,
When there are demons to chase away.
You can visit, never at night,
That’s when dragons grow, in moonlight.

.

So keep it tiny in its box –
Or they get huge and tough as rocks.
Some are sweet, most others mean.
That’s why it best to keep unseen.”

.

Closed the lid before I could see.
She turned the lock and kept my key.
“You don’t need to go by yourself.
Attic’s safe with dragon on shelf.

.

Put the box back and close the door.
And try not to think of it anymore.”
Back downstairs, ready for bed.
But now there’s a dragon in my head.

.

They can be all colors or shapes,
Some are purple and round like grapes.
Some are short, some tall as a tree,
Some are small and cute just like me.

.

I’m glad there’s a dragon upstairs.
Now I can sleep without nightmares.
Not such a bad sick day at all.
I got better and had a ball.

.

Now when nothing to do or see.
I don’t have to search for a key.
You don’t need keys to unlock a door.
That’s what imagination’s for.

~*~

The End

sck092414

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

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

sck081314

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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

~

 sck080314

Available at :

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

READER SETS PRICE!!!

Swap Meet

DSCN7253

*

We’re off to the swap meet today.

Dad says its work, I say its play.

Mom thinks it’s all a bunch of junk.

Who needs an old cast iron skunk?

~

Every year since I was two.

Seen the toes of many a shoe.

In my wagon with squeaky wheel,

once pulled string from an old fly reel.

~

Saw a ship of wood, bone and hair.

Dad got nervous, said don’t go there!

Great memories of dad and me.

I wish that mom would come and see.

~

Up before dawn, first at the gate.

If you’re not first, well than you’re late.

I think that second’s also OK.

Don’t follow, go the other way.

~

A laugh a push a yawn and sneeze.

New spring pollen made someone wheeze.

We’re squashed on the fence right up front.

Soon we’ll start a new treasure hunt.

~

The gate opens, I think we won.

I don’t care; I’m here to have fun.

We see faces we’ve seen before.

But the new ones are a lot more.

~

Soon the sun will rise in the sky.

Down the rows with treasures stacked high.

A day of fun, ready to learn,

Something new at every turn.

~

We pass the women in her shawl.

Sits alone, sells nothing at all.

Walking past, I’d wave and say hi.

But never did I catch her eye.

~

But now I’m ten, no chaperon.

Maybe she smiled because I’m grown.

She waved me over to come right in.

Glad to see her never seen grin.

~

I gazed into lots of old stuff,

even the best looked kind of rough.

She told me stories of each thing,

corner chair and ancient nose ring.

~

“I never sell my things of old.

They can’t be enjoyed when they’re sold,

loan things to friends once in a while,

like you” she said with a big smile.

~

“I’ve watched you pass since you were small.

On your dads’ shoulders, eight feet tall.

I’ve seen you smile and watched you grow.

Each time passing you’d say hello.

~

Walking past, eyes open wide.

You never dared to come inside.

Talking to strangers is unwise.

If I scare you, I apologize.”

~

She gave me a book that’s quite small,

not too many pages at all.

The book kept dreams lost in your head,

while you were sleeping in your bed.

~

She opened the book to page three.

Then whispered some secrets to me.

“Dreams are wishes stuck in your head.

They only come out when in bed.

~

Sleeping soundly, eyes shut tight,

mind wondering all through the night.

When you wake to start a new day,

write down those dreams before you play.

~

Follow your heart wherever it goes.

Record your trip in lovely prose.

Don’t stop writing until you’re done.

It’s never work when it’s all fun.

~

First open the book carefully.

Than close your eyes and wait to see,

all your dreams will come back to you.

But it might take a week or two.

~

Just be patient, don’t ever fret.

All things good you never forget.

I need not tell you anymore,

complete instructions on page four.”

~

She found a box, it fit just right.

I couldn’t wait to sleep that night.

Tied it up with ribbon and bow.

She gave me hug, told me to go.

~

It’s been a long winter since then.

Yes I’ve used up many a pen.

I wake each morning at sunrise.

Wipe the night’s sleepys from my eyes

~

Mom saw me writing early one day.

She asked to see, what could I say?

Together we both read out loud.

We laughed and hugged, she said she’s proud.

~

Now up after dawn, we’re not late.

Family’s first, treasure can wait.

Another year, there’s much to see,

at the swap meet; mom dad and me.

~

I hope to see my new old friend,

I’ll share my news with happy end.

I tried hard and my wish came true.

Now mom comes to the swap meet too!

*

The End

~

Available at:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/470879

The Littlest Dragon Slayer

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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?

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

“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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

“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.”

.

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.

.

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.

.

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!

.

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.

.

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.

.

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!

.

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

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}

Snow

Soon it’s fall, but first back to school,

days getting shorter, nights get cool.

Then the winter and with it snow,

wrapping the world in its glow.

Snow_poem_SK052014 (1)

We’ll build forts, make balls to throw.

So many things to do in the snow,

sledding and skiing, rolling in white.

Hoping for more snow every night.

 Snow_poem_SK052014 (2)

Morning’s good news, stay home from class.

Fun things to do with time to pass,

make a snowman with rocks for eyes,

that see’s all in cold winter skies.

Snow_poem_SK052014 (3)

We’ll stay in and play or just talk.

Then shovel a long path to walk,

to the street though nowhere to go.

Everything’s closed because of the snow.

 Snow_poem_SK052014 (4)

Crusty piles; high, dirty and gray,

wetter and smaller each new day.

Snowman’s withered, springs on the way,

time to make up for our snow day.

 Snow_poem_SK052014 (5)

Waking one morning, snow’s no more,

instead there’s flowers by my door.

Springs arrived and welcome by all,

summers next and followed by fall

 Snow_poem_SK052014 (6)

Like the seasons our life goes round.

Searching for answers already found.

Around and around we all go,

waiting for summer then for snow.

*

The End

sck091514

Too Cold To Go Outside

I woke today – weatherman lied.

I rolled over and I sighed.

Couldn’t sleep, eyes open wide.

It’s too cold to go outside.

~

There’ll be no swing set or slide.

There’ll be no walk or bike ride.

There’ll be no kites to be flied.

It’s too cold to go outside.

~

Today we have to play inside.

We’ll think of things never tried.

Stocking feet on floors we’ll glide.

It’s too cold to go outside.

~

We’ll build a fort for us to hide.

We’ll play dress up – you be bride.

Explore jungles – I’ll be guide.

It’s too cold to go outside.

~

Time to dig a path that’s wide.

Getting dressed, boot laces tied.

Wind so stingy I almost cried.

It’s too cold to go outside.

~

All’s warm, coats hung to be dried.

Find crayons, colors I’ve eyed.

Draw pictures for the fridge with pride.

It’s too cold to go outside.

~

Icy world all is gray sky-ed.

Plants droopy, looks like they died.

Bay frozen we’ll see no tide.

It’s too cold to go outside.

~

Now sleep, teddies at my side.

Cold nights end, take it in stride.

Spring soon then winter we’ll chide.

When not too cold to go outside.

~*~

sck092414

Spooky House

At the end of my street, quite near,

Sits the source of all that I fear.

Now a horror, once a jewel,

I run fast on my way to school.

`

Looms alone behind a high wall,

Watching me pass, the house sees all.

Hidden by trees most of the year.

But when fall comes so does my fear.

`

Autumn leaves drop, crunch under feet.

Out pops the house that haunts our street.

Halloween comes, chill in the air.

But trick-or-treaters won’t go there.

`

Lights never on, no cars in drive.

Shades always down, nothing alive.

I’ve heard stories, sounds in the night.

Of the house that causes our fright.

`

The shutters bang and hinges creak.

But no one dare to take a peek.

Many a ball lost over the gate.

Remember the score, game can wait!

`

Spooky shadows in the moonlight.

Ghostly shapes in the dark of night.

The vines on the porch creep and crawl.

Been scaring kids since mom was small.

`

Bats in attic, mice in the shed,

Phantoms inside or so it’s said.

Some say it’s empty, some say not.

Either way I’m worried a lot.

`

Off to bed one dreary fall night.

A bad time to turn off the light.

Mom tucks me in, we chat awhile.

She kissed my cheek, left with a smile.

`

My sleepy smile soon fades to fear.

When spooky house dreams soon appear.

I close my eyes and try to sleep,

Ran out of numbers counting sheep.

`

Outside shadows all a quiver.

Howling winds making me shiver.

I peeked from under my blanket,

The darkness said no sunrise yet.

`

I turned on the light to just wait.

For morning to come, that’ll be great.

Awoke to good news, called my friend.

Our sleepless nights where soon to end.

`

Someone bought the spooky old place.

Hopes to restore its former grace.

House got painted, bushes cut down.

What a great home, what a great town.

`

Windows fixed fresh grass on the ground,

Sunshine and flowers all around.

New families in, kids galore.

And I’m not afraid anymore.

`

We play in the yard, ride the swing.

We make up rhymes for us to sing.

Now my favorite place to be.

But once I thought the house spooky.

`

The End

Sck091914

Adventure Day

.

There’ll be no time for play today.

Because today’s adventure day.

We’re off to clean grandma’s shed.

Door so low dad bumps his head.

.

Lots of stuff for us to see.

Each thing has its own history.

There’s: rakes, shovels, mowers and pails,

Tires and wheels, old boat sails.

.

A big and rusty nut-less bolt

And a shoe for a shoe-less colt,

Sleds and skis, skates, paddles and oars,

Broken windows and old wood doors.

.

Crates and bins, barrels and jars,

guitar made from box of cigars,

Dad’s reaching for things up high.

Mom thumbs a scrapbook, tear in eye.

.

The treasure’s you find when you look;

cushion for chair and long lost book,

toy box from when dad was a kid

with missing hinge and broken lid.

.

I had to put that one aside.

To fill with treasure that I’ll hide.

And keep it safe for mom and dad

with memories, adventures had.

.

Sheds empty, our jobs half way.

Sifting and sorting all long day.

Next are lunch and maybe a nap.

Then spend some time on grandma’s lap.

.

To the street go things we don’t use;

hand less clock and half pair of shoes.

Forgotten treasures go away.

Some I’ll keep while others will stay.

.

It’s grandma’s play house in the shade.

But in the yard five piles we made.

One to save, two we don’t know,

one’s maybe, the small one can go.

.

So many things for grandma to do,

when our shed adventure is through .

She can paint pictures or pot plants,

maybe yoga – go in a trance.

.

A final sweep and all is clean.

The nicest shed I’ve ever seen.

Now’s time to put back things to keep.

All stacked neat, not too high or deep.

.

The dust is gone that made us sneeze.

But no space left for new hobbies.

Dads hurt his back, moms tummy aches.

From our lunch of burgers and shakes.

.

But grandma’s happy and me too.

We’re all glad the mission is through.

Our adventure had, job well done.

Memories made of having fun.

.

Dad’s old chest safe under my bed.

Memories tucked safe in my head.

And now’s time to say goodnight.

Adventure’s done, out goes the light.

~*~

The End

sck091414

Wheels

~

I like wheels – that’s what I like.

Cars or trucks or a motor bike,

wheels make me smile and grin.

Some wheels spin in wind on a pin.

~

I wish I had wheels on my feet.

Then I can zoom down the street.

Up the ramp and flying high,

wheeling through the open sky.

~

I wish I had wheels on my chair.

I could get things way over there.

I could scoot in my stocking feet.

Or reach things high standing on seat.

~

Wheels go round and round in my head.

I wish I had wheels on my bed.

Then I can drive to all my dreams.

Win all the races, hear crowd screams.

~

In the garage, my wheels parked there.

Soon I’ll be out, wind in my hair.

First kick tires, adjust the seat.

Polish the chrome isn’t she sweet.

~

Check the mirror so I can see,

everything – way behind me.

Yes – riding fast is what I like.

On all three wheels of my trike.

~*~

The End

sck091114