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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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.

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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

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Figmented

In a little town not far from here,
there lived a star, a puppeteer.
She entertained children near and far.
While her husband played his old guitar.
~
The puppets danced and the kids all giggled.
The guitarist sang and everyone wiggled.
But behind the show’s curtain of green,
the puppeteer performs, always unseen.
~
But she’s not sad, she’s quite content,
the shows always fun and it pays the rent.
Their home life is great with two cats and a dog.
And in a pond nearby they had a pet frog.
~
Their children, now grown and moved far away,
but they all get together for Christmas day.
The tree lit up bright and gifts piled high.
They await the sunrise in the cold winter sky.
~
First up’s the grandkids, it’s time to explore.
Next was the dog that sleeps by the door.
The children were silent peaking at the gifts.
Each on lookout in five minute shifts.
~
Tape’s gently pulled and corners peeled back,
they had to work fast to get through the stack.
The children were careful to not make a mess,
because if caught, next year there’d be less.
~
It didn’t take long for them to realize,
the presents were fake and the pets were spies.
The children panicked and ran back to their beds,
to dream once more of dolls, blocks and sleds.
~
But the parents sat waiting at the top of the stairs.
The kids now caught broke down in tears.
They ruined Christmas and the parents were mad.
The grandparents were disappointed and that was sad.
~
A lecture was given while breakfast they ate.
Grandma’s lesson was that good things are worth the wait.
And that things are not always as they appear,
you can take it from her, she’s a puppeteer.
~
Breakfast was finished at a leisurely pace.
Anticipation beamed from everyone’s face.
Then a puppet appeared dressed as Santa Claus,
who passed out presents to much applause.

~*~
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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

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

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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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

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

A Lonely Princess

DSCN7499b

Where rocky cliff meets stormy sea,

a castle perched, forever be.

Where gray stone surrounds little seen sky.

‘Twas this fortress a young princess cry.

.

The princess post birth, her parents delight,

treasured by day, guarded by night.

Feasting with jesters, ponies, puppets and maids,

a gaggle of servants draw bright velvet shades

.

With sentry of knight to share all her dreams,

her eyes shut tight to hide her screams.

Time wasted limitless, she wished for an end.

The princess was lonely without a true friend.

..

One morning awoken by a kiss from a queen,

sleepy eyes opened to a sight seldom seen.

Golden light sparkles in diamond pane rare,

a sapphire morn burns black coal night air.

.

A tasty breakfast served on tray in bed.

Downy pillows fluffed to rest her head.

The king arrived more jolly than ever,

with riddle to solve, if anyone clever.

.

“What may have wings cannot fly.

Holds a heart yet cannot die.

Shaken pitch laughs off rain.

Having one a princess to gain?”

.

The joyous young girl made many a guess.

The kings’ piddling patience grew less and less.

The queen and knights all had a try.

The king muttered “castle!” with a loud sigh.

.

The room bemused by the riddler’s zeal.

Most unconcerned with how others feel.

A castle repeated in more pleasant a tone,

a home for a princess to call her own.

.

But first a short trip outside the wall,

where grass tickles feet and trees grow tall.

There are lessons to learn from tutors wise.

There are truths to see with growing eyes.

.

Now’s time a princess must prepare,

for the eventual call of a prince to be dear.

A someday king awaits his throne,

whence you shall rest upon your own.

.

The princess knew the day would come,

a bartered prize as was her Mum.

No fairy tale endings for spawn of kings.

“Tis a life shackled with heavy gold rings.

.

Adventure awaits, no time for self-pity,

freedom’s short locked in a stone city.

Knowledge abounds beyond heavy gates.

The princess skips past on worn ancient slates.

.

Beneath a fine bonnet of satin and lace,

excitement glowed on her adolescent face.

Her velvet shoes barely touching the dirt,

a merry cyclone a-swirl in silk skirt.

.

Her mentor soon waves from path by wood.

Magical flora beckons, some bad, some good.

Wonders overwhelm in green forest lush.

An ocean of emeralds painted with brush.

.

With each lash a-flutter bursts a new color.

Light and shades multiply them all more.

With the thirst of a sponge she did explore,

where surprises abound when not looked for.

.

A gentle breeze blew, a little leaf flew,

bright sky filled in the space anew

A ray of sunlight kissed a shiny stone.

Atop a bed of dewy leaf it rests alone.

.

With a tiny tap upon its shimmering side,

the distant fates of two collide.

Surface cracking on this egg thought stone,

a heartbeat wakened with thunderous tone.

.

Out popped a plump lump, beneath wings of scale.

A pat on the rump exposed its long tail.

A final stretch thrust shell shards to leaf.

And there lie a creature beyond belief.

.

Warm smiles shared with a new friend.

A precious little pearl, the girl’s to defend.

The gazes shattered by a howl from the trail,

‘twas the elderly teacher, impatient and frail.

.

The princess knew what had to be done.

The babe hid under her bonnet and bun.

Down the path she ran back to the gate.

Yelled to the guards “The teacher was late”

.

Gates barely open she slipped through the crack,

escaping notice of the tail down her back.

Safe in her chamber they shared the night’s meal,

both sharing puckers with fresh lemon peel.

.

Then swathed in plush robes, kissed on the head,

the fledgling was tucked safely under the bed.

Each night passing, more robes to conceal,

this teething tot with big teeth that’s real.

.

Each day growing from the princess’s scraps,

she grew thinner, now padded with straps.

The servants grew nervous at both the sight,

one lie near weightless, one flew in the night.

.

The princess’s secret though soon was known,

when her expanding friend went out alone.

The knights became dazed by armored flight,

their swords no match for the hunger of night.

.

The king and queen where too nearly maimed.

Pawns, bishops and rooks where all to be blamed.

A wizard was called to tame the toddler beast.

His tenure cut short when almost a feast.

.

The creature now huge, truly loved the girl.

She called her Sunshine, the princess’s Pearl.

Together they frolicked on the castle rooftop.

The king spying danger called for a stop.

.

Shouting “time’s come to put childhood behind,

It’s now time to marry, I’ve someone in mind.

He’s brave, sweet, wise and kind, at least I’m told.

There’ll be time to adjust as you both grow old.”

.

Escorted by king to a royal coach and four,

off to be locked behind another gilded door.

Her fate was sealed by a noble families need,

alliances grown with common regal seed.

.

But with a twist, jerk and a naughty giggle,

the squiggly princess was free now to wiggle.

Breaking free, running fast, past all unaware.

She zigged and zagged toward the rooftop stair.

.

Screaming loudly for her only friend Pearl,

who tried to save the much pursued girl.

A guard with a pike held Pearl on a chain.

Blocking the Sunshine’s escape of the reign.

.

Seeing her friend at the top of the stair,

Pearl snapped her links then into the air.

The petrified guard fled from his post,

grabbing for Sunshine he’d surely be toast.

.

The princess ran to the edge of the roof,

yelling to Pearl, she feared aloof.

The big eared beast sharply turned about,

hearing her Sunshine’s gloomy shout

.

The king with guards, knights and queen,

Stormed to the roof unprepared for what’s seen.

The princess looked back, blew a kiss to her mother,

and a warm thoughtful wave to all the other.

.

Then with a carefree step she disappeared.

Plunging to her sudden death, or so was feared.

The mortified lookers all lunged for the ledge.

Hoping the princess landed safe in a hedge.

.

The king peeked over, not wanting to see,

when up rose his honey like a big bumble bee.

She hung from the neck of her dear friend Pearl,

now bonded for life, this dragon and girl.

.

Higher she climbed with a dragons eye view,

a view to be viewed by a very small few.

Now all surveyed, now all her realm,

Sunshine’s the captain, Pearl the helm.

.

Over forest and mountains, ocean and stream,

free in a world where she need not dream.

Adrift on her Pearl upon the endless sea,

Alone they now be in their realm of fantasy.

.

The king broken hearted wept in his sleep.

The queen stricken ill with never a peep.

They later agreed to bare a new heir,

whether girl or boy was not a care.

.

The next child’s fate was sure to be better,

born free of mind and trappings that clutter.

With a loving heart nurtured by family and friends,

then given the choices to choose their own ends.

.

The princess returned in time for the birth.

The kingdom was full of merriment and mirth.

The princess enchanted with a friend who flew.

And all ends happily as fairy tales all do.

*

The End

Sck121414

Short and Sweet

I started the day in the usual way.
But life was soon to change.
The sun rose as everyone knows.
Then set to a feeling that’s strange.
~
Blind to the notion of this surge of emotion,
quickly I rushed to my pad.
My scribbles were new and for now but few.
And soon they’ll be signed as Granddad.

~*~
SCK011121

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

Weathering Christmas

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through our town,
the snow had all melted leaving grass colored brown.
New sleds with bows all waited out back.
New hats and gloves all piled in a stack.
~
The weather was warm but the sky a dark gray.
Bikes too must wait for a sunnier day.
Then rain fell heavy just after lunch.
The wind started blowing, mom had a hunch.
~
She gathered the candles and charged her phone.
She called up her parents who were home all alone.
We then jumped in the car, our mission was clear.
We’d drive to their house to bring Christmas cheer.
~
The wind grew stronger, ripping branches from trees.
We saw a strange man in a puddle on skis.
We got to their house, the decorations still lit.
We all rushed in but there’s no time to sit.
~
Gram packed a few things and was ready to go.
Gramps starred out the window wishing for snow.
We squeezed in the car for our long journey home.
Then gramps yelled “Stop! I’ve forgotten my comb.”
~
Gram said “Keep going, you can use mine.”
Gramps, with a smile, said “That’ll be fine.”
Then sis started crying, a bathroom was needed.
“Hurry up mom” she anxiously pleaded.
~
Mom said to wait; there’d soon be a chance.
“If not” she joked “you can soon try new pants.”
Sis got the message and quietly she pouted.
“I have to go too,” Gramps then loudly shouted.
~
Mom kept on going, our street was now near.
But the driving was slow, the weather severe.
Our house then appeared but the driveway was gone.
So mom stomped on the gas and drove up the lawn.
~
We jumped from the car and ran to the door.
Dad was there waiting, looking unsure.
We took off our coats and hung them to dry.
Then lightning went boom and lit up the sky.
~
The lights went out but our fireplace was warm.
We all huddled closely to ride out the storm.
We woke the next morning all stacked around our tree.
Our presence was felt and the day was rain free.

~*~
SCK122720

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

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{Holiday Revision}

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

 

A Holiday’s Warmth

In the land of the dragon when nights get long.
The air is cold and the wind is strong.
In caves they’ll gather all cozy and warm.
But first, they’ll prepare before the big storm.
~
The holiday’s near and another year’s treat.
Moms and dads busy to make all things neat.
The children make dangles to dress up their tree.
Then off to slumber for a week, two or three.
~
Their parents when done with winter chores,
warm their homes and open their doors.
The children then wake to a new winter’s white.
And gaze at trinkets secretly left in the night.
~
There are mittens and hats for the littlest of tikes.
There are goodies galore that everyone likes.
The grown-ups all share a warm hearted kiss.
Then hugs all around that’s never to miss.
~
The teens await the greatest gift of all.
They’ll soon learn to fly or tumble and fall.
But the new snow’s now deep and oh so soft.
It’s perfect for landing when not high aloft.
~
When the sun gets low and the chill sets in.
Homeward they head for the feast begin.
They’ll all sing and dance and sip warm sno-nog.
The night then ends with the last burning log.
~
Eyelids grow heavy, eyes soon to close.
Socks pulled snugly over big chilly toes.
Hibernation then starts and dreams it’ll bring,
where thoughts are warm awaiting the spring.

~*~
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Wintery Summary

Our day of thanks is past.
And Christmas is coming fast.
Now all the roads are jammed.
And mailboxes are getting spammed.
~
Traveling from all around,
our friends and family abound.
The mistletoe will hang in wait,
ready for the kissers’ fate.
~
With ornaments galore arranged,
precious gifts will be exchanged,
The food and fun will joyfully flow.
But then it’s back to shoveling snow.

~*~
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Forever Brine

Gaslights flicker, but one in three

These harsh fall winds batter thee

Soon the rains will pour and pelt

Yet with heavy heart nothing’s felt

~

Broken brick teeters beneath shoe-less feet

The stench of death fills the street

An island paradise – mine no more

Alas in this city to find a door

~

Thirty years lost at sea

‘Till found rescued, returned free

In search of a life I wish to find

Of futures not had and left behind

~

Now homeward bound to do what’s right

And share my tale of a dreadful night

With freezing sleet and gale, our sails torn

Splintered masts await the morn

~

Screams of mates haunting still

Silence came with the sunsets’ chill

I awoke to a native angel, urged to make a wife

Years of guilty pleasure pass of fertile island life

~

In a search never-ending of a foggy memory

Back to a decrepit city, forever lost to me

A vision of a woman I had no time to know

And a father-less child I never saw grow

~

Now I must roam this morbid place

In the shadows I hide this unknown face

With grizzled hide and toothless grin

Tis I this rotted hull of unforgivable sin

~

First I betrayed a young bride with family

I’ve betrayed my many brothers to a stormy sea

Betrayed my island flowers with my bastard seed

And their many blooms not knowing of their creed

~

In tangled webs of filthy alleys, doors locked tight

Shuttering out the dangers awakened in the night

Seeking boarded diamond pane, broken lintel I recall

My tiny door beckons just down the hall

~

Now steps ahead my future lies, one without a past

Decisions’ pondered long, yet always chosen fast

With a knock a ghost returns to those long at rest

Me thinks a splintered briny deck for all will be best

~*~

sck071615

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

Under Where!

A big scary monster lives under my bed.
I never saw their body but maybe saw their head.
Every night they whisper when I try to sleep.
But when my mom comes in she doesn’t hear a peep.
~
My dad moved my bed and even switched my room.
But it didn’t really matter, my nights still filled with gloom.
They brought me to a doctor to get my head checked out.
They said that they found nothing, but I still have my doubt.
~
My sister teases me just like the kids at school.
She says that I’m a baby and being scared isn’t cool.
Every day on the bus the kids all laugh at my expense.
But I know I’m right and I think that they’re all dense.
~
My teacher thinks I’m crazy and doesn’t talk to me.
She says that I’m disruptive and that school isn’t free.
The principal just smiles and asks “how’s my day?”
But when I try to tell her she always walks away.
~
When the school bell rings I can’t wait to get outside.
But the bus’s always there and there’s nowhere I can hide.
It’s good the ride is short and soon it’ll be done.
My mom will be waiting and she’ll ask if I had fun.
~
I’ll tell her no and that I had gotten teased.
She’ll make her twisty face and say that she’s not pleased.
I hold her hand tightly and we both walk back inside.
She’ll help me with my homework until my brain is fried.
~
Then we share a snack before a visit from my friend.
We’ll talk a bunch till supper but then the fun will end.
I’m glad to have a friend who listens every day.
They hear the same old stories, even though they’d rather play.
~
Next we eat our supper then I’ll suffer through a bath.
Bedtime must be coming soon and another night of wrath.
My door mostly closed and my nightlight’s set on high,
I rest with one eye open and watch the moon rise in the sky.
~
When the moon got small my eyes began to close.
The monster then tried to eat me and it started with my toes.
But finally the nightmare is over and yes I was wrong.
There was no scary monster; it was just my cat all along.

~*~
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