The cows in Henry’s yard stood and had a chat
but they were interrupted by the big old family cat.
He weaved in and out of umpteen sets of legs
then, whoosh, up he sprang, swinging from a bag of pegs
that hung down from the clothes line stretched across the breeze,
for quite an old and big fat cat, he did it with such ease.
The cows then nervously shuffled, moving from side to side
till out came Henry the farmer to open the gate out wide.

The cows were glad to see Henry, because in the past the cat
harassed them all quite badly, and quite often he even spat.
They tossed their heads back scowling as Henry led them away
but the tatty tom cat was too busy, watching tails and their glorious sway.
He jumped and clung, and was swung then he was simply tossed aside –
so determined was he to scramble aboard – he’d put up with the scary ride.
Again he desperately dangled there despite each tail’s wild swish –
somehow he knew as Henry glared – he wouldn’t get his wish.

Sheepishly he clambered down and low he crawled away,
Henry scolded and told him to go and stay in the yard and play.
That would be easy enough, thought the feline as he scratched,
and spotting the battered old hen house, he set too with claws and unlatched
the finely meshed outside doors that held in all the birds.
Soon out came Hilda, the farmer’s wife, totally lost for words.
“Oh, no! You bad old cat! What on earth have you done?
Shoo! Shoo!” she cried, wildly. “Come back here everyone!”

She ran through the birds rather quickly, in order to close the door
but thanks to the cat who tripped her up, with his big, fat, ugly paw,
she went face down in the flowerbeds then jumped to her feet with rage,
“Alright!” she fumed, “I’ve had enough, I’m putting you in the cage!”
By that she meant the bird house and with that she threw him in
“You’ve caused enough trouble on this farm – I’ll have no more of your din!”
The cat didn’t like this one little bit, but he knew things were a little fraught,
while meanwhile back in the yard, the birds had been successfully caught.

The farmer’s wife had generously scattered handfuls of welcoming seed,
which the birds flocked back to peck, undoing the mischievous cat’s wicked deed.
She closed the wooden door and securing it, made sure all the birds fed in the yard,
and the cat who remained a prisoner, was himself taught a lesson very, very hard




A wafting mop of spiky red hair
shone under a pyramid of light,
standing there on a soft bed of sawdust
was Lupi with an expression of great delight.
Encircled by the circus’s familiar red ring
encompassing a kaleidoscope of hues,
Lupi balanced on a sea lion’s ball,
which was difficult to do in a clown’s style of shoes.
He jumped down and picked from the ground
Four balls which he threw in the air;
he didn’t pretend he could juggle them
he let them drop and they bounced everywhere.
It raised a roar of pleasing laughter
from all around the vast tent
as he tumbled across to his wagon
and against painted sides he leant.
The wheels collapsed from underneath it
unleashing his collection of tricks –
there were loops and boxes and silver rings –
Lupi picked from it a bunch of sticks,
magically from those he produced flowers
of all delicate shades and kinds,
he offered them to the audience
but with a clown there’s always mischief one finds.
Sure enough the flowers disappeared
but not before water squirted from them
covering the children and mums and dads –
Lupi laughed at creating such mayhem.
Before the crowd leaves he’ll continue to please –
he’ll be chased by a gorilla on a bike,
squirt water at fires that won’t go out, blow horns
and dance – in fact – he’ll do anything you like.


Ship in a Bottle


Granddad has an old glass dome
from way back when he used to roam.
Inside the glass dome is a ship,
how it got there, he let slip.

He was marooned upon a shore
and his shipwrecked vessel was no more –
this all happened in his young day –
in a forgotten land, far away.

He found himself upon the sands
with his head down in his hands,
murmuring softly to himself, “Why me?”
He looked up, and was surprised to see –

A length of silk upon the floor,
in a puff of smoke it was no more.
All this happened with such a flash
Until on the sands there appeared a sash.

From softest pink there grew and grew
a genie who stood with turned up shoe,
“Wymee,” he told him “is my name.”
“To grant you one wish is my aim!”

He rubbed his eyes but Wymee was still there,
Granddad could do nothing but stare and stare.
The genie spoke and broke his trance –
granddad realised this was his chance.

He told Wymee what had gone before,
and that his vessel was no more
and that he would dearly like to be
at home with his wife and family.

But how could Granddad possibly travel?
Wymee knew how, and did unravel
from silken scarves a bottle so small,
Inside it was a ship – that’s all.

“Say these magic words and off you will go
over the seas to the land that you know.
When you have done, say them once more,
the ship will return to its own magic shore.”

Pig Tails


Once upon a time there were three little pigs,
each one of them did all kinds of jigs –
they dashed about and leaped and pranced
and took it in turns as each one of them danced,
until the farmer came with his daughter
to chose a pig who was ready for slaughter,
“Which one shall we choose?” he asked his girl,
who pointed to the pig whose tail didn’t curl.
“I’ll collect him tomorrow and take him away.”
The three little pigs gulped, but only one did sway.
“There’s not much time,” said the three little pigs
who loved to dance and prance and do little jigs.
But that seemed a long time ago, and this was right now
The pig with the straight tail wished he was a cow –
or a sheep or a hen, even a lamb –
not nice and plump and potentially ham.
He was interrupted by one pig who said,
“Don’t worry little brother, just keep your head!”
“At least until tomorrow,” said the other as a joke,
but as soon as he’d said it, he wished he hadn’t spoke.
“I’m only teasing, you won’t come to any harm,
and when it gets dark we’ll all leave this dreadful farm.”
They waited for nightfall to make their escape
each one of them laughing at their huge jape,
which was back in the pigsty where they’d left behind
a surprise for the farmer, sure he would find –
three little blankets covering three bales of hay
placed for his visit the very next day.
Searching, he couldn’t see the pigs anywhere,
storming out of the sty, nearly pulling out his hair.
He wanted to huff and puff till he blew their house down
Instead he stomped on his cap with a huge frown.
The three little pigs danced over hill and dale,
all because of the little pig; the one with the straightest tail!



‘Drink your milk, it’s good for you,
you’ll grow up nice and tall.’
I’m still at the table though
I’m only three feet small.

Mummy says I’ll grow up big
but look I’m still the same –
maybe if I drink some more,
perhaps the cow is to blame?

Yes, I’ll find a bigger cow,
then I’ll start to climb,
but mummy says not all at once –
I have to give it time.




In my garden I’ve a friend
It’s a magic flower
He wasn’t like this yesterday
He’s grown with every hour.

His round, brown face was very small
He had short, golden hair
One day I could plainly see him
The next, he’d shot up there!

“Please wait for me to catch you up
I’m only three feet high
If you go on and grow and grow
You will touch the sky.

I won’t be able to play with you
Until I’m ten feet tall
Or will you come back here to play with me
Down here? Stay here. Stay small.”