Camping

I wanted to go camping ‘cos I thought it would be nice.
I organized a tent, some bottled water and some ice.
I had such lovely thoughts about the fun that would transpire
As I relaxed in nature, sitting cozy by a fire.

The first mistake I made, though, was I didn’t bring a bed.
I’d hoped that leaves and twigs would help me rest my weary head.
So as you can foresee, I had no chance to rest my eyes,
But that was for the best, ‘cos that was not my sole surprise.

I’d packed some crisps, some crackers, jerkied beef and juicy pears.
It was to my dismay I learned that those attracted bears!
At just past three AM, you would have seen me start to shake,
I ran with flailing arms and dove head-first into the lake.

Now here’s the third dilemma I encountered on my trip:
I thought the lake would be a clever bear-deterring dip.
However, it was winter, so the lake was topped with ice,
And plunging into that was neither smart nor very nice.

At this point I was shaking out of fear and very wet.
And really, hypothermia was quite a valid threat.
I wrapped myself in blankets, and I made some tea to sip,
And then, at last, decided I would quit my camping trip.

So feeling very sorry, very cold, and not real bright,
I packed up all the tent pegs in the middle of the night.
I took one final look at where I’d camped and nearly died,
Took two steps up the back-door stairs and then I went inside.

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Image from Deposit Photos © Tetiana_Svirska 2015

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Magpie

I saw a friendly magpie and she twoodled out a song.
It made me feel like all was right and nothing could go wrong.
I dropped a bit of sandwich and she pecked and picked it up,
And now she hops behind me like a tiny spotted pup.

She doesn’t seem to realise but the silly girl can’t bark.
She does, however, like it when I take her to the park.
And though I do not keep her in a cage or on a lead,
She hops along behind me, quite obedient indeed.

She wakes me up with warbles and she sings me lullabies.
And just this morning, on my stoop, I got a grand surprise.
‘Cos though she has no fingers, sporting just a beak so small—
My smart and loyal magpie friend has learned to fetch a ball!

Cartoon magpie sign

Image from Deposit Photos © radar43 2016

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No, Wait!

“No, wait!” she shouted anxiously while tugging at my sleeve.
“You can’t go now!” she whimpered. “I do not want you to leave!”

“I’ve got to go,” I told her. “But quite soon I will be back.
See—if I do not go to work I’ll surely get the sack!”

I knew that it was hard for kids to bid their Dads goodbye.
I knew that it was normal that they’d whinge and whine and cry.

But Nancy was their teacher. “Get a grip, you’re sixty-four.”
“But sir—your kids are monsters! I can’t take it anymore!”

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Image from Pixabay © CC0 Creative Commons 2015

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From The Archives: Mess Fairies

Mess Fairies

Now something kids like you and I are told when we are young
Is that after we have lost one of our teeth,
We put it in our bed, we put our pillow down on top,
And a Fairy takes it out from underneath.

Because we know the Tooth Fairy is nice (she leaves us cash),
We come to think that all Fairies are kind,
But Mums and Dads don’t let us know that some of them are bad:
They leave a mess—not shiny coins—behind.

We’ve all collapsed in bed and left our bedrooms spick and span
But woken up with toys all strewn about.
We’ve put our clothes away and tucked our socks and shirts in drawers,
But when we wake up, all of them are out!

At first, I thought perhaps I had just dreamed I’d tidied up.
I sighed but once more cleaned and swept and packed.
But then, I got suspicious! I got a camera,
And set it up to catch them in the act!

The cheeky little Sprites had had a party in my shelves,
They’d thrown my toys and teddies from their box.
They’d tipped my jars of pencils, they’d opened every drawer,
Unrolled and mismatched all my pairs of socks.

So late that night I waited, in the dark, a torch in reach
I held the proof—a photo—in my hand.
And when once more the naughty Fairies came in through the door,
My torch came on. Their jaws dropped. It was grand.

“Now listen!” I said forcefully. “This mess has got to stop.
I’m sick of cleaning up. I’ve had enough.
From now on,” I said, holding up the photo, “You’ll come back,
And every night you will clean up my stuff!”

And that, my friends, is how I went from tidying non-stop
To never cleaning up a drawer or shelf.
So if you think your Mess Fairies are messing up your room,
Perhaps it’s time to catch them out yourself.

Original Illustration © Robbie Yates 2017

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From The Archives: Allergies to Chores

Dear Mom, I have some information that is rather grave.
I got it in a very urgent call.
The hospital laboratory said I must be brave,
In order to avoid demise and pall.

The doctor on the line said, “I have never seen a list
Of symptoms and of woes as bad as yours.”
I’ll save you all the details Mom, I’ll tell you just the gist:
He said that I’ve got allergies. To chores.

“No dishes,” he commanded. “And no laundry,” he prescribed.
I’m sure you’ll see that this affliction stinks.
“No vacuuming,” I promised. “And no mops,” I sadly sighed.
“No cleaning up of toilets or of sinks.”

I know the outlook’s dreadful, now whatever shall we do?
I’ll miss the mowing; polishing; the broom.
I ‘spose that’s it for me, Mom. Since I’m feeling extra blue,
You’ll find me watching TV in my room.

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Original Illustration © Robbie Yates 2018

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New Book Release: The Kooky Kids’ Club

My new book—The Kooky Kids’ Club—has just been released on Amazon!

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Blurb:

Maxine is smart, quirky, and a bit of a misfit. One day, she receives a mysterious invitation to a meeting of the “Kooky Kids’ Club.”

Things are looking bright. It’s nice to finally have a real group of friends. Then Maxine’s teacher disappears.

Maxine doesn’t know what happened to her beloved teacher, or how she can help. But if anybody has the smarts to help Miss Thompson, it’s Maxine and the Kooky Kids’ Club…

This quirky chapter book is for the best kind of kids—the ones who are a little bit kooky!


The book is now available on Amazon as an eBook or Paperback. Grab your copy today, for the Kooky Kid in your life (or just for yourself!)

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From The Archives: Rain boots

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It’s rare to see unbridled glee but there’s a special time
That children’s faces sparkle, full of joy
It’s all the rage for every age, it doesn’t cost a dime,
Absurdly fun for every girl and boy.

It happens when it rains and then on pavers, paths and tiles
Sit puddles, cold and wet, their beckon wry.
With rainboots on they yell, “Come On!” and jump with cheers and smiles
The splashes barely missing passersby.

Now humans all, both big and small, will find it quite a treat
To jump and splash and play a little more.
Don’t fear the crud, the cold and mud, or getting soggy feet
Because that, my friend, is what rainboots are for!


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From The Archives: The Bird Pooplympics

Bird Pooping

If you’re like me and sometimes you have quite unlucky days,
You may have been bombarded by a bird.
It may have been quite sticky, and dribbled down your front:
It’s often an extraordinary turd.

It may have been bad luck, and you may be simply cursed,
It may have had no reason and no rhyme.
But I think that your doo-dooing was part of an event.
I think that it was Bird Pooplympics time.

The Annual Bird Pooplympics are quite a fun affair.
They start with Bird Poo races (always fun).
The next event’s my favourite—the Synchronised Release
Where poops land in a pattern, one-by-one.

Of course there’s Bird Poop Hurdles—where birds must duck and weave,
Leaving little turds along the way.
However, it’s the Archery where all the birds take aim
At you and me, to decimate our day.

So when the next white dribble falls upon your lap,
Don’t shake your head, complain, or start to cry!
Yell at the offender. Shake your angry fists.
Shout “Do Pooplympics elsewhere!!” at the sky.


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From The Archives: The Worst Bag Ever

I had a nasty habit—so teacher always said—
Of losing notes and books and hats and snacks.
She’d pass us out permission forms when it was half past three,
And tell us, “Put them straight into your packs.”

But by the time my Mum and Dad were asking ‘bout my day,
My notes and books were nearly always gone,
The next day, I’d ask sheepishly to have the note again,
My teacher would just stare at me in scorn.

“Why Billy Jones, you’ll lose your very head, one day,” she’d say.
I simply nodded, staring at my shoes.
I felt so bad. I tried so hard, but things just disappeared!
The missing things brought on a case of blues.

Then one day, Thomas Mitchell handed me an envelope.
“An invite to my party!” he said, glad.
I placed it, oh so carefully, inside my backpack then,
‘Cos if I lost it, that would make me sad.

Lo and behold, just thirty minutes later, at my house,
I could not find the invite. Not at all!
I rummaged, looked and fossicked, leaning deep into my bag,
And soon I felt myself begin to fall.

The world went dark. It all went quiet. I landed with a Plonk!
I opened up my eyes. And all around,
Were notes and books and crackers, old bananas and a shoe,
In piles and piles and piles upon the ground.

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“My goodness!” I exclaimed. “Where am I? What are all these things?”
“Oh Billy,” said a voice, “I’m glad you’re here.
You see, your backpack’s magic, so that’s why your notes and snacks
And toys and old bananas disappear.”

“What do I do?” I asked the voice. “I hate when all my stuff
Goes missing. And my parents hate it too!”
“That’s easy,” said the voice. “Your backpack’s magic—that is clear.
So all you need’s another one. Brand new.”

So shortly after, I got all my pocket money out.
I bought a brand new bag for school and sports.
My magic backpack never held another note or book.
From now on? It was just for bad reports.

Original Illustration © Robbie Yates 2017

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From The Archives: Super Eraser

One boring Christmas morning, I opened up my gift.
With just one present left under the tree,
I once again grew solemn, and sad that we were poor.
Why were there never lovely gifts for me?

My gift was just a ruler, two pencils and two pens,
A small eraser and a pencil case.
My mom, who worked long hours, just wrapped me in her arms,
When she saw disappointment on my face.

“I’m sorry, Spud, I’m sorry. I wish we could have more,
But things have been a little tight this year.”
She held my arms so gently, a twinkle in her eye,
Then leaned back in and whispered in my ear:

“I think that the eraser, while looking fairly plain,
Is quite a bit more special than you think.
I won it in a raffle. It’s cutting-edge and smart.
It rubs out more than pencil lines and ink.”

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I tested what Mum said then. I went in to my room.
It rubbed out pencil, pen, and even more.
I wandered over, pensive, and crouched down very low,
It rubbed the very carpet off the floor!

I moved up to the window. Outside there was some trash.
Some broken chairs and boxes—a whole load.
I rubbed it on the glass then, my eyes were opened wide.
Now no more junk was piled up on the road!

The next hour was a whirlwind of laughs and smiles and fun
As I found all the things I could erase.
The rubbish—gone! The dishes, the weeds all disappeared!
I cleared them all in an eraser craze!

I pondered and I planned, then. I found a secret place
To keep my new eraser safe and sound.
I didn’t want to waste it. I’d use it wisely now.
I’d save it for Mom’s stressed-out worried frown.

I’d keep it for my sister, for when she scraped her knees,
Or when she felt upset or sick or sad.
I sidled up to Mum, then, and hugged her tight and warm.
“Mom, thanks. This is the best thing that I’ve had.”

Image © Robbie Yates 2017

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