Excerpt for The Rhymologicon (Illustrated Version) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Book Title

The Rhymologicon

A collection of poetic stories for young children

Text copyright © 2016 Deborra Rosewaye

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book.

The text has previously been published under the title ‘The Rhymologicon – Volume One (Unilliustrated Edition)’.

Illustration copyright © 2016 Zoe Cheale

All Rights Reserved. None of the illustrations included in this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book.

Smashwords Edition (2017)

Table of Contents

Preface & Dedication

Story one: The Hairy Spider And The Careless Wasp

Story Two: Fibbing Fudge

Story Three: Teegan Gets Toothache

Story Four: Ninny Goat

Story Five: Wizzie Witchly And The Impertinent Pie

Story Six: Teddy Bear Slippers

Story Seven: My Dad Is An Alien

Story Eight: Helixior – City Of The Snails

Story Nine: Dinosaurus Rex

Story Ten: Penguin In The Sandpit

Story Eleven: Frogs Legs And Toadstools

Story Twelve: Gnomecastle-under-Lime


This book is a collection of short poetic children’s stories, intended to appeal to young children and parents alike. Written for publication on the Kindle, words have been highlighted in bold to indicate (in most cases) the ends of verse lines and the principle rhyming words, because screen size limitations, particularly in combination with font size restrictions, may disrupt the original verse structure that was intended by the author. Hopefully, this will not detract from the enjoyment and general reading experience for either parent or child.


This book is dedicated to my dear departed dad; to my mum; my daughter – without whom this book would not have been possible – and my beloved son, Nathan.

Story One: The Hairy Spider and the Careless Wasp

Mummy, mummy! There’s a big hairy spider and he’s living in my room!

He’s sitting on his cobby web – quick mummy: get the broom!”

Nathan’s mummy came to see what he was making all the fuss about:

Now calm down” she urged him, “there really is no need to shout.”

But he’s big with legs a mile long, teeth like a shark and ever so hairy!”

Mum got a torch to have proper look: “Oh, Nathan – he’s really not so scary.”

Nathan was not convinced and got underneath his bed covers, so to hide:

He is scary” he trembled “...he’s got six eyes – and they’re all open wide!”

But Nathan,” mummy explained “spiders are good to have around...

They eat the flies and buzzy things and they never make a sound.”

But he’s looking at me.” Said Nathan, “May be he thinks - I’m a fly.”

No, silly: spiders are our friends and never stare – they’re far too shy.”

Mummy pulled Nathan out from underneath his spaceman patterned duvet

And gave him a great big hug, kissed him softly, then wiped his tears away.

Now, why don’t you think of mister spider as your very own little pet?”

Said mummy reassuringly, “You’ll soon grow to love him, then - I bet.”

Okay, mummy.” Nathan replied nervously. “But are you sure he’s tame?”

Of course I am!” she said, “Now, all you need to do is give him a name.”

Nathan thought for a while before deciding to call him “Fearsome Fred!”

Well, okay. I suppose if we were flies he would be pretty frightful.” she said.

Nathan smiled and asked: “Can I have a story, please mummy - please?”

If you promise to go to sleep afterwards.” she replied and sat him on her knees.

Nathan nodded excitedly and looked wistfully into his mother’s loving eyes.

This is a story about a silly wasp...” she said, “...and a spider that was wise.”

Fred the big hairy spider was known as ‘Fearsome’ to the flies and his friends.

He made his cobweb on the garden fence, where many met with sticky ends.

His reputation was known all around and it reached out far and wide;

Even as far as the spiders living in a garden, across the road, on the other side.

Now there came a swaggering and noisy young wasp, whose name was Fitzwally.

He liked to tease the spiders by whirring close, but just too far to meet his folly.

This game he played with the brag: “You lot are daft, so you’ll never catch me...”

Then wiggled his bottom, singing: “I dance like a butterfly and I sting like a bee!”

Fred just patiently watched this fellow from the safety of his little hidey-hole

And plotted and planned: to have Fitzwally for his dinner was his fiendish goal.

Fred was noting down everywhere that cheeky wasp liked to get his nectar,

For Fitzwally was a creature of habit, not knowing he was being spied from afar.

Then one fine sunny day, Fred was ready to put his cunning plan into action,

And crept stealthily in the shadows: to catch a wasp his dastardly intention.

In the dark depths of a beautiful big flower head that the wasp much adored,

Fred snuggled down and awaited Fitzwally, who to his deadly fate now soared.

The careless wasp was too busy gorging upon the flower’s sugary delight,

To notice the huge hairy spider that was sneaking closer and closer into sight.

Then, as though out of nowhere, an enormous set of teeth loomed near

And poor Fitzwally got the fright of his life, which made him screech with fear!

The wasp so nearly got away, but Fred had caught hold of his protruding sting.

Fitzwally flapped his wings furiously and wiggled his bottom - but he did not sing.

Now that clever spider has a nice new toothpick, which he uses as he rubs his tum,

While Fitzwally keeps clear of Fearsome Fred and nurses the plaster on his bum!

Nathan chuckled when his mummy finished this funny little story and then said:

I like Fearsome Fred.” Mummy replied: “Good boy!” and tucked him into bed.

When I grow up” began Nathan “I’m want to go to a school for spider keepers.”

Mummy stroked his head and said: “Now, settle down and shut those peepers.”

After kissing him gently, she walked to the door and gave a wave to Fearsome Fred.

What a shock she got when he grinned, waved back and in a whisper said:

I liked your story - it was nearly true - but I caught that wasp and then I let him go...

Because I thought he learned his lesson: I’m kind like that, I will have you know.”

Story Two: Fibbing Fudge

Fudge was a frolicsome young cat: a flash of black fur,

With one tiny white spot and a panther-like purr.

His seven sisters were all as pure as the driven snow,

Good and true, each silver-white, with a little red bow.

Now, Fudge loved to tell his sisters many a tall tale,

This always won their amazement - without a fail!

His epic adventures were truly grand and legendary,

But all completely exaggerated and quite imaginary.

And the bigger the web of fibs that Fudge had woven,

The more and more likely it was going to be unproven.

So children, be warned, Fudge was not one to follow,

As will be revealed by the calamitous story given below:

Fudge spun yet another heroic and fantastical yarn,

Of how he’d outwitted a bulldog that guarded a barn

And victoriously battled with an enormous sewer rat,

To gain the affections of a beautiful Persian lady-cat.

Of course, this was not the truth of Fudge’s escapade,

For the bulldog was a puppy with which he’d played,

And both were chased by a mouse down a smelly drain,

Whereupon, a doe-squirrel dubbed him Sir Lame-Brain.

When that doleful, foul-smelling pup returned to mum,

She was not impressed with the antics of his new chum,

So she vowed to give a lecture to that irksome moggy,

And so she embarrassed him in front of all and sundry.

The sisters of Fudge still loved him always and dearly,

But never again did they believe another fanciful story.

Meanwhile, Fudge’s tomfoolery was slowly out grew,

Until one day it happened that his tall-tales were all true!

Story Three: Teegan Gets Toothache

Dragons sometimes get a bad reputation, for roasting knights with their red hot fiery breath,

Or for chasing screaming fairy princesses, until they faint from fear of an uncoolly horrid death.

But Teegan was a gentle young dragon, who loved to play games with all of the village children,

And their parents were comforted knowing that Teegan would always provide their protection.

So when that young dragon broke a tooth eating rock cakes and exquisite nutty brittle-toffee,

All of the villagers were united in their desire to help her with that urgently needed dentistry.

Trouble was, no one was brave enough to put their head inside of the dragon’s fearsome jaws.

A plan was hatched to draw lots, with everyone hoping they would get one of the long straws.

So it was that Pat the potter got the short straw, thus having to perform the interdental deed:

She decided to wear a welder’s apron and visor; using blacksmith’s tools, she bid to succeed.

Teegan sat in a hay filled digger’s bucket that the villagers had employed as the dentist’s chair.

Pat stepped on to the scaffold platform just when Teegan coughed: which was a bit of a scare!

A giant search light was shone into the ghastly depths of the dragon’s mouth, now open wide;

The terrified Pat gripped some long iron tongs and spotting the offending molar, leant inside.

She tugged with all of her might: there was a fearful shudder; then followed a monstrous roar.

It took an hour to put out the fire, while the fuming Pat realised her molten tool was no more.

Now black and singed, Pat decided some sort of pain relief was necessary before proceeding.

So the villagers concocted a potion to numb the dragon’s gum to avoid any further scorching.

At the second attempt, Pat grappled resolutely with the troublesome stump, but to no avail.

Next they tied a rope around the tooth and hitched it to farmer Jake’s horse, name of Bobtail.

With a dreadful moaning and a gruesome groaning the tooth was successfully wrenched free

And dear old Bobtail was sent flying backwards through the air, to land safely in a Willow tree.

Teegan sat up and sighed; then gave a huge toothy dragon grin of gleaming teeth – with a gap.

The villagers were triumphant with relief and admiring their handy work, they began to clap.

The happy dragon was always grateful to all the people of the village for taking away her pain,

And everyone hoped they would never be needed to perform that particular favour ever again!

As for the giant dragon’s tooth, they had it sculpted into a statue of Teegan - smiling gleefully;

They placed it in the village square, so Teegan would be remembered throughout all history.

Story Four: Ninny Goat

Over a rickety bridge leading down to a muddy ridge; on a wibbly-wobbly log or in a slimy smelly bog,

The ever idiotic Ninny Goat will always frolic.

Where there is a pothole filled with a splashy puddle; or a stinking pond overgrown with rotting frond,

The ever whacko Ninny Goat will always wallow.

If there is a murky pool, too deep for any fool; or a gaping great trap-door, left wide open in the floor,

The silly sop of a Ninny Goat will into it drop.

When the rain is hard enough its stings with pain; or hail stones and snow in a swirling blizzard do blow,

The silly dimbo of a Ninny Goat will in it amble.

Ninny Goat will never be a science scholar, nor even manage to untie the diploma.

Ninny Goat will never win a cycling medal, nor even keep either foot upon a pedal.

Ninny Goat will never pass a driving test, not even for a baby’s buggy - at his best.

Ninny Goat will never win a game of Ludo, not even if he had an extra turn at every go.

But the Ninny Goat always has lots of fun, dancing and playing his crazy games - even in the midday sun.

The ever maniacal Ninny Goat always has a smile, gleaming white to beguile.

Where there is a country park he will have fun and through the meadow land and trees he will freely run.

The ever barmy Ninny Goat will always be hearty.

And the daft old Ninny Goat never thinks he’s unlucky, that’s why the Ninny Goat is never ever unhappy.

The ever kooky Ninny Goat, always ever so chirpy.

So if you should see that Ninny Goat who is being cuckoo, just say “Helloo!” and ask if you can join in too.

The ever funny Ninny Goat, always bright and sunny.

Story Five: Wizzie Witchly and the impertinent pie

Down the lane and across the river, across the field and through the trees of Raven’s wood,

Where a path of toadstools leads on down to a clearing in which a limestone cottage stood,

There lived a magical little old lady with a mop of silvery hair decorated with glittery beads;

She was much loved by her friends and was famous for miles around for all her good deeds.

One sunny afternoon, Wizzie felt a rumbling in her tummy and decided to do some baking;

But when she looked in the larder, the cupboard was empty, so reached for her spell-book.

She flicked through the pages then conjured up the ingredients for the pie she was making;

With a flurry of her wand, she chanted: “Wishy-dishy, squishy-delishy, food I need to cook.”

Then, in a of flash light and a puff of smoke, the flour, butter, egg, sugar, rhubarb and spice,

Appeared at once upon the kitchen table, where Wizzie set to work creating her yummy pie.

She whisked, beat and stirred; she kneaded, cleft and rolled, and it was completed in a trice.

She placed the pie into an enchanted oven and ‘ding’ it was done in the blink of a bat’s eye!

The steaming hot pie smelt delicious, so she fetched a spoon and fork, ready to eat it all up;

But then the pie dish started to shake and bounce about the table, making a muffled sound.

Wizzie was baffled as she watched it jumping about, until it knocked over her favourite cup!

Oh you naughty pie!” She exclaimed, “Whatever could be causing you to leap and bound?”

She pondered for a little while and then proclaimed: “Ohh my, I believe you want to speak!”

So Wizzie waved her wand and chanted: “Eeky-cheeky, freaky-speaky, give the pie a voice.”

With a snap, crackle and pop, in the crust arose some lips, which begun to quiver and creak.

What took you so long?” it complained, “Now give me some eyes: blue will be my choice.”

Wizzie did as the pie had asked and also gave it some ears, so she could give it some advice:

It was impolite to break my best cup.” Then she took a knife. “Hey, what are you doing?”

Said the pie, crossly, to which Wizzie licked her lips and replied: “I bet you will taste nice.”

No wait!” cried the pie, “You can’t possibly eat me, I mean, I’m just far too good looking.”

Yes, but not too good to eat.” insisted Wizzie. “Now be quiet – I’m having you for dinner.”

But you wouldn’t like me,” said the pie, “I am an awful sour variety with a prickly quality.”

Wizzie pondered what the pie had told her; then it said: “Give me legs and I’ll be a winner.”

Pie racing could be fun.” she said thoughtfully and asked: “Promise not to cheat with me?”

The pie promised and he seemed sincere, so Wizzie conjured him up two nimble little legs;

The moment those legs sprouted from below the dish, that sneaky pie made for its escape.

Come back here, you foolish fellow: it’s unsafe; you will be eaten, as sure as eggs are eggs.”

But the silly pie did not listen and scuttling away as fast it could, it soon run into a scrape.

Wizzie chased in hot pursuit, but it was too late, for that impertinent pie was forever gone.

Not a crumb was ever found, while many a raven was to suffer from diabolical indigestion.

After this disastrous enterprise, Wizzie vowed never to use magic to help make her meals,

Because when anticipating a lovely tasty treat, no one wants to know how their food feels!

Story Six: Teddy Bear Slippers

Jayden loved his teddy bear slippers and he loved his teddy bear socks;

He loved his teddy bear jumper and he loved his teddy bear scarf.

Jayden loved to keep his teddy bear slippers in a teddy bear box,

And he always loved to wear his teddy bear socks, even in the bath!

Jayden loved to wear his teddy bear jumper playing with his blocks.

He loved to wear his teddy bear scarf running along the garden path.

Jayden loved his teddy bear pyjamas and he loved his teddy bear fleece;

He loved his teddy bear hat and he loved his teddy bear dressing gown.

Jayden loved to keep his teddy bear pyjamas in his teddy bear pyjama case.

And he always loved to wear his teddy bear fleece on the walk to town.

Jayden loved to wear his teddy bear hat when he went to nanny’s place.

He loved to wear his teddy bear dressing gown even under his eider down!

Jayden loved his teddy bear book and he loved his teddy bear chair;

He loved his teddy bear comb and he loved his teddy bear plate.

Jayden loved to read his teddy bear book to his big brother Alistair.

And he always loved to sit in his teddy bear chair whenever he had to wait,

Jayden loved to use his teddy bear comb when mummy washed his hair.

He loved to fill his plate with lots and lots of sweets and chocolate.

Jayden loved his teddy bear umbrella and he loved his teddy bear toy;

He loved his teddy bear board game and he loved his teddy bear ball.

Jayden loved to hold his teddy bear umbrella in the rain and shout “Ahoy!”

And he always cuddled his teddy bear toy while watching snow fall.

Jayden loved his teddy bear board game and to win was just a joy.

He loved his teddy bear ball; but he loved his teddy bear slippers best of all.

Story Seven: My Dad is an Alien

I’m sure my dad is from outer space;

For one, he calls his hairy top lip ‘a tash’.

He even says he works from a data base;

And he likes to eat ‘bangers and mash’.

I’m sure my dad is from another planet;

He often calls things ‘thingymejigwotsit’.

Sometimes he even calls me his poppet;

And once, he called mum a “hippo-crit”.

I’m sure my dad is from Venus or Mars;

For one, mum often calls him a ‘freak’.

He even reads about himself in the stars;

And he likes to eat ‘bubble and squeak’.

I’m sure my dad is an alien astronaut;

He often calls people ‘whatchamacallit’.

He was once even ‘nearly caught short’;

And mum calls him “dorkus of dim wit”.

I’m sure my dad fell out of a spacecraft;

Mum even said he’s from ‘planet soccer’.

He doesn’t like to be photographed,

And his car has a ‘turbo-supercharger’.

I’m sure my dad has a secret rocket-ship;

For one, he buys food called Rogan Josh.

Sometimes he says he’s going for a ‘kip’,

And that he might go out for some nosh.

I’m sure my dad is an alien - or a big twit;

But, mum says he is a good spacewalker;

He sits in the garden when it’s moonlit;

And today he got aboard a flying saucer!

Story Eight: Helixior – City of the Snails

Mighty Helixior, greatest city and home of the royal snail family: the Lescargo’s.

For a thousand years, the slugs had been banished to live only in the hedgerows;

Queen Cassandra ruled the Wetlands and was loved by all snails, far and wide.

But the downtrodden slugs dreamed of life in Helixior and plotted to get inside.

The leader of the slug rebellion was Oliver Nochelle of a once noble snail descent;

With his new Mollusc Army, he proclaimed himself to be Slimeworld’s President.

The sun rose in Helixior, its rays making rainbows throughout the crystalline city.

Queen Cassandra surveyed her dominion: the scene was one of opaline serenity;

A snail guarding the city gate was merrily boasting: “No slug could get past me.”

But the ranks of snails entering the city looked smug and sniggered knowingly,

For once all were inside, they through off their papier mache shells, announcing:

We are the Mollusc Army; victory to the slugs!” sending all the snails a fleeing.

The queen was quickly deposed and President Nochelle crowned himself as ruler.

Cassandra was caged in a horrible dry, well-lit dungeon: it could not be crueller!

A new law was announced, banning all shelled creatures from entering Helixior.

The snails called for peace, but the slugs were determined to settle this old score.

And so an awfully slimy and drawn out war culminated in the battle of Sludgehill:

With their Salt rifles at the ready, the two armies locked tentacles, ready to kill.

Meanwhile, a daring mission to free Queen Cassandra was skilfully concluded,

Whereupon, the Queen hastened to the battlefield before any fighting started.

She pushed through the ranks of her Royal Gastroneers to reach the battlefront;

There she commanded a ceasefire and called for peace talks with the president.

Are we not all gastropods? If a snail sheds his shell is he not a slug underneath?”

She contended; Oliver was overcome with joy and snorted into his handkerchief.

So it was that Oliver and Cassandra agreed an alliance to form a united nation;

Then eventually they married, ensuring that there would be no more segregation.

Now all slugs and snails live in perfect harmony under King Olly and Queen Cassy.

Helixior was twinned with Molluscia - which became their home and capital city.

As time passed, intermarriage gave rise to a new breed of gastropoda peoples;

Who were happy with or without a shell, who were aptly known as the ‘snuggles’!

Story Nine: Dinosaurus Rex

Rex was a small dinosaur, but he was fast and agile; in fact, he was brilliant at sport;

But the bigger dinosaurs said he could never beat any of them: he was far too short.

This didn’t stop Rex, so when the Dinolympics began, he entered events of every sort.

The other dinosaur competitors laughed, joking at how Rex would always come last.

Flash the Giraffosaurus was a world champion sprinter: he could run very, very fast.

When the race started, Flash shot out of his blocks and Rex looked to be outclassed.

Rex did not give up and forged his way into second place – the crowd were aghast.

Then a bigger shock came: when Flash tripped over his own long legs, Rex ran past!

There was no stopping Rex now as he powered ahead to win the race – unsurpassed.

The crowd in the stadium were silent at first, but then a rapturous cheer was heard.

Flash was crying and the other dinosaurs claimed that Rex’s win was undeserved;

Such was the fuss, the officials decided that Rex had cheated and placed him third!

Next came the swimming event: Delfin the Flippaurus expected to win this outright.

The other dinosaurs booed at poor Rex and giggled that he’d quickly sink from sight.

At first, Rex struggled to make headway, but was determined to keep up the fight.

His goggles were getting steamed-up, but then Delfin was blinded by bright sunlight

And veered off course; he seized his chance, with the finishing line already in sight.

The race went to the wire, with Rex winning by a blink of an eye - it was that tight!

Delfin simply couldn’t believe it, it was the first time she had been given a beating;

She claimed that Rex wore goggles to gain an advantage and therefore, was cheating.

The bullied officials very reluctantly decided that Rex only deserved a third placing!

The little dinosaur refused to be discouraged and so prepared himself for the javelin.

When Chuck the Lobbosaurus entered the stadium, the cheering made an awful din;

Chuck was the world record holder and he was immediately throwing out of his skin.

Rex couldn’t quite match Chuck’s performance, until Rex gave his javelin a little spin:

Suddenly, Rex took the lead - the other dinosaurs went mad when he began to grin.

Chuck fought his way back in front again; but with his final throw, Rex took the win!

The losing dinosaurs surrounded the officials and demanded that something be done.

They claimed his little spin had infringed the rules, so Rex should not have really won.

After much deliberation, they were finally persuaded to drop Rex to third position!

By now Rex was a little bit frustrated, but he had to oil his unicycle for the next race:

There wasn’t any time for regret if he was going to beat Clarabelle the clownosaurus .

The unicycle race began and Clarabelle went into the lead, setting a very fast pace.

Rex fought his way through the pack, so that by half-way around, he was in the chase.

As they entered the final straight, Clarabelle wobbled, so Rex went wide, just in case;

He edged ahead and crossing the finish line, Rex just won, by the width of a shoelace!

The other cyclists jealously complained, claiming that Rex had made an illegal move.

The officials consulted, all agreeing that the other competitors’ conduct was uncouth;

But unfortunately conceded that awarding Rex third place was all they dared approve.

It was the very last event of the Dinolympics and Rex was not going to be deterred:

The Low Bar (or limbo event) was Rex’s favourite and he would not accept being third.

There was tough competition, especially from Slim the skinisaurus - so Rex had heard.

More and more competitors were knocked out as the bar was repeatedly lowered;

With only Slim and Rex remaining, Slim slipped and a foul was ruled to have occurred.

Rex needed just one more successful attempt and he had won - the crowd just roared.

All the dinosaur competitors were stunned into silence: there was nothing to dispute.

When Slim shook claws with Rex, he knew that his victory must be beyond any refute.

At last, Rex had won a gold medal at the Dinolympics and everyone clapped in tribute.

Story Ten: Penguin in the Sandpit

Waddle, waddle, went the penguin up the garden path;

He hadn’t come all that far, but he still needed a bath!

Jessica covered him with bubbles and gave him a scrub;

Thanks a lot.” said the penguin, “Now - got any grub?”

She led the penguin downstairs and to the kitchen larder;

So, what would you like, mister penguin?” asked Jessica.

Fish fish fish!” the penguin answered, jumping on a stool.

Oh... How about a choccy biscuit - I eat these at school.”

The penguin shook his head and repeated: “Fish fish fish.”

Um... How about some French fries - they’re really delish’?”

But the penguin shook his head and pointed to the fridge.

Oh yes, of course, silly me.” said Jessica: “Pork sausage?”

Fish fish fish.” demanded the penguin, “What’s in there?”

The penguin was pointing at the big freezer in the corner.

Good thinking, penguin!” said an enthusiastic Jessica.

She opened the door: inside a draw were the fish fingers -

She handed one to the penguin, then she got the shivers:

Too cold for me mister penguin.” and she closed the door,

Adding hopefully: “If you like them, there’s plenty more!”

Hmmm this is a very strange fish.” moaned the penguin,

And it is rock hard.” he continued; Jessica could only grin.

What’s your name, mister penguin?” she asked curiously.

Leopold.” the penguin replied and licked his fish-stick lolly.

Jessica and Leopold then walked out into the back garden,

Where she remarked: “I expect you don’t live far, then?”

Oh I do: far far away - in Africa.” he dreamily remarked.

Is that at the North Pole?” Jessica asked a little confused.

No, no!” snapped the penguin, “We don’t all like the snow.”

Oh, I’m sorry...” she started, “But, I really I didn’t know.”

Anyway, I’m staying at a hotel called ‘The Zoo’.” he added.

How would you like to make a sand castle?” she suggested.

The penguin nodded and with a waddle, made for the sand.

Leopold liked it there, as it reminded him of his homeland.

After playing for a time, Jess said: “Is it hot where you live?”

Oh yes!” Leopold retorted, “Now, hand me that sieve.”

Jessica did as he asked and said: “I’m amazed, I must admit.”

Suddenly, her mum called out: “who’s that in the sandpit?”

Jessica ran excitedly to the kitchen door her eyes alight:

Mum mum, I’ve made a new friend! Can he stay the night?”

But when Jessica and her mum looked back into the garden,

The penguin had disappeared, without a word or a pardon.

Jessica was sad and wondered if Leopold would come back.

Mum said: “Perhaps he will, when he fancies another snack!”

Story Eleven: Frogs Legs and Toadstools

The Rotten’s were a very old family of cave dwelling trolls.

They lived at the edge of the Forest of the Haggard Knolls.

There was Papa Rotten, Mama Rotten and Bubba Rotten.

The trolls spent their days hunting food for their cauldron.

All the creatures of the forest hid when trolls were about,

Keeping well clear of the hideously snorting trolline snout.

Today, the Rotten’s were on the hunt for fungus and frog,

For a supper of frog leg and toadstool soup with pea grog.

Spencer was a green tree frog; he loved to jump and frolic

And he was much admired for being fearless and heroic:

He was not afraid of trolls, not even repulsive Rotten ones,

For he had out-smarted evil hobgoblins and even dragons.

When Spencer heard about the Rotten’s loathsome ways,

He vowed to teach them that gluttonous crime never pays.

Now the trolls were out on the hunt for yummy tree frogs!

And soon he heard them snorting like demented foul hogs.

Spencer called out: “Come and get me, you rotten dopes!”

The trolls quickly came swinging on their grappling ropes,

But Spencer was too fast and too clever to ever be caught,

A lesson that the Rottens would soon be regretfully taught.

The wily frog was leading the dim-witted trolls over a bog:

Luring them into hanging over it, lost in clouds of vile fog;

Spencer cut the ropes, whereupon they plunged head first

Into the stinky depths, becoming thoroughly submersed.

It took the trolls a week to wash the sludge from their fur

And another week to clear their noses of the rotten odour.

The Rottens smell rotten!” echoed throughout the forest:

They had become a laughing stock, the butt of many a jest.

The Rottens were so embarrassed by their froggy mishap

And too chicken to risk falling into another calamitous trap,

They packed their bags, leaving the forest - never to return;

An academy for tadpoles was built in the old troll’s cavern.

Story Twelve: Gnomecastle-under-Lime

In the misty undergrowth of an ancient woodland, under a grand old lime tree,

Stands the magnificent city of Gnomecastle: home to the mystical little people.

Gnomes are playful, but shy; magical, but timid; and Goblins are their enemy.

For centuries the two clans had been rivals, and soon there would be trouble.

Prince Xantum was heir to the Gnome throne; he was also an utter scaredy cat.

The Prince’s father, King Dozicus III, spent all of his time resting or even asleep,

So, the Gnome people were relying on the Prince to lead them into any combat;

But when Prince Xantum heard that the Goblins wanted war, he began to weep.

Meanwhile, the King of the Goblins, Glutinus II, was far too fat to lead his army,

So he was relying on his cowardly son Prince Custardo - the infamous cry-baby.

Goblins were greedy pigs, who loved to gorge on Gnomecastle’s special salami;

But the Gnomes now refused to sell it to them, so they hungered for the recipe.

King Glutinus decreed there could be no more peace without a salami treaty,

But the Gnomes had no intention of sharing their meaty secret with any Goblin.

So begun the War of the Sausage: all for a slice of the Gnomecastle pepperoni.

The two sides met, with the princes nervously leading their respective legion.

After shaking hands and a lovely cuddle, the princes declared the battle a draw;

Both Goblin and Gnome armies, stunned in shock, just wondered home for tea.

The princes kept in touch by phone, agreeing jaw-jaw was better than war-war;

And the Goblins had all the salami they wanted, if they were polite and friendly.

Thereafter, they agreed to settle all disagreements by playing a football match;

Gnomecastle United and Goblin Athletic were formed and everyone got fitter:

So Gnomes were less slovenly and Goblins less greedy - even if they only watch!

And all was peace, until the day the teams played for the cup of Golden Glitter...


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