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The Scrivener: Cautionary Tales – Selection 1

Brian Barratt introduces us to some rather peculiar children and occasionally their particularly strange endings.


Nina had some secret wishes
While her sister washed the dishes.
This was her nasty little hope:
Her sister might slip on the soap.

"What are you thinking?" sister said.
"I think it's time you went to bed!"
So Nina ran off in alarm,
And tripped and fell and broke her arm.


When Percy asked, "Do you suppose
It is OK to pick your nose?"
His father cried, "You DIRTY boy!
You only pick it to annoy."

But Percy then ran out of luck
He suddenly was firmly stuck.
And now, wherever Percy goes,
He has a finger in his nose.


Naughty Nancy, when quite young,
Was always sticking out her tongue.
Her mother said, "That's not polite.
One day you'll suffer quite a fright."

But Nancy didn't hear a word,
Until one day a little bird
Flew down on Nancy's tongue, to coo,
And did what little birds all do.


Mortimer, a boy quite bright,
Played his piano every night.
On summer evenings, music flowed,
Through every window down the road.

The neighbours, feeling ill at ease,
Came to the house on bended knees.
"Please stop, and be like other boys,
We cannot tolerate the noise."

The young lad thought it was a joke
Until, one night, his E string broke.
To fix it, this is what he did:
He climbed inside, beneath the lid.

The piano was quite finely wired
And Mortimer was very tired.
He snuggled up, his eyelids closed,
And peacefully, inside, he dozed.

Lost in his dreams, he did not hear,
Some weary neighbours creeping near.
And this is what the neighbours did:
They very gently closed the lid.

Next morning, and for several days,
His parents went about their ways.
The weeks went by, and then a year,
But Mortimer did not appear.

Some evenings, now, a neighbour sees,
A ghostly boy play on the keys.
In spite of that, they will not say,
Just how it was he went away.

© Copyright Brian Barratt


To read more of Brian’s sparkling words please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_scrivener/

And do visit his intriguing Web site, there to test your faculties


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