If you have read Jacob O'Reilly Wants a Pet, you might like to read what happened next...

Who would have thought that a cute little snail
with a speckly shell and a wiggly tail
would turn out to be such an impossible pet?
Poor Jacob had chosen the hardest pet yet!

At first, little Spike seemed content in his pail,
a perfectly adequate home for a snail.
He climbed to the top and looked round at the view,
then he flexed his antennae and said, "This will do."

But Jacob soon found that his cute little friend
had a list of demands that was quite without end!
Spike wanted a balcony added out back,
for sunning himself with a drink and a snack.

But that wasn't all - it was only the start!
This cute little snail was both greedy and smart.
The next thing he asked for seemed harmless enough,
so Jacob agreed to some barbeque stuff.

A week or two later, Spike had a new plan:
"This house needs a makeover, Jacob, my man!"
"What say we redecorate? Won't that be cool?
And hey, while we're at it, let's put in a pool!"

Poor Jacob worked hard to transform that old pail
into something magnificent for his pet snail.
But was there a 'please' or a 'thank you' from Spike?
Oh, no - just a list of some more things he'd like!

"Now, Jake, there's a bit more I'd still like to see:
a games room, a sauna, a wide-screen TV..."
"The garden could use a nice fountain or two,
and I think trampolines are essential, don't you?"

After all this was done, Spike seemed happy at least.
He threw a big party, a housewarming feast!
Poor Jacob was run off his feet serving drinks,
But did Spike ever thank him? Well, what do you think?

One day Spike announced he was off on a cruise,
and Jacob was secretly pleased at the news!
When they said their goodbyes he was barely awake.
After all his hard work, Jacob needed a break!

While Spike was away, Jacob packed up his tools.
He turned off the fountains and covered the pool.
"Good riddance!" he thought as he hosed down the trails -
"At last I can spend a few days without snails!"

Well, the days turned to weeks with no sign of his pet.
His Mum kept on asking, "Is Spike not back yet?"
As the weeks turned to months, Jacob felt very sad.
Though his snail wasn't perfect, he wasn't that bad.

Then one sunny day, who should open the gate
but a speckly snail saying, "Sorry I'm late!"
"We sailed at a snail's pace, and boy was it hot!
But wait till you see the surprise that I've brought..."

Well, Jacob was thrilled to have Spike home again,
and instead of just one pet snail... now he had ten!

line break

Geraldine is not too fond of school...
She likes her friends, and playtime's pretty cool.

She likes the way the dinner ladies smile,
And Mrs. Ray brings treats once in a while.

But when she has to read or write a lot,
Geraldine would really rather not.

Mrs. Ray writes numbers in a row,
And asks the children which way they should go.

Lots of hands shoot up: "I know!" "Pick me!"
But Geraldine is too far back to see.

Spelling is another thing she hates.
For Geraldine it's worse than lifting weights!

The words the teacher writes are all a blur.
Remembering is much too hard for her.

One day she finds a note from Mrs. Ray.
She shows it to her mum - "What does it say?"

"The teacher says we need to test your eyes."
"My eyes are perfect!" Geraldine replies.

The eye test isn't so bad after all.
She reads the letters posted on the wall.
First an A, and then an O and B,
After that comes F... or is it E?

Geraldine says, "Now they're much too small!"
A special lens can help her read them all.

The lady shows her glasses on display -
A million styles and c o l o u r s glint away!

Poor Geraldine is troubled at the sight...
"I'm sure you'll find a pair that feel just right."

"But wearing glasses really isn't cool!
The kids will tease me when I get to school!"

She lifts a pair and slowly puts them on.
And in an instant, Geraldine is gone!

She's soaring through the air - a flying ace
With super pilot goggles on her face!

Another pair gives quite a different look.
Now Geraldine could write a science book!

She mixes things to make a special brew -
Explosions are her favourite thing to do!

This red pair gives her underwater speed!
She'll beat that big Australian, yes indeed!

And even though she's only six years old,
It's Geraldine who ends up winning GOLD!

A final pair of glasses is just plain,
And Geraldine looks like herself again.

"These ones are best - they make me look like me."
The most important thing is she can see!

At school, the other children crowd around.
Poor Geraldine stares shyly at the ground.

"Those are the coolest specs I've ever seen!"
"Oh, won't you let me try them, Geraldine?"

In class, the teacher writes out sums to do.
Now Geraldine can put her hand up too!

Her brand new glasses make her smart and cool!
Geraldine has started liking school.

line break

Gloria Boring was so hard to please -
she didn't like parties or climbing in trees,
she wouldn't try horseriding, skating or darts,
and turned up her nose at fresh strawberry tarts.

Gloria Boring thought life was a bore-
everything seemed like she'd done it before.
No matter what new game her parents suggested,
"You've got to be kidding!" their daughter protested.

Gloria's parents tried buying her toys,
they organised outings, they hired a Rolls Royce!
They struggled to find just ONE thing she enjoyed,
but every suggestion just got her annoyed.

They took her ballooning up high in the sky,
but Gloria Boring was not keen to fly.
The basket was cramped and the view wasn't great,
and on the way down she got tired of the wait.

They tried deep sea diving along a great reef,
with colourful fish and bright corals beneath,
but when the instructor was chomped by a shark,
"Good riddance!" was Gloria's only remark.

They stopped at the races while out for a spin,
and bet on a horse called Jemima to win.
As Gloria watched through her big Ascot hat,
Jemima came last, and so that ended that.

Gloria's parents were at their wits' end.
This business was driving them both round the bend!
They'd tried every possible way to have fun,
but so far their daughter had not enjoyed one.

Coming home from a long afternoon tracking bears,
they passed a museum with great marble stairs.
And although most museums are seen as a bore,
little Gloria said, "Have we been THERE before?"

She skipped up the steps, to her parents surprise,
and wandered the rooms with a gleam in her eyes.
She found suits of armour, and damsels and knights,
she saw kings and queens wearing jewels and tights.

She found a huge Buddha, all covered in gold...
The label said he was a thousand years old!
She looked in a Bedouin tent made of rugs,
and found a whole room full of beetles and bugs.

When she reached the Egyptian room, Gloria stood,
surrounded by mummies in cases of wood.
On each one were painted amazing designs,
with birds, fish and animals, symbols and signs.

The statues of royal cats, eagles and owls
made Gloria think she heard real hoots and growls.
"Don't they look real!" she exclaimed, "Fancy that -
If I were Egyptian I'd have that black cat."

While Gloria wandered for three hours more,
her parents were wishing they'd come here before!
Their daughter was happy, the dear little sweetie -
now Gloria Boring was Queen Nefertiti!

line break
Cover of  'Look Out The Teachers Are Coming' LOOK OUT! The Teachers Are Coming is a book full of fun poems about school.

My poems are about my favourite teacher (and my least favourite one) and how I feel about Sports Day.

Take a look!

Buy a copy on Amazon

Mrs Blake and Miss Sharp
In Primary Four
we sat on the floor
and listened to stories with Mrs Blake.
We learned about bats
and Egyptian cats,
and how to make lemon and poppy seed cake.

She made us feel smart
and quite brilliant at art,
and never would laugh if we made a mistake.
The whole year went by
in the blink of an eye,
and she wished us all well in the summer break.

In Primary Five
we all must strive
to sit arrow-straight to please Miss Sharp.
She doesn't like noise,
(or girls, or boys)
and her mouth turns down like a scowling carp.

We do lots of sums
so whenever she comes,
our pencils must always be razor-sharp.
She tells us each day
what she wants us to say,
like Jack-and-the-Beanstalk's golden harp.

We hate Miss Sharp.
We loved Mrs Blake.
It's amazing the difference a year can make.

drawings of mrs blake and miss sharp line break
Sports Day
Just four more days
so long to wait
till egg-and-spoon
and ball-and-plate,
till starting guns
and lightning starts
and pumping legs
and pounding hearts,
the thrilling chase
of every race,
the cooling breeze
upon my face,
the final push
so well rehearsed,
the burning drive
to come in first!
And there it is,
the finish line,
I'm almost through,
the prize is mine!
To top it all
the races done,
it's time for ice cream,
games and fun.
Another year
of work and play
ends with a bang -
I love Sports Day!


Four days to go!
I count with dread,
each night
as I get into bed.
I've got to go,
there's no way out,
find something else
to think about
before a nightmare
starts to hatch,
with flying balls
I cannot catch,
and tripping shoes
with tangled laces,
pointing fingers,
laughing faces,
hoops and beanbags
zooming past,
always, always
coming last.
No amount
of sporting fun
will make this day
a better one.
If only I
could sneak away
and read a book -
I hate Sports Day!

images to illustrate 'sports day'
line break
Cover of  'Look Out The Teachers Are Coming'
WOW! 366 is a big collection of stories written by lots of different well-known authors.
Each story is exactly 366 words long, so it's easy and quick to read at bedtime or when you have a quiet moment.

My two stories are both rhyming ones, so they're best if you read them out loud.

Buy a copy on Amazon


A House For A Mouse
There once was a mouse
with a very fine house.

It was shiny and black
with a door at the back
and a little front gate
with a big number 8.

Well, a few years went by
and the wee mouse did sigh,
"Life's becoming a squeeze -
barely room for the fleas!"

Said the mouse, "This won't do -
I can't live in a shoe!
I must find a new place
with a little more space."

Off he set with his sack
that he'd packed on his back.
Far and wide he did roam
as he searched for a home.

Well, the first thing he found
was a hole in the ground,
so he wriggled right down
and got looking around.

It was lovely and roomy
but also quite gloomy -
then, to his surprise,
he saw four gleaming eyes...

Said the mouse, "Oh, dear, dear -
there are two snakes in here!"
So he clambered back out
with a squeak and a shout.

At that moment he heard
the "peep-peep" of a bird,
from the top of a tree
so he climbed up to see.

Said the mouse, "Me oh my -
this is ever so high!"
But he liked what he found
in that nest off the ground.

It was comfy and dry,
a twig house in the sky.
"This is just what it takes
to be safe from those snakes."


But the bird flapped her wings,
shedding feathers and things,
and she squawked, "My tree house
is no place for a mouse!"

So the mouse looked instead
in an old garden shed.
Said the mouse, "Stars above -
here's a house I could love!"

In a corner there lay
something furry and grey...
It was sleepy and fat,
a great huge purring cat!

Said the mouse, "Goodness me -
this is no place to be!"
and he scampered so fast
that he whizzed straight on past

the grey cat as it purred...
the big tree with the bird...
and the hole that he'd found
with two snakes underground...

Then he spotted a gate
with a big number 8...

Said the mouse, "Glory be -
This is perfect for me!"
So he shut the back door
and went wandering no more.

line break
Buster the fly

Buster the fly was feeling glum,
and heaving a sigh, he asked his mum,
"Why, oh why was I born a fly?
I want to be noticed when I zoom by -
a glorious, beautiful,
quite indescribable,
fanciful, danciful bug!"

His mum replied, "Well, pardon me -
a fly is a wonderful thing to be!
You're faster than lightning and clever to boot,
and eat all your vegetables and your fruit -
my handsome and capable,
so unmistakable,
truly unbeatable son."

"But Mum," he said with a tear in his eye,
"I would much rather be a butterfly.
Imagine me batting my fabulous wings,
all stripy and silky with speckles and things -
a ravishing, colourful,
totally wonderful
butterfly out of this world!"

"Or maybe a ladybird," Buster said,
"I've always been fond of the colour red.
Most children love the way they're spotted,
and unlike flies, they're never swatted,
those tiny, shiny,
very protectable,
highly collectable bugs."

Then Buster had another thought -
"A bee is a beautiful bug, is it not?
All yellow and black, with their stripes looking good!
That's just what I'd be, if only I could -
The whizziest, busiest,
fuzziest, buzziest
bumblebee ever there was."

"I might be a dragonfly, down by the pond,
a slender blue stick like a wood fairy's wand.
They hover so wonderfully still in the air,
on transparent wings, and dart here and there,
those delicate, elegant,
truly magnificent
creatures of beauty and grace."


A grasshopper bounded up out of the grass,
and Buster exclaimed as he watched him pass,
"Now there is a handsome bug, did you see?
He is far more impressive than little old me -
all emerald green,
and ever so keen,
the greatest high-jumper there is!"

"A cricket is something I'd love to have been -
he's so often heard but is seldom seen.
He is chocolate brown, quite small and thin,
with musical legs like a violin,
an almost invisible,
magical, musical
singer of evening songs."

Poor Buster sighed, "Alas, it seems
I'll only be beautiful in my dreams."
His mum replied, "But don't you see,
you're the loveliest bug in the world to me -
a dipping and diving,
bobbing and weaving,
simply fantastic fly!"