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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paddy the canine olympian

It's not often that you find dogs entering into the Olympics but in the year the Games were held in China the Olympic Committee decided to honour it a most unusual way. You see it happened to be the Year of the Dog, in the Chinese Zodiac and so decreed that one worthy dog would be allowed to compete in one of the games alongside humans.
The newspapers and television stations ridiculed the proposal saying the Committee was turning the Games into Crufts, but competitors and the public alike thought it was a marvelous idea.
From all over the world dogs of all breeds, colours and countries were entered into the games; running, swimming and jumping alongside humans. But of all of them one competitor stood out. His name was Paddy and he had three legs.
Officials overseeing the 100m race were hesitant about Paddy competing against able bodied humans in that class but Paddy's owner, Leyla, protested that Paddy was the best in his class.
"He's the fastest dog in Scotland," she said.
"He's only got three legs," replied the race co-ordinator.
"That's not what makes him fast," Leyla said confidently.
The race co-ordinator chuckled beneath his breath. Leyla was incensed, but simply patted Paddy on the head and snatched Paddy's numbered jacket from the co-ordinator's hand.
"I believe in you," she muttered to a nonchalant Paddy.
Moments before the race began Paddy's gut began to rumble. He could feel something brewing deep down inside. It was a slightly familiar feeling that he usually got after particularly meaty meal, but something was different.
When the starter asked the competitors to line up Paddy took to his mark. Grumble, rumble, rumble, gurgle, went his gut.
"Get, set" yelled the starter.
The very moment the starter fired the starting gun Paddy's gut erupted into the loudest, most powerful and windy fart he had ever let rip. So powerful was it, that it propelled him down the race track at lightening speed, setting a new course, and world record in the process.
If it wasn't for the track barrier Paddy would have gone much further but as it was he crashed straight into it to a sudden and dizzying halt.
The crowds were on their feet, cheering and clapping for the new Olympic Hero.
Paddy smiled proudly and licked the remnants of his cabbage and baked bean dinner from his lips.

Monday, August 9, 2010

An unfortunate growth

There once was a young girl called Gail
who had the world's longest thumb nail
it stretched through her front door
and down to the shore
where it got caught in stringy sea kale

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A voluminous beard

There once was an old man called Geard
who had a long, grey, bushy beard
in it he could hide
an African tribe
and the elephant they had just speared

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tales from Grimwold: Looking skyward

Kelan Pickle was so short even the ants looked down on him. It made for a very stressful and terrifying life, as almost everything he encountered was big enough to eat him; flies, beetles, spiders, and heaven forbid he ever met a mouse. That would be unthinkable. He could never out run a mouse. So rather than risk inevitable death he spent his time hiding under rocks by a trickling stream.
Kelan hadn't always been small. He was once the tallest ten year old boy in all of Grimwold. The prize of the Wizard of Galdorgalere. Not that the wizard cared particularly about that. The wizard was more interested in the fact that Kelan had another talent. He was a superb cook. Kelan had a talent for mixing the strangest of ingredients to make the finest of foods. He was simply incomparable to other cooks. But like all of the Wizard's employees he wasn't there of his own volition.
When news of Kelan's talents spread to the Wizard when Kelan was only eight years old, the wizard enticed him to his castle. The wizard claimed he had herbs and spices that Kelan had never even heard of. Dazzled by the idea of trying new flavours Kelan ignored his mothers's advice not to go with strangers and agreed to go with the wizard. But once he was there he was never able to leave. The wizard had put magic shackles round Kelan's ankles and chained him to his kitchen.Nothing would cut through the chains. Not knife, not cleaver, not axe.
Then one day the wizard accidentally left a box of potions in the kitchen after he'd reprimanded the washerboy because he couldn't see his reflection in his plates. Kelan saw his opportunity and threw a dish rag over the box to hide it. When the wizard left he snatched the box from the table and stashed it in the cupboard. When night fell and all were asleep, Kelan sneaked from his wooden cot in the corner of the kitchen and pulled the box from the cupboard. Each of the five vials in the box had writing on it but because Kelan couldn't read he had no idea what they did. Kelan didn't care. If he could use them to weaken the wizard's powers for long enough he might be able to free himself from his bondage.
Through the night he made his best Pelham Pie-the wizard's favourite dish-and tipped in every last drop of all the vials.
The next day, when the noon sun was blazing down, Kelan presented the wizard with his pie and watched as the wizard chomped his way through the crisp crust to the meaty potion beneath. When the wizard and licked the bowl clean Kelan saw his plan start to work.
The wizard sprouted bunny ears, his nose grew longer and crooked, his feet turned into horse hooves and he started to squawk like a chicken.
Whilst the wizard, perplexed by his sudden transformation, tried to overcome the forces controlling him Kelan snuck out of the wizard's long dining room and set to work trying free himself from his chains. He grabbed the wood axe by the fire and began smashing the metal blade against his ankle chain. As sparks flew into the air the wizard burst into the kitchen; his face contorted with rage and his bloodshot eyes bulging from his skull.
"Treacherous dog!" he growled, as he flicked the bunny ears from over his eyes.
Kelan frantically hammered the axe onto his chains, hoping one of the blows would smash through the metal before the wizard could unleash his powers.
"From now on you will pay for this betrayal," the wizard continued and raise a shaking arm that now looked more like a dog's paw. Clutched in his claws was his gnarled wand.
Kelan knew what was about to come and realised he'd been defeated. There was no escape now. All he did was close his eyes and wait for the escape of death. He half expected a brilliant white light when finally he opened his eyes again, but instead found he was still in the kitchen. Or at least he thought it was the kitchen. Everything in it was now a hundred times bigger than it was before. Even grains of dirt on the ground were like boulders he had to clamber over.
All around him were the huge, rusty links of the chains that once encircled his ankles, and there, looming over him with his long purple moustache and cloth cap, was the wicked wizard. A wry smile drew across his face.
"By making you as small as a nat," said the wizard, "I inflict on you the worst kind of punishment, for now you shall never be able to work your magic in the kitchen and will be forced to survive on dirt and dust. I would step on you like I do other insects but that would be too kind."
And with a deep chuckle that shook the ground Kelan stood on, the wizard stomped out of the kitchen and left Kelan alone in his new world.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The big issue

There once was a girl called Rose
who had a large growth on her nose
but compared to her butt
which was stuck in a rut
it wasn't the worst of her woes

Monday, August 2, 2010


It wasn't every day that Pepper saw a tree in the living room of his house. But when it appeared, one blizzarding day, his heart struck an extra beat and his eyes widened to the size of tennis balls. The twinkling lights drapped across the boughs, the glittery balls dangling from branches, the promise of delights to come; he knew exactly what it meant for him, all he had to do was wait.
Every day as he lay down at the foot of the tree, staring up at the little red and white man twirling around on string, he waited for the floor to be piled high with boxes wrapped in brightly coloured, wafer-thin paper. Why was it there? he pondered. Was it lonely? Did it need a home? Or perhaps it was cold. That at least would explain why it was inside when the wind howled outside and the ground turned white.
He knew how that felt; to be confined to a small part of the garden, hemmed in by a metal fence with no shelter. Memories from long ago. But now nothing could taint his excitement.
Patiently he sat and on the seventh day, when he cracked open his sleepy, sticky eyes and lifted his head of his tartan, hairy rug he saw before him a pile of glimmering boxes piled randomly on top of one another.
He leapt off his rug and bounded into his carers' bedroom, throwing open the door with a headbutt.
Pepper's carers sat bolt up right in bed. He knew he'd woken them both suddenly by the rasping of their voices, the whites of their eyes and their heavy breathing, but that didn't matter. They called out to him with sounds incomprehensible and furrowed brows. Pepper just stood at the foot of the bed, staring at one and then the other with his jaw open, his lips curled into an eager smile and his tongue lolling like a limp piece of ham from the side of his mouth.
'Gimme, gimme,' he thought. 'Please, please.'
There weren't many sounds he understood but 'Come on then, Pepper,' usually meant they'd given in to his will. This time it was no different. The stockier of his carers pulled back the sheets and led Pepper back through to the lounge. Pepper scuttled alongside him and dashed toward the tree where he sat down, panting and glancing down at the presents and up at his bare, pink-skinned carer.
"You want your presents already?" he said.
Pepper just stared back at him.
"Fine," said his carer as he reached into the multi-coloured pile and pulled out two odd-shaped packages wrapped in wrinkled paper.
Pepper began to salivate. He knew what it was. He could almost taste it, almost feel the hairy texture on his tongue.
"Now," said his carer, waggling the present in front of Pepper's eyes. "At least make it last longer than a day as the ladies at the charity shop are getting suspicious of me. If they knew I bought these for you to tear up they'd never let me in their store again."
More incomprehensible sounds.
His carer handed Pepper the present, and Pepper gently clasped his mouth round the soft package.
When his carer was out of sight he thumped his body on the floor, gripped the packaged between his fore paws and frantically tore through the crisp wrapping, exposing the orange and black striped beast inside.
It had four bulbous paws, two pointed ears, a lolling red tongue and large, black plastic eyes. That's what Pepper liked the most; eyes not so big that he couldn't get his mouth round it and too small to find either.
He plucked the unsuspecting tiger from the shreds of soggy paper and gripped it between his paws.
But just as he was about to begin earnestly gouging out the black eyes with his teeth, something stopped him. The hopeful smile on the tiger's face, the piercing stare of its eyes, the eagerness of its pricked ears spoke to him silently.
Pepper could feel its warmth radiating off its fur, enveloping him like the warm comforting arms of his carer.
He tried to fight back the unfamiliar feeling, trying to tap into his deep desire, his fixation with pulling the ribbons white fluff from its squashy body-the white gold he so desperately craved-but its soothing force was stronger than he could overcome. All he could do was stare at it staring back at him.
He was defeated. He knew he could no more pluck the stuff from that toy than he could his carers. So instead he simply rested his chin upon its head and made sure it never left his side.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's sum-mer

Pitter patter, coming down
Summer rain lands on the ground
Wash away the cloudy day
make way for the sun to play

Sound of mowers, smell of grass
fresh cut flowers in a vase
sprinklers swaying to and fro
let's get wet jump through the flow

Squeals and shouts, soaked to the skin
parents shouting "quiet that din!"
sister reaches for the hose
and sprays her brother up the nose