By Maryanne Morton
He chittered and chattered and stayed out of sight
He swung through the trees in the dead of the night –
He couldn’t be heard, nor could he be seen,
Because he was robbing the King and the Queen.
He waited in silence in branches of trees,
Resting and picking his brown hairy knees.
He dug in his ears and picked in his nose,
Scratched his behind and sucked on his toes.
He bided his time for the moon to be sleeping
Inching in closer – sneaking and creeping.
He took a deep breath and nipped through the air
Crossing his fingers, he whispered a prayer.
He crouched in the shadows, a grin on his face –
He scampered and wiggled, prepared for the chase.
Wide-eyed and slow, aware and alert
That if he was caught, he’d be eating the dirt.
He watched the king sleeping so proudly and sound
Sprawled out in the open his head neatly crowned.
A mountain of mane and long golden hair,
No fear in his heart, no worries, no care.
He reached out, he snatched it and scampered away
Thrilled to be ruler – demand endless play.
He swings branch to branch with a heavy gold crown
Splattered with jewels, on his head, upside down.
At the first light of dawn, The King opened one eye
He stretched and he yawned, he burst out a cry.
He stamped down his paws, he roared, and he howled,
He thundered, he bellowed, he savagely growled.
He stood to full height and shook out his mane
His teeth and claws sharpened and racking his brain
That someone dares challenge the beast of this land
He’ll hunt them down, sniff them out, turn them to sand.
The king tore through the jungle but what does he see
Tortoises sitting on tops of a tree –
The elephants lined up and balanced on balls,
Zebras were skipping between waterfalls.
Giraffes necks were used for rabbits to slide
Tigers were knitting – appeared terrified.
Hippos sipped tea and played games of chess
The Jungle had fallen, was wrecked – in a mess!
The King took a moment while shaking his head
The monkeys had stolen his crown from his head.
They chittered and tittered, stayed hidden in trees
Sheltered out high with the birds and the bees.
The King turned and left – He gave up you see
Having ruled for so long and now feeling weary.
And that is what happened, well, that’s what they say –
The king left the jungle – his first holiday!
Maryanne is a lyrical novelist for adults and a children’s storyteller.
Maryanne published her first novelette called ‘Beyond the Sea and Sand’ on Amazon in April 2009 and her 2nd novelette is due to be published.
“Writing is not taught; it is felt. When I’m not writing something feels wrong. I start writing and become transported into a story where the magic comes to life and then everything is okay in the world again.” Maryanne Morton
For the children – for a brilliantly fun toddler’s craft activity by Ali Mathieson – Unicorn Hair