There is a gentleman at my writing group who writes fantastic limericks. I'm not so good but that doesn't mean I shouldn't give them a try! So here goes!.
There was an old lady called Daisy Who often did things that were crazy. She leapt in a pot of jam Sailed over the Hoover Dam Was it a sticky end? That’s hazy!
There once was a man named Frank Who was told to sit on a plank. Frank sat on a nail And let out a wail That was the point of the prank!
Sue Westcott (C.) 2020
Skeletons have always fascinated me. I watched a clip from an episode of Britain's Got Talent , where Star Wars' stormtroopers did a breakdance routine. They reminded me of skeletons in their white uniforms and so using this as a stimulus, I wrote this poem.
THE DANCE. It was a cold and raw winter’s night And the blood red moon shone ever so bright. A crimson spotlight lit the ground The air was still- there was no sound. Until the creak of the closet door Cracked open the silence with a mighty roar. And slowly, slowly out they came Thirteen skeletons-one thought-one aim. To dance once more in the light of the moon To forget the plight of their macabre doom
Moving with stealth, moving with care Leaving their tomb, empty and bare. They circled around- with bone groaning clacks They stretched their arm, their legs, their backs. Then, as the eerie silence began to grow The thirteen moaned, then lined up in a row Clickety, clackety- one forward step All in unison, their rhythm they kept. They leapt and twirled in a hypnotic trance Round and round in an unholy dance.
Suddenly, a breath of wind began to blow And dark clouds appeared heavy with snow. The thirteen sighed; their dance was ending soon. One by one they slunk and slithered back Into their closet home with a clickety clack. So, quickly now and without a sound To sleep once more on the soft frozen ground As the red moon slid slowly away The thirteen rested; to dance another day. Sue Westcott (C.) 2020
Many, many years ago I recycled this story of The Frog and The Princess fairy tale. (Way, way before the Disney film version! LOL). I hope that you enjoy it.
FERDINAND THE HANDSOME FROG.
Ferdinand was a handsome frog, in fact the most handsome frog of all the frogs in the palace lily pond. However, he was not a happy frog.
“Oh no! I am not happy, not happy at all!” he would often say.
The other frogs in the pond would shake their heads. They could not understand why he was so unhappy. You see everyone liked him.
He was kind, funny, and generous and these combined with his good looks meant that all the female frogs were in love with him. He was strong and could jump the highest and the furthest of all the frogs, which made the male frogs envious and want to be just like him, but still, even though Ferdinand tried extremely hard to be happy, he never quite made it.
Every morning he would wake up with a smile on his face but by evening time this would have disappeared. Unfortunately, for Ferdinand, he was still handsome even when he was miserable!
Although he was surrounded by lots of frogs, he felt lonely. He really wanted a special someone whom he could talk to and share his thoughts with. He wanted someone who would love for him for himself, not because he was handsome and popular. So, he would play with the other frogs and listen to their chatter, but he never felt really connected to them.
Now, the lily pond was situated at the bottom of the palace gardens. It was a magical place with soft, delicate lily pads floating gently in the summer breeze. A huge weeping willow provided shelter and shade for all the pond creatures. Tall, graceful reeds swayed and whispered as the morning sun rose and every evening, they would tilt towards the silver moon as it climbed into the night sky.
The Royal family often visited the lily pond as it was a relaxing place to sit and reflect on the day. It was on one of these warm, sunny days that the King gathered his seven daughters around him and started to tell them about the legend that surrounded the lily pond.
Ferdinand listen to the story and a sudden rush of anger flooded his body.
“What on earth was the King up to?” he thought to himself.
The King had told his seven daughters a ridiculous story about how the lily pond was enchanted and that in the evening, when the silvery moon climbed into the night sky, the princesses could find their true love prince simply by kissing a frog!!
He could not believe it! What a silly story! The other frogs who had listened as well croaked with laughter but that night when the silver moon climbed into the night sky, they did not laugh anymore.
As the frog’s settled down for their early evening sing- a croak-along, the seven princesses made their way to the lily pond. The frogs could hear their giggling whispers.
“Go on, you do it!” they dared each other.
And one by one they picked up a different frog each and closing their eyes they each kissed a frog. Their shrieks and squeals of laughter filled the night air as six of the princesses looked around the see if their true love prince appeared.
The youngest princess did not kiss a frog. She too, like Ferdinand, thought that the story was silly, so she sat and watched her foolish sisters as they tried to capture another frog and then another.
After a short while the seventh princess said, “Sisters it is time to go back to the palace. There are no handsome princes here just the palace frogs.!” The princesses were disappointed until one of them remarked that maybe it was a particular frog that would change into a prince and that they must come back tomorrow evening and try again. The others agreed although the youngest princess sighed and rolled her eyes at such foolishness.
Th next evening and the next after and the next after that saw six princesses make their way down to the lily pond where they proceeded to chase the now reluctant frogs. There were still squeals and squeaks as the sisters grabbed at the frogs, clutching their small bodies in their greedy hands. The distressed croaks of the frogs could be heard all over the place grounds.
Because Ferdinand was so handsome, he would be chased around the pond more often than his friends until all six princesses had succeeded in catching and kissing him. He shuddered at the thought of another night being mauled by the silly sisters. “This is horrible!” he cried wretchedly.
Ferdinand decided enough was enough so the next night, he hid in the dark,, tall reeds which tilted towards the silvery moon as it climbed into the night sky and where the whispering willow branches over hung the pond. Usually, none of the princesses went that far down so he felt safe from their unwanted kisses.
He was surprised however to see the youngest princess sitting at the side of the pond looking dreadfully unhappy too. She was not as pretty as her sisters and knew that if she had happened to kiss the frog that was really a prince, he would choose one of her sisters rather than her.
She sighed and noticed Ferdinand sitting on a small lily pad.
“You don’t like it either, do you?” she said.
“I can see why. You must be the handsome frog my sisters talk about. Have you come to hide away like me? I come here every night and pretend to kiss a frog. I’m not very pretty you see.”
Ferdinand felt sorry for the princess and he croaked a gentle croak. “You do understand,” she said.
There was a noise nearby and the princess stood up to leave.
“I may see you tomorrow,” she said. “Goodbye.”
Ferdinand decided he liked this princess and that he too would hide away like her. For the next few nights Ferdinand and the princess hid beneath the weeping willow branches, which overhung the lily pond. They talked and listened to each other and became friends. In fact, Ferdinand was not as miserable as he had been before. He looked forward to the evenings now and he even felt his smile returning during the day!
However, one night the princess’s sisters, who were bored of kissing ugly frogs, followed her. They screamed and shouted for their father, the King, to come and see what she was doing.
The youngest princess was accused of keeping the most handsome frog to herself. She denied this and said that she had not even kissed him.
“Even if I had kissed him” she cried, “he wouldn’t have changed into a prince anyway. The story is so silly and not true!” Her sisters were shocked. They didn’t believe her! So, the King ordered her to kiss Ferdinand. Ferdinand croaked in agreement and leapt into the princess’s arms and accepted her gentle kiss. There was a puff of smoke and suddenly the sky erupted with fireworks as if magic had been released. Everyone looked up at the sky and forgot for a minute the youngest princess and Ferdinand the frog.
When the commotion had died down, they remembered, and they looked over to where the youngest princess had stood.
Gasps of disbelief erupted from the six princesses. They were astonished to see that their sister had disappeared! The King ordered the palace guards to search the palace grounds, but she could not be found.
The handsome frog seemed to have vanished too. “It was black magic!” said the King and forbade his daughters to visit the lily pond again, which pleased Ferdinand and his new wife tremendously.
Sue Westcott(C.) 2020
After reading a little bit about stone age, I used this to help me to write a story about a stone age boy. I used my imagination to create the place and the events in the story below. I hope that you enjoy it!
KRELL- A STORY OF A STONE AGE BOY!
Krell sat at the mouth of the Ninth cave of the Zelondi and watched the hunters and young boys climb up the steep, rocky pathway to the top of the mountain cliff where he lived. For the first time in a while, his sigh was not of sadness, because he could not join them, but one of impatience. He wanted them to reach the top quickly so he too could leave the cave.
The hunters had sighted a herd of mammoth and were on their way to see if they could trap one. The idea was to separate one from the herd and then drive it towards the cliff face. With their hunting sticks they would then encourage the mammoth towards the edge, where it would fall to its death and be greeted by the hunters waiting below.
Krell stood unsteadily onto to his feet. Ever since the spirits had been angered and fought a few years ago Krell had suffered from a damaged leg. Father Sky had been so angry that he had turned the day into night. Black clouds, heavy with rain had thundered down onto the land. Sister Sun had fired an enormous fire boulder down onto Mother Earth, which had caused her to shake and shudder.
As Mother Earth trembled, rocks were disturbed from their resting places and they had rolled down the cliff side causing much damage to the Ninth cave. Krell had been unlucky. He had been trapped by the rocks and one giant boulder had fallen onto his leg, tearing all his muscles and breaking his bones in three different places. Even the Shaman of the tribe couldn't heal it!
And so Krell had a withered leg, which he could not use. That meant he had to drag it along behind him and limp around the cave. He couldn’t take part in the hunt like the other young boys of the tribe, which made him angry and sad. Feeling frustrated, Krell called out to the women of the cave that he was going to collect firewood. He stumbled down the path toward the river valley.
Behind him, he pulled a large woven basket to collect the firewood in. Waving goodbye, he passed the women, who were washing in the river. Then he made his way slowly yet steadily towards the forest nearby.
Krell had been thinking hard about how he could contribute to the camp. He had a plan and today was the day he was going to carry it out!
KRELL- A STORY OF A STONE AGE BOY.
Once inside the forest, he quickly filled the basket with twigs and sticks suitable for a fire and then Krell limped to the edge of the forest. Here he rummaged through the hedgerow to find his hidden secret!
At ten years of age Krell should have spent time with the adult hunters learning how to make weapons and practising how to hunt. Unfortunately, he just wasn’t strong enough to keep up with the rest of the boys, so when the hunters arranged their hunting trips, he had been left behind. This didn’t mean that Krell hadn’t watched and listened when they had demonstrated how to make a hunting stick at their meetings.
Krell had visited the forest regularly for the past few days and had made himself a hunting stick.. He had already smoothed out an antler bone, rubbing it over and over again against a large flat stone. Then he had spent a long, time chipping away at a piece of flint he had found on the cave floor.
He had shaped it into the correct teardrop shape and had been pleased with the results. After that, he had used another hard stone to thin out the edges so that they would be needle sharp. He had tapped and tapped patiently until the pointed tip of the teardrop was as sharp as his knife. He had been careful not to cut himself in the process.
Today, he had two small jobs to do before the hunting stick was finally ready. Using his knife, he had sawed a small slit into the top of the antler bone, just wide enough for the flint tip to fit into. Then, using some tree sap, which he had borrowed from one of the women back at the cave, he had filled in the space. This would dry hard in the sun and fix the teardrop flint into place. After a while, with the sun beating down, Krell became tired so he rested and took a drink of water from his animal skin. He checked the tip of the antler bone and was excited to see that the sap was dry. Krell unwound a piece of rope, which he had wrapped around his waist before he had set off that morning and he used this to tie around the top of the flint and antler, making sure that it was pulled tight. Once finished, he held the hunting stick up in the air to see if the weight and size were right for him. A huge grin appeared on his face. ‘Perfect!’ He said to himself.
KRELL- A STORY OF A STONE AGE BOY.
Although Krell's left leg was a hindrance, his upper body and arms had been exercised regularly by pulling heavy laden baskets and picking up logs and sticks for firewood every day. He was strong! He threw the hunting stick from different distances towards a huge tree, which was situated in a hollow in the forest.. Throw after throw, the thud of the hunting stick landing in the tree made Krell smile and chuckle; something which he hadn’t done for a very long - time. He thrust the hunting stick at imaginary foes and played a hunting game. He was a fearless hunter of the Zelondi tribe and animals and enemies would quake when they heard his name. Krell soon tired and so after a quick meal of berries, he decided to make his way back home. He placed his hunting stick in the basket of firewood. He would hide the stick in the cave until he was ready to show it to the hunters. Stumbling a little, as he dragged the heavy basket of firewood, he suddenly heard noises and a commotion coming from the cliff side. He dropped the basket and limped as quickly as he could towards the cave. Screams of horror and fear filled the air.
KRELL-A STORY OF A STONE AGE BOY.
At the mouth of the cave, a huge, shaggy bear was making its way to where the women and children were sitting. Some of the women, who had been by the river, were throwing stones at the bear but this seemed to just annoy him more. Krell knew exactly what he had to do.
He braced himself on his good leg and balanced; then just as he had practised in the forest, he threw his hunting stick with all his might. It sailed through the air, straight and true and thudded into the back of the bear. Angrily, the bear turned. Its growl echoed down the valley and it stood tall and high on its two hind legs. Its powerful head weaved from side to side; his beady eyes glinted evilly in the sunshine and as his mouth opened, thick sticky saliva dripped between his sharp fangs.
The bear bounded towards Krell, who stood, with his arm raised, holding onto his knife. As the bear rushed closer, Krell’s mind had been thinking. At the side of the pathway leading to the cave, was the welcoming rock, which everyone touched for good luck when they entered or left the cave.
Krell stood bravely; and as his hunter’s cry resounded loud and clear, he drew the bear away from the women and children! Just as the bear reached him, Krell jumped onto the welcoming rock. With his heart pounding, and sweat pouring down his body, Krell lifted his knife high into the air and leapt onto the bear’s back, digging it deep into its neck. The bear shuddered, stumbled and fell causing Krell to be tossed over its head. As the bear lay stunned on the ground. Quick as lightning, Krell lifted a huge rock and heaved it above his head and with a mighty ROAR, he crashed it down on the bear’s skull! The bear did not move again.
With his body trembling, Krell looked down at his first kill. Sounds of cheering and applause woke Krell up from his stupor and a huge grin appeared on his face. The women gathered around him and congratulated him on defeating the bear, but soon common sense reminded them that they now had work to do. Within minutes the women had organised themselves. The bear skin had to be sliced off the body and the blood drained. The inside organs had to be removed and preserved for when the hunters came back and then the meat had to be cut up. Bones and sinews had to be taken and washed and stored for future use. During all this commotion the sound of a horn was heard in the distance. The hunters were back!
KRELL- A STORY OF A STONE AGE BOY.
As soon as the men and boys were back in the cave and they heard the story of how Krell had saved the women and children; and that he had killed the bear, there was great rejoicing and celebration.
Unfortunately, the hunters had been unsuccessful in their mammoth hunt and so were delighted to come home to find that there would be fresh meat to eat. Krell was given part of the heart of the bear to eat and drank its blood as the Shaman offered up thanks to the spirits. He was also given part of the bear skin, which would, when properly prepared, keep him warm in the winter. Krell was overcome with joy when the hunters invited him to sit with them when they ate their meal. He now felt that he truly belonged to the Ninth Cave of the Zelondi! Sue Westcott(C.) 2020
Random photographs can be great stimuli for writing stories. I found this photograph of a boy playing on a tree swing and used it to help me write a story.
Swinging on a Tyre.
I sneezed! The dust from the old photograph album tickled my nose. I peered inside. Carefully I turned the delicate pages full of black and white photographs still glossy after all those years. I stopped at one page near the middle. There were four photographs and one empty space. I laughed. The funny looking boy dressed in old-fashioned clothes must have been my Dad when he was my age. He was standing near an old tree on top of a hill. Next to him, hanging by a rope, was a tyre. "A rope swing!" I thought with glee. "My Dad had a rope swing!" The photograph was over bright in the corner so the sun must have been shining brightly. I glanced over to the next photograph. Dad was sitting on the tyre, holding the rope tightly. It was a lovely picture. He had a huge grin on his face. I felt as if I could feel the wind on my face. He must have had a brilliant time on that swing. My eyes followed the small dotted arrows, which were printed in the album down to the next picture. "Oh. No!" I thought. The rope was snapping. Tiny loose threads could be clearly seen as the edges of the rope frayed. Dad hadn't noticed. I wondered if the person, who had taken this picture, probably Grandad, had shouted a warning to him. I could imagine the worry on my Grandad's face as he saw the rope snap! Photograph number four showed Dad flying through the air still standing on the tyre. His facial expression had changed. "He's frightened!" I whispered to myself in the quiet of the attic. My six foot Dad who no one could knock down. My Dad who had protected me all my life was scared. Somehow this photograph made me love him even more. The space next to this photograph was empty. Tiny specks of dried glue were visible. I wondered what had happened next. Dad's voice broke into my thoughts. "Tom," he shouted. "It's time for tea." I closed the book and rushed downstairs thinking, "I can't wait to find out
Sue Westcott (C.) 2020
I enjoy writing for children. As a teacher I often had to improvise if I could not find the right piece of text for my English lessons. I have written both fictional and factual genres for all the junior age range.
28th May 2017 Here are two cat poems which may be of use to you if you decide to write a poem about a cat or if you use my,'Writing about cats,' idea suggested on the ideas page for children.
ALISON’S KITTENS CAME TO STAY.
Their sleek, sinuous bodies, Deadly graceful With muscles strong Pace; Always Alert. Keen eyes shine With, bright intelligence. Whiskers white Protrude like spikes. These miniature panthers Black Darker than ebony, coal and jet. So dark they blend Into the background. A pair of perfectly proportioned Camouflage. In repose white flashes from their fur Soften their appearance. However, they prowl Around the house Staring! Searching! Stalking! Holding statue still. Suddenly... a knife sharp movement And they pounce With lethal, powerful strikes And the feathery, rubbery mouse Is captured! Tormented! By playful padded paws.
SEE THE CAT! See the cat with sleek black fur. See the cat And listen to it purr. See the cat With eyes so bright. See the cat's Spiked whiskers, white. See the cat On the prowl. See the cat And hear it howl. See the cat All warm and fed. See the cat Lie cosy on its bed. See the cat Happy, fast asleep See the cat You decide to keep!
Sue Westcott (C.)2017
Newspaper reports can be fun to write. This is another historical one which I think brings the period to life.
Disaster strikes Celtic Britain as a huge Roman army lands on the Kentish coast!
On Friday 27th August AD43, 4 legions of the Roman army led by Aulus Plautius attacked the settlements of the Celtic tribes in the area of Richbrough. Emperor Claudius of Rome had decided that the invasion of Britain was in the best interest of enlarging the Roman Empire. He said, “Britain is a wealthy land with gold and silver mines. They have good craftsmen and men who would make excellent slaves.”
The 4 legions set sail at dawn from Gaul and crossed the English Channel. The task of getting this invasion force ready was a tremendous undertaking and took many months to prepare. The Centurion of the II Augusta legion said that, in all 45-50,000 men together with vast amount of supplies as well as ancillary workers were transported on over 1,000 ships.
The ships landed and did not meet any resistance from the local tribes. However, a vicious battle took place at nearby Medway when many of the local tribes surrendered to the Roman leader.
Celtic Chief Carodoc said, “There were too many of them. They were dressed in armour which our spears could not penetrate! They were so well trained that we could not fight them.” Another warrior added,” There were dead bodies piling up. They were too strong for us!”
General Aulus Plautius followed two Celtic chiefs who fled to their stronghold in Camulodunum. He said, “I decided to wait for the Emperor to bring reinforcements.” Emperor Claudius brought with him elephants and many more soldiers. Carodoc, one of the fiercest leaders of the Celts fought outside the hillside fort and managed to escape.
The arrival of the Emperor’s elephants played a significant part in the final defeat of Camulodunum. One Roman soldier said that the Celts were terrified of these mighty beasts and they panicked when they saw them. Emperor Claudius was delighted with his victory. He has decided to stay in Britain for 16 more days and then he will leave for Rome. He leaves General Aulus Plautius in charge as the new Governor General of Britain.
Sue Westcott (C.) 2016
This biography was written as part of a history topic on the Celts and Boudicca. I wrote three versions for the different abilities in my class. I have chosen to publish just one of the written pieces.
A Biography of Boudica. Boudica was a famous Celtic warrior Queen who led a rebellion against the Roman army in AD 60. She was born in AD30 in the South East of Britain and died in AD62. She was 13 when the Romans invaded Britain in AD 43 and when the Celts finally made peace with the Romans she was brought up to be a loyal servant of Rome.
In AD 48, when she was 18, she married Prasutagus, King of the Iceni tribe. They lived in Norfolk and had two daughters and she was happy. However it wasn’t until Prasutagus died that matters changed for Boudicca.
Unfortunately, when Prasutagus died all his land and wealth were taken by the Romans. Boudica, who was now the Iceni Queen, visited the Roman Governor Suetonious to explain that she would rule the Iceni tribe instead of her husband. Cassius Dio, a Roman writer said that she was a tall proud woman who had a fierce stare that stabbed at you. Her voice was harsh and she had long, flowing red hair. She always dressed in a tartan cloak tied with a brooch and wore a golden torc around her neck. She must have been an impressive sight!
She left her village with her two daughters to visit the Governor. Suetonius, the Roman General in charge, was not pleased with this visit and angry words were spoken on both sides. Boudica and her daughters were badly beaten by the Romans for daring to challenge their authority. She returned back to her village and the warriors of the Iceni tribe were furious that this had happened to their Queen. Boudica vowed to take her revenge for this monstrous deed as soon as she was well enough.
Whilst Boudica recuperated Suetonius and the main Roman army were sent to Wales to sort out some problems with the tribes there. Once they had left, Boudica put a plan of action into place; she would take her Iceni warriors to Colchester and attack the town.
Riding in a chariot with her two daughters, she led the Iceni to Colchester. As Colchester was defended by only old soldiers and women and children, the Iceni soon defeated them and Colchester was theirs. When the other local tribes heard of their success they joined Boudica, who then led them to London. Taking the town by surprise, Boudica was again successful in defeating the Roman garrison. Cassius Dio said that the Celts showed no mercy to anyone who was in the town. Some soldiers, who escaped the massacre at London, fled to Wales to inform Suetonius of what was happening. He turned his army round and marched quickly back and met Boudica outside St. Albans. Tacticus reported that the Celts had approximately 100,000 warriors. Although the Romans were outnumbered, they were more organised and managed to defeat the Celts in a terrible battle.
Boudica watched the battle and sent her daughters away so that they would not be caught. She decided to poison herself rather than be taken prisoner again by the Romans. She died in AD62 somewhere outside of St. Albans and no one knows where her body was buried. Boudica’s story was a famous one and it has been passed down from generation to generation. Statues have been erected in her honour as she was considered to have qualities that all Britons hold in high regard; bravery, integrity, and honour. Sue Westcott (C.) 2016 ( Boudica can be spelt with a double c as well.as with one c Boudicca.)
This explanation was written after the children had watched a video of a cake making machine.
The GLOP MACHINE
First the slimy grey glop is squeezed from the GLOP receptacle. As it lands onto the top conveyor belt, a pink puff of magic powder is squirted onto it; turning the glop a beautiful rose pink.
It continues on its amazing journey through the kennel cooker where the pink glop is heated by fiery flames until it has risen to a nice cloud consistency. Next a metallic robotic arm delicately places a juicy red cheery kissed by the Mediterranean sun out on top of the fluffy cupcake.
After this amazing cupcake glides along the conveyor belt then it is sprinkled with fairy glitter frosting. This magical ingredient when mixed with the cupcake creates a sunburst of flavours that are incredible and set off tiny tingly bubbles of delight when eaten.
Finally the yummy confectionary is boxed up into a fruity taste sensation packaging and skates effortlessly into the waiting crate to be delivered to bakers across the world.
Sue Westcott.(C.) 2016
My first contribution is a character description. Robin - The Boy Wonder.
With his boyish good looks and trim athletic figure, Robin, “The Boy Wonder” is the perfect sidekick assistant for Batman. Being naturally fit and healthy comes in handy when he has to chase and capture evil villains.
After having intensive martial art and boxing tuition, Robin can hold his own in any fight situation. Supporting Batman in the fight against crime is one of Robin’s greatest achievements!
Robin is extremely proud of his role as Batman’s assistant and his exemplary polite manners and easy going nature have made him popular with the public. However, he can become angry very quickly when he sees the destruction that many of his adversaries do in their criminal activities. He particularly hates any harmful move that can be made against the young, the poor and the defenceless.
Wearing an easily recognisable costume has helped Robin to become famous. His green and red superhero suit fits his lean, muscular body perfectly and the stretchy material allows him lots of freedom of movement especially when fighting criminals.
Behind the black eye mask, his piercing, green eyes often sparkle with amusement. When training in the gym, his sense of humour often leads him into trouble with his more serious minded mentor, Batman, especially as he likes to make sound effects such as ‘Kapow!’ ‘Klunk!’ ‘Bam’ and ‘Wham!’
Although he is young, in his early twenties, he does have a mature, serious nature which can be seen over and over again when he changes into superhero mode. When he does that master criminals everywhere need to watch out! ‘Kaboom!’