My Flavourite Favour

Orangutan, do me a flavour!

What flavour?

Orange like you, my sweet.

Just take this jar of marmalade,

and smear it on my feet.

And when my toes are stuck together, dear,

won’t that be neat?


I will, if you do ME a flavour.

What flavour?

Why child, a strawberry one.

Just take this triple ice-cream cone,

and melt it in the sun,

then very gently pour it on my head,

and watch it run.


Of course I can, orang-utan!

And you know I’LL do IT

of all the favours in the world,

THAT’S my flavourite!



From The Conga Lion, an unpublished collection of jungle-themed poetry for children.





The Skippy Warthog


Look at me!)


with the sun

above him.

He’s a warty,


piggy little thing,

but his mother loves him.


What a fine swine,

that Skippy of mine.

Skip, Skippy, skip –


My pride and joy!

My hairy-legged boy!

Oh, skip, Skippy, skip –




The Skippy Warthog


Here I go!)


with the sun

above him.

He’s a zippy,


skinny little thing,

but his mother loves him.


From The Conga Lion, an unpublished collection of jungle-themed children’s poetry.

The Little Elephant


The squeaky little elephant,

all day long, sings his mama’s song –

but it comes out wrong!

Though he blows his nose,

and grows his cheeks,

and practices week after week after week,

nothing comes out

but a sweet sneakersqueak –


(a teeny air leak).

“Too bad,” he says. “Too bad.”

Little elephant’s so sad.


Sometimes, mama elephant,

walking along, hears the little song

coming out all wrong.

Of course she knows

it’s just a squeak –

but he does practice week after week after week.

So when nothing comes out

but a cupboarddoor creak –


(a mini mouse shriek),

his mama says, “That’s LOUD!”

Little elephant’s so proud.

*     *     *

From The Conga Lion, an unpublished collection of jungle-themed children’s poetry.


[Cleaning out an old valise, I rediscovered this poem, written a dozen years ago, when I was a children’s poet. So much has changed since then. So very much. But the poem remains the same. -R] 




One day, the Rusty Elephant,

thundering sweetly down the street,

forgot to watch his elefeet,

which all got caught in wet cement.

Silly but true,

stuck like glue,

oh, what’s an elephant to do?


When darling Daisy May went past,

skipping, flipping through a book,

Rusty shouted, “Daisy, look!

Help me, little friend, and fast!”

How he sighed,

and how she tried—

as hard as the cement that dried!


“How terrible!” he cried. “How bleak!”

“I’ll be here a hundred years,

with no one to dry my rusty tears!”

(which then went tumbling down his cheek).

And from his nose,

a sound arose—

like a trumpet when it blows!


“Oh elephant,” said Daisy May,

a little sadly—“Don’t feel bad.

To make it better, I’d be glad

to come and see you every day.

I’ll read you tales

of ships and whales,

and stormy nights—that never fails!”


“Zazoo-maloo!” old Rusty said

(that’s jungle-talk for “Thank-you, Miss!”).

He gave the girl one tusky kiss,

and whisked her up onto his head.

“And now, some fun—

the tale’s begun,”

said Daisy. “Peter Pan, page one!”


If you go skipping on cement,

one summer day, down Jungle Street,

be sure to watch your people-feet,

until you meet the elephant.

Yes, it’s true,

he’s stuck like glue,

but I think he looks glad—don’t you?