Some children’s picture book writing… Illustration by my son.
Benjamin Beetle stretches his wings;
Two rainbow coloured shields
And flutters up into the sky
Surveying the dry grass fields
He’s just been born in Australia, you see
It’s hot and full of sand
And the first thing he needs, he decides, decisively,
Is friends, to make his life grand
He sets off out upon his mission
Wondering what will be his fate.
He spies some buzzing around a light source
And thinks, “That’s my kind of mate”.
Mary Mosquito sees him coming
And grumpily turns away from him;
Not a smile, a wave, nor even a hello
To welcome our poor little Benjamin.
All the other mozzies turn away from him too,
Buzzing close up to the light;
They’ve got their cranky pants on today
Pulled up high and tied up tight
Benjamin flies sadly to the ground,
A little tear upon his cheek
Then looking about he spots Adam Ant
With his troop marching to the beat
“Hello, I’ve just been born here,
And I really need a friend”
Adam looks at him without stopping
Frowns, and marches on round the bend.
Our Beetle sighs and looks up to heaven
Sadly wishing he not been born,
But then he sees Daryl Daddy Longlegs
Looking also very forlorn
“Hello?” Benjamin asks unsurely
Daryl’s sad mouth sinks lower down
“What’s the matter?” asks our Beetle
“Humans! How I wish I was a hound…”
“…All they do is swat or squash us,
“They’re scary!” says spider Daryl.
“Oh dear,” weeps Benjamin Beetle
Trembling and hiding inside a barrel
“Yes, stay away from them I would”
But just as he starts to enthuse,
Daryl screams and swings off on a web
Leaving Benjamin upset and confused.
“I give up,” he thinks, as he turns to leave
“On this friendless life of failure”
But then shadows loom all dark above him,
A spaceship landing in Australia?
“AH!” he cries and the insects look over
And all scream in fright as well,
As a human child comes toward our friend,
Trapping him under a clear plastic bell.
“HELP! HELP!” screams Benjamin inside the bell
Flying round and round in fright
“Get me out! Please! No not a human!”
But there is not one friend in sight.
From behind the curtain they are watching
Frightened for the newcomer’s fate
“A bug catcher!” cries Daryl
Adding, “I warned him far too late!”
But something strange begins to happen
As they watch the scene down on land,
The human child puts our Benjamin Beetle
Very gently upon his hand
“Hello my Christmas Beetle,
I do love it when you come,
Because you tell me that very soon
Will be all the Christmas fun!”
Benjamin smiles up at the human
And the human smiles right back
Then Benjamin looks up to Mary and Daryl
And Adam on the curtain track
“Go my little Christmas friend!”
Says the kindly human child
And Benjamin flies up to all the others
Who finally look at him and smile.
“You’re brave! You’re clever! You’re a miracle!” they cry
Playing safely under a warming sun
And ever more, our brave Benjamin Beetle
Has a grand life of friends and fun.
Felicity Lenehan 2016 ©