Children's books · soccer · sport

Oliver Octopus and the Soccer Dilemma

Oliver Octopus storms off the field

Giving the ball a good angry peg

He is all crazy and cranky at soccer today

Because arms don’t work as well as their legs

blue ring octopus

Oh yes, he has eight, and you’d think that’s enough

But, as all of his friends always say

An arm has a hand and not nearly the strength

Of a foot in a boot during play

 

His blue rings burn bright in his firey anger

And everyone nudges away,

Because, although he looks pretty and beautiful

If you touch him you can call it a day

 

“Yo Oli!” yells Annie Anenome,

Waving glamorous red arms in the air

“I hear you, my friend, I’ve only arms too,

Plus my bottom’s stuck down, so unfair!”

 

“What about me,” cries Lawrence the Limpet

“You all whinge about too many arms,

But at least you don’t have only one slimy foot

And are as slow as a sloth on a palm”

 

“Oh I know,” says Oliver Octopus

“It’s so lovely you both understand,

But though using hands is allowed in fish soccer

These hands can’t thump balls like feet can.”

 

Slowly his 60 blue rings fade away,

As Oliver is calmed by his friends.

They all bask in the sun in the shallow rock pools

Just below Bilgola Bends

 

The next day comes round, it’s the Rock Pool World Cup

Oliver looks at his arms with great shame

Lacing stud-mittens on eight floppy hands

He doesn’t want to go to the game.

 

Blue rings start to glow in unhappiness

When along slides Stanley Starfish

“What’s wrong with you, sorry old sucker?

Playing soccer? Today that’s my wish!”

 

“Come on,” says Stanley in his don’t-argue way

Grabbing Oliver, a ball and some tea

“We’ll play right up here on this nice flat rock ledge.

Now you dribble the ball over to me.”

 

As he stands there a-waiting, his arms on his hips

Oliver wonders what on earth that he means

A dribble is something old Lawrence might do

With his foot, his slime-making machine

 

“It’s easy”, says Stanley flicking his hands

“Especially for ones such as us,

You see having good arms means that one’s good at dribbling

We can take it around just like thus”

 

And Oliver watches in pure amazement

As Stanley takes the ball from one end

He flicks it and flacks it between all of his arms

And right into the goal it is penned

 

“You see, my good friend, we play smart with our arms

Not hard like those crabs in their boots,

We can cleverly manoeuvre the ball on the pitch

Up sidelines, and passing to shoot.”

 

“And watch this – pass the ball please,”

So Oliver Octopus does

Stanley jumps up, a star jump we’ll say,

And blocks that ball, all arms a-buzz  

 

“So go, my good friend and win that World Cup!”

And our Oliver, he does comply

That soccer ball is his, the entire tricky game

The opposition were really fish fry

 

“You see,” says the Starfish, his arms round his mate

“You don’t have to be the goal shooting star,

Everyone’s important in a team game like this

And you were the best by far!”

 

Oliver comes out glowing, but not with blue rings,

“Boy that ball you really know how to dispatch!”

Said the opposition, shaking hands as they left the field

And Oliver is made man of the match!

 

 

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