Sunday, April 10, 2011

For the girls

(based on suggestions from G____, Fred, Una, Keira, Claudia, H, Charlotte, 3yo (and her 1.5yo sister), @spikelynch's three girls, and AG)

Once I knew a girl who had a secret power.

She learned it from a book that was tucked inside another book,

hidden inside ‘A History of the French Revolution’.

The book she found taught her lots of things, it knew

even more things than Stephen Fry.

But best of all, it taught her an amazing skill:

how to slide down rainbows. Like it was no trouble at all,

like they were ordinary slippery-dips at the playground.

As you probably know, this is usually something only

fairies and unicorns (and some very clever cats) can do.

This girl didn’t look like anyone else.

All her friends got told they had mum’s hair or dad’s nose

or grandma’s smile or Uncle Oliver’s big bum.

Not this little girl, and she was so proud of it.

She was completely herself and not a bit like anyone else.

She shoved her book tightly in one pocket.

The cover had all her favourite colours – black letters,

white letters, blue and yellow flowers and inside - bright pink pages.

She’d never seen a book with pink pages before.

It made her feel big and excited, like a full moon.

The rainbow had big steps, but the girl had long long legs

and she took them two at a time, right to the top.

At that height, she felt like she was standing upside down.

She knew you can’t stand on the bottom of the moon,

or else you’ll fall off and land on Earth.

She knew the Earth was a magnet, and if she dropped off

she would stick to it like a piece of buttered toast.

But the rainbow held onto her feet and kept her safe.

The rainbow knew she had two hearts (one for morning,

one for night time), and treated her like a Time Lord.

She crouched down and touched the rainbow.

It was warm, but not too hot. Not like touching a chilli,

like her friend Charlie did once, that was so hot it felt like it

made a hole in his hand. The rainbow was warm like a bath.

The girl sat down, right at the top of the curve.

She put her hands behind her, one hand on yellow,

one hand on orange. And she…..pushed off!

Down the colours she flew, her hair streamed behind her.

All the world raced up to meet her like

she was a princess of rainbows. No, like a queen.

She saw the sun was a fire you couldn’t touch or look at

The moon touched the sun at dawn but it didn’t explode.

She saw trees and a couple of cats (the cats didn’t look

surprised at all to see a girl slide down a rainbow.

Nothing much surprises cats.)

Bump! She reached the bottom of the rainbow.

She sat on grass, the greenest she’d ever seen.

She heard voices call “Hip hip – hooray!”

And when she looked up, the rainbow had ended

at a birthday party for her little sister.

The birthday sister always did things funny. She

rode other people’s bikes and ate their toast.

She was helpful and silly and beautiful and

a bit annoying but that’s what sisters are like.

It was her birthday where the rainbow touched the ground.

But our special rainbow-sliding girl didn’t have a present.

She picked some violets for her sister, and had an idea.

She bent down, whispered something in her sister’s ear.

What do you think she whispered?

Was it a secret just for them? Perhaps I shouldn’t tell.

Alright, I’ll tell you, but you can’t tell anyone else.

She whispered a present for her little sister.

It was the best birthday present anyone gave:

the girl told her sister how to slide down rainbows

and handed her a book with bright pink pages.


There are 12 girls in today’s poem. Twelve! The suggestions go for almost as long as the poem:

  • @slimejam and @gemelda’s G__: “ ‘Sliding down a rainbow to a birthday party?’ I'll ask for more! Yeah, definitely the rainbows thing. Unicorns and fairies sliding down them. Sorry.”
  • @eglantinecsake and @mjorgensen’s Fred and Una: “Fred said "herself" and Una said "violets". I love my girls. They answered it like it was a totally normal question and without a moment's hesitation.”
  • @miscmum’s Keira: “Keira's idea/word is 'reading'.”
  • @tiggyjohnson’s Claudia: “Goodness knows why, but her suggestion is 'cat' ;)”
  • @kumuda and @awurster’s H: “H said to write about favourite colours. Hers are pink and white and blue and yellow and black.
  • @timsterne’s Charlotte: “We watched the first episode of Brian Cox's "The Wonders of the Solar System" tonight, so I thought I'd just use some of the things she said during that as suggestions:
    "The sun is fire and you don’t touch or look at fire"
    "My friend Charlie touched a chilli and it made a hole in his hand."
    "You don't stand on the bottom of the moon or else you will fall off and land on the Earth."
    "If the moon touches the sun the moon will explode."
    "I have two hearts because I'm a Time Lord." (This comes up quite a lot.)
    "The Earth is a magnet and things stick to it!" ”
  • @sorrel_smith’s 3yo: “about [1.5yo sister] because she always does things funny, like ride my bike.”
  • @spikelynch’s three girls: “my girls' requests were Stephen Fry; the French Revolution; and cats.”
  • @Quadelle and @bookboy's AG: “Flowers and fairies”

So many brilliant suggestions from your girls! I wanted to use them all, so I did, so today’s poem is a bit of an epic, and more of a story really. Hope you're still awake by the end.

I wish I could find that book with the bright pink pages (but we don’t have any histories of the French Revolution at my house that it could be inside, so it’s looking unlikely). I’m pretty sure my childhood cat Samson was one of those very clever cats who could slide down rainbows. He always had that look in his eye.


Quadelle said...

This is delightful. I love the story aspect of it, and the sharing of the best possible thing with her sister. Plus, that book sounds seriously cool.

Anna said...

Remember at the end of A Bridge to Terebithia when Jess includes his little sister in his imaginary world? That was what I was thinking of :)