I can proudly say the un-illustrated version of this poem is complete drivel. The illustrated version however is a work of multilayered genius imho.

I have illustrated most of my poems, so an illustrated version may even now be sitting elsewhere in cyberspace . . . or maybe in a book.

The Epic Tale of Ted and Brock

On a coldish day in winter,
Ted rings on Badger’s bell.
“Would you like to come a-fishing
in the frosty dingly dell?”

So Brock pulls on his slippers,
and hurries out to greet
his chum, with one eye open,
the other full of sleep.

Ted bursts in all excited:
“Do you have a worm for bait?
Maybe hidden in your cupboard,
my grumpy sleepy mate?”

With bait and hook and tackle
the chums begin their quest.
The weather, it is freezing.
So Brock has donned his vest

“Just one thing I’ve forgotten,”
Admits Teddy, rather coy –
“We’ll need a boat for fishing!
Let’s build one now, my boy.”

Brock with eyes all kind of narrow
coughs a husky kind of grunt,
“How could you miss that essential,
You silly blooming cupcake?

But soon the boat is ready,
and the boys are rather proud.
For their craftsmanship has drawn
an enchanted little crowd.

They are soon out on the water,
though their vessel’s rather frail.
For the track down to the lakeside,
is a rather bumpy trail.

The air is clear and frosty,
the water cold and wet.
The chums swing out their fishing hook –
a fishy for to get.

Oh look! They’ve caught a whopper!
A giant for goodness sake!
See: it drags them through the water,
leaving patterns in their wake!

Now fluttering down from heaven
come magic frozen shapes.
The air’s a sparkling wonderland
of tender fragile flakes.

Meanwhile their jolly fishy
has surprised the plucky pair
by jumping from the water –
and soaring in the air!

But fishy has a cough, it seems
the cold has caught his throat.
The cough itself is rather hot.
Oh look! It’s singed the boat!

The chums stare up in wonder,
as their catch has upped and flown.
For fishy is enormous!
He seems quite overgrown.

So next day, back at Badger’s
they leaf through Brock’s old books
to read the ancient legends,
of what others caught on hooks.

The stories tell of wild times,
of strong mysterious folks,
who battled fearsome monsters,
while wearing pretty cloaks.

One tale describes the magic
of an ornamental pin.
The Sultan’s Fibule, it was called.
Then Badger, with a grin. . .

said “Grandpa had one just like that.
It’s there, on his old cloak.
I wondered why he kept the thing,
it never fit the bloke.”

The boys rush to the attic,
as they catch each other’s eyes.
They sling stuff to the left and right,
until they find the prize.

They read an incantation
They sing and dance and hop
The pin with a little sparkle
begins to fizz and pop

Appearing out of nowhere
on the table, in the house,
pops a treasure chest of treasure,
and a pretty little mouse.

But what is this that happens,
Before their startled eyes?
The mouse turns big and spooky!
Our chums run for their lives.

There’s no escape for Ted and Brock
from the weird and scary mouse.
The ancient creepy rodent
has chased them from the house!

They run around in circles
See, Brock’s cape has fallen off!
But then, with a noise like thunder,
arrives that fish who had the cough!

He barbecues the mousey
and eats him with a crunch.
Which seems to prove that ghosts have bones
and can make a tasty lunch.

Now the dark of night is drawing in.
It’s bed-time for the pair.
This really has been some weekend,
with adventures here and there.

For Brock has lost his cloak and pin,
(They’d earlier lost the boat.)
and now he’s feeling rather cold,
so Teddy lends his coat.

The monster fishy gives the pair
a ride. Hear Badger call,
”You know, now I come to think of it,
this thing’s no fish at all!”

And now their steed has brought them home
and set them at their door.
Ted sees his friend is in-jur-ed;
(or at least – a little sore.)

Now Ted gets philosophic,
”It seems, with a magic spell,
there’s always a catch.” He continues,
”Like that Zombie mouse from hell.
But when said and done we’ve won the day,
despite that rotten glitch.”

So our friends live on to a ripe old age.
And filthy stinking rich.

Nick James      Posted in:



October 2019 – A camper van in Italy

Header Image:

Illustration by the Author