Show and Tell

A week last Thursday Mrs Bell
Said, perhaps for Show and Tell,
We could bring along some pets,
An idea that she now regrets.

There were cats and rats and dogs,
Miriam had brought some frogs,
Then shy and quiet Ursula
Took out her pet tarantula.

Children shouted, children shrieked,
Some stood on their desks and squeaked.
All of which just served to wake
Brian’s favourite rattlesnake.

It shook its tail, as if to say
One shouldn’t treat a snake that way,
Terrifying mice and rats
And Cathy’s dozing vampire bats.

They rose as one into the air.
Amy leapt onto her chair,
Knocking over neighbour Grant’s
Box of giant soldier ants.

Pets were crawling, croaking, creeping.
Mrs Bell just sat there, weeping,
When we heard a fearsome roar
And a head popped round the door.

In the room came Susie Bland
With a leash grasped in her hand.
“Quiet boy! Now stay! Just wait!
It’s my T-Rex. Are we too late?”

First published in ‘Why Do We Have to Go to School?’, edited by John Foster, published by Oxford University Press, 2002.