Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Tyger - Epilogue

When Rosie got a bit older she became a Big Strong Young Tiger. She often went out for long walks in the forest with her little sister Sophie. Sometimes they would go out walking at night: even though it could get very dark in the Forest, the fireflies would Burn Brightly lighting their way.

One evening, when Rose and Sophie were out walking, they came across a man with a big black bushy beard sitting under a tree. He was chewing on his pencil and looking despondently at a large notebook he was holding.

“Hello, I’m Rosie,” said Rosie.

“And I’m Sophie,” said Sophie.

“Oh, hello,” said the man, looking up, “my name’s Bill.”

“What are you doing?” asked Sophie curiously, coming a little closer.

“I’m trying to write a poem,” he said. “I’ve got a great beginning, but now I’m stuck.”

“Well what have you got so far?” asked Rosie.

The man cleared his throat, and read.

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright,”

he said grandly.

Rosie and Sophie waited expectantly. “Is that it?” asked Sophie after a while.

“Er, yes,” said the man, looking a little embarrassed.

Rosie padded around slowly to look over the man's shoulder at his notebook. "I don't think that that's how you spell 'Tiger'," she said.

“I can’t think of anything to rhyme with ‘burning bright’,” said the man.

“Well...,” said Rosie looking around thoughtfully, “we’re in a Forest.”

“And it’s Night time,” added Sophie.

“Forest … night... That’s it!”, cried the man, and started writing in his notebook furiously. After about ten minutes he stopped. “It’s done,” he said. “Would you like to hear it?”

“Yes, please,” said Rose and Sophie together. They sat down side-by-side to listen. The man stood up, cleared his throat again, and started to read.

After a few minutes he stopped reading. “That’s it,” he said, looking up. “What did you think?”

“Well, it’s a bit rude to tigers,” said Rosie.

“I don’t like the bit about Stars and Spears,” said Sophie. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Humph,” said the man crossly. “What would Tigers know about poetry anyway?”

So Rose and Sophie ate him.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Tyger

A bed-time story for Rosie

Once upon a time there was a Little Tiger named Rosie. She was a Ferocious little tiger - she liked to Roar and Growl and Pounce on things. Sometimes she would pounce on her Mommy or her Daddy or her baby sister, Sophie.

Her Mommy and Daddy were great Hunters. They would go out hunting for hours. They would hunt for all kinds of things, like pizzas and sushi and occasionally a wildebeest.

Rosie also liked to hunt, but wildebeest were a little too big for her. She hunted broccoli and cauliflowers and asparagus and other yummy things. She would creep stealthily through the fields, the soft pads of her paws barely making a sound, and her stripes making her almost invisible in the tall grass. She knew to always stay down-wind so that her prey wouldn’t detect her scent. And then she would pause, silent and still, awaiting her moment. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, she would pounce upon her prey, devouring the broccoli in a single mighty chomp.

One day Rosie’s Daddy said “how about getting some pizza today?”. Rosie was very excited by the idea. “Can I get it?” she asked. She loved to imagine the wild pizzas that roamed the countryside, rolling along on their edges like huge wagon wheels, but she had never seen one. She set out at once.

Rosie searched far and wide, wading through streams past snapping turtles, sniffing amongst the undergrowth, trying to detect the telltale scent of anchovies, pepperoni and freshly baked tomatoes. Eventually she came to a grassy field, in which a small herd of gazelle were grazing. They did look awfully tasty, and for a moment she thought about pouncing on one and bringing it home. But then she remembered that what she really wanted was pizza. She walked up to the nearest gazelle, cleared her throat and said “Excuse me Miss Gazelle,” as politely as she could, “but do you know where I might find some pizza?”.
The gazelle looked up at the hills and started to say something. But then it was seized by a moment of panic, as it realized it was talking to a Real Tiger, and bolted as fast as it could in the opposite direction. The rest of the herd scattered instantly, leaving Rosie standing alone in the middle of the field. “Oh well,” she thought, “I think she was going to tell me to go that way,” and she walked on in the direction of the hills.

After a while Rosie came to a field full of tall wheat. She looked down and saw a field mouse scurrying around and looking for seeds. The field mouse looked up and lifted his cap. “Good day to you Miss Tiger”, he said. (Field mice are not at all afraid of tigers - I don’t know why.)

“Hello,” said Rosie, “Do YOU know where I might find a pizza?”

“Don’t know about any pizzas about here, Miss,” said the field-mouse. “But this ‘ere is wheat, see!” he added. “You makes flour out of it, then you makes dough, and that you makes that into pizza. An’ bread  ‘n all, so they say.”

“Thank you,” said Rosie. She gathered up as many stalks of wheat as she could carry and went on with her search.

After a while she came to another field where tall tomato plants grew, lined up neatly and climbing up on stakes. Resting on one of the leaves of the nearest tomato plant was a red ladybug with black spots. “Hello Miss Ladybug,” said Rosie.

“Hi There!” said the ladybug cheerfully. “What’s happening?”. (Ladybugs are not afraid of anything, not even Tigers.)

“I’m looking for a pizza,” said Rosie, “have you seen any?”

“Nope,” said the ladybug, “no pizzas round here.” She thought for a moment. “But these red things,” she said, “they’re tomatoes. They’re very tasty on pizzas, I believe.”

“Thank you,” said Rosie. She picked as many tomatoes as she could carry, and continued on her way.

After walking for what seemed like an awfully long time, Rosie came to a big green field full of grass. In the middle of the field was a large brown cow.

“Mmmmmm, Hellooo Deary,” said the cow, munching lazily. (Cows are sometimes afraid of tigers, but Rosie was only a Small Tiger, and this really was a Very Large Cow, so she didn’t seem much concerned.)

“Hello,” said Rosie. “I’m looking for a pizza. Have you seen any?,” she asked.

“Mmmmmmmmm, Nooooooo,” said the cow considering. Rosie looked very sad. “But I’ve just been making some cheese,” said the cow kindly. “Would you like some?”.

“Thank you,” said Rosie, and took two large balls of soft white cheese.

Rosie was starting to wonder whether she’d ever find a real live pizza, when she smelt something, It smelt warm and inviting, like a cozy fireplace on a Winter’s night. She followed the smell into a forest and through some trees, and came out suddenly in a small clearing. In the middle of the clearing was a small wood-burning oven made of bricks, and sitting in front of it were three bears.

“I’m hungry Mommy,” said the smallest bear. “That nasty little girl with the yellow hair ate all my porridge.” 

“I know dear,” said the middle sized bear sadly. “And then she ran away before we had a chance to eat her up. Very rude I thought.”

“Humph!” said the biggest bear. “If only I had some flour, at least we could make pizza.”

“Excuse me,” said Rosie shyly, “but I have some wheat here. Would you like it?”.

“Thank you Little Tiger!” said the big bear. He took the wheat and ground it into flour. Then he added some water and salt to make dough. He rolled it out into two large round disks.

“It’s a pity we don’t have any tomatoes,” said the middle sized bear. “It’s so much better with them.”

“I have some tomatoes,” said Rosie. “Would you like them?”

“Landsakes! Thank you Little Tiger!”, said the middle size bear. She sliced the tomatoes and spread them over the two disks of dough.

“But I like cheese on my pizza,” said the littlest bear sadly.

“Oh, I have some cheese,” said Rosie. “Would you like it?”

“Oh, Goody!” said the little bear excitedly, “Thank you Little Tiger!”. He took the cheese balls from Rosie and gave them to his mother who sliced them and put them on top of the tomatoes. 

“Really,” said Rosie, licking her nose, “it’s a pity we don’t have any anchovies”.

“Oh, we have lots of those!” said the biggest bear, taking a small rectangular tin off a large pile. “They were on special offer at CostCo last week.”

The middle sized bear opened the can and put the anchovies on top of the cheese. Then the biggest bear put the two disks of dough into the wood-burning oven. After a little while they started to smell very good indeed.

Just when Rosie was feeling like she couldn’t wait any longer, the big bear took the two disks out of the oven. Magically they had transformed into the two most delicious looking pizzas that Rosie had ever seen.

“Would you like one?” asked the big bear.

“Oh, yes please!” said Rosie. “Thank you very much!”.

“Not at all,” replied the big bear. “Thank you!”. He placed one of the pizzas in a square cardboard box and handed it to Rosie.

Rosie proudly carried the pizza home for her family to eat for dinner. But it was a long way back and she was getting to be very hungry, so she did stop and eat two slices on the way.