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by Joella 

Posted: 21 September 2011
Word Count: 307
Summary: The original version was several pages long and probably more suited to adults. I've changed it completely, and hope it's more suited to children 7 - 8 years old. I'd appreciate comments if anyone's got the time to review this poem. Many thanks.

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With the paperwork done, which wasn’t much fun
Happy Bottom was the Major’s estate
Very soon after, Woofbot and Master
set off to discover their fate.

Along country roads, avoiding the toads
Major Payne crossed the Piddle to Dimple
Using maps on the day, he lost his way
but with sat. nav. it would have been simple.

At noon, in the square, he met with the Mayor
and Posh Paws, his powder puff poodle
Woofbot took a shine, she looked divine,
but wasn’t in the mood to canoodle.

In ‘The Piddle Pub,’ well known for its grub
the Major sat down on a chair
Then after some tea, he went off to see
his Bottom with the help of the Mayor.

At the gate, of the Happy Bottom Estate
the Major to the Mayor then said
‘I don’t care a sausage, for this tumbledown cottage’
then walked away, shaking his head.

The Major went home, he wasn’t alone
but nothing could make him feel jolly
To him, life was pants, till one day by chance
he happened to bump into Wally.

Wally had said, and the Major then read
he designed and built houses for cheeps
The Major thought fine, if he builds mine
I’ll have more of my money for keeps.

Wally couldn’t spell, the Major could tell
well, he couldn’t spell ‘cheap,’ for toffee
But Wally was wise, he’d build a surprise
and a deal was agreed over coffee.

The great day came, but the rain was a pain
and as the Major stood under his brolly
what met his eyes, Wally’s clucking surprise
was a shed that he’d named,‘Rooster’s Folly’

Wally looked happy, the Major was snappy
he’d paid for a house he could live in
Wally then laughed, the Major felt daft
a ‘cheep house,’ is a coop to keep chicken!

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Comments by other Members

cacooper at 09:55 on 22 September 2011  Report this post
Cute. I don't really understand the line where the Major goes to visit his Bottom though. Is that the house? Also I wonder if that line would scan better as "helped by the mayor"

The only other thing is I wonder if kids of this age will know the spelling difference between cheep and cheap?

Joella at 10:25 on 22 September 2011  Report this post
Hi cacooper, this is the next part of the Happy Bottom story. MP inherited Happy Bottom from uncle Derry Ayres. Happy Bottom is one of many Bottoms, the idea of which comes from Dorset. We have lots of places ending in Bottom - Canford Bottom, Seacombe Bottom, even Scratchy Bottom, which is the name of another book - (Ivan Itch in Scratchy Bottom).
The mention that MP goes to see his Bottom, refers to Happy Bottom. I thought the line was funnier without the 'Happy.' I'd like to think that children of this age would know, or be able to work out, with clues in the illustrations, the difference between cheep and cheap.

I really appreciate your comments. Thank you.

Kind regards, Joella

cacooper at 10:55 on 22 September 2011  Report this post
Ah OK sorry! Yes I remember now. Yes that makes sense....ignore me!

Joella at 11:00 on 22 September 2011  Report this post
Hi cacooper, actually, you've made me think. I t could do with another verse. I'll add one and see if you think it's improved. It's all the comments I've had on WW that has enabled me to get what were long complicated rhymes into the form ihey are now. So many thank!


Joella at 20:03 on 22 September 2011  Report this post
Hi cacooper, I've added a verse and made a few changes. Hopefully, it's better now.


cacooper at 12:02 on 23 September 2011  Report this post
I think that makes it much clearer. I guess if this is planned as a series of books (?) it's important to allow for the possibility they may not be read in the right order.

Steerpike`s sister at 14:51 on 23 September 2011  Report this post
This is lots of fun with some good word play - I like 'chicken' doubling up as 'chick in'. It's a bit hard to imagine the format it'd work in.
The meter gets a bit repetetive after a bit. I wonder if you can vary it slightly so it has some more surprise and subtlety about it? It's good to have a strong rhythm but there are a lot of verses and it can end up sounding a bit mechanical.

Jonny Hardway at 14:29 on 25 September 2011  Report this post
Hi Joella, I think this is really fun and is just the right length for the simple, bouncy metre you've worked with. I wouldn't change that at all. As I was reading it, I could imagine my little cousin (aged 9) reading it and grinning shamelessly, so I think you've picked about the right age range too. Admittedly, I was a bit confused to begin with about 'Happy Bottom' etc, but reading the comments above, I understand now If this was one of a set of poems (?), then obviously the children would be aware of what 'Happy Bottom' etc was, so don't worry about that. Really fun, I enjoyed reading it, and it's a great ending! Well done!

Joella at 19:02 on 04 October 2011  Report this post
Hi Steerpike's sister & Jonny Hardware,

thank you for taking the time to review this poem. I'm glad you liked it.


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