Cautionary Tales

James Proclaims (4)

As the parent of a small child, I’m not unfamiliar with a children’s story or two. My daughter has a voracious appetite for literature. I mean quite literally, as I’ll often find her nibbling on a book.

Although she does appear to be growing out of that phase and enjoying books for their content too.

And I like reading them to her.

To be honest, I’m increasingly becoming a fan of books that are aimed at younger people. They have a lot of advantages over the books I normally read.

For starters, there are significantly fewer words, which means that when I pick one up and start reading it, I generally do always finish. This, alas, is not always the case for the books that are aimed at someone of my age.

Also there are pictures. It’s so much easier and more fun to read a book with pictures in it. Why does that stop when you get older?

Mainly though, I like books aimed at little children, because they are, for the most part, hugely entertaining.

Some make me laugh out loud.

Check out the ‘Oi Frog’ series of books by Kes Gray and Jim Field and I guarantee you will laugh multiple times.

Other favourites (of mine, though my daughter generally likes them too) would have to include ‘Wonkey Donkey’, ‘There’s a Monster in your Book’ and ‘Superworm’.

It occurs to me, however, that some of the books that I read with my daughter might have a slightly irresponsible message in these corona-times.

So I’ve taken the liberty of updating some of the ‘classics’ in order to make them more compliant with a world of social-distancing and ‘self-isolation’.

We’re Not Going On A Bear Hunt

bear hunt

We’re not going on a bear hunt
We’re not going to catch a big one
What a beautiful day
We’re quite scared

Uh Uh! Government Advice!
Alarming, disarming government advice!
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
Oh no!
We’ll just have to stay in and self-isolate!

The Tiger Who Didn’t Come To Tea


Once there was a little girl called Sophie, and she was having tea with her mummy in the kitchen.

Suddenly there was a ring at the door.

Sophie’s mummy said, “I wonder who that can be,

It can’t be the milkman because demands for that service have resulted in them refusing to accept new customers.

And it can’t be the boy from the grocer because you can’t book a home delivery slot for love nor money

And it can’t be Daddy because he isn’t a key-worker, so he’s already at home.

We’d better open the door and see.”

Sophie opened the door, and there was a big, furry, stripy tiger. The tiger said, “Excuse me, but I’m very hungry. Do you think I could have tea with you?”

Sophie’s mummy said, “I’m sorry, but due to the government’s policy on social-distancing, we can’t have anyone around for tea.”

The tiger nodded and said, “of course, I completely understand.”

And he left.

The Socially Responsible Gruffalo


A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood.
A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good
But because the fox was adhering to advice on social-distancing, he didn’t interact with the mouse and instead returned promptly to his underground house.

And the same thing happened with the owl and the snake.
So the mouse didn’t meet anyone
Until he happened upon the Gruffalo

But the Gruffalo and the mouse also adhered to social-distancing etiquette
So they didn’t speak to each other.
And both also promptly returned to their homes
Once they’d had their daily allocation of exercise.



  10 comments for “Cautionary Tales

  1. Bryntin
    March 30, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Classics for our time.
    I’d like to shake you by the hand for that. But I won’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    • March 30, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      You can have a virtual elbow nudge. But I’ll be washing my shirt afterwards…


  2. March 30, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    My favorite was, The Cat in the Hat Stays Home…

    Liked by 2 people

    • March 30, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      Less familiar with Dr. Seuss on these shores, but I did enjoy ‘Horton Hears A Who From A Safe Distance’

      Liked by 3 people

  3. March 31, 2020 at 10:33 am

    How times have changed. I grew up with Noddy, Big Ears and Mr Plod!! None of whom would be acceptable now. Your little stories are quite fun though. Keep up the good work. At least it gives you something to do. Oh yes I’ve noticed the Famous Five, or is it the Secret Seven are back. They are advertising holiday breaks. Or rather they were. Oh for a holiday break!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 31, 2020 at 11:11 am

      I did like the Famous Five. One of them was a dog if I recall. But the dog in the Secret Seven wasn’t ‘officially’ part of the ‘seven’. Never understood that.


      • April 4, 2020 at 9:23 pm

        Heard about the updated Where’s Waldo? He’s there,In isolation. Too grim? Sorry ’bout that. Thanks for, etc.(hopefully my Like appears… I’m having issues on other sites, press Like and I get no shining gold star, nothing,nada.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 6, 2020 at 9:36 am

        It is easier to find Waldo (or Wally as we call him over here for some reason) now that he’s social distancing. Although I hear he was something of a super-spreader before because of his tendency to only go to very crowded spaces


  4. April 2, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Most excellent. I look forward to your readings of Dr. Seuss’s ‘Oh, The Places You Can’t Go’ as well as ‘Green Eggs and The Store Was Out of Ham’.

    Liked by 1 person

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