New Verse for Kids

Illustration by Josh Kennedy

Illustration by Josh Kennedy

A Mammoth Surprise
Down the trunk of an elephant, Daredevil Jed
With incredible speed took a slide on his sled
At a time when that pachyderm, lunching on hay,
Was happily tucking a bundle away.
Off that doubled-up nose-hose, poor Jed shot the
   chutes—
Blubbery brutes have such rubbery snoots.

Armadillo
The armadillo dwells inside
The scaly armor of his hide
And while deep down he’s soft and sweet,
He’s harder than a city street.
So please don’t pick an armadillo
To go to sleep on. Use your pillow.

Eight-Year-Old Uncle
In school they call me Uncle Moe
   Though all I am is eight.
My sister is a mother now.
   Did I get born too late?

The other kids say, “Hey, you’re old!”
   They won’t leave me in peace,
But somehow I don’t want to scold
   My brand new baby niece.

“A Mammoth Surprise” from Exploding Gravy: Poems To Make You Laugh (Little, Brown), copyright (c) 2002 by X. J. Kennedy. “Armadillo” and “Eight-year-old Uncle” from The Poetry Friday Anthology, edited. by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books), copyright (c) 2012 by X. J. Kennedy.

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