The Boy Who Had Snails Where He Should Have Had Toes

[This is a follow up to ‘A Dragon Named Paul’ and explains the back-story of one of the characters]

This is the tale of a boy named Dale,
Who’s a perfectly normal boy-cum-snail,
He has dark blonde hair and a wonderful smile,
Long legs which he likes to stretch once in a while,
And a slightly round tummy, and sticky out ears,
And knobby knees, like most of his peers,
But the thing that’s a little bit odd about Dale,
Is that where you have toes, instead he has snails.
How could this be? I can hear you thinking,
Snails for toes you are thinking, unblinking,
Staring straight down at your ordinary feet,
Which are frightfully dull, and cannot compete,
With Dale’s snails for toes which make him unique.
He worried at first that he’d get called a freak,
But he doesn’t, in fact folk just can’t wait to see,
His snails for toes and he shows them for free.

So how did he get them? I hear you cry,
He has snails for toes but how and why?
Well it all happened when on one warm autumn day,
Dale got lost whilst making his way,
Through the woods near his house on his way to the park,
(He’d promised his Mum he’d be home before dark)
Lost and confused, he stumbled and tripped,
And in a flurry of leaves he felt himself slip,
Into a hole that he hadn’t seen there,
And he found himself facing a big grizzly bear.
The bear was dark brown and quite fierce and enormous,
He opened his mouth and his teeth were ginormous.
Dale was literally shaking with fear,
He’d hoped never to see a bear looming so near,
He took a deep breath and remembered his manners,
I’m Dale, nice to meet you. He managed to stammer.
The bear looked surprised and held out a paw.
I’m Michael the Bear and you’re lying on my floor.
Sorry said Dale and he got to his feet,
The bear looked embarrassed and began to retreat.
What’s the matter? Asked Dale and the bear gave a sob,
I’m finding it hard to do my bear job,
Said Michael the bear with a sniff and a sigh,
And I’m just too embarrassed to tell my boss why.
He’s a big scary bear and he won’t understand,
Dale reached out and took the bear’s paw in his hand.
Just what is the problem? Why can’t you work?
Asked Dale as the bear went a little beserk,
Crying and wailing and shaking with sobs,
I just want to be able to get on with my job,
Wailed Michael the bear who looked less scary now,
But I can’t because… because… he wrinkled his brow,
I’ve never told anyone about this before,
He said as he slowly reached forward a paw,
And swept to one side a large piles of leaves,
Which had hitherto been encasing his feet,
And when Dale saw what was hiding beneath,
It was a sight that was quite beyond his belief.
Well you’ve probably guessed and you already know,
That Michael the bear had snails for toes.
I’ve got snails for toes, explained Michael the bear,
A wicked spring sprite somehow magicked them there
And there they’ll remain until I’m cold and dead,
Unless I find someone who’ll take them instead.
But who on this earth would want snails for toes?
Sighed Michael the bear, overcome with his woes.
I’ll have them, said Dale who was fairly aware,
That life was probably quite tough for this bear,
But he was a boy who had many nice things,
And a family that loved him and the joy that that brings.
And as Michael smiled, Dale knew he’d done right,
And Michael grabbed Dale and hugged him so tight,
That Dale felt every last puff of his breath,
Squeezed from his body, there was not a puff left.
Are you sure? Do you mean it? The happy bear cried,
Yes of course, answered Dale with tears in his eyes,
Not tears of sadness, but tears of joy,
Because Dale was a very sweet natured young boy,
And he was delighted to make the bear’s day,
Albeit in quite an unusual way.
And as he was thinking his toes started to sting,
He looked down at his shoes and could see that something
Was starting to cause a bit of a tear,
In the top of his shoe and he soon saw that there
Was no way he’d be able to wear his shoes home,
As his toes seemed suddenly to have grown and grown.
He took his shoes off, and there on his feet,
Was an army of snails, all with shells quite complete,
It felt rather strange, but Dale quite liked it too,
He’d always have someone that he could talk to
As to his delight he found his snail toes talked
And they chittered and chattered whenever he walked.
He looked at the bear his new bear like toes,
And Michael the Bear said wherever I go
I’ll remember you Dale and the kind thing you did,
Which means I’ll no longer have to remain hid
In a hole in the ground and all covered with leaves,
I can do my bear job, I just can’t quite believe
That you’ve been quite so selfless and friendly and kind,
It’s not very often in life that you find
Someone who’s willing to help those in need,
But you have helped me, and now I am freed.
The bear was delighted and Dale was too,
Though it took a short while for him to get used to,
The feeling of squelching with each step he took,
And to adjust to his unusual new look.
But every time that he looks down at his toes,
He pictures Michael the bear, and then his heart glows.

The boy who had snails where he should have had toes - a story poem by Pooky

This entry was posted in Animals & Nature, Children's Poems, Fantasy, Frivolity and Frippery, Story Poems and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Boy Who Had Snails Where He Should Have Had Toes

  1. Mayfair Mum says:

    Julia Donaldson eat your heart out. Someone call Axel Schaeffler, this one needs fabulous illustrations!


  2. Well done Pooky as I read I was imagining the tales from my own childhood, beautifully said.


  3. What a splendid imagination you have! 🙂


  4. wbdeejay says:

    This ties into your original story so well, the band of helpers! Wonderful poem 🙂


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