The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Please DO NOT try this at home

When Uncle Alun had an accident,
and the physiotherapist said his hand was bent,
she recommended Playdoh for him to squeeze.
And in a little while his symptoms started to ease.
Alun put his turquoise Playdoh in some Tupperware.
His thinking was, quite logically, it would be safe in there.
But that good thought became a HUGE mistake
when Aunty Lesley started icing Aiden’s birthday cake.
Aiden wanted a cake of a big blue ocean
with dolphins and a boat and a giant cetacean -
he’d been learning about conserving marine life at school -
but he had to explain to his brother that a cetacean was a whale.
Now Playdoh smells lovely, almondy and sweet.
In fact, it smells like something you would really like to eat
and Playdoh has the texture of fondant cake icing …
Are you with me? Do I really have to tell you the next thing?
Yes, you’ve guessed it: silly Lesley covered Aiden’s cake in … turquoise Playdoh!
It looked stupendous … blue waves and dolphins … but eating it? A no-no.
She was so proud - there was a turquoise whale and a yacht and everything …
It took her a while to figure out why Uncle Alun was crying laughing.
Luckily, Aiden thought that it was pretty hilarious, too.
He posted shots of it on Insta - well, what’s a kid to do?
But best of all, he said to Aunty Lesley, with a smile,
I’m glad it’s made of Playdoh. I could never eat a whale!

About the Writer

Lesley James

Lesley writes for young people and less young people. Many of her stories and poems for children are set in Lesley’s Garden, where a cast of birds, beasts and minibeasts live. She loves playing with words - rhythms, rhymes, tongue-twisters - and telling real tales. Nothing is more funny, thrilling or entertaining than the real life you can see from your own window.