The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Santa’s Souped-up Supersleigh

Santa heaved a great big sigh: ‘My schedule’s far too tight –
I simply can’t deliver all the gifts in just one night!
With extra children every year and planet Earth so vast…
I really need to find a way to travel TWICE AS FAST!
This ancient sleigh is past its best – in fact, it’s second rate –
It needs some cool technology to bring it up to date,
And reindeer, though they’re speedy, aren’t exactly supersonic...
I wonder – could I boost their power with something electronic?’

So Santa found his toolkit, then he tinkered, tweaked and twiddled...
He tightened this, and loosened that – he fumbled, fussed and fiddled...
He added lots of cogs and gears and complicated switches,
And put in lots of wiring, checking carefully for glitches,
Then soldered in some circuits that he found up in the attic:
‘They’ll give it much more OOMPH’, he thought. ‘The change will be dramatic!
I’ve fine-tuned every lever, every screw and spring and sprocket,
WOO-HOO! I’ll soon be zooming round the planet like a rocket!’

But when he tried it out, he saw he’d only made things worse –
The only way the sleigh would function now, was in REVERSE!
He made some further tweaks – instead of straight, its path went CURVY…
And then it switched to upside-down and flew all TOPSY-TURVY…
He swapped around some wires – it flew too HIGH, and then too LOW…
‘There’s no more time!’ he cried. ‘It’s Christmas Eve! I NEED TO GO!’
Desperate, he noticed, on the floor, a tiny circuit –
He wired it in and tried again...

...At last! The sleigh was PERFECT!
He steered the reindeer upwards, and the sleigh took off in style –
‘It’s SPLENDID!’ Santa whooped, with an exhilarated smile.
‘It flies in all directions: forwards, backwards, high or low –
I can regulate the speed to suit the weather: fast or slow –
For tricky spots or chimney pots, I switch it to slow motion,
Then use the turbo-boost for extra speed above the ocean!’
Now Santa’s souped-up sleigh could fly SO QUICKLY through the air,
He finished extra early and got home with time to spare –
The sun was barely rising as he soothed his aching back
By soaking in a bubble bath before he hit the sack!

About the Writer

Claire Lewis

Claire is an author/illustrator based in Devon who loves to create funny or lyrical picture books and poems. She also does design and display work for an independent non-profit bookshop. Her poetry and illustrations have been published in The Toy and PaperBound Magazine. You can see more of her illustrations on her website