Bedtime Funny Kids

“Read the story, Daddy!” Poppy screamed from her room.

Daddy Horse rolled his eyes wishing he could close the chat like on Zoom,

“Which story is that my love?” said Daddy Horse under duress from his wife,

Who was standing on one of his hooves and pointing towards his face with a knife,

It was late on New Year’s Eve so Poppy wanted to celebrate in her own way before bed,

With the book she’d heard her Mum and Dad read cover to cover echoing a million times in her head,

“The one about the ears, silly!” Poppy enthusiastically responded sounding like she’d eaten all sugars in the house,

Daddy Horse rolled his eyes, grabbed the book from the space behind the sofa that was also being used as a larder by a local mouse,

Stomping up the stairs, book in hand, Daddy Horse let out a sigh that lasted the entire flight,

It’s not that he hated the book, just that he’d hoped he could go a day without reading it - maybe even overnight,

In fact he wasn’t even sure why he had the book as he knew the story off by heart,

To say he’d read it a thousand times may be an underestimation on his part,

Walking into Poppy’s room Daddy Horse found his daughter sat up in bed ready for the story she loved,

He sat down in the armchair ready to try and give it some heart, even if his long face clearly expressed he’d had enough,

Opening the book to the first page, Daddy Horse cleared his throat and just before he started Poppy interrupted,

“Remember to do the voices, you know all the ones I like!”

“Yes of course, sweetie” Daddy grimaced back tempted to request his kid to get on her bike.

Following the rude interruption he revved his throat once more, 

And could finally start the over familiar story which in his mind wasn’t a pleasure but a chore,

All animals have spent this year, moving on without fear, enjoying the strange rollercoaster of life,

Exploring the world with their loved ones, their parents, kids or maybe their wife,

“Why is the wife a maybe, Daddy?” asked Poppy unsure of the implication,

“Maybe it means a girlfriend perhaps?” responded Daddy Horse annoyed by his child’s complication,

But sadly one thing will come to an end with a dramatic and physical change,

They get to select a new aspect from the vast and eclectic range,

So as they peruse the options, I’m sure they may shed a tear,

Because on January 1st it’s all time to cheer – HAPPY NEW EARS!!!

“I love this part, Daddy! It’s when the story gets good!”

Without speaking, Daddy Horse tried to convey “Oh shut up!” to his little girl so they were both understood,

Mr Rabbit is sick of his floppy ears, wobbling this way and that,

So he’s decided to go for an upgrade with the ones of a vampire bat,

Miss Cow has waited long for this switch, as her ears are too much to take,

This year she’s gone for the aero dynamic choice of a rattle snake,

Mister Monkey’s lug holes are big and round, there for all to see,

So he’s gone for the elephant upgrade, now he and his neighbours can watch Sky way up high in his tree.

“Do you think Mister Monkey will get Disney Plus, Daddy? Or maybe watch Netflix?”

Daddy Horse closed his eyes, bit his lip, held his legs to avoid any unexpected kicks,

Poppy reached out to her Dad, stroked his arm and whispered “Please carry on reading!”

Daddy Horse relaxed once more and continued to read, relieved his lip wasn’t bleeding,

Mrs Cat adores her ears and loves preening them clean with her paws,

But for a change, as she looks through the range, she will have the ones of a hippo... with claws,

Miss Panda’s ears are lovely and soft which makes it much trickier to swap,

But she finds the audio flaps of a bunny give her that extra skip and a hop,

Grandpa Goat never finds it easy as his ears fit well with his horns,

But when the ears of a reindeer arrived, he felt like he’d been fully reborn,

“Does that mean Santa’s reindeers are bald, Daddy? Or just have different ears now?”

Daddy Horse contemplated the query and sadly only mustered a lacklustre response in “Possibly ears of a cow?”

Poppy stared at her father for a moment thinking about his latest level of daft,

And then her face fully erupted with the largest heartfelt laugh,

Daddy Horse laughed too and took that enthusiasm into the rest of the story,

Hoping he could make it through the remaining pages otherwise it could get gory,

Mr Tiger chose his ears in an extremely sleepy and grumpy mood without trying,

So it probably serves him right that he woke up with the ears and ruff of a lion,

Mrs Pig hated her ears with a passion, so bare and cold and flappy,

When the sound trumpets of a pug hit her head, she was ecstatic, elated and very happy

Miss Goldfish’s ear canals to her loved ones and pals were barely visible at all,

Which led to cheers when those big donkey ears graced her head and filled up her bowl,

Mr Giraffe looked down from up high, hoping his choice got missed,

But when he awoke with the ears of a stoat he was obviously quite peeved by it all,

“That doesn’t rhyme, Daddy!” Poppy pointed out causing Daddy Horse’s jaw to drop to the floor,

How could he explain this one without upsetting his daughter further, giving her a potty mouth and breaking the good parent law?

Pausing for a moment he giggled at his daughter before responding with, “Oh yeah you’re right, that’s a bit rubbish!”

“I know, Daddy!” said Poppy seriously, “how did this book ever get published?”

Daddy Horse sensing this may be the last time he ever read this story tried to hide his relief,

Dived into the final pages with the sheer excitement of a tree sprouting it’s first leaf,

So Happy New Ears everybody, I hope you enjoy your new features,

Embrace in this change, from our massive range, to the listening canals of all creatures,

Just remember this won’t last forever and soon enough you’ll select once again,

So try and plan your new ears in advance to avoid disappointment and pain.

But I have some advice for you all, to help you plan for next year without doubt,

The ear change was never compulsory, so love your own features inside and out. 

Poppy hugged Daddy Horse with all her might because the book was only part of the enjoyment she got from a bedtime story,

Being with her Daddy before her bedtime was a wonderful way to close the day and drift off without a single worry,

Daddy Horse smiled and kissed Poppy on the head, settled her back into bed and wished her goodnight,

He stomped quietly down the stairs to Mummy Horse who had prepared a table of food to celebrate New Year right. 

“Did she go off okay?” asked Mummy Horse knowing how tricky it can be when Poppy is in a mood,

Daddy Horse responded with a grin, “She drifted off quick and looks like she’s finally sick of that book which is really good!”

Mummy Horse punched the air although she knew the book was compulsory for all kids Poppy’s age,

To get children ready to embrace the annual tradition described in detail on every page,

A few hours later the countdown began and Mummy and Daddy Horse took one last look at each other in their current forms,

Stroking his sheep ears one last time, as she did the same with her bull ears and horns,

The countdown hit zero, they hugged each other for support as their bodies glowed and let out a cheer for all to hear,

“Happy New Year!”

December 30, 2021 20:46

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Hannah Barrett
00:27 Jan 05, 2022

I loved this! The way you couched a rhyming story into a rhyming story was just lovely. What an amazingly creative story.


PJ Aitken
04:05 Jan 05, 2022

Thanks Hannah - I enjoyed the challenge. I had the ear rhyming part already and thought it would be fun to go Princess Bride with it. Glad you enjoyed it.


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L.A. Ruel
14:28 Jan 03, 2022

This is genius! I am a sucker for good rhyme and humour, especially when it is a little on the dark side. An honest vote and cheers from me. Happy new year, hopefully with no new ears if you love your old ones.


PJ Aitken
14:41 Jan 03, 2022

😁 Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.


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John Del Rio
19:46 Jan 27, 2022

I like! Whimsical and charming. The storybook was almost like an advice column or directions since once a year they do say "Happy New Ear". But I didn't find out what Poppy chose. I will read more of your work. Thanks for this.


PJ Aitken
20:15 Jan 27, 2022

Thanks John


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John Del Rio
22:09 Jan 27, 2022

I will read more of your work. If you check my bio, you can see the order of the "Special Ingredient " story that has 22 chapters on Reedsy. I have even read and recorded the chapters on YouTube. I can send you links if you're interested


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05:37 Jan 02, 2022

I love that this story portrays the characters as animals for a change. Wonderful story! :)


PJ Aitken
05:44 Jan 02, 2022

Thank you for your lovely comments, Kirrtanaa.


06:58 Jan 02, 2022

You're welcome, Pj


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