Each week, our poetry host provides us with a photo prompt. This week's prompt is this whimsical image here:
I am very fond of this image. Anything whimsical and with fairy tale vibes makes me quite happy, and those are indeed the kind of vibes I get from this image. This prompt made me think of so many of the fairy tale movies and books I inhaled as a kid, and that inspired me to create something sort of fantastical. I'll be honest, my poem didn't end up all that reminiscent of those fairy tales I watched and read as a child, but it's still sort of whimsical, I guess.
As a warning, I think this may be the longest poem I've written to date. I just sort of started writing and didn't stop for quite some time. My apologies. Nonetheless, here's another one of my weird and wacky poems:
Mabel went to the market on one fine day.
It was a warm afternoon filled with bright and sunny rays.
With her basket in hand and her shopping list in mind,
Mabel visited stalls tended by vendors both cranky and kind.
She stuffed her basket with greens and fruit,
With plans to visit the bookshop sooner than soon.
After paying for her food, which included biscuits both big and small,
She moved away from the hustling and bustling of the market stalls.
The bookshop was but just one street over,
And it was run by an old woman named Clover.
A bell jingled and jangled above the door as Mabel entered,
And then she caught sight of someone standing in the store's center.
Mabel could not help but let out a gasp.
The other person in the shop was the town magician in his pointed hat.
He was a quirky old man who worried everyone he met.
He muttered and traveled around with a black and white cat for a pet.
Currently, the magician's cat sat on his shoulder.
It looked toward Mabel and meowed, and then began to purr.
Mabel could not proceed through the shop as she wished,
For the magician blocked the main aisle with his pacing and robes that swished.
Mabel had heard stories about this magician,
Stories that made her avoid him out of sheer superstition.
He was said to live in a haunted mansion in the haunted forest,
Where he performed spells that left their town cursed rather than boring.
The magician's mansion, it was said, was the reason for all the town's strife.
Last year's drought and a dying harvest was caused by the magician's haunted life.
At least, that was what Mabel had heard from the other townsfolk.
During her entire childhood, that's how those around her spoke.
The magician still blocked Mabel's entrance into the shop,
And she almost considered leaving and making a different stop.
Then the magician's cat meowed and gave him a nudge.
At that, the old wizard of a man stumbled, stuttered, and budged.
The magician said, "Oh, goodness me. I'm sorry, young miss.
I sure do get sidetracked when my mind starts racing with wit."
The man in the pointed hat moved aside in a bumbling way,
All while dropping the wooden crate he held so that onto the floor its contents did spray.
Rolling about were now apples and oranges and a bundle of grapes.
But that was not all that fell out of the old magician's shopping crate.
A few books dropped to the floor with more than a thud,
But also bottles of what might have been potions, and was that mud?
Frazzled and apologizing the entire time,
The magician acted as if he had just committed some heinous crime.
"This one has spilled," he said sadly, wiping up after a vibrant broken bottle.
"I'm sorry, Clover," he said to the bookshop owner who approached with a waddle.
The magician used his own robes to clean up the mess.
"I best head home before I cause more damage," he said.
He bid farewell to Clover, who forced a crooked smile.
To Mabel, the magician said, "Good day, miss. I hope you enjoy books by the pile."
From the magician's shoulder his cat meowed a farewell to the two ladies as well.
Then the old man's departure was announced by the door's jingling bell.
"What a strange old fellow he is," said Clover.
She added, "I hope he never curses my store and makes it blow right over."
The bookshop owner huffed and then went on her way,
Just as Mabel noticed something that had apparently gone astray.
Lying beside one of the shelves of books was a small, lumpy pouch.
Mabel picked it up and inside it felt and heard coins moving all about.
It surely belonged to the old magician, if not his cat.
After all, the little bag matched the old man's robes and hat.
Mabel stepped outside and meant to call the old magician back,
But, though gone a mere few seconds, in the street there was no magician or his cat.
Sighing, Mabel stepped back into the bookshop.
She didn't know what to do, no she did not.
She didn't want to keep the old magician's clinking coin bag.
After all, what if he then cursed her and her life hit a snag?
Something brushed Mabel's leg and she jumped with a yelp.
At her feet was the magician's cat, as far as she could tell.
She said to it, "Weren't you on the magician's shoulder when he left?"
Then to herself she said, "I don't understand that magician or his pet."
Her arm with the coins bag dangled at her side,
And the cat reach up and gave the pouch a tap, and then another five.
Mabel's eyes could not help but intently watch the cat,
Who then went toward the door and with a nod at Mabel looked back.
"You want me to come with you?" Mabel asked, a bit shocked.
The cat meowed, and did it yet again nod?
The cat tapped the door and it swung right open.
This better not be a trap, Mabel heard her mind hoping.
And so, Mabel found herself following a cat,
There was really no denying that fact.
When they entered the haunted forest, she felt more than an ounce of fright
Though it was still day, the forest offered little to no light.
Mabel had never seen the magician's haunted mansion.
The stories about it left her full of apprehension.
The cat led her through weeds and fallen tree limbs,
Until they finally ended up on a path extending far in front of them.
After quite a bit of walking in that forest,
Accompanied by a great many birds' chorus,
The cat stopped in front of a gnarly old tree.
Its limbs went side to side and up and down and it had no leaves.
"Why did you stop?" she asked the cat.
"Aren't you taking me to the magician's haunted mansion, or am I wrong about that?"
The cat moved a bit farther down the path,
And then Mabel saw something in the grass.
The crate the old magician had been carrying was sitting there.
Staring at the box, Mabel wondered if the old man had disappeared into thin air.
Then the cat started climbing up one of the gnarly tree's limbs that drooped to the ground.
Looking up, Mabel realized that above her was a quaint little tree house.
The magician peeked out of a tree house, holding half a loaf of bread.
Taking a bite of it, the old man chewed and said,
"Sylvester, my feline friend, there you are!
Oh, and have you brought us a friend from afar?"
Mabel held up the old man's coin purse.
She said, "You left this at the bookshop, sir."
He clapped his hands and smiled beneath his beard,
Saying, "Goodness me, I thank you so kindly, my dear."
For just a moment the magician disappeared,
But then he came back in sight, led by his beard.
He called down to Mabel, "I'd like to repay you, if I can.
First, though, would you mind helping me a bit more, ma'am?"
The magician tossed a rope out of his tree house window.
He asked, "Would you mind tying this to my crate there down below?"
Mabel did as the old man asked.
After all, tying a few knots was a simple enough task.
Then the old man pulled the crate up off the ground and into the tree house.
"Please, come on up for a bite to eat," to Mabel he called out.
Hesitant, Mabel looked behind her into the forest.
Without a guide, walking back to town would be frightening and horrid.
Sylvester the cat still sat on the low branch of the tree.
He looked at Mabel as he let out a meowing sort of speech.
Then he jumped from that branch to another, and then one more.
Then up a small ladder he went to stand in the tree house's door.
Again, Mabel followed the cat.
She realized the branches and ladder made ascent as simple as that.
Before long, she stood inside the quaint little tree house.
In earnest, she was pleased with what she saw when she looked about.
It was a cozy little place inside that house in the tree.
It was a welcoming home, no matter how small it did seem.
There was a chair and a couch surrounded by shelves of books,
As well as a little kitchen filled with cookies and cakes everywhere Mabel looked.
She asked, "Is this where you live?"
The old man nodded. "It's a mess, so please forgive."
Then he added, "Please, take a seat.
Let me get you a plate of some of my freshly baked treats."
Within moments Mabel had a plate overflowing with goods.
Then the magician scurried over to his shopping crate of wood.
He withdrew a bundle of apples, a sparkling bottle, and a book.
Then he began baking, at least by his behaviors' looks.
Sylvester the cat had a plate of his own.
He sat next to Mabel, his seat being a massive tome.
He took a bite of his cake and then of a cookie,
And then let out a meow and was quite happy looking.
Mabel figured the baked goods were not poisoned,
And so she took a bite, to her immediate enjoyment.
She ate cookies and strudels and a treacle tart.
When it came to baking, the old man was really quite smart.
Mabel ate delicious sweets in the company of Sylvester the cat,
All while watching the old man bake, darting this way and that.
This was no scary old man living in a haunted mansion.
Why had she been told to view him with trepidation?
The old man did perform magic, Mabel could not lie,
But his magic was the kind found in cookies, cakes, and pies.
He was a simple baker of an old man with a quirky sense of style,
And Mabel visited him again thereafter, and not just once in a while
Today isn't just a day to rhyme. It's a day to give thanks. In other words, today is Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.
Thimble always enjoys sharing her gratitude on Thursdays, and today is no different. So, what is Thimble thankful for today? She's thankful that she can supervise this mom of hers. Thimble especially enjoys taking charge of her mom's late-night art sessions.
As for me, I'm thankful to have a boss who's so easy on the eyes.
Isn't she cute?
Now, of course, we have for you the fill-in statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Ellen of 15andmeowing is the mastermind behind the first two, and I came up with the second two.
1. _________ motivates me to _________.
2. I put salt on _________.
3. When it comes to _________, I don't cut corners.
4. Never forget _________.
We'll see you tomorrow, friends!
Tip of the Day
In honor of Thimble showing off how she helps me work in my sketchbook in today's post, we thought we'd give a couple of tips on how you can try successfully work at home even with cats around. To begin, if you need to work from home and your kitty insists on having your undivided attention, in necessary cases you can have a work area where your cat is simply not allowed access. This could of course be an office or other room with a closed door, or even with a baby gate or other block keeping your cat out.
What if you and your cat prefer to remain in each other's company, though? In such cases, you may have to go for a distraction technique that works for your particular kitty. One method is to place plenty of interactive toys in your work area. This could be track ball toys, puzzle toys that make your cat work for treats, automatic toys that have fun features that can be turned on when you're working, or even a wand toy that dangles from a secure piece of furniture or from a hand you may not be using. Sometimes new toys can help distract a cat with something novel, but there are also ways around this. Many cats might think of something as novel, freshly fun, and distracting if it is simply relocated, such as if you relocate a small or big toy to a different area of the room or house. You can also rotate toys so that each day you bring out a toy or two that your cat has not seen or played with in quite some time. Refreshing cat toys with catnip can also help distract certain cats.
One more option for keeping your cat at bay while you're working is by offering them their own special place to sit or sleep. You can bring a cat bed into your work area, for example. Or, does your cat enjoy cardboard boxes? Paper bags? Tissue paper? Newspaper? If your cat enjoys sitting in or on something like this, then when you need to get started on work, offer one of those things to your cat. Near or on your desk you can place a cardboard box, some tissue paper, or anything else that your cat is known to enjoy as a toy or sleeping spot. You can even try giving your cat their own office chair near yours. In these ways, your cat can feel near you, but while enjoying something that keeps them out of your way.