A golden ptreasury of dino-rhymes for ptiny ptots

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The Independent Online
MANY parents are worried that the traditional world of childhood (books, dolls, teddy bears) seems to have no connection with the new high-gloss kids' world of dinosaurs, computer games and technology. Worry not, I tell them: by sheer coincidence I have been putting together a book of nursery rhymes. But these are nursery rhymes with a difference. They all celebrate the wonderful world of dinosaurs. Try this one, for starters:

Mary had a stegosaur

To which she was so kind

Wherever little Mary went

She had a giant behind.

One day she took her pet to school

And it ate up her class.

Oh, what a shock poor Mary got

She thought it just ate grass]

Quite a traditional one, that, though not as traditional as this one, which seems to have Victorian overtones, down to the final pun:

Dinah found some jawbones

Took them to the sawbones

The doctor said, 'Oh please,

Where did you find these?'

'There's plenty more,' young Dinah

said,

'In a pit behind the shed.'

So she went and got some more.

Can you guess what Dinah saw?

Here is another favourite poem from The Independent Book of Dinosaur Nursery Rhymes, soon to be a classic:

Behold the diplodocus

And his amazing girth

He is so wide

He cannot hide

Behind anything on earth.

So when his fellow saurians

Come out for hide and seek,

They only mock

The diplodoc

And his outsize physique.

'You silly walking motorway]'

Is what they say to him.

You can't disguise

Your awful size]'

No wonder he looks grim.

He knows that he can never

Fully be concealed

And that one tip

Of the silly old dip

Will always be revealed.

Poor old diplodocus

And his gargantuan feet.

Within a year,

I very much fear,

He may be obsolete.

Feel strong enough for more? OK, then, here we go with my personal favourite:

I'm a stegosaurus,

I'm all made of bone.

This bit here

Is my left ear

And this is a mobile phone.

Yes, it's not all armour plating

That's bolted on to me.

My upper deck

Is quite high tech

With fossil gadgetry.

I'm eighty feet of hardware

Fully computerised

Whenever I leap,

A little bleep

Keeps my brain advised.

I've got a spiky backbone.

But do you know its use?

Is it there

To hold some air

Or even orange juice?

No, it's my back-up system

It's full of megabytes;

And each time I jump

A tiny bump

Turns on my flashing lights.

I roam the ancient landscape

All I do is roam -

And when dusk falls

I make a few calls

To say I'll soon be home.

I have a lovely dwelling

On a new estate

The style is classic

Neo-Jurassic -

And I'm always home by eight . . .

Well, that goes on for several hundred more verses of suburban Triassic life, but you get the idea. As a final taster, here's a little verse that centres on the perenially fascinating spelling of pterodactyl:

See the little pterrapin,

And see the home that he lives in

When you're packed into a shell,

You keep quite warm, but oh - the

smell]

When winter comes and the wind

blows keen

He wraps his feet in pterylene

And longs to be back home in Burma

Or anywhere hot on Pterra Firma

But at least inside his plated home

He's free from war and shell and bomb

And never gets his knickers in a twist

When blown up by a pterrorist]

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