Not-so-happy Families:
The Tale of Little Bill Brown

Poor Mr Brown was all alone - he had no friends to call his own:
But then one day he found a wife to clean his shoes and share his life.
The poor old Browns lived all alone: they had no children of their own -
But then one day they had a boy: they called him Bill - he brought them joy.

Poor little Bill felt all alone - he had no sister of his own:
But then one day a sister came - Lucinda-Linda was her name.
Poor little Bill was very sad: his parents just ignored the lad.
Lucinda-Linda screamed all day and drove poor little Bill away.

Poor Mrs Brown was most upset: she liked her family - and yet
She saw the grey strands in her hair: she needed help - a smart ‘au pair’!
The poor ‘au pair’ arrived to find that Bill was really most unkind.
He dropped ten tadpoles in her cup, and watched to see her drink them up!

The weak ‘au pair’ was whisked away, to take a lengthy ‘holiday’,
While Mr Brown worked out a plan to turn his son into a man.
Young Bill was sent to Great Aunt Flo, for she was ‘very strict, you know’!
She’d make him make his bed each day, say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’, ‘If I may’.

Back home, the poor old Browns were sad. Lucinda-Linda missed the lad;
But Bill was sharing lots of treats with Great Aunt Flo, who bought him sweets.
‘Boys will be boys’ - they say, you know - but boys need love to make them grow,
And soon our Bill was six feet tall; no longer ‘just a child’ at all.

He grew to be a handsome man. He felt alone - he hatched a plan.
He’d find himself a Mrs Brown to dust his buttons up and down -
The two would have a little boy; they’d call him Bill - he’d bring them joy:
But would they have a girl as well? - that secret’s not for me to tell!

© Caroline Gill
DACE, UWS: ‘Writing Children’s Literature’