Written for Julia, when she was 10.
Blobbo was the main character in an excellent puzzle-solving computer game for the Macintosh; Julia made many models of Blobbo and played with them extensively
One day, before the sky turned light,
Julia awoke in haste.
Excited she was of the day ahead;
There was no time to waste.
From under the covers, out she crept,
Over to Blobbo’s bed;
She looked at his softly sleeping form,
And touched his resting head.
He stirred a bit, rolled on his back,
Woke slowly with a smile.
His eyes did not open because
They were open all the while!
“Hello, Julia”, he said with cheer,
“What shall we do today?”
“Oh, Blobbo, I have an adventure planned,
Let’s start without delay!”
“But Julia, my friend, it’s early yet,
The sky is still near black.”
“I know that, Blobbo, but we must go
Before the cats attack.”
Off Julia sprang, ran out the door,
With Blobbo in her pocket,
To bright red boat on Crystal Lake,
On shore where last she’d docked it.
As sun arose o’er eastern shores,
Speeding across the lake,
They rushed to Crystal’s southern edge,
Splitting mirror with their wake.
At furthest shore they hid their boat,
Just out of lion’s reach;
They looked around to check the sands,
And crept onto the beach.
To upper bank they quickly fled,
In trees and out of sight;
They snuggled there beneath the green,
And peered through bushes tight.
“So, Julia, why are we here?
Please give to me a clue.
Who will the cats attack and when,
And what are we to do?”
“Blobbo, you see that ancient tree,
The giant, twisted oak?
Its branches hide the puppies’ home,
Beneath its green-brown cloak.”
“Each middle morning lions come
To see their oldest foe;
They roar and gnash their pointy teeth,
And scare the puppies so.”
“The puppies huddle in their house
Until the lions go;
But one day the cats may stay and fight,
And make the terror grow.”
“So we must spook the lions enough
To make them stay away,
To never come and haunt this glen,
For ever and a day.”
“But how can you, and I so small,
Scare mighty, lordly cats?”
Said Blobbo with a puzzled frown,
“We are like gnats to rats!”
“Ah, Blobbo we will use our brains
To think what cats might hate.
We have to know the cats’ dislike
So we can set them straight.”
“I think it’s water that we must use
From a cold and quiet brook.
Behind the oak a stream runs deep;
Come and take a look.”
They crept through bushes green and thick
Near to the huge, old tree;
Around one edge a creek did flow:
Could it set the puppies free?
Julia told Blobbo of her plans
To split the brook in two;
In front of the tree a ditch to make,
To form a channel new.
With creek in back, and creek in front
An island the home would be;
A moat of peace around them all,
The puppies and their tree.
You see big cats do hate to swim,
And so they would not come.
They’d plod along and sulk away,
And they would be quite glum.
“That’s great,” said Blobbo, “and I see
Just how it might be done.
We need a wonderful digger;
I know the perfect one.”
“She’s a great and powerful gopher,
With strongest digging claws;
She’ll make a trench in no time flat,
With whirling, buzzing paws.”
“Her name is Gertrude Gopherson,
Of talents bold and rare;
She lives just past that line of trees,
In meadows over there.”
“Let’s see her, Blobbo, but be quick,
The hour is getting late;
The lions come at ten o’clock,
And now it’s nearly eight.”
They found the gopher in the fields,
Enjoying the morning sun.
They told her of their rescue plans,
And all that must be done.
“Oh, my, I see, well, yes, indeed!
I will do it as you say.
I’ll go and dig the trench right now,
To keep the cats at bay.”
They went on back to puppies’ home,
And while the gopher dug,
Julia talked to puppies five,
And Blobbo sang to bugs.
He sang to them of all the plans,
In warbled insect tongue;
They listened close with eager ears,
From old to larval young.
“Oh, we’d love to help, we really would;
Just tell us what to do!”
“That would be great! Thank you, dear bugs.
Now gather up your crew.”
“Find all the whirlygigs around,
And bring them here to me;
Ask all your nozzled termite friends,
And all the buzzing bees.”
Once all the insects had been found,
In whispers Blobbo spoke;
They giggled and danced with special glee
At their fancy feline joke.
“Well, then,” said Blobbo, “now you know
The nature of the game.
So be off now, get set in place,
And I will do the same.”
Unknown to Blobbo and the bugs
They had been overheard;
A salamander named Salloo
Had just heard every word.
Salloo went underneath the soil,
And told her friends the tale;
They hatched their own delightful plan
To make the cats turn pale.
With Blobbo ready by the oak,
The insects where he’d asked,
Julia peered from puppies’ den;
Gertrude had done her task.
The gopher’s trench had filled up fast,
And now flowed cold and sure.
Its darkened waters formed a wall;
For puppies’ plight, a cure.
As Julia watched the stream was filled
With whirlygigs galore,
They covered the surface each by each,
’til creek could hold no more.
They formed a glittering swath of dark;
Around the tree it wound.
It looked a trail of shiny stones,
As solid as the ground.
Julia puzzled at this odd sight,
As creek changed into path.
She pondered Blobbo’s hidden plans,
And then their aftermath.
Anticipation for the day
Hung heavy in the air,
In every mind the question asked
Was how the pups would fare.
The puppies hid with shaking knees,
Inside their shaded den;
The cats might come at any time,
For it was nearly ten.
No creature moved beneath the sun,
The trees were still as stone;
The only noise was quiet song
Of a single bird, alone.
Then just at ten all eyes looked up,
The bird fell silent too.
Straining they heard a distant sound;
Their trepidation grew.
The sound grew louder and was heard
Above their ragged breath,
The paws of lions crunching leaves,
Announcing coming death.
With mighty leaps the cats did burst
Upon the tranquil scene;
The largest female roared in front,
Prancing like a queen.
Her fighting name was DaggerClaw,
The mightiest of them all;
She towered over other cats,
Above one meter tall.
She heard a sound from ancient tree,
And turned back to her pride,
“Now listen to those small, scared pups,
Just whimpering inside.”
The vicious pride laughed with their queen,
A chuckle harsh and deep;
It made them bold, and eager, too,
To hear the puppies weep.
She said with coldness, “Let’s begin,
And no more play this time;
I’m hungry now, and crave some food,
A pup would be just fine.”
From Blobbo’s secret hiding place
He heard the cats’ cruel talk;
He grinned himself for he did know
The cats would get a shock.
Or would they now? Was he quite sure
The cats would be sent back?
Or would the cats be just too strong,
And get their morning snack?
Then DaggerClaw, she looked around,
And saw the path so bright;
“Oh, look, how quaint, they built a trail,
With pebbles oh-so-tight.”
“The trail will form the perfect spot,
To launch our bold attack;
So let’s go now, together strong,
And get that wretched pack.”
All shouting “charge!”, the cats lept high,
And soared on through the air;
Their legs went down to spring on path,
With supple feline flair.
But just as they were landing down,
Blue water they did see;
The water had been left in haste
By the gigs whirly.
In shock the cats looked at their doom,
And all screamed mighty wails,
With noisy splash the cats were drenched,
Except their fluffy tails.
The lions stormed from hidden creek,
And bounded onto land;
They looked a sad and sorry lot,
With every wetted strand.
But as they sat and dripped and cursed
A buzzing filled the air;
A million bees came swarming down
And clung to lions’ hair.
The cats slashed paws against the threat,
With frantic, useless blows;
Old DaggerClaw flayed round her head,
As bees stung deep her nose.
The bees flew off to leave the cats
Alone and trembling cold;
Once mighty cats were stunned and sore,
And were no longer bold.
And as they stood and caught their breath,
Still chattering their teeth,
The nozzled termites emerged en masse
From swellings underneath.
The termite horde sprayed forth a glue,
Which covered all the pride,
The cats preened fast with frantic licks
Their sticky, matted hide.
With glue all spent the termites left
The cats in misery;
In hiding Julia watched and grinned
At Blobbo’s mastery.
Wet and stung and all glued up
The cats no longer cared
Of pups or food or sweet revenge;
They were, quite simply, scared.
They turned to go out of that land,
And never to return,
But as they walked with laggard stride,
They smelled a sickening burn.
All cats turned round and with wide eyes
They saw a shocking sight;
Their fluffy tails, held sweeping low,
With fire were alight!
And sitting next to each hot tail
A salamander smiled;
With fire flints in each small hand,
The sparks were dancing wild.
With crazy spins the cats whirled round,
Their eyes were dark with fear;
Then straight as arrows from a bow
They shot without a veer.
Away from puppies’ old oak tree,
Away from quiet glen,
Away from all the watching pups,
And each and every friend.
Blobbo small and Gertrude large
With Julia and Salloo
Stared as flames flew out of sight,
And disappeared from view.
In silent shock they paused a breath,
Each stunned by sudden peace;
Each looked around and broadly smiled,
And cheered joyful release.
“It worked, it worked!” the gopher cried,
“The cats are gone for good!
The puppies now will have no fear,
All things are as they should!”
The insects cheered and sang with joy;
The whirlygigs all pranced,
Back and forth the termites swayed,
The bees buzzed loud and danced.
Julia turned to Blobbo small
And said while smiling bright,
“Your plan with bugs was truly great,
It filled me with delight!”
Then Julia said to all the bugs,
“How wonderful you were!
Next time the lions see insects
They surely will not purr!”
“Salloo,” she said, and looked around,
“Your plan I do admire!
Surprised I was to see the cats,
Run off with tails afire!”
“And Gertrude, dear, I thank you so,
You dug the perfect trench;
Because of your untiring work
The lion’s roar was quenched.”
And then she gazed at all her friends,
And said in gentle voice,
“We should mark this happy day,
And as a group rejoice.”
All cheered to her and she smiled back,
Then in the glad mayhem,
Julia thought of the five pups,
And so she turned to them.
“And how are you, my puppy friends,
Can you come out to play?
Would you come and celebrate,
The victory of the day?”
“Oh, yes,” they barked, “we’d like to go
And have some fun with you!
It would be great to party now
With you and all your crew!”
The friends went off toward the beach,
And hopped into the boat,
Except the bugs, who went straight home,
Their time to sleep devote.
The lake was flat as on they sped,
The wind rushed through their hair
(Except, of course, Salloo and friends,
Who were completely bare!).
The wind was not just from their speed,
Nor from the lake’s warm gales;
With five excited puppies there,
Most came from wagging tails!
Salloo kept down in dampened hull,
Blobbo atop the bow,
While Julia steered the boat as fast
As safety would allow.
When shore was reach all bounded out,
And tied the boat to dock;
Once done they listened to Julia,
As she began to talk.
“Let’s all go and spend some time
At Sunshine’s Park of Fun
There to play and goof around
Until the day is done.”
Off they ran with pups ahead
Into the waiting park;
The pups once there approached Sunshine
And told their tale in bark:
“Oh, Sunshine, so, the cats, you see,
Were fooled by whirlygigs
Then drenched they were by cold liquid
Which filled the gopher’s digs…”
They started talking all at once
Of termites, bees, and fire,
All jumbled up in disarray,
They told the tale entire.
With nodding head and smiling face
Old Sunshine listened close,
The owner Owl, of soft gray plumes,
Her head a moon globose.
“Well, pups, my friends, that’s quite a tale
Of battle bravely won.
Now please relax and celebrate,
Come on let’s have some fun!”
“I’d recommend the mini-golf
And then the ferris wheel,
And then the roller coaster ride
It’s sure to make you squeal.”
She led them to her favorite parts,
For nearly half the day,
On rides they frolicked with delight,
As hours rolled away.
The mini-golf they most enjoyed,
And played and played and played,
With windy bends and tricky bumps
They cheered with wild putts made.
The fourteenth hole proved quite the best;
It was a fountain tall.
Excitedly they milled about:
Each held their colored ball.
Gertrude’s ball was painted green,
She placed it on the tee,
She looked around the fountain’s spray,
To where the hole might be.
But Blobbo thought his turn was first
And onto tee he snuck.
When Gertrude brought her club to fore,
‘Twas Blobbo that was struck.
Blobbo zoomed along the ground,
And zipped on up the ramp,
He flew above the fountain pool,
And through the misty damp.
The world was spinning in his eyes
As tumbling on he sailed,
To pool he fell and soon he knew
His fountain flight had failed.
With noisy splash and cry he fell,
And gasped in swirling wet,
Was swept into a water pipe,
And shot out of a jet.
With the spray he went straight up,
And flew into the air;
A graceful arc, then down he came,
And fell in Gertrude’s hair!
The friends burst out in happy laughs,
And helped poor Blobbo out;
They dried him off and fluffed him up,
And smoothed his absent snout.
The golf went on, and then more rides,
And then another game;
By eveningtime their play was done,
And hungry they became.
Ice cream and cake they all enjoyed,
At Sunshine’s Fun Café,
The flavors there were quite diverse,
Salloo liked best the Wiggly Worms,
And Gertrude Rocky Roots;
The pups choose Pizza Meatball Cake,
And Julia Custard Fruits.
Blobbo, though, he chose quite odd,
He chose a bowl of slime;
It was his favorite treat, in fact,
He had it every time.
With friends about he smiled and thought
This is a happy life;
To set a goal, and get it done,
And rid the world of strife.
Now day’s light waned with setting sun,
And soon it would be dark;
With stomaches full they said goodbye
To Sunshine and her park.
The tired friends went to the boat,
Untied it from the dock.
The lengthy day had silenced all;
None among them talked.
Julia drove across the lake,
And when far shore was reached,
Gertrude, Salloo, and puppies five
Climbed onto the beach.
The puppies thanked all for their help
In making lions flee
“Please visit, do, for you are all
Good friends we’d love to see.”
The friends stood there and warmly hugged
And gently said goodbye,
They’d long recall this fateful day
With tears in every eye.
As friends went off, away from shore,
Steps quiet they did make;
Julia and Blobbo waved goodnight,
Then turned back to the lake.
With weary bones they went straight home,
Still thinking of the day;
Their house was waiting as before,
Before they’d gone away.
It seemed so odd to find the house
With nothing changed at all,
When battles raged under a sun
Which saw the lions’ fall.
“‘Twas quite a day, my little friend,
One none will soon forget;
But now it’s time to settle down,
So off to sleep we get.”
They talked a while in quiet tones,
And climbed into their beds;
They drifted off with thoughts of peace,
As moon rose o’er their heads.
“Goodnight, my friend, the best of sleeps.”
“And same to you from me.
I wonder what tomorrow holds;
I just can’t wait to see!”