The queen who couldn’t be bothered

Enjoy listening to the story . . .
Page 1

 

Long ago in a far off land there was once a queen.

She loved to laugh and have lots of fun.

And she was always smiling at everyone.

She sang and danced – and given the chance –

She would skip about the palace.

 

But the queen had been queen for a very long time.

And now she was tired of all the fun

And couldn’t be bothered to smile at anyone.

The queen huffed, “I can’t be bothered!”

And she sat on her throne all alone eating a pot of porridge.

The people were sad.

They wanted the queen to smile again.

They waved bright flags – but that didn’t work.

They marched up and down – but that didn’t work.

They clapped and cheered – but that didn’t work.

 

One day the queen had a special visitor from across the sea – all the way from Brazil. He had come to try to make her smile. He bowed very low and said, “Good day, your majesty.”

But rudely the queen asked, “What do you want?”

“I want to make you smile! We have monkeys that chitter-chatter and parrots that squawk. We would like you to come and see them.”

The queen huffed, “I can’t be bothered! Your monkeys and parrots will be noisy and smelly – just like you! Go away you horrid little man! Or I’ll mash you and eat you with my porridge!” And she shooed him away with her hand.

The queen sat on her throne all alone eating her pot of porridge!

 

One day the queen had another visitor from across the sea – all the way from Ghana. She had come to try to make her smile. She bowed very low and said, “Good day, your majesty.”

But rudely the queen asked, “What do you want?”

“I want to make you smile! We have lions that roar and elephants that trumpet. We would like you to come and see them.”

The queen huffed, “I can’t be bothered! Your lions and elephants will be dusty and dirty – just like you! Go away you horrid little woman! Or I’ll mash you and eat you with my porridge!” And she shooed her away with her hand.

The queen sat on her throne all alone eating her pot of porridge!

 

Page 2

 

 

One day the queen had yet another visitor from across the sea – all the way from Australia. He had come to try to make the queen smile. He bowed very low and said, “Good day, your majesty.”

But rudely the queen asked, “What do you want?”

“I want to make you smile! We have kangaroos that bounce and crocodiles that snap. We would like you to come and see them.”

The queen huffed, “I can’t be bothered! Your kangaroos and crocodiles will be silly and ugly – just like you! Go away you horrid little man! Or I’ll mash you and eat you with my porridge!” And she shooed him away with her hand.

The queen sat on her throne all alone eating her pot of porridge!

 

“The queen should smile,” grumbled the man from Brazil.

“The people want to smile,” mumbled the woman from Ghana.

“I have an idea,” said the man from Australia.

Everyone asked, “What’s your idea?”

And he said, “If she won’t come and see our wonderful creatures, we’ll bring them to her instead.”

“She’ll moan.”

“She’ll groan.”

But the man said, “She might smile once more.”

 

So the queen’s visitors sailed across the water – all the way to Brazil.

And the wind it blew.

And the ship it sailed to the top of the waves.

And the ship it sailed to the bottom of the waves.

And the ship it rolled from side to side . . .

Rock and roll, rock and roll.

And they all were dizzy, and they all felt sick.

 

When they reached Brazil, they saw mountains and jungles and monkeys and parrots. The man from Brazil called, “Monkeys, parrots! Come and join us on our ship. We’ll sail to the queen of the far off land and make her smile again!”

The monkeys chitter-chattered and swung aboard. The parrots squawked and flapped aboard.

 

And they sailed across the water – all the way to Ghana.

And the wind it blew.

And the ship it sailed to the top of the waves.

And the ship it sailed to the bottom of the waves.

And the ship it rolled from side to side . . .

Rock and roll, rock and roll.

And they all were dizzy, and they all felt sick.

 

Page 3

 

 

When they reached Ghana they saw rivers and grassland and lions and elephants. The woman from Ghana called, “Lions, elephants come and join us on our ship. We’ll sail to the queen of the far off land and make her smile again!”

The lions roared and leapt aboard. The elephants trumpeted and lumbered aboard. And now there were the three visitors, the monkeys, the parrots, the lions and the elephants.

 

And they sailed across the water – all the way to Australia.

And the wind it blew.

And the ship it sailed to the top of the waves.

And the ship it sailed to the bottom of the waves.

And the ship it rolled from side to side . . .

Rock and roll, rock and roll.

And they all were dizzy, and they all felt sick.

 

And they chitter-chattered,

and they squawked,

and they roared

and they trumpeted.

 

When they reached Australia they saw deserts and lakes and kangaroos and crocodiles. The man from Australia called, “Kangaroos, crocodiles come and join us on our ship. We’ll sail to the queen of the far off land and make her smile again!”

The kangaroos bounced and hopped aboard. The crocodiles snapped and scrambled aboard. And now there were the three visitors, the monkeys, the parrots, the lions, the elephants, the kangaroos and the crocodiles.

 

And they sailed across the water – all the way to the queen’s far off land.

And the wind it blew.

And the ship it sailed to the top of the waves.

And the ship it sailed to the bottom of the waves.

And the ship it rolled from side to side . . .

Rock and roll, rock and roll.

And they all were dizzy, and they all felt sick.

 

And they chitter-chattered,

and they squawked,

and they roared

and they trumpeted,

and they bounced,

and they snapped.

 

Page 4

 

 

Then they reached the land of the queen who couldn’t be bothered.

They saw the people were gloomy and sad.

They saw the palace was dreary and bad.

The queen was asleep. They heard her snore.

The man from Brazil warned, “She’s going to be cross!”

The woman from Ghana asked, “What shall we do?”

The man from Australia said, “We’ll hide and give her a surprise!”

 

So the monkeys hid in some curly-whirly plants.

The parrots hid in the chandeliers.

The lions hid under the great, long table,

and the elephants hid behind the old ticking clocks.

The kangaroos hid behind statues of kings

and the crocodiles hid in the pond.

 

Then the visitors hid in an old, cold fireplace.

And everyone listened to the queen as she snored.

Then they heard her yawn.

And loudly she stretched.

Then she shuffled into her great, dark hall.

The queen huffed, “I can’t be bothered!”

And she sat on her throne all alone eating her pot of porridge!

 

Page 5

 

 

The monkeys had never seen porridge before. They thought it looked sticky and icky and slurpy and glurpy. They giggled and chitter-chattered. Which made the parrots squawk and flap. Which made the lions roar and growl. Which made the elephants trumpet and stamp. Which made the kangaroos bounce and hop. Which made the crocodiles snap and splash.

And the queen gasped.

And the queen trembled.

And the queen screamed!

And the three visitors crept slowly out.

“Told you she’d be cross.”

“We’re in big trouble now.”

“It’s all my fault,” said the man from Australia.

 

But then the queen said,

“What wonderful creatures!

But why are they here?”

The visitors spluttered, “To see a special queen!”

The queen was puzzled. “But who is that?”

And the visitors chorused, “Why – you, your majesty!”

The queen began to slowly smile.

And the people called out, “Look! The queen is smiling!”

And then she declared,

“I like to smile.

I want everyone to smile.”

 

And everyone called,

“Let’s wave our bright flags!

Let’s march up and down!

Let’s clap and cheer! –

Hooray!”

 

© Charlie Wilson 2013

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