Two of the best-loved picture book stories when our children and grandchildren were very young were Judith Kerr's 'The Tiger who came to Tea' , and Julia Donaldson's 'Gruffalo' and 'Gruffalo's Child' . I couldn't resist writing adult versions.
THE TIGER WHO CAME TO HER DINNER PARTY
The tiger who came to her dinner
Was noticeably leaner and thinner
Than the one in the story
Where the tiger ate all he
Could find in that little girl's house.
This one, being lean
Was predictably mean
His dietary preference eclectic
The food that he ate
From his hosts, was not wholly expected.
Having gate-crashed her party
(Which had been clever and arty)
He proceeded to taste then devour
The canapes first
And then the deserts
Whose creation had taken her hours
He then turned his attention
With no hint of pretension
To those plates bearing nouveau cuisine
And those artistic morsels
He ate up with some sauce till
His hostess was ready to scream..!
But with the utmost restraint
(She'd been ready to faint)
She then scaled the heights of politeness
And said "Tiger dear"
(As she trembled with fear)
"Can I get something else for your highness?"
The tiger he growled in his tigerish way
As tigers do in the zoo
As he circled the table the dinner guests all
Felt an urgent need for the loo
"I've a terrible thirst" , growled the terrible tiger
And to be fair, he did sound a bit hoarse
"I've emptied the taps and the kitchen sink,
What else have you got I could drink?"
He'd drunk all the milk and the juice in the big fridge
Of the prosecco and kefir there remained not a vestige..
But he growled yet again " I've still got a thirst"
It was then his poor hostess feared the worst....
And a fate worse than death at that moment befell her
As he padded towards her spouse's wine cellar
From her trembling throat came a series of squawks
From the cellar there came a great popping of corks
As he proceeded to drink all of her champagne
Soon just the dregs of her fine wines remained
As he emerged from the cellar at long long last
She and her guests sat white-faced and aghast
But the tiger just smiled (in the way tigers do)
Proffered a paw, said politely; "Thank you"
He left by the window, and just as his tail
Vanished into the dark, she let out a wail
As she heard the front door bell's musical ring
And knew that that sound could mean only one thing..
It's only me, I've forgotten my key,
But you don't seem very pleased to see me...?
Then he strode into the dining room to take over as host
Where the guests deathly pale as if they'd seen a ghost
My dear it seems that you've had quite a party
It appears it was drunken as well as quite arty
Now I suppose that you're going to tell me...
No, let me guess...
You had a tiger who came to tea!
She said... "Yes"
Oh well that's alright then
We'll just leave this mess
I'm going to take you and all of our guests
To a slap up meal..
At Pizza Express!
© nigel hallworth 2021