I’m Messy Marvin and I’m in quite a mess.
A mess that I don’t know how to address.
I’m not even sure quite where to begin.
Listen up for a moment and I’ll fill you right in.
My Dad’s truck has a dead monster inside.
There’s an atrocious smell when he gives us a ride.
He drives my sister and me to school each day,
and his truck smells smelly like rot and decay.
My Dad has been driving this truck for awhile.
“About ten years” he says with a smile.
So it’s strange that the monster had never appeared.
My Sister and I think that’s frightfully weird.
Now I’m not scared of monsters like you may think.
But I really don’t like dead monsters that stink.
I just can’t seem to figure out where he died.
I’ve tried and I’ve searched and I’ve searched and I’ve tried.
So how do I know it’s a monster you say?
Well it all started just the other day,
When my Dad said to my Sister and me,
“You’ve made a monstrous mess of my truck you see!”
My Dad blamed the smell on my sister and me.
He said “it’s the French fries and soda and candy.”
“The food that you eat when I’m driving you places.”
“The food that you spill as you’re stuffing your faces.”
What do messes have to do with monsters, I thought?
That’s a subject in school I’ve never been taught.
But Dad must be right because Dad’s know best.
About monsters and messes and all of the rest.
So he must be correct, it’s because of our mess.
He must know something, he wouldn’t just guess.
He must know the monster came from our trash.
He must know it grew from a soda-pop splash.
So I pictured this monster with all of my might.
What a sight it must be, a horrible fright!
Made from the garbage we throw on the floor
The garbage we never pick up anymore.
I pictured his body was a large paper plate.
Greasy and dirty from some breakfast I ate.
His arms and his legs, long strands of French fries.
Salt and ketchup connecting his shins to his thighs.
I pictured his round, creepy face was a waffle.
Half soaked in syrup and looking quite awful.
A bite from one side meant one eye was not there.
Like a pirate he had only one he could spare.
His eye and his ears and likely his nose,
I pictured as stale, crusty Cheerios.
His big grinning mouth was a straw from a drink.
Smoking a cigar that’s an old sausage link.
I pictured his clothes were some discarded napkins,
And pieces of foil that Pop-Tarts had been wrapped in.
With a handful of tissues I’d used for my nose
I pictured he’d fashioned some socks for his toes.
Chicken Nuggets, I pictured, he wore as his shoes.
Soaked in ketchup and starting to ooze.
A popsicle stick he used as a cane.
Because his French fry appendages caused him some pain.
Now I’m not scared of monsters, just like I said
But this picture I pictured filled me with dread.
That this monster had been living inside my Dad’s truck.
Wreaking his havoc and running amuck!
But now he is dead and we sure need to find him.
Maybe Dad will help, I just need to remind him.
If we don’t do something about this dead smelly ghoul.
I might have to start riding the bus to school!
So, I think I’ll start trying to keep his truck cleaner.
By eating with more of a grown-up demeanor.
And I’ll leave you with just a bit of advice.
Listen up closely, I won’t say this twice.
Next time you’re riding in your Mom or Dad’s car.
And drinking some juice or eating a candy bar.
Please try to keep it tidy and neat.
Or you may find a monster living under your seat!
13 responses to “Messy Marvin and the Dead Monster”
i like it, a great story
This version’s okay, but I like the first version better (which may be because I prefer prose to poetry)…
Wendy, that’s interesting to hear your opinion. I did a bunch of reading today about writing kids stories in rhyme vs. prose and all the arguments on each side. I’ve always liked writing in rhyme but sounds like its not a favorite of the publishers, yet there’s a million classic rhyming books out there. I guess I’m beginning to understand why the publishing business is so complicated!!
I liked it as it is, but I have no prose version to compare to. Although no doubt it is here if I search? That is saying something for me, as I am not a big poertry/rhyme person usually. I liked it enough to share to Facebook and recommend all parent friends have a read.
I think it is freaking marvellous. I read to logan every night…at the moment we were working through a book which is filled with stories based on rhymme….and she loves it because she remembers them. At 4- reading herself is still not a thing she can do….but she can learn songs and rhymmes.
Now, you just need to work on getting an artist! So exciting!!!
I agree – find a great illustrator – it would be an adorable picture book!
I can see the possibilities…so much imagery there that could jump out in a picture book. I haven’t read the original…but as a stand alone I thought it was great!
Thanks for all the nice comments. I don’t know if you are all familiar with David Small and Sarah Stewart who have written and illustrated a bunch of very well known kids books… they live about 20 minutes from me, maybe I should try to get to know them!!
From a pre-literacy point of view, rhyme is used to help engage predicting skills. We often choose books for that purpose so the children can feel success when being read too. This helps to engage active participation. Prose is used to engage the child in furthering comprehension skills.
With that said, I love the child perspective component. Very few books are from that perspective! When you become published, I can say I knew you when 😉
This made me smile 🙂
I think it would be great if you can keep some of the descriptors you used in the other version.
Can I ask what age group you’re targetting?
I don’t really know who I am targeting. If I actually knew what I was doing I might be able to answer that!! I guess this would appeal to a 5-10 year old or so. I think it needs some work in terms of tha actual narrator character who tells the story but is never really developed. Glad it made you smile though. I love writing these stories!
Different..but in a rockin’ way!
This is great, Steve – thanks for linking to it in my comments. Now that some time has passed since you wrote it, have you moved closer to getting it published? I agree with some of the other commenters, this needs to be in a book.