children's books

A Friend for Simeon
by Hilary Williamson

The smallest skunk had a problem
It made him feel unwell
For white-striped little Simeon
Could not control his smell
Sim's home was a giant rock pile
In a clearing leafy and dim
His parents, aunts, uncles and cousins,
Were all of them snarling at him
For if a skunk is troubled
Then as fast as you can blink
He'll hump his back and lift his tail
And squirt out a terrible stink
Simeon sprayed far too often
When happy or grumpy or sad
Just get him a little excited
And you'd soon be sorry you had
They sent Sim away from the den
For here is a secret, don't tell -
Skunks always spray when they're startled
But they don't really like their own smell
Sad Simeon was on his own
Slowly scratching a flea
When prickly Persephone porcupine
Clambered down from her tree
Sim was so shocked he humped his back,
And squirted past her ear
Perse went on guard and lashed out hard
A quill stuck in his rear
It hooked into his bushy tail
Perse turned her head to see
Sim stopped his spray and seemed to say
'Why did you shoot at me?'
They both began to back away
Growling as they glared:
'I only spray 'cause I'm frightened'
'I only loose quills 'cause I'm scared'
Persephone pulled the quill out
Herbs helped remove the stink
They slinked to a stream together
And there they shared a drink
Now they scamper through the woods
Happy as sister and brother
They play together, but always take care
Never to startle each other
So if you're up at dawn's first light
Or going to bed with the sun
Look outside - can you see a skunk
And a porcupine having fun?

The End

Did you know that skunks stamp their front feet when they're
angry, and that porcupines don't actually throw their quills?