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‘Caroline and the Scissors’

Caroline, Caz to me and you,
was errant daughter number two.
Diana, daughter number one,
it seemed to Caz had all the fun –

she’d scissors that could really cut,
a doll that walked and wee-weed – but
Caz was the sharper of the two
and knew exactly what to do

to put her sister in her place.
She took the doll and inked its face,
she tried to make it run, instead
it wee-weed on Diana’s bed.

That night, sent up to bed too early,
she stole the scissors. Her hair was curly;
she cut it all off, snip, snip, snip
oh that would teach Her Ladyship –

and then she snipped her counterpane.
It felt so good. Again, again!
They looked for something else to eat,
those blades; her gymslip tasted sweet,

her socks and pants were oh so yummy.
Next day, in trouble with her mummy,
she wished she hadn’t. Mum was sad
but that was nothing to her dad;

her parents were in such despair,
especially about her hair.
Her punishment? To go to school
like that. Oh Caz felt such a fool,

her best friend said she’d got the Moth
and all the boys had such a laugh.
The teacher said That’s quite enough!
You want to tease your friend? Well, tough.

Not in my class. Here we’re kind.
One more word, you’ll stay behind.
At times we all give in to spite
but hurting others isn’t right.

Carole Bromley lives in York. She has twice been a winner in the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition and has two collections for adults with Smith/Doorstop: A Guided Tour of the Ice House (2011) and The Stonegate Devil (2015). A collection for children, Blast Off! will be published in June 2017. This poem was written on Rachel Piercey’s course, To Sea in a Sieve, the week the group were asked to write cautionary tales. Carole would recommend this course very highly if it is offered again.

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