Great Aunty Laura

We’re going to stay with our Great Aunty Laura.

She lovely! She’s brilliant! She’s cool! We adore her!

There’s only one problem…

The hour is getting incredibly late

And our stomachs are rumbling – it’s time that we ate

The midnight feast that we’ve carefully prepared,

And which, to be honest, we don’t want shared

With our Great Aunty Laura (although we adore her).

But Laura’s rabbiting on and on

About the days that have now long gone,

And when she talks of the time she was young

We can’t do a thing to stop her tongue.

She claims she was once a wild jungle explorer,

A dancer, a chancer, a top football scorer,

And all we can do is sit there and listen

(Or at least pretend) as her eyes glow and glisten.

She’s never going to stop.

And so I turn to my sister and whisper:

‘If we want her to sleep, our Great Aunty Laura,

What we must do is sit tight here and bore her’.

So we yawn and stare, and slump in the chair

(While thinking, of course, all this waiting’s not fair),

And talk about stuff that is boring enough

To have an insomniac nodding right off.

And then my sister, stifling a cough,

Says ‘Shhhhh, I think we’ve done it’.

And she points with her thumb straight at Great Aunty Laura,

And blimey – good heavens! – that lady’s a snorer!

It makes the whole house seem to tremble and shake.

So surely Aunt Laura is not still awake?

I mouth at my sister: ‘She’s fast asleep’,

So we crawl, we skitter, we slink, we creep,

We slither, we sidle, we tiptoe, we skulk

Past the chair where she’s lying, that great snoring hulk.

But then one of her eyes seems to open and wink,

As if to say ‘Children, just where do you think

You are going, at this time of night?’

She’s fast asleep though – so that can’t be right!

So my sister (who’s nearest our Great Aunty Laura)

Says: ‘Sleeptalking. Come on, just try to ignore her’.

‘But she winked!’ I say, ‘She winked – I saw her!’

But my sister says ‘Sssshh’ and she gives me a push

Through the door, down the hall, and then to the table

From where, as fast as we’re possibly able,

We take all the food that we’d hidden at tea

And pretty much everything else we can see –

The biscuits, the cheese, the juice, the jam,

The slices of sausage, salami and ham –

And we cram it all in, this midnight snack,

To a small and holey plastic sack.

It’s all we could find

But we don’t mind.

All we care about now

Is getting upstairs.

Somehow.

We need to get back past Great Aunty Laura,

Who’s sleeping (and that’s how we really adore her),

That jungle explorer,

That top football scorer,

That champion snorer.

And yes – she’s still making that thunderous rumble.

And so through the darkness we creep and we fumble.

We don’t say a word, we don’t whisper or speak,

And then

We hear

A floorboard

Creak.

And before we know it, there in the door,

Is our Great Aunty Laura, who lets out a

ROAR!

Er…

What can we do? What can we do?

Pretend we were up just to go to the loo?

My sister tries to hide the sack

(All bulging with food) behind her back,

But then the sack splits, and – Thump! Bang! Crash!

The food all falls out.

We try to dash,

But Laura has grabbed us, she grips at our collars,

And then with her jaws opened wide, Laura hollers

(You wouldn’t believe quite how loud she can shout):

WHY DID YOU TWO LEAVE ME OUT!’

And so we share our midnight feast

With our Great Aunty Laura, who is, at least,

A pretty cool aunt,

But we can’t

Keep our eyes

Open

For long

With Great Aunty Laura

Rabbiting on,

And on,

And on,

And on.

And in the morning,

The food

Is gone.

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