polka-dot eggs
a leaky umbrella
April 1st antics
three shakes of a lamb's tail
listing roof
crooked fence
wriggly earthworms
lime green ice cream
Sunbonnet Sally
frog fritters

Members of the message board were requested to write some silly verse using the above list of words and phrases.

By Sharon (ByGolly25@aol.com)

If I had my dithers
I'd not eat frog fritters
No not I
Nothing gruesome to fry
Never eat slimey critters

She has spindley legs
On the corner she begs
Has a wrinkled face
A slowed down pace
And makes her living with polka dot eggs

On the ground is a wriggly worm
Oh look how it does squirm
Not worm? It's a snake?
Marilyn starts to run and shake
She took a shovel and whacked it firm

By Phyllis Ann (Starbird55@comcast.net)

Sunbonnet Sally was a silly lass,
She wore a sunbonnet with a lot of class.
Often she would give her friends a lot of sass,
But she was never late to Sunday Mass.

Sally's Mother cooked frog fritters in the Spring.
It was a time for the birds to sing.
Never a better sign of Spring,
Than a batch of frog fritters to your neighbors bring.

Sally colored polka dot eggs for Easter every year.
She hid them in the grass far and near.
All the children would look for them, and yelled with glee.
One had a stripe, and it wasn't Sally's, plain to see.

Bobby lived in the house down the lane.
The house had a listing rooftop, and his Grandpa walked with a cane.
Bobby saw the striped egg while out on a walk,
And at his house it created a lot of talk.

April 1st antics might have been the reason it did appear,
But Bobby thought and thought why it was almost at his door, that near.
The striped egg was the talk of the village and all around the country side.
Bobby's Grandpa cared not as pranks he could not abide.

Sally's Mother was out on a rainy Spring day with a leaky umbrella so that she got a little wet.
On the lane, Bobby she met.
He was wondering why the egg he found was striped with not one dot.
Sally's Mother said she wasn't sure, and considered Bobby just a tot.

Baby Mary lived down by Bobby's house which had a crooked fence.
Under the edge she found a six pence.
Bobby was helping her retrieve the coin which didn't make sense,
When he spied another striped egg right by the pence.

Sunbonnet Sally came along just about that time, and said come over to my house for green ice cream that is lime.
Mary and Bobby followed her home striped egg and six pence in hand,
But Sally's Mother didn't waste any time.
She served up the ice cream before it melted into a puddle of lime.

Bobby was looking for wriggly earth worms to go fishing down at the pond with Grandpa Seth,
When a duck he spied which scared him to death.
It was rolling a striped egg with its bill right down to the pond, and out popped a polka dot duckling which even frightened Grandpa Seth.

In three shakes of a lamb's tail they were at Sally's house with ducks in hand.
It was the strangest happening in all their land.
Bobby, Mary, Sunbonnet Sally along with all the clan couldn't make sense of the eggs, duckling or pretty pink sand.
Where the duckling hatched was the loveliest pink sand in all the land.

Never a striped egg was seen again by anyone in that clan,
And never another polka dot duckling was seen by any man.
Mary and Bobby looked every year as through the fields they ran,
But Sunbonnet Sally held the secret not told to anyone, so guess it if you can.

By Amy (fabulousfilly@aol.com)

an old fool
who used to play pool
scratched everytime
and sunk the ball number nine

on april fool all of us
made a fuss
and took a bus
down to the pool hall

gave this fool a call
he met us there
without a care
we told him we had something to share

so up to the table all of stood still in time
there on the table was a set of ball all numbered nine
april fools we said
now nine of us are dead lol
for his gun was full of lead

April the Oneth

By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)

Jolene loved April No. 1,
She could be shallow and have some fun.
Oh, she was sneaky and behind the scenes,
Laughs she wanted, not to be mean.

Once in the henhouse, she painted polka dots
All over the eggs, but then she forgot.
Mama started breakfast, called an ambulance,
Thought she’d had a stroke - had lost her sense.

Jolene got the scissors and cut some holes,
Next time it rained she got it, poor soul.
Didn’t remember she’d rigged the umbrella,
Rained poured down on her newly caught fella.

Jolene had a lamb and she knew about tail shakes,
Made a batch of pink water from food color bakes,
Sprayed her lamb all over its wool
Papa thought he was drunk, Jolene felt cool.

Sunbonnet Sally, her little neighbor friend,
Told Jolene this would all have to end.
I can’t help myself, Jolene decried,
With wriggly earthworms I’m still supplied.

Okay, that’s enough said Sunbonnet Sally,
If you don’t let them loose down into the valley,
I’ll crooked your fence, list your rooftop.
Your April 1st antics have got to stop.

Okay, from Jolene, but remember this,
I don’t remember what’s out there still amiss,
All of my jokes have not come to light,
Last year’s batch is still out of sight.

Jolene tittered for she’d put green dye,
In Bessie’s trough before the sun got high,
Bessie’s milk would make lime green ice cream,
Guess mama would utter another scream.

Jolene knew how to shape chicken pieces,
Fry ‘em in batter thick in their creases.
She told her family they were frog fritters,
And when she fried ‘em they got the jitters.

Poor Sunbonnet Sally never had a say,
She didn’t eat, she wouldn’t play.
Jolene felt bad, but couldn’t control herself.
Her ideas rolled like balls off a shelf.

By Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)

Out on the sidewalk dying eggs
polka-dot ones while holding an leaky umbrella.
Big sign in front of the table,
“thinking about April Fool’s day.”

Big car stops chauffer gets out
“What are you doing out here,” he asks?
Smiles and quickly replies, “Got a listing roof
and the fence is crooked, just got laid off, acting stupid.”

A man in a suit then got out
“You going to fry any frog fritters?”
“No but have wriggly earthworms and lime ice cream,
if Sunbonnet Sally will loan me a skillet.”

The man handed the chauffer his coat and tie,
“Think I could dye a polka dot egg and stand under
your leaking umbrella?”
“Better yet, I will loan you a yellow slicker.”

So the two men, both stone sober, talked and
dyed polka dot eggs as he fried up wiggly worms
in lime ice cream, both really laughing.
Just acting silly and both enjoying.

“What do you do,” the other man asked?
“I am an unemployed Public Accountant!”
“Invite me and James in for a cup of coffee
think I will hire you,” he laughingly said.

Then the man looked around,
“But we can only dye polka dot eggs and
fry wriggly earthworms one day a year.”
Oh his wife had to clean up the mess?

By susi (Texaswishr@aol.com)

think i'll fry up some good ol' frog fritters
just the thought of it makes my heart twitter
think i'll put them on some lime green ice cream
a dish I hold in high esteem

my entree will be made of polka dot eggs
wriggley earthworms without any legs
i'll invite Sunbonnet Sally over for dinner
she is always a good dinner guest winner

and she will get here in three shakes of a lamb's tail
and knowing Sally, she'll bring a pint of ale
my house isn't much, and it has a crooked fence
but I don't care, I don't care for pretense

the roof lists a bit, and the chimney is bent
but it's better than living in a tent
oh yes, sometimes it makes for an unhappy fella
'cause the room isn't tight, but like a leaky umbrella

but who cares? i'm not looking for lovely romantics
just lunch, with some carefully thought out April 1st antics.
i'll play some tricks on my Sunbonnet friend
until April Fool's Day comes to an end

By Diana Mercedes (writerworks@live.com)

Listing rooftop dwellings was her exclusive niche in the competitive Eastside real estate market. She was in it for the short term although it had taken years to build her reputation and her contacts and her connections to the elite crowd, the few, the proud, who must have the penthouse, the view, the prestige and the platinum mortgage.

She had a greater long term goal and it did not include marbled floors or sweeping vistas of Central Park and mid-town. It was about a memory, so long ago at times it seemed like a dream. She found it reassuring to take out the picture she carried with her. It was not loaded into her cell phone or her laptop. She enjoyed the feel of it in her hand, she would turn it over and read the inscription: “Sally, Easter, 1972”. A low tech photo taken with an old Kodak Instamatic of a little girl in a sunbonnet leaning against a paint peeled crooked fence, one sandaled foot flat against it. The little girl squinted into the sun in spite of her yellow sunbonnet.

On that day, that sun blessed Easter Sunday, April 2, 1972, Sally learned about two traditions, Easter eggs and April 1st antics. She was five years old and was Grandpa’s favorite. He dubbed her Sunbonnet Sally. “Smile Sally, Silly Sunbonnet Sally.” She squinted into the sun, the camera clicked, then Grandpa took her by the hand. She remembered that particulary because no one in her family ever held her hand. Grandpa’s hand was big and warm and strong, yet gentle.

Her cousins were storming the garden and Grandpa led her through the gate to join in. She was the youngest. Grandpa made sure there would be some eggs left for her to find. He had two in his pocket, he had colored them himself, polka-dot eggs, pink dots on a pale blue background. When she wasn’t looking he planted the eggs in the mailbox, then lifted her up and said, “Let’s see if the Easter Bunny left any mail today.” She pulled on the door, it flopped down, revealing the two large polka-dot eggs.

Pointing shyly at the eggs, she gave Grandpa a puzzled look. “It’s Ok, the Easter Bunny left those for you,” he leaned forward so she could reach them. She pulled out each one and held them in her tiny fists.

All the other cousins were gathered on the front steps comparing their loot. “Grab your goodies, dinner will be ready in three shakes of a lamb’s tail.” The announcement caused a stampede into the house, screen door open, slam, shut, open ,slam, shut, until it was just she and Grandpa left. It would be the first family holiday dinner she would remember. There was to be ham and potato salad, jello mold, sweet rolls and lime green ice cream for dessert.

But there was another surprise, she would never forget. She sat next to her brother who was older and sometimes mean. He dug a metal box out of his pocket. She was familiar with this treasure box. He would store gum balls from the machine at the corner market that sometimes he would share with her. On this day however, she wished he hadn’t decided to be so generous. He held the box beneath table level so no one could see and then told her to close her eyes. She always did what her brother said. When she went to put her hand in the box, instead of gumballs rolling around, something felt slimy and it was moving. She opened her eyes and screamed. Wriggly earthworms squirmed inside the box. She was acutely aware of every relative at the table, eyes wide staring at her. She didn’t know what else to do, so she burst into tears.

“Jeremy!” Her Mother came to her rescue and scooped her up. “You’re about as much help as a leaky umbrella!”

“Apologize to your sister now and everyone at the table.” He looked guilty and was going to plead his case, but thought better of it as his father was glaring at him. Others were trying to hide smiles behind their napkins. “And take your worms outside!”

Grandpa got up and took Sally from her Mother’s arms. “We’ll just take a little walk outside for a bit,” he said. Sally hid her head in his shoulder feeling safe there, they went out through the back door behind Jeremy who was heading for the rosebushes to deposit his worms.

Grandpa began telling her a story. It was a story about April Fools Day and a little girl and her brother who was always teasing her, it seemed. The little girl had blonde curly hair like hers and was as sweet as the morning dew on a morning glory. Sally sat on his lap, her head resting on his chest. “April Fool’s Day is the day for harmless pranks. You play pretend. You’ve played pretend before…” Sally nodded.

The little girl in the story wanted to get back at her big brother. Getting back is OK, if you do it for fun and with no harm or hurt intended. The little girl loved her big brother and didn’t really want to get him in trouble, so she asked her Mommy if it was OK to play pretend and fool her brother. Mommy not only said it was OK, but said she would help.

They thought about it. How would they play an April Fool’s Day Joke on Jeremy? The boy in the story was named Jeremy, too. More than anything, Jeremy loved baseball. He was trying out for Little League. Tryouts would begin in late March and end on, of all days, April Fool’s Day. The little girl and her Mommy waited all week. They knew he would make the team.

Saturday, April 1st, the little girl woke up early. When sleep left her she remembered what day it was and jumped out of bed. Her Mommy was in the kitchen already, smiling like the cat who ate the canary. “It’s all taken care of,” was all she said. The little girl didn’t even have to ask.

All morning the little girl was too excited about her secret surprise to settle down. She bounced from room to room to see what everyone was doing. Dad was outside in the driveway, his head buried under the hood of their car. Mommy was on the phone arranging carpooling to Little League tryouts. Jeremy sat in front of the TV, nervously tossing a baseball into his glove over and over. The coach would announce who made the team today. Unless you were in the hospital with appendicitis, you’d better be there.

At about 9:30 he went to put on his uniform. It was from last year and it was a tight fit, but they didn’t hand out new ones unless and until you made the team. He would find out in a couple of hours. The kids were bigger this year and several new guys who had moved into the area were pretty good. He wasn’t as positive about making the team as he had been last year.

He ran outside to meet his buddies who were waiting for him. They burned off their anticipation by tossing the ball around on the front lawn. Finally, his Mom appeared, his little sister skipping along behind. Once in the car, the reality set in. This is it! We will know soon. The boys sat in back and shoved at each other in their excitement. Mom told them to settle down, she had to concentrate on driving, if they wanted to get there.

But something was wrong. They weren’t moving. Mom was frowning. The car wouldn’t start! She tried again, it just wouldn’t start. “Don’t wear down the battery,” Mom said to herself.

“Get Dad!” Jeremy shouted. The little girl and her Mommy exchanged smiles. Everyone got out of the car, Jeremy ran inside. In a moment he returned, his Dad walking nonchalantly behind him. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Jeremy wondered why they were going so slow. Didn’t they know this was the biggest day of his life. He had to be there and on time!! Making the team wasn’t just being a good hitter, you had to show you wanted it. That meant being a team player and being on time, early was better.

Everyone leaned around the engine watching his Dad work.

“Did you notice the gas gauge?” He asked his wife.

“Plenty of gas, half full.”

“Hmmm.” His Dad mused. But he was really wondering how long he should milk his son’s anguish.

“I hope you didn’t break anything, were you tuning it up earlier?”

“Just a spark plug gap,” Her husband responded. “Should run better, I just don’t know.”

Jeremy spun around, exasperated. “Maybe we should ride our bikes!” Although he knew this wasn’t possible, Municipal Stadium was downtown, too much traffic, no bike lane, just dangerous.

The little girl’s Mommy and Daddy looked at her and winked. That was her cue. She took a step back from the others and shouted. “April Fool’s Day!”

At first Jeremy didn’t get it. He was deep inside his fear, consumed by it. April Fool’s Day didn’t register until his buddies began laughing and pointing at him.

Anger was his first reaction, he threw his glove down on the ground, then remembered something the coach had said about good sportsmanship. He hung his head a moment and came up smirking, “OK, you got me! Now can we go?”

They all piled back into the car still laughing, while Dad took the rotor out of his pocket removed the rotor cap and put it back so the car would start.


Sally’s Mommy came outside where she and Grandpa were sitting. She had two dinner plates with ham slices and potato salad and a sweet roll on each plate. “I thought you two might be getting hungry.”

“I should say we are, Matty,” Grandpa addressed his daughter.

When her Grandpa died, Sally went back home for the funeral. Seeing her cousins again, all of whom had settled down and now had their own children, something broke inside her. The old yearnings of husband and home and creating family memories came flooding back stronger than ever. She went back to New York and tried to recreate the burning ambition that drove her there in the first place, but the fire was burnt out. All she could think of was all that she was missing. That is when she dug deep in her closet and came up with the photos from childhood, picking the one with the little girl in the sunbonnet squinting into the sun, to carry with her as a reminder of where she really wanted to be.

She began slowly, going home to visit more often. She spent less time on her cellphone and in her car on the prowl for the next listing, and more time looking at real estate in her hometown. She could find commissions as a listing agent there, she had all the background she would need. She was 43 with one bad marriage behind her. There was still plenty of time, if not to have her own children, then to adopt. Sometimes she wondered how she got so far away from her roots, but no matter, she was determined to replant herself in the fertile soil where she was raised and to visit Grandpa’s grave often, especially on Easter Sundays. He never did finish the story and she never did ask him if Jeremy in the story made the team. She decided he did. She knew he was talking about her real brother, who did make the team that year and every year and never said it in so many words, but was glad his sister would be nearby, he missed teasing her.


To Write Like Poe

Toward the Light

Welcome Spring (several writers)

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