They never found out how the dog had got in
But there it was, with its head deep in the bin.
Derek was walking around in the hall
And heard something tapping on the kitchen wall.
He crept nearer and then he peered round the door
And didn’t believe the strange sight that he saw.
The tapping sounds came from a long wagging tail.
The four little feet had left a muddy trail.
The body was fuzzy and hairy and pale.
The head was still munching on food that was stale.
The dog raised its head from its meal in surprise
And looked the scared toy monkey right in the eyes.
The waggy-tailed springy-haired beige labradoodle
Was dangling, from its mouth, a long cold last night’s noodle.
The dog looked at Derek and Derek looked right back.
He didn’t seem like he was going to attack
But Derek knew dogs sometimes could get excited
And sometimes, without being properly invited,
They’d seize some poor toy in their teeth or their claws
And take him away somewhere shady outdoors.
Now some toys were tough, they were made to be chewed,
To help calm a dog in a fidgety mood.
But dogs couldn’t tell if the toy they had got
Was one they should take – or one they should not.
And Derek knew all of the toys in this house –
Bears, monkeys, bunnies, a turtle, a mouse –
Were just for the curly-haired girl and no other.
(Not even, sometimes, her own father or mother).
Most of Derek was purple but his face was bright yellow
And so were the hands of this monkey-ish fellow.
His belly and tail were the richest of green
And his feet, they were orange and blue (when clean).
So he didn’t blend in and he really couldn’t hide –
He’d quickly be spotted no matter how he tried.
He scampered to the curly-haired girl’s bedroom
And banged on the door with a clattery boom.
“Come on, toys, quickly now, help me shut this door
Or we might get grabbed by that big doggie’s paw!”
The big bears and small bears and monkeys all rushed
To get to the door and they pushed and they pushed.
The bunnies, the turtle, the caterpillar and mice
Certainly didn’t have to be asked twice.
But the catch didn’t work so the door didn’t click.
The big bear called Gordon used his mightiest kick.
But try as they might the dog’s nose came straight in
Followed directly by the rest of him.
How had he got into the house – do you know?
Well, daddy had opened the front door to go
But then remembered something that he’d meant to take
(Because it was early – he wasn’t quite awake)
And as he went back for it, guess who walked in?
And padded straight over to the kitchen bin?
He was attracted there by its strong scent
And then daddy left, shut the front door and went.
Back in the bedroom, things weren’t looking good
The toys were all trying to not look like food.
Feelings of dread and tremblings of fear
Were shaking poor Derek from foot up to ear
But he had a feeling, something made him look
Up to a high shelf by a Dr Seuss book
Where he saw a parcel that jiggled and shook
Just like a big fish on the end of a hook.
The other toys thought he was saving himself
When Derek climbed up to that very high shelf.
But once he had finished his shelf-climbing caper
He tore and he ripped through the blue wrapping paper
Until he had finished and set the toy free
And there stood a part-dog, part-Derek monkey.
The new toy was clearly a Derek and yet
As much like a dog as a monkey could get.
His colours were purple and yellow and blue
And orange and green he had some red too.
His face was like Derek’s, his tail a bit shorter
And he had been bought by daddy for his daughter.
“I’ve unwrapped you early,” said Derek. “I’m sorry
But we’ve got a problem that is a big worry.
And I had a feeling a parcel that jiggled
And shimmied and twitched and joggled and wiggled
Would have something in it that we might all need
To help get this strange dog put back on its lead.”
“Oo-oo ah-ah woof-woof,” the Doggie-Derek said,
Then leapt off the shelf onto the strange dog’s head.
They talked to each other, all yap-yap and arf.
And then it looked like the dog started to laugh
When Doggie-Derek tickled him under the ear.
He turned and said, “Toys, there’s no reason to fear.
I’ve told him he needs to be gentle with us
And he said he’s sorry if he caused a fuss.
Before he goes home and this fun visit ends
He’d like us to be his new cuddly toy friends.
So say ‘hi’ to Barney, there’s no need to hide
Just jump on his back, you can have a great ride.”
And Barney said ‘woof’ and the toys said ‘hooray!’
And they had great fun on a wonderful day
With riding and jumping and dancing and song –
Well, the toys did the singing and Barney barked along –
They lost track of time until Derek said, “Oh no!
“It’s late afternoon, time for Barney to go!
If you wait by the door, we can help you sneak out
Without any hoohah and rushing about.”
They said their good-byes, hoped that they’d meet again
Though they didn’t know how and they didn’t know when.
Then Derek lay down on the floor in the hall
Over on the right, pressed tight against the wall
While Barney stood quietly behind the door
Until the door opened and onto the floor
Stepped daddy who said, “Why is Derek lying there?”
While Barney ran out, past a girl with curly hair.
She said, “Daddy, Daddy! A dog just ran past!”
But daddy just said, “Here we are, home at last!
What was it you said? A dog’s just done what?”
But she picked up Derek and said, “Why is he hot?
It’s like he’s been having a really good play.
But I know you left him here on the floor all day.”