Derek Overboard!

The curly-haired girl woke, one warm summer’s day
To find a new cuddly toy had come to stay.
The monkey sat, perched on the end of her bed,
Green belly, yellow face, purple body and head.
She called him Little Derek – he looked just like his dad
And she thanked her mother and said she was glad
That Derek could have his own child to bring up –
Her mother was just happy she didn’t want a pup.

Derek was often found with his arm around his boy
Who quickly became the second most important toy
And so, in the autumn, when the girl started school,
She was quite insistent, she made it a rule,
That the monkeys were placed up on her windowsill
To wave her goodbye till she crested the hill
And to wait up there, looking out, till she returned
With her head crammed so full from the things she had learned
Which she would teach the toys, though their brains were just cotton
The things she told her mother that she’d forgotten.

One morning in autumn the wind blew and blew
On men and on women and on curly-haired girls too
It fluttered away at her navy school scarf
Which tickled her chin which made her start to laugh
But it whooshed round the walls and it slammed open doors
And it rattled the windows and Derek’s monkey paws
Couldn’t hold onto to his son as the window swung wide
And the strong gusting wind pulled Little Derek outside.

The tiny monkey caught in the branches of a tree,
Which squeezed him and startled a hard-working bee.
“Pop Goes The Weasel” started to play inside him –
The toymaker had added that song on a whim.
Derek waved to Gordon to climb up to his place
(The big brown bear understood the look on Derek’s face)
He knew Derek needed him because he had the knack –
Gordon could catch with one hand behind his back!

Without hesitation, Derek leapt into the air
And caught on a thin branch very close to where
Little Derek was snagged, he swung across to him
Then picked him up, carefully aimed him and threw him.
Gordon caught him quite easily, the toys cheered ‘hooray’
But Derek was off-balance, he started to sway,
He scrabbled around but he couldn’t get a grip
His feet, which were smooth, both then started to slip
And he fell from the tree and he landed on the ground.
A cuddly toy landing on grass makes no sound.

Derek quickly got up, wanting to get back inside
But he couldn’t climb the tree trunk however hard he tried.
He knew that a button by the door to the flats
Unlocked the door in the mornings, he knew that’s
How the postman got in to deliver the mail,
So he climbed up and pressed it hard with his green tail –
The door lock buzzed but Derek couldn’t climb
To push the button and the door at the same time.

He waved up at Gordon and pointed to the door,
Then pretended he was pressing a button with his paw.
Gordon understood, nodded, jumped down to the floor
He gathered some more toys – and one, two, three, four
Of them climbed on each other, walked into the hall
And by the entryphone they leaned against the wall.
At the bottom was Gordon, a big strong brown bear
Above him was Bertie, his white fur like hair.
Next, Martin the dragon, as strong as a tank
And finally a cuddly zebra called Frank.
The button at the top had a picture of a key
Which Frank saw and so quickly worked out that he
Should press this to let Derek open the door –
But the door was too heavy for a small monkey paw.

He heard footsteps but it was too late to hide
So Derek just flopped to the ground by the side
Of the door where the postman saw him and thought, “Er,
This would be a lovely gift for my daughter.”
He picked Derek up and looked him in the eye
But then thought, “I can’t make a little child cry.
I’d better put him inside, there on the stair
Where his owner can find him – it’s only fair.”
And that’s what he did – Derek got through one door
But before he’d be home he had to open one more.

He ran up the stairs once the postman was gone
The last door was the one he banged upon
But the toys couldn’t pull it and Derek couldn’t push it
Even unlocked they couldn’t shift it one little bit
So Derek sat down and looked for another way
To get back inside before the end of the school day.
The window was open part way up the stairs
So Derek leapt up, thinking, “I wonder if there’s
A way across to the window where I’m supposed to sit
I could do with some luck, even a little bit.”

He climbed out of the window and saw that the tree
Where he’d rescued Little Derek was close by so he
Jumped over, he leapt up with all of his might
And just caught a branch, he held on very tight,
Then pulled himself up, swinging up to the top
He didn’t look down – it was quite a long drop.

Gordon’s tower of toys was still standing in the hall
When they heard the sound of Little Derek trying to call.
“Pop Goes The Weasel” was playing as he tried
To call to the others – as he’d spotted Derek outside.
The tower of toys ran and then did a quick flip,
Frank seized the feet of the bed in a strong grip
With Martin now over him and above him was Bertie
(Whose white fur surprisingly never got dirty).
Bertie held Gordon up on the windowsill
And, as the curly-haired girl came over the hill,
Derek leapt to his window and, by the tips of his fur,
Gordon just caught him, they fell back in a blur.

The Dereks were back up on their windowsill.
The wind had stopped blowing now and all was still
The toys were all lined up in rows on the bed
And the curly-haired girl grabbed Derek but then she said,
“Mum, why does my Derek have a leaf in his fur?”
But her mother had the kettle on and didn’t hear her.