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Mindy and Barkley
a children’s story by
In a far away valley in the land of Kerlarcky
There lived a young girl and her young friend named Barkley
The girl’s name was Mindy, her hair was dark black,
While Barkley was shorter with spikes down his back.
His coat was covered with blue and black spots
Her dress was patterned and covered in dots.
Together they played and they danced and they sang,
She never was far from her dear friend with fangs.
When she woke in the morning he was waiting nearby
When her folks tucked her in he would sing lullabies,
The only slight problem from either’s perspective
Was that Barkley’s existence was purely subjective
No one else could see Barkley, the silly young pup,
Some even thought Mindy was making him up!
Mindy’s parent’s, of course, were aware of her friend
When trouble appeared you could always depend
On Mindy staring up at them, tears in her eyes
And blaming dear Barkley for the latest surprise.
Like the vase that was broken or dad’s missing keys,
Or the time that their living room filled up with bees,
With patience and love mom and dad would explain
Who it was that was really most likely to blame.
Then they’d send her up to her room without supper
But she’d always skip off without seeming to suffer
Because up in her bed she would sit down and pout
For a second before Barkely’d arrive and he’d shout:
“I’ll heal all your hurts and I’ll dry all your tears,
Together we’ll play for years and for years,
We can dive through the sea and see wondrous locations
Because you believe there are no limitations.”
The years passed on slowly and Mindy grew up,
She learned to dress by herself and drink from a cup,
And one crisp fall day in the land of Kerlarcky,
Mindy walked off to school with her good friend named Barkley,
She was excited for classes, to learn and to grow,
To figure out things she had wanted to know,
Like where mermaids come from and why does it snow?
Or what is a firefly and why does it glow?
She arrived at the school, skipped through the door,
And joined her new classmates where they sat on the floor.
She was nervous and shaky and wore a tight frown,
But with Barkley beside her she soon settled down.
She made it through the first day and then through some more
And came to enjoy those times spent on the floor,
She learned and she played and she jumped and she surged,
But one little problem did slowly emerge.
On Monday a jar of paint broke on her dress
On Tuesday some marker appeared on her desk,
On Wednesday there was a problem with glitter,
On Thursday the playground was covered in litter.
And every time anyone asked, “Who’s to blame?”
The answer that came back was always the same.
Fingers would point and Mindy’d confess:
“It was all Barkley’s fault, but I’ll clean up the mess!”
Mindy’s teacher was real quick to notice this problem,
She consulted the Mayor, (whose surname was Robin)
The Mayor in turn went and talked to the sheriff,
Who talked to the plumber who talked to the bailiff.
And things went on like this for quite a long while
Till a decision was reached that made everyone smile
“There isn’t a need,” said the Mayor Kerlarcky,
“For Mindy to continue to see her friend Barkley.
No other children have friends that are wild,
In fact this whole town is perfectly mild,
We all think alike and we all learn the same
And we never have need of those who aren’t tame.
Oh sure, maybe once, a long long while back,
I remember a friend who was spotted with black,
But I haven’t seen him in about twenty years,
Though I vaguely remember him having green ears.
But the point is quite simple and any can see,
That for Mindy there can be no more of Barkley.”
So the next day before Mindy went off to school,
Her parents opted to put into effect a new rule.
It was time to grow up; it was time to fit in.
It was time to say bye to her fake little friend.
Mindy pondered this deeply for hours and more,
Her parents had never steered her wrong before.
So with a brave little face and a sad little heart
Mindy said “Bye” to Barkley then turned to depart.
Barkley stood all alone as he watched her get going
The tears in his eyes were steadily growing,
No more dancing in bed, no more shrieking with laugher,
And though she couldn’t hear Barkley shouted out after:
“I healed all your hurts and I dried all your tears,
Together we played for years and for years,
We dove in the sea, saw exotic locations
When you used to believe there were no limitations.”
Now, way far away in a neighboring land,
Lived an angry green monster with ugly thick hands
His name was Slzzynqux, though to friends he was Blob,
And he wandered about with a frown on his gob.
Blob’s only wish was a place to lay low,
Where his vision of paradise could start to grow.
A land where all the ice cream tasted like fish,
And birthday cakes never once came with a wish.
A smelly brown place where the swings were all broken
The slides always wet and no nice words were spoken,
A land where chewing gum tasted like cardboard,
That’s the exact sort of place that Blob would have adored.
No such place existed, Blob had looked all around,
The only option left was to take over a town.
But even this plan could cause Blob to complain,
For being a blob he was quite short on brains.
Things always went fine with the first person Blob met,
They’d get stuck in the sticky green goo that he sweat,
But the next person would do something different, you see,
They’d sing or they’d dance or they’d move left quickly,
Then the second person would help out the first with a frown,
And next thing you know Blob was chased out of town.
Blob could never come up with a new way of acting,
He found thinking about this whole thing distracting.
What he needed the most in a town he could tame
Was a whole group of people who acted the same.
So there Blob was, his mind like a sieve,
When he came up on the town where Mindy did live.
Without a moment’s delay he first sat on the mayor,
She was covered in goo barely six seconds later.
Then he moved onwards to Barry the cop,
And was shocked when he found he was not forced to stop.
One after the next the townspeople just stood there
While Blob squished and he oozed all around without care.
He had worked through so much of the town, that by quarter to three
There were stinky fish smells in the iced cream factory
By half past sunset the whole town was subdued
‘Cept for one little girl who was not trapped in goo.
Poor Mindy just stood there, frozen in fright
While Blob blobbed his way forward with happy delight.
The town was in tatters and all there could see,
That everyone’s last chance for hope was Mindy.
But she wasn’t moving, not raising a hand
As Blob snurlked over to where she did stand.
Blob laughed a mean laugh that was more like a sneeze,
And prepared to subdue this last person with ease,
Blob was moving too fast, not a hope could you beg,
When Mindy felt something warm nuzzle her leg.
Then she heard a soft voice that she thought was long gone,
Growing louder beside her as it burst into song:
“I healed all your hurts and I dried all your tears!
Together we played for years and for years!
We dove in the sea and toured exotic locations!
Now if you’ll just believe there’ll be no limitations!”
With a great flash of blue and a lesser flash of black spots
Barkley leapt up and landed on her head with a plop.
Mindy shrieked and she jumped and she danced off with laughter
And Blob quickly discovered he had blobbed right on past her.
“Now just hold on one second,” Blob said with a frown
“Let me figure out how to catch you like I did the whole town.”
But as he stood there thinking and watching her skip,
From nearby he heard the sound of a “Yip!”
Behind him he turned with a blob and a shiver
To see all the townspeople starting to quiver,
Then suddenly down on the ground by the mayor,
There appeared a strange form made up of striped layers.
Spotted with black and with ears that were green,
The Mayor’s childhood friend could be seen!
Shouts began ringing all over the place
As friends started appearing from nothing but space.
“It’s Yam-Yam,” “It’s Greeley,” “It’s Horace and Hortence!”
The townspeople shouted while greeting their friends.
They all became freed as they danced and they yelled,
Or hopped or wiggled or just plain rebelled,
Blob watched as the people from his goo did get free,
And he decided quite quickly, “This place isn’t for me.”
He fled from the town and was not seen anymore,
And the ice cream stopped smelling by quarter to four
The swings were all polished and the slides were all fixed
(Though Main Street still has some green goo stuck to it.)
The people cheered Mindy, and Barkley was praised,
And they onto the waiting crowd’s shoulders were raised.
And that’s it really, not much left ‘till the end
Now the whole town is filled with friends upon friends.
Mindy’s classroom, meanwhile, is now packed to the brim
As imaginary friends of all kinds are let in.
Barkley comes and he plays and sometimes things break,
But nobody ever gets bent out of shape.
For now in the far away land of Kerlarcky
Every person has a colorful friend much like Barkley.