The Monster, the Witch and Me

There is a monster in my room whose name is Muscat Jake

But long before I knew his name I made a big mistake

I’d thought that he was fierce, intent on giving me a fright

Waiting in his cupboard lair till Mum turned out the light

I thought he’d creep across the floor when it was dark and late

That he’d gnash his teeth with anger and he’s rub his paws with hate

I thought these things, imagined them – I felt that they were true

They seemed so real inside my head … all these things that he’d do

Sometimes he might use a disguise – not like a fireman or a clown –

But just like something in my room … my chair or dressing gown

And then he’d stand or sit or hang and watch me in my bed

And sometimes when my eyes were closed he’d tiptoe near my head

He might lean down and stare at me when my eyes were closed tight

Then if I’d open one a crack, he’d disappear from sight

It seemed when someone sat with me that he would stay away

And that he’d left his cupboard home when I looked in each day

I told the people at my house, my Mum, my Dad and Clare

But they just smiled and patted me as if they didn’t care

“There aren’t such things as monsters, Jo,” soothed both my Mum and Dad

But I was still sure that there were and sure that they were bad

So I decided to find out by asking someone new

(Well, actually she’s old but that could give her wisdom too)

And I discovered I WAS wrong – but in a different way

From all the reasons I’d been given that I’d be OK

I talked to Mrs Westerwich who lives across the street

(She wears odd-looking hats and bakes delicious things to eat)

She listened closely and believed me – not like all the rest –

And I’ve begun to think she is The Good Witch of the West

She’s not the kind with potions or a pet bat or a crow

She’s just a lady who knows things that others couldn’t know

Well, she explained that there COULD be a monster at my house

But that he was a dangerous as jelly … or a mouse

“The truth,” said Mrs Westerwich, “is that he’s frightened too

He doesn’t want to hurt a soul – he’s more afraid than you!

Monsters are gentle creatures who want peace and thoughtful friends

He’s probably just hiding there, too scared to make amends

He might not have a family to help when things are bad

So he’s living in your cupboard feeling all alone and sad

He’ll only come out when he feels it’s safe – and that’s at night –

And even then he still makes sure he keeps well out of sight

He chose your room because he thinks that you’re the nicest one

But he’s still a little worried that you’ll make him scream and run

He’s waiting there because he senses you’re the best around

But people can still make him want to hide at every sound”

And then the Good Witch Westerwich told me what I should do

To properly stop me being scared and help my monster too

I’d need to give a present to my visitor to show

That I would never hurt him, he’d be free to come and go

“Some monsters”, my good neighbour said, “lick juice from apple cores

So one night – before teeth cleaning when you’ve finished all your chores –

Eat an apple, take the core and go inside your room

And open up the cupboard – don’t linger there or loom –

Just place the fresh core carefully inside – away from clothes –

And close the doors and leave the rest to your scared monster’s nose

He’ll sniff it out from whatever place he’s found to disappear

And when you’re sleeping through the night, when you won’t even hear

He’ll lick that lovely apple core and know that he was right

That you will let him live his life serenely out of sight

He’ll know that he’ll be happy there behind your cupboard door

And the proof of his existence will be right there on the core

The next day, when you wake up and go to where you left the fruit

You’ll see his soft brown tongue marks and you’ll know he’s not a brute

He’s an ordinary monster with some ordinary fears

But just like your concerns, he’ll learn that there’s no need for tears”

And so that night that’s what I did before I went to bed

And in dark, I wasn’t scared – excited, though, instead

But finally I went to sleep and woke up with the sun

And walked over to my cupboard just to see what he had done

He’d been! My Monster! My scared friend – I almost sung

When I saw the brown stains on the apple from his monster tongue

So from that day I knew I had friend there in my room

To keep me safe and company through the silence and the gloom

And when I whispered in a voice as soft as I could make

“Please, cupboard friend, what is your name?”, a sound came – “Muscat Jake!”

I was surprised to hear an answer – gruff and muffled though it came –

But before I left him to his peace, I’m glad I learnt his name

So I left my room for breakfast, pleased that I had not been wrong

And as I neared the bathroom, I could hear Dad’s shower song

And then he sneezed a husky sneeze as I walked past the door

Funny that it sounded like my monster’s voice before

I shrugged, went to the kitchen and I ate some buttered toast

I didn’t say I told you so, I didn’t preen or boast

I looked at Mum and Clare and knew but didn’t say a word

About what I had seen and then about what I had heard

I packed my bag for school and I could feel my smile just bloom

Because I knew now that there was a monster in my room


2 responses to “The Monster, the Witch and Me

  • Liz G

    My children loved the rythm of this story and the idea that a monster could be friendly

    • alisonearlsALOUD

      Great! So glad they enjoyed it. It’s always tricky when you’re writing for children to ensure that you end up with something THEY like and not just something WE THINK they should like. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I know parents barely have time to think so I really appreciate you checking out the site when you can.

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