Category Archives: CHILDREN

“All children, except one, grow up”

― James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan


“I just sit here and tell the story as though I can’t help it. There’s always something in the day that reminds me, that sets me off all hot and guilty and scared and rambling and wistful, like I am now.”

TIM, WINTON – In the Winter Dark

“I owe my first inkling of the problem of infinity to a large biscuit tin that was a source of vertiginous mystery during my childhood.” Jorge Luis Borges

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“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.
Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
Your entire family has been eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex that has travelled through a space/time portal? Nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. Possibly a savoury option would be welcome here too, for example a Scotch egg or a sausage roll.”
David Walliams, Mr Stink

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Kurt Vonnegut

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The Beginning

“Where have I come from, where did you pick me up?” the baby asked

its mother.

She answered, half crying, half laughing, and clasping the

baby to her breast-

“You were hidden in my heart as its desire, my darling.

You were in the dolls of my childhood’s games; and when with

clay I made the image of my god every morning, I made the unmade

you then.

You were enshrined with our household deity, in his worship

I worshipped you.

In all my hopes and my loves, in my life, in the life of my

mother you have lived.

In the lap of the deathless Spirit who rules our home you have

been nursed for ages.

When in girlhood my heart was opening its petals, you hovered

as a fragrance about it.

Your tender softness bloomed in my youthful limbs, like a glow

in the sky before the sunrise.

Heaven’s first darling, twain-born with the morning light, you

have floated down the stream of the world’s life, and at last you

have stranded on my heart.

As I gaze on your face, mystery overwhelms me; you who belong

to all have become mine.

For fear of losing you I hold you tight to my breast. What

magic has snared the world’s treasure in these slender arms of


Rabindranath Tagore

What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. ~African

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“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.” 
― Doris LessingThe Golden Notebook

To pick a flower is so much more satisfying than just observing it, or photographing it … So in later years, I have grown in my garden as many flowers as possible for children to pick. Anne Scott-James


“Every child is born a naturalist. His eyes are, by nature, open to the glories of the stars, the beauty of the flowers, and the mystery of life.”  
–  R. Search




The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 24 December 1927

1 1 1 1 1 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW - 1842 - 1954), Saturday 24 December 1927


I see a lilly on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever dew;
And on thy cheek a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads
Full beautiful, a faery’s child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

John Keats


Golden Wattle

Golden Wattle, fairy stuff
Little balls of yellow fluff
Hear the bees how loud they hum
To say they’re glad that Spring is come

When the stars begin to peep
Then the wattle falls asleep
Like a tired child in bed
It droops its pretty curly head


(Song contributed by Mrs Jenny Sayer, who copied it out of her Headmistress’ Assembly Book (Miss Leslie Bridle) at Sans Souci Public School in 195


Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 – 1954), Monday 27 April 1953,

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A Mother’s Parable by Temple Baily

The young mother set her foot on the path of Life. “Is the way long?” she asked. And her Guide said, “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed with them in the streams, and the sun shone on them, and life was good, and the young mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

I love to think that the day you’re born, you’re given the world as a birthday present. Leo Buscaglia 1924 – 1998

Gutiri wa nda na wa mugongo

There is not the son of the front and the son of the back.

The Kikuyu mothers carry a baby on the back if they have only one.  If they have two, one is carried in front and the other one on the back.  Of course the one carried near the breasts can suck oftener than the other.  That is why they say this is the favourite one.

Parents should have no Benjamin.

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Old Ted The Dog


For graziers and sheep handlers, “the dog” often is their best friend, and they usually know the bloodline right back to Noah. Look out, however if the parents and grandparents were all perfect dogs and the end product isn’t. You have an animal that is too valuable to get rid of and too expensive to keep.

Because this story could end up true,
And I’d hate to be the one to blame.
I think the best thing I can do,
To protect the innocent is change the names.
And so this tale is not a prediction,
But has its foundation firmly in fiction.

The scene is the most romantic of places,
A country house with a wide verandah.
It could be the day after the Louth races,
And we’ll call this fictional property ‘Yanda’.
And we need two hosts of reputed good will,
So we’ll call this couple, Marissa and Bill.

Now Yanda, as far as bush venues go,
Was the partygoers dream discovery.
So everyone who was in the know,
Had gathered there for a races recovery.
To drink and talk the time away
And face their hangover another day.

Bill was a well-respected grazier,
And a hard worker (by most peoples thinking).
But the truth was he couldn’t be lazier,
And was extremely fond of drinking.
And so at the party their roles were quite clear,
Marissa got organised, Bill drank beer.

The party was going exceptionally well,
Though Marissa was pregnant, as everyone knew.
But the secret that she didn’t tell,
Was that she was three weeks overdue!
But Bill kept doing what he thought he should,
Drinking as much as he possibly could.
Now at country affairs it is widely known,
After consuming the correct amount of grog.
The ladies will speak of the things they have sown,
While the men will argue the best working dog.
So this was the line of conversation,
That accompanied Bill’s inebriation.

And every bloke present said they had the most,
And the best ‘country canine cavaliers’.
But it seemed as though Bill was reluctant to boast,
And they found him nearly reduced to tears
‘I’ve made a horrible mistake’ he said,
‘I’ve put all of my faith in that useless dog, Ted’

‘I’ve tried to train him but each time I fail,
Being stuck with old Ted is a cruel twist of fate’
So they all looked at Ted, sitting, wagging his tail,
Eating a sausage he’d pinched off a plate.
Then Bill swung his foot in a savage attack
And said ‘Go on Ted, get down the back!’

Bill started drinking then, three times as hard.
As old Ted quietly skulked away.
And found a warm place at the back of the yard,
Where he could quietly pass the day.
And when Marissa went down there to turn off the taps,
No-one at the party heard her collapse.

With a shock she realised the baby was coming,
So she shouted out but no one could hear.
Unable to move, she had to do something,
Then old Ted gave her a lick on the ear.
‘Go and get Bill, boy’, she desperately said,
But this wasn’t Lassie, this was useless old Ted.

‘That useless old Ted, I should have him shot’
Wailed Bill, he was reaching the maudlin stage.
‘He’s by far the worst working dog that I’ve got,
I’m surprised I’ve allowed him to reach this old age.’
Then he told a joke to his friends and his staff,
And they all had a drink and another good laugh.
Meanwhile, down at the back of the yard,
Laughing was far from Marissa’s mind.
She had Ted by the collar and was twisting so hard,
That he couldn’t escape, he just stood there and whined.
But she got some comfort from this simple reaction,
As she worked her way through each contraction.

Then she realised that maybe she could make it through,
With old Ted beside her, taking Bill’s place.
She just needed something to curse and swear to,
And occasionally give her a lick on the face.
And Ted’s breathing was perfect, with no bark or bite,
Bill never could get that panting thing right.

Then the guests started asking ‘where was Bills wife?’
‘As its time they were gone and they wanted to kiss her’.
But Bill was the drunkest he’d been in his life,
And he had forgotten all about poor Marissa.
Then every one gasped and looked in surprise,
As she gracefully returned to say her good-byes.

Few people know what these moments are worth,
The fleeting and inimitable charm.
And beauty of a woman who has just given birth,
With her healthy boy cradled soft in her arms.
The expanse of gardens completed the story,
As the roses burst open in all of their glory.

And wagging his tail there proudly was Ted,
Unaware of the amount of time that elapsed.
‘He looks more like the father’ (a less prudent guest said),
“Than that drunk over there on the verge of collapse!’
And when Bill finally choked at the end of the keg,
Ted found a good place to cock his leg.

So now at this fictional place we call Yanda,
Things are pretty much the same as before.
Baby Edward now plays on the sunlit verandah,
And Bill has promised to drink nevermore.
But Marissa’s alone in the big double bed,
And Bill sleeps out back, with his new equal, Ted.

We have been so anxious to give our children what we did not have that we have neglected to give them what we did have. The Vent

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What is the use of a new-born child?

Benjamin Franklin, when asked the use of a new invention

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The Garden Within by Celia Berrell

There is a garden
in my heart
where beauty grows
in fits and starts.

Where smiles are petals
from the flowers
bestowed by others
from their bowers.

Nutritious hope
reaps seeds to feed
my spirit
for its every need.

With gratitude
I’ll reach my goal.
To touch the island
of my soul.



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I will aid any kid anytime That’s what real men do. Paolo.

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you’d never forget the pelicans
because it was their home too
and that occasional one who’d try and swallow your baited hook
while we cast out into an endless mould of brown and blue skin
sometimes catching our line in its enormous and clumsy wingspan
floating around the jetty constantly boasting that huge gullet
so close to the pylons covered in poinson oyster shells
that waited for the bare flesh within our gait,
inviting our bare flesh to dance
Mum worried that we’d get sick from eating them
Day saying the sewage from the caravan park
would sometimes flow near where we fished
and that they oysters bathed in it too

little buckets of a few bream
silver catch of a meal
and the persistent cats at our ankles
lapping up the smell
running up past the shop
a front window necropolis of stonefish in vegemite jars
suspended in a vault of clear alcoholic brine
still deadly in death
and us in bare feet all the time
three kids in stonefish-infested mud
playing Russian roulette –
one good pair of running shoes between us

Source:  Smoke Encrypted Whispers  by Samuel Wagan Watson Univ. of Queensland Press, 2004

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I’m That Old Guy

I’m the guy who parents do not trust
The one that would help a child who has fallen
A kid in danger
A child who is short five cents at the lolly shop
A child that just wanted a hug or a chat
Some kids like old men’s stories
They learn from listening to old men like me
I am not a sinister man I am just what I should be
An old man with a story
Who helps any kid?
I am not perverted like the do gooders say
Because I spoke to their child miserably wrapped in cotton wool
I am not a paedophile
I am not a risk
I’m that old guy who must leave a child in trouble
Because some idiot says that’s the wisest thing
Pigs Arse
I will aid any kid anytime
That’s what real men do

This was published on December 29, 2013 

The wood-plank bridge which led out of town when I was a child, also led me back, and is now the one on a smaller, less traveled road, where one could possibly find oneself, if one was looking. The sound of a car crossing a wooden bridge always arouses feelings of loneliness, the desire to escape, and perhaps return to my childhood.



Children are not mini adults. To recognise that childhood is different from adulthood is not patronising, it’s actually respectful and a fact!

Kathy Walker




By crawling a child learns to stand. ~ African




(written in the Tasmanian bush.)


Through the valleys, softly creeping

‘Mid the tree-tops, tempest-tossed,

see the cloud-forms seeking, peeping

For the loved ones that are lost.

Not for storm or sunshine resting,

Will they slacken or desist,

Or grow weary in their questing

For the children of the mist.


Where are those children hiding?

Surely they will soon return,

In the gorge again abiding

‘Mid the myrtle and the fern.

Ah! the dusky forms departed

Nevermore will keep their tryst,

And the clouds, alone, sad-hearted,

mourn the Children of the Mist.


E’en the wild bush-creatures, scattered,

Ere they die renew their race,

And the pine, by levin shattered,

Leaves an heir to take his place.

Though each forest thing, forth stealing,

Year by year the clouds have kissed,

Vainly are those white arms feeling

For the children of the mist.


Dead the race, beyond awaking,

Ere its task was well begun;

Human hearts that throbbed to breaking

Are but dust beneath the sun.

Past all dreams of vengeance-wreaking,

Blown where’er the tempests list.

But the cloud-forms still are seeking

For the children of the mist.


John Sandes

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. Sigmund Freud


Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Only to someone
Who has the valour and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you. 


A boy’s will is the wind’s will. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Kagwaci ka mwana wene nook kahoragia mwaki
            It is always the potato of another family’s boy that extinguishes the fire
The proverb alludes to the custom of roasting potatoes in the embers of a dying fire.
            Nobody calls himself rogue.

Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden. ~ Akan


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

– Calvin Coolidge (30th US president, 1872-1933)