Daisy was a dragon with a terrible problem,
   No matter what she did,
     no matter what she tried,
         her tail was just too long.
    It dragged out thirty feet behind her.

Doors were always shutting on it.
   Once it even got caught in the door

                                                       to Mr. Meekem’s supermarket.

Cars were always bumping into it at night
                                                        long after she had
                                                               already passed the corner.

Dogs were always chasing it,
          and kittens—being kittens—pounced
                              on the tip, like it was a  piece of string for them to play with.

She really had tried just about everything to get it out of the way.

Once she had pulled the tip up and over her shoulder, tying it to
                                                                                her big toe with a long yellow ribbon.
But the first time she went up St. George’s hill, she had tripped over a
                                               very small pebble and rolled backwards all the way down to the bottom.

She tried pulling it around her waist…..                               

                          BUT
                 it sprang loose knocking down 2 cars, 1 house, 6 trees and….
                                                               a fly.

She even tried draping it over her arm like ladies with long skirts used to do.                                                                                But, it formed a scoop gathering up pebbles, manhole covers,
                                               And--once--even a little blue-eyed boy right along with her.


Finally on the 15th of May, there was a meeting of everyone in town.
Everyone was so worried about her too long tail. They had to help  
               Daisy solve her problem while they still had a town left. Lots of people

                                                                               offered suggestions and ideas for her to try.

Mrs. Jones, the druggist wife, said she could paint a white stripe down

                                                 both sides of her tail so the cars could see it at night.

                                             But….

Doors would still shut on it,
dogs would still chase it,
and kittens
….being kittens…
                   would still think it was a pretty piece of string to play with.

Everyone was quiet for a long,
                                               

                                                     long
                                                             

                                                                 long


                                                                              time.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

                                                                                           
Suddenly, Gertrude Swingle stood up with the greatest idea ever.

            She was so sure it would work,

                                           she announced right then and there

                                    that she was going to give Daisy a permanent.

“A PERMANENT!” everyone cried, “TO A DRAGON!!”
“Yes, in her tail, “ was Gertrude’s reply.

Daisy spent nearly THREE hours in the beauty parlor.
When she came out,

                      her tail was all nicely curled in a tight flip against her back.

Now, as long as Daisy has a new permanent every six months,

Doors don’t shut on it.
Cars don’t bump into it as night.
Dogs no longer chase it.

But kittens
  --being kitens—
            still pounce at it like a pretty piece of curled string.






Children's Stories


                                                                         





                                           DAISY'S  TOO LONG TAIL 

                                 by Catherine Haenze

                                     

                                                            

                                  Night of the Checkered Trucks


There was a man named Bull. Every move he made showed how powerful he was.  He drove a red 4-door, with everthing  possible loaded in on his power pick-up.  When he walked, the ground thumped under his feet. There was also a little man whose name was Cuthbert.  Cuthbert might be as tall as the top of the tailgate on Bull’s truck. He drove a white half pint pick-up truck.  Back to back Cuthbert’s tail gate barely reached above  Bull’s fender.  Actually, Cuthbert himself could barely see over Bull’s tail gate.

To say it politely, Bull and Cuthbert were not friends.  They didn’t even like to see each other.  Whenever Bull saw Cuthbert in his little white truck, he’d say things like,  “There goes that a scrawny little chicken of a guy.” Or  “Little guy drives little truck.”

Whenever Cuthbert saw Bull he’d say things like,  “There’s the guy with the dinosaur brain and breath. Or “How’d he get the name of Bull?  Sure is an insult to a smart animal!”

Their friends grew tired of hearing them make these remarks and squabbling all the time.  They all got together and came up with a secret plan to try and get them to be friends.  They threw a big party and invited everyone in town including Cuthbert and Bull.  But Cuthbert didn’t know Bull was coming and Bull didn’t know Cuthbert was coming either.  Their friends thought, that in this case, their ignorance was best all the way around.


The night of the party came and everyone was excited, especially Bull who hadn’t been invited to a party in a long time.  He’d been at the party about 15 minutes when Cuthbert came in.  When Bull saw him, he was so mad his face grew as red as if he’d eaten hot chili peppers. The veins on his neck stuck out like ropes on a ship.

Cuthbert and Bull spent the party circling the room and glaring at each other, muttering words we’d best not repeat.

While Bull and Cuthbert were busy hating each as they were circling ‘round like boxers in a ring, their friends went outside and took both their trucks apart.  Then they put them back together, but all mixed up--red and white.  A little white fender was replaced by a big red one that stuck out 8” in front.  A red door was where a white one had belonged.  Bull’s bumper sticker which said, “Bulls of the world unite and CHARGE!” wound up on Cuthbert’s bumper.  Cuthbert’s signed picture of his wife, Elisha Cuthbert that said, “To Cuthie, the cutest little cowboy in the West. Love and Kisses.” wound up hanging from Bull’s rear view mirror.

They finished just as Bull and Cuthbert realized no one else was inside at the party.  They ran for the door at the same time.  They got caught like logs in a jam before breaking free and rushing outside.   When they saw the trucks, Bull got raging mad. His face got the color of a man who’d just eaten 13 red-hot Texas chili peppers. He looked like a bull that had seen the matador’s cape.  He ran around bellowing and screaming.  He did everything but paw the ground and snort smoke through his nose.

Cuthbert just kept walking and looking.  It was hard to even tell which truck was his. 

When he saw the bumper sticker about the charging bulls and Bull running and screaming amok, he started laughing.  He laughed so hard tears ran down his cheeks and his sides hurt.

This made Bull even madder.  His face was redder and the veins were bigger.  Then he saw the bumper sticker and knew how silly he looked.  He started laughing too.  He was laughing so hard he could barely stand up.  Pretty soon Cuthbert and Bull were leaning on each other and laughing.  While they were laughing so hard, they never saw their friends sneak away.

When Cuthbert and Bull stopped laughing, they saw they were all alone.  They spent all that night and half the next day putting their trucks together again.  After that, they were always the best of friends.  Cuthbert kept the bumper sticker and Bull kept the picture of Elisha.  It always made him laugh when he’d see it and make him think of the night of the checkered trucks. And their friends?  Let’s just say, it surely made the town’s Bar-B-Que nights more fun for everyone.