In the olden days


Sue is not a burglar girl
(says Ruby).

Her father was born
in the olden days.

Probably they didn’t have
burglars then

but something worse
like pirates

or deadly weapons aliens.
Deadly means

really good
and not useless.


Rachel McAlpine

From a story told by Ruby, aged 4 or 5 or 6

Do you feel sorry for me?


I was hurt today
(says Ruby)
with a very bad hurt.

There was blood on my knee
and I banged my chin. See?
Do you feel sorry for me?

We were running too fast.
Lauren got a bleeding nose:
I crashed her with my head.

Ellen squealed Ee! but I just cried.
I have to scoot slowly now
because it hurts my knee.

Do you feel sorry for me?
Do you feel more sorry for Ellie,
or do you feel more sorry for me?


Rachel McAlpine

From a story told by Ruby, aged 4 or 5 or 6

How to act cool


If you want to act cool with me
(says Ruby)
just say OK.

The easiest way to learn
is walking waving your hips.
Watch me. One, two, three.

Everything has to be
waving your hips.
That’s part of being cool.

Not spitting on your hand
like they do in Peter Pan:
that’s gross.

You can’t do acting cool
at gymnastics: you might go wow!
and fall off the bar.

Don’t wave your hips
on the trampoline:
just jump the normal way.

Don’t act cool
at dog obedience school
‘cos you might fall over, especially

if you’re walking backwards.
And if you see stray dogs
leave them alone.

I haven’t learned all the coolness
from dog people.
I learned it from Marone.

I’ll spell that for you.
It’s Ethiopian,
so people can’t spell it.

And don’t walk coolly up the stairs.
Just walk normally.


Rachel McAlpine
From a story told by Ruby, aged 4 or 5 or 6

The fair maiden


Once upon a time
(says Ruby)
there was a fair maiden.

She had to decide
which pair of shoes
to wear to her wedding.

The wedding was a sad funeral
for someone in her future
who had died.

The fair maiden loved her shoes.
Finally she decided
to wear these ones.

They are blue
and they’ve got a blue flower.
They remind of her mother
who died.


Rachel McAlpine

From a story by Ruby, aged 4 or 5 or 6

For goodness sake


For goodness sake (says Ruby)
I know how to spell AND.
You don’t have to write it
in fancy writing.

For goodness sake,
I know how to spell A.
It’s just one letter.
That’s how we spell it at school.

Marie said, “What’s that tattoo
and can I have one too?”
and I said,
For goodness sake, no!

It’s already ruined.
I washed it and it’s blurry.
For goodness sake,


Rachel McAlpine

Poem uttered by Ruby, aged 6

Facts about zombies


Goblins knock on the door
in disguise (says Ruby). Get them
to take off their clothes.

If they say no,
they’re baddies.
To get them destructed,

take off their clothes.
Then call the police.
Then fight them.

(You know this isn’t real.
It’s just in case,
to save the day.)

If a zombie comes up the toilet
you can whisk off and fight it,
because you know the steps.

Put some Barbie dolls in a row
because zombies hate Barbie dolls.
They’re afraid they’ll chomp them.

You can also shine a light at zombies.
It injects them
and they die.


Rachel McAlpine
From a story told by Ruby, aged 4 or 5 or 6