A Grandpa Bill Story—or idle thoughts on why we call everything ‘Joe’.

I was walking along through a field one day and there was this cat crouching low looking for mice. I said “hello Joe Cat,” but when I walks over to him, he stiffly walks off with a look of, ‘what’s eating you?’ I stood there for a moment thinking, why do we call him Joe cat? It took me a while but I think I figured it out.

A long time ago, everyone was called Joe, but this wasn’t very satisfactory, no-one knew who was who. As times were getting more civilized a meeting was called and it was decided to give everything a different name. A committee of one was formed, headed by Joseph J. Cat. He put a bunch of names in a bag and then he would pull a name from the bag and eventually gave everything a different name, until he had only one animal and one name left. Now this animal loved to hunt mice. He also liked to eat grasshoppers and even crickets and spiders. But the only name left in the bag was Owatta Punk and that’s the name he got.

As time went on everybody found mice all over the place; cheese shops were folding up as all the cheese was disappearing and everyone who loved cheese would hang around mouse holes looking for a few leftover crumbs. There were so many grasshoppers they ate every leaf of grass and even covered the ground. Trains going into towns would skid past them into cities and trains coming from cities would skid into the ocean. Spiders would run up ladies’ legs and build webs in their hair. This made the ladies scream. What had happened to the animal who ate mice and grasshoppers and spiders, they wanted to know? Things got so bad they called in Mr. Joseph J. Cat to find out what was wrong. Where was their mousegrasshopperspider catcher? What did he say to him?

“Well,” said Mr. Joseph J. Cat, “since I only had one name— ‘Owatta Punk’—left, I gave the name to him.”

Now it turns out this animal couldn’t stand being called ‘Owatta Punk, so he just went away and hid. But the rest of the animals said, “This cant go on! You will just have to give him your name and you will have to take his!”

So that is how my litle friend in the field came to be known as Joseph J. Cat, or Joe for short. (The J. stands for Josephine in case he’s a girl). And the animal he traded names with was Man, or otherwise now known as Mr. Owatta Punk.

And I think that is the nuttiest story you ever heard—Love Grandpa

THE TINDER BOX (and the wicked witch)

Some years ago I wrote a pantomime for The Maple Ridge Players and in due time they produced it. I took the play from Hans Christian Anderson’ story of ‘The Tinder Box’. It is quite a silly play, written for both adults and young people, with lots of silly songs and some romantic ones. Those who saw it told me they enjoyed it very much. The Ladysmith players also produced it here on the island about five years ago. but as I have been busy on my books I haven’t had time to find other
companies who might like to put it on.If anyone out there is interested, please contact me.

I’m the wickedest wickedest wickedest witch in the west
I guarantee I’ll give you my personal best
I’m wicked right down to the end of my nose
From the top of my head, to the tip of my toes
‘Cause I’m the wickedest wickedest wickedest witch in the west

I’m the beautifulest, charmingest, daintiest witch in the west
Sinderellas my name an’ sinnin’s what I do best
I jumps on children’s toys an’ then
I jumps on ’em all over again
So the Queen had me dumped in the pond an’ called me a pest

I’m the nastiest, awfullest spitefullest (but still charming) witch in the west
I put a hex on the queen and her daughter an’ all she loves best (her money).
Now the princess can only sing or hum
An’ I’ve predicted she’d marry a wandering bum
Just to think of the things I can do makes me feel blest

I’m the connivingest, cleverest, schemingest witch in B.C.
An’ I’m after a box of delights down in that tree
This tale’ll send you home in tears
‘Cause it’s my way or the highway, dears
Oh the scams on the railway’s got nothin’ on me
’cause I’m the wickedest wickedest wickedest wickedest
Wickedest witch in B.C.

You can see this is a really silly song, but the witch is lots of fun

Tinderbox Witch

Return to Lolibran

The second book in 'The Other Side of Magic' series

The second book in ‘The Other Side of Magic’ series

‘Pulled through the Rainbow’s arc until they felt like rubber bands ready to snap at any moment, their heads entered Lolibran while their feet were still away out over the sea. This, for these Earthlings, was a frightening and at the same time, exhilarating experience. Yet the whole journey was so swift that what had seemed to them like hours was over in an instant. Time had s..t…r….e…..t……c…….h………e………d along with their bodies.’

Travel with twins Lynn and Lyle, their mentor Mr. Peter, their three animal companions and Rob, the children’s bullying nemesis, as the Faerie attempt to overthrow the cannibal witch Solvieg and set their devastated land free. But Rob sets out to betray them all, only to find he must make a choice between life or death, his own.


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July—If you like frogs you might like to see Gertrude. She came one day to our pond in our big garden and gave me such a surprise when I turned around and there she was, sitting on a rock on the side of the pond.

  We think she is a Green Frog and we think she came to our pond from the creek that flows through our backyard.

We also believe she is a female because she doesn’t croak, a male might call for a female to this nice big pond

but she is very quiet.

She disappeared for a few days but then she came back. We hope she stays

September— She did stay, she has been with us all summer. She has gotten quite big and very fat.


This is where she likes to sit, on a pot of Marsh Marigold, with very beautiful yellow flowers in early summer.





October—But now Gertrude has gone to bed for the winter, but we don’t know where. Possibly under the moss around her favourite plant. we look forward to seeing her again in the spring.

Caspar the Caterpillar’s Adventure

Caspar the Caterpillar was born on a tall plant in the middle of a pond. His mother had laid an egg there, it seemed like a good spot for her child.

Caspar really likes the pond, it had beautiful water lilies,

and bugs

and even colourful dragonflies.

So Caspar ate and ate and ate and he grew and grew and grew. But one day he found he didn’t want to eat his juicy plant anymore, he wanted some dirt. He didn’t know why he wanted dirt, he just did!’ So he climbed down off his plant and headed for shore

 But he was suddenly attacked on his backside by a silly little Water Strider who thought he could eat him all up!

Caspar jumped and wiggled about so much the Water Strider went off in a huff, claiming Caspar was too tough to eat anyway!

Caspar carried on his journey, he really must find some dirt!

 He stretched himself and stretched himself until he reached the next leaf

But then he thought,’Maybe there is some dirt down there. I’d better look!

Nothing but goldfish down there. Goldfish! Oh my, they’ll eat me all up! I’d better get back on the lily pad.

But Caspar was a brave little caterpillar . He had to find that dirt so he started off again

But the pond was so big!

And the fish were still there just waiting for a big juicy caterpillar to fall in the water.

 All he could do was run round and round the lily pad looking for a way to shore. But it was too far! What was going to happen to him now! If only his mother had picked a land plant to lay her egg on, he wouldn’t be in this mess.

Suddenly a long black pole with a net on the end reached out to him and scooped him up off the lily pad. And the next thing he knew he was dropped into a pot full of….dirt! Caspar just dove right down into that nice warm soil, curled himself around  and sighed with happiness. At last, he could become a pupae and grow up into a moth inside his tight little skin.