“Terence the ice-skating turtle” by Jan Darling




When Terence the Turtle chose his career

He’d no one to help him from far or from near

No one to tell him he’d just look a fool

None to persuade him to stay on at school

Terence was fired by one burning ambition

To become an ice skater – his only mission.


When Terence was laughed at and told he was silly

He retired to the garden to talk with the Lily

Lily was clever, and dainty and sweet

She said no matter he didn’t have feet

Of the kind that were shaped to wear a skate

I believe, she said, you’re meant to beat Fate.


Believe in your dream, she said with a wink

You have to dream big –  and don’t let it shrink

Imagine your feet as if they were tiny

Feet that can sparkle in boots that are shiny

Feet that can twinkle and leap and go spinning

Feet that are grinning at prizes they’re winning.


Terence suddenly felt that his dream could come true

And decided to buy the boots that are blue

Blue boots are best when they’re put to the test

With a swanky new hand-knitted ice-skater vest

He chose red for his vest and puffed out his chest

How good he was feeling – blessed with such zest.


One day as he practised his leaps on the ice

Some kids who were passing said he looked nice

Terence was thrilled (to the boots) I guess

They suggested he add to his suit a headdress

Something stunning and utterly funky

We know, the kids said – you need a monkey.



The kids asked Terence to be their friend

And made a big placard, carefully penned

Come see Terence the Turtle, the Master of Skates,

Payment is either in cents or in dates

Terence does figures, he leaps and he spins

Terence the Turtle is great on his pins.


Meanwhile the Monkey who’d answered their ad

Turned out to be cousin to Lily’s dad

Lily was thrilled to find her relation

Even more thrilled with T’s creation

An ice-skating turtle, what a great laugh

Next you’ll be wanting promotional staff.


Not a bad idea said Chunky the Monkey

That old sign is now looking clunky

Now that we’re sorted and out on the road

I’ll be needing some help – could we look for a toad?

I’ve been recently told that toads abound

So we’ll probably find some here on the ground.


Look at that Turtle, he’s really a joke

‘Twas a cheeky young bullfrog beginning to croak

Stop there: Chunky yelled, and bellowed and shouted

Barry the Bullfrog – you’ve just now been outed

For Barry it was who had first told Terence

That he was descended from Ice-skating parents.


Terence was thrilled and started to spin

He did a quick tapdance – that made them grin.

The kids went with Chunky and Lily and Barry

Terence found love and decided to marry

They were happy forever and all shared a house

They believed in each other and life was just grouse.

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