The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

The Tale of Shelly & Saul

Listen to Sue read her poem ...
Two snails were sat high on a wall:
One called Shelly, one called Saul.
They liked to watch the school kids pass,
As they were let out of their class.
Today the children all had art,
They carried cards with glitter hearts,
And red balloons that floated high,
So, Shelly asked her snail-pal: “Why?”
“Tomorrow’s Valentine’s,” said Saul.
(For he was quite a know-it-all).
“The day when people give out treats;
Big balloons and heart-shaped sweets,
Bright red roses, chocolates too,
They tell each other: “I love you”,
They eat a meal by candlelight,
And walk and talk until it’s light.”
Shelly's eyes lit up with glee.
“If only someone would love me...
But who could love an ugly snail,
All tentacles and slimy tail?”
Saul replied: “It’s not for us,
Valentine’s is such a fuss.
Snails aren’t meant to love,” he said.
“Now come, it’s time we went to bed.”
That night when Shelly fell asleep,
She dreamt of hearts and treats to eat...
Of big balloons and bright red flowers...
Sitting shell-by-shell for hours.
Shelly woke to morning light,
She spotted something sparkly bright,
And what it was made Shelly shiver,
Sent her slimy tail a-quiver.
Her knight in shining-shell had been,
He’d slid on by and left unseen.
A silver snail-trail in the dew:
A message saying.... “I LOVE YOU!”.

About the Writer

Sue Lancaster

Sue is a children's writer living in South West London with her husband, two children and pet budgie, Buddy. Before turning her hand to writing, Sue worked in TV as a Production Manager and got her degree in Media Studies at the University of East London. She grew up in Clacton on the coast of Essex and spent much of her childhood writing stories and poems, playing with her three cats, and being tormented by her two older brothers.