Nov 25, 2022

I’d lost my left mitten; my fingers were cold.

A snowstorm was coming, we all had been told.

I went up the hill; I went at a trot.

A cup of hot cocoa would sure help a lot.


I looked at the sky. Now snowflakes were falling.

The clouds were so dark! The blue jays were calling.

Above me I saw what was first just a speck

that quickly got bigger. I said, “What the heck?”


Whatever it was, it was coming down fast.

It looked like an egg at the moment it passed

in front of my eyes—and crashed on a rock.

But rather than smashing, it bounced—to my shock.


An egg that could bounce? I doubted my eyes.

And when I ran over, another surprise!

The egg that I picked up was blue with red spots

that turned green, then yellow, then shrank to black dots.


could take it with me, but would that be wise?

I wondered while watching the spots changing size—

as big as a quarter, as small as a dime,

as tiny as freckles I get all the time.

What in the world was inside such a thing?

Had it been dropped by a bird on the wing?

The wind was now rising, the snow in my eyes.

I took the egg with me, hiked over the rise,

and once I was home, safe and sound in my room,

I talked to the egg and sang it a tune.

My baby doll blanket I tucked all around it,

and, thinking my dad might get mad if he found it,

I hid it behind a big doll in the chest

with most of my toys, then lay down to rest.

“You’re too young for a pet,” my father has said.

“They need to be trained, and petted, and fed.”

But I’d like to try to take care of a pet.

The more that I practice, the better I’ll get!


When later I checked to see how the egg was,

from under the blanket there came an odd buzz.

I lifted it up—and with a small pop,

what looked like a tail popped out of the top!

It curled around once, this curious thing,

and curled and curled right into a spring.

Upside-down the egg flipped and started to hop

like a pogo stick rider, until it went plop

and fell on the floor. But it picked itself up,

hopping until it got stuck in a cup.


I pulled the egg out with a twist and a tug.

It went back to hopping around on my rug,

and “boing” was the sound that it made as it went.

It bounced off my headboard and made a small dent

but kept right on hopping without even knowing

what was around it or where it was going.


Under a table, it tried a big hop,

banged its crown hard and still wouldn’t stop.

It swayed back and forth as if it were dizzy,

but five seconds later, it got very busy

boinging across my whole room to find out

how big it was and a little about

all of the things that stood in the way.

And that’s how it spent the rest of the day!


That night, hearing voices, I told the egg, “Hush!”

and hid it away in my chest in a rush.

As soon as the voices had faded away,

I checked on my egg and, to my dismay,

it was now a dull gray, and I couldn’t see spots—

not even close up. Not the tiniest dots.


There was even a moment I thought it was dead—

a worry I tried to get out of my head.

It’s sleeping, I thought. I should leave it alone.

From then on it stayed as gray as a stone.

I told it, “Sleep tight!” when I went off to bed

but woke in the night with a feeling of dread.


                                                              DAY TWO—IT CAN SEE


Today I rose early and ran to the chest,

lifting the lid while I hoped for the best,

little expecting what greeted my eyes:

My egg had a beard and had tripled in size!

Now it was bluer—and clearly alive.

I counted the spots I could see. There were five.

But then the “beard “moved—and what should I see?

A wide-open eye that was staring at me!

The “beard” was its lashes—I saw it blink twice—

and though it looked funny, I tried to be nice.

The eye looked afraid, as if I was scary.

I smiled and said that my nickname was Carrie.


Now maybe my teeth were what gave it a fright.

It shut its one eye—it squeezed it up tight—

and all of its colorful spots turned quite white.

Again and again, I said, “I don’t bite!”

But that’s how it stayed from morning till night.


I went to bed late but still couldn’t sleep.

More than an hour I spent counting sheep.

Tossing and turning, I couldn’t relax—

an egg with a spring and one eye and no cracks?


Why had I thought it was okay to take it?

Is it still a mistake if you try to un-make it?

I’ll put the “egg” back so who lost it can find it.

The outdoors is cold, but the “egg” might not mind it.

But what if it freezes? I’ll be the one blamed.

I’ll feel so sorry! I’ll feel so ashamed!

I should make up my mind—that much I knew

but still didn’t know quite what I should do.


                                          DAY THREE—IP GOES EXPLORING


When next I looked in on my “egg,” it was sleeping.

The blanket was wet, so it might have been weeping.

It wasn’t an egg at all was my guess—

and its “shell” was really its skin, more or less.

If it wasn’t an egg, then it needed a name,

something to call it that wasn’t too lame,

something for someone who’s one of a kind—

a name that is cute and that no one would mind.

I’ll call the thing “Ip,” instead of just “it.”

(Don’t ask me why. “Ip” just seems to fit.)

Ip likes to be blue, so I’ll say it’s a “he.”

But that’s just for now—for who knows who he’ll be?


I pulled back the blanket and saw something queer

sprout out of Ip’s side—it looked like an ear!

To see if it was, I started to hum.

Ip peeked out to see where the sound had come from.

I hummed on and on, and his ear lifted higher.

Skinny and pointed, it looked like a spire.

It must be an ear! I couldn’t be wrong—

for Ip started buzzing like singing along.

And while I was wondering what else he would do,

Another ear sprouted, so now he had two!

As soon as I gently set Ip on the floor,

with two happy hops, he set out to explore.

The more that he hopped, the higher he got.

(His hopping improved, but his landings did not.

He was a bit clumsy and knocked down some things.

It might have been better if he’d sprouted wings.)


Now he was eager to see all he could:

my kite in the corner, my flute made of wood,

an unfinished puzzle, a bug on the wall,

the darts and the target I bought at the mall,

the view from my window, my tree house, the shed,

as well as some things that were under my bed—

like lots of dust bunnies, a mitten, a spoon,

a puppet, a ruler, a marble, a prune.

Ip studied my stuffies, like Furby, my bear,

and Roary, my lion—but didn’t stop there.

He seemed quite excited to see my whole “zoo,”

my elephant Toot and my mouse Pipsqueak too.


But later that morning it started to hail,

to batter my window, like hammers and nails.

Ip’s eyelid was drooping; he barely could hop.

As loud as the storm was, he came to a stop,

and over he flopped, quite deeply asleep.

It’s better this way; my secret will keep,

I thought as I hid him away for a nap

and took one myself with a book in my lap.

At bedtime Ip still was asleep in the chest,

his spots changing color! He’s dreaming, I guessed.


                                                 DAY FOUR—IP IS NAUGHTY


I opened my eyes to the bright light of day—

and a very loud buzzing a few feet away.

Something was up! Was Ip still all right?

I jumped to my feet and to my delight,

I saw something awesome the moment I did:

three claws poking out from under the lid—

a thumb and two fingers, which adds up to three.

A three-fingered hand was now waving at me!

And here I’d thought Ip was some sort of a bird!

Now I was…well, ”dumbstruck” is the word!

But once I had set Ip back down on the ground,

one by one, he grabbed things that were scattered around,

then aimed at the chest and tossed them inside—

my clothes on the floor and my new Barbie bride.

He hopped off to get both Roary and Toot,

then added a Glue Stick, two dice, and a boot.

He seemed to be saying, “Now these things are mine!”

He’s playing a game! I thought at the time.

I admit that I giggled a little at first,

until Ip got worse…and worse…and worse!


He threw items into the chest willy-nilly.

Some of his choices I found rather silly:

a brown apple core that he cannot eat,

two bedroom slippers, though he has no feet,

a flute he can’t play with only one hand,

and what does he need with the blue rubber band?

Although he can’t read, a book that’s quite scary,

a scrunchie and hairbrush, though he isn’t hairy.

And what use is Kleenex if you have no nose?

Still, these are some of the things that he chose.


I let him go on till the pile got so high

the lid wouldn’t close. Then I said with a sigh,

“Some of these things we will have to put back.

Let’s start with the clothes that go into that sack.”

But Ip’s spots turned red; his one eye did too.

His buzz sounded mad as he threw in a shoe.

I snatched it back, he grabbed the heel.

The quick tug-of-war that we had was for real.

I won in the end, but I didn’t feel good.

How could I get Ip to do what he should?


“The chest is too full!” I said. “Where will you sleep?

How can you sleep on top of a heap?”

But Ip gave me one of his innocent looks,

then purposely knocked down a pile of books.

“Ip, it’s the best, safest place you can be,

since no one goes in there except you and me.”

(I didn’t want to tell him my worry about

what they would do if my parents found out.)

With two hops, he knocked all my games off a shelf

and afterwards looked rather pleased with himself.


“Please, Ip!” I pleaded. “You need to be good!

We’ll have lots more fun, if only you would!

I’ll teach you so many cool things we can do—

lots of great games we can play with just two…”


He swept off the stuffies on top of my trunk:

Whiz Kid, my owl, and Stinky, my skunk.

Stinky, to me, is the cutest of all!

Headfirst in my goldfish bowl, I watched him fall.

Thank goodness the bowl didn’t crash to the floor,

for next came a very loud knock on my door!

I heard my mom’s voice asking, “Are you okay?”

“I knocked down some stuff” was all I dared say.


Because Ip was scared by the knock on the door,

I supposed that he wouldn’t be bad anymore.

But once Mom was gone, he snatched up my phone!

“You’ll break it!” I cried. “Please leave it alone!”

He wouldn’t give it back, so I chased him around.

“I’ll trade you,” I said,for a dollar I found!”

But he wouldn’t trade—and since he wouldn’t stop,

I chased him until I was ready to drop!


By my bed was the box my new lamp had come in.

Grabbing a flap, I swung it at him.

I caught him inside, then slammed the box down

and held it ten seconds—tight to the ground.

When I peeked under it, Ip was so still!

His eyelid was closed, but I waited until

I’d made enough room for him inside the chest—

and then tucked him in. We both needed a rest!

I put a big plant on the lid just in case,

and after my nap, I cleaned up the place.


                                                 DAY FIVE—I PLAY TEACHER


That night I slept soundly, I’m happy to say,

and woke up quite hopeful. It was a new day!

I opened the chest, a little on guard…

Out came a hand that pinched me—hard!

“Do that again, and you’ll have to stay

inside the chest,” I said, “all of today.”

Out came the hand again, trying to pinch!

I stood my ground. You can’t make me flinch,

I thought to myself as a new hand appeared.

But what happened next was not what I feared.


Hand number Two grabbed One by the wrist,

jerking it back. Then One made a fist

and tried everything it could do to break free.

Should I step in and play referee?

I wondered while watching arms twisting and turning.

The fight was so fierce, my tummy was churning.

Which hand would win? The naughty or nice?

I knew that if One won, we’d all pay a price.


Ip watched the fight with a look of distress,

unable to stop either hand was my guess.

The closest of contests it looked like to me,

and all I could do was watch, wait, and see.

Once, for an instant, the first hand broke free.

The second hand grabbed it immediately.

Still, I was surprised when the mean hand gave in

so all of a sudden. No doubt with a grin,

I shook the nice hand, saying, “Nice to meet you!”

Ip looked relieved, and I bet I did too.

“When hands work together, there’s tons you can do!”

I said, “If you want, I can teach you a few!”

Since both of my parents were out for the day,

we had lots of time and new places to play.

The day passed so quickly, it seemed like time flew!

These are some things that I taught Ip to do: 

          – How to play Pick-up Sticks, marbles, and darts

          – How to play card games like Go Fish and Hearts

          – How to use scissors and Scotch tape and soap 

          – How to change patterns in my kaleidoscope

          – How to make things out of paper, like planes,

                snowflakes and crowns, booklets and chains

          – How to draw butterflies, flowers, and stars

          – How to twist open the tight lids on jars

          – How to do summersaults, stand on your head,

                sew up a hole with a needle and thread

          – How to make snowballs and have a fun fight

          – Which hand is left and which hand is right


We made a big snowman. I gave it my cap,

then wondered out loud, “Is it time for your nap?”

Ip shook himself “no”—but while he might deny it,

inside, he was ready to do something quiet.

We finished my puzzle in less an hour.

Then tier by tier, we made a tall tower

of cards. It was tricky—my hands shook a bit.

Ip did much better, I have to admit.


And when it got dark, I showed him the stars

and pointed out planets: Venus and Mars.

At bedtime I told him a story or two—

the scariest, funniest, best ones I knew!

When he got sleepy, he hopped to the chest

all by himself. He didn’t protest.




I woke before dawn and thought right away

of all of the fun that we’d had yesterday.

Now it was time to tell Mom and Dad.

I hoped that they wouldn’t be too very mad.


After a while, I opened my eyes—

I’d felt something poke me—and to my surprise

it was Ip. Once again he had tripled in size,

for now he was almost as big as a chair!

At first the most I could do was just stare.

The longer I did, the bigger he grew.

Could I be dreaming? Or could this be true?


Ip waved toward the window. What did he mean?

He started to buzz—with hurry it seemed.

I dashed to the window, though I was in doubt,

and threw it wide open. He tried to squeeze out,

wiggling and twisting and turning about.

But try as he would, he got stuck halfway through.

Now I was frantic. What else could we do?

His buzz was so loud I thought someone would hear—

at least anyone who was anywhere near,

which maybe was good because Ip was in trouble.

I was afraid he might pop like a bubble!


I searched for the heaviest object in sight.

My dresser! I thought, and with all of my might,

I pushed it in front of the window so Ip

could brace his spring on it. The dresser then tipped

and crashed to the floor as Ip thrust himself out

with one mighty “hop.” I let out a shout,

expecting to see that he’d landed below.

But when I looked down, I saw that wasn’t so.


                   Floating above our snowman, he was

buzzing away with his happiest buzz,

his spots turning colors, the brightest ones yet.

Thinking how lucky it was that we’d met,

I watched as abruptly Ip started to rise

faster and faster, bound for the skies.

Up, up he went like a hot-air balloon

and kept right on waving—and waving—till soon

he was so high above me he looked like the moon.

Then smaller and smaller and smaller he got

until he was only the tiniest spot—

just like he’d looked when he came from the sky.

I supposed I would feel a bit sad by and by.

And though I’ve no clue about how, where, or when,

I know in my heart that I’ll see Ip again.

And if anyone says I’m not telling the truth

about Ip and me, I’ve got selfies as proof!