short story

Some Heroes Wear T-Shirts & Jeans


Everyone likes a hero.
Someone to save the day.
They could be a fireman, a sergeant,
A policeman, a Green Bourrée.
A superhero on the big screen
wearing colorful tights and a cape.

But –
Some heroes wear jeans and a t-shirt
Sunday through Saturday.

They’re the ones getting groceries 
to make dinner for friends.
They’re the ones sitting by your side
til the very end.
They are the ones that drive you to school
because you were running late that day,
or give you a flower 
when gray clouds come your way.
They are the ones that sing you lullabies when 
you can’t go to sleep.
They are the ones that convince you
to always eat all your peas.
They are the ones that hug you
the tightest every time.
They’re the ones that always
cheer on your unique rhythm and rhyme.

They’re the ones that never ask
for a favor in return
though you probably owe them
more than you could ever
give back in cash, gifts or words.

They are your home.
They are love.
They are the ones
that you can’t speak enough of.
They are silent 
but their actions are loud.
They make the world better
just by being around.

With all the gratitude that I have,
I dedicate this one to my mom and dad.

Thank you for being my heroes.


Text and Illustration copyright © 2018 Jennifer Hart. 


Little Miss Bossy Pants


Do this! Do that!
You should! You shant!
Make it. Take it. No don’t! You can’t.
Have you met Little Miss Bossy Pants?

She tries, she cares, she wants perfect
every time, everywhere.
And, this drives her and everyone else
to pull out their hair.

Once Baxter The Dog offered to help
Little Miss Bossy Pants throw
a dinner and dance
for her three favorite aunts.

This should be fun Baxter thought.
We’ll pick up the food to make
and a few decorations to hang.
“Then the fun will begin!” He sang.

Little Miss Bossy Pants
had other ideas…
“Baxter pick out the flowers.”
“Baxter clean up the yard.”
“Baxter blow up balloons.”
“No Baxter, like this, that’s too much.”
“Baxter, don’t use a rake!”
“Baxter, are these flowers fake?”
“Baxter! Baxter! Baxter!”

Baxter put down the flowers.
And dropped the half blown balloon.
He sighed, put a paw on her arm,
then walked away and said, “I’ll be back soon.”

She huffed and puffed
and made an awful sound.
“Where are you going!?

Baxter returned in an hour with a grin.
Little Miss Bossy Pants
was rushing and running.
Baxter thought he saw her head spin.

Baxter made her stop
for a moment and said,
“Let’s take a break.
Look what I’ve brought.”

Little Miss Bossy Pants
loved chocolate cake.
Baxter brought her a slice
from her favorite place.

She breathed, “That’s very sweet.
Ok, Baxter, let’s eat.”
They sat eating cake
and laughed around the plate.

When every crumb was gone
Baxter stood, “Wasn’t that fun?”
Little Miss Bossy Pants nodded,
“Yes, but there’s still so much to be done.”

Baxter replied, “Sure, but this is the point,
there’s no need to toil to make it perfect.
Make sure you enjoy what you’re making.
Don’t just get through it.

I’ll help you. If you can promise me
you’ll try to have fun.
Please don’t boss me around.
Let’s do it together and it’ll get done.”

With that, they got to work,
but this time she wasn’t bossy.
She let Baxter help and plan too.
The party turned out even better - who knew!?

The Aunts danced till
their shoes had to be trashed.
They ate all the snacks.
And, they had all the laughs.

Yes, always try the best you can.
but try to let others be part of your plan.
Then you won’t have to worry - they’ll be no chance,
that you’ll turn into a Little Miss Bossy Pants.


Text and Illustration copyright © 2018 Jennifer Hart. 




Rexie wasn’t like any other Tyrannosaur.
They liked to hunt and eat all day
but Rexie wanted to explore and play.
Rexie liked to stare at the clouds,
watch birds and listen to their sounds. 

It wasn’t that she couldn’t hunt or was a coward.
Rexie just preferred making colors with flowers, 
dreaming up dreams that might come true,
or laying in the grass to wonder at its hue.

The other T-Rex didn’t like her much.
“She’s weird,” “She’s lame,” They’d say,
“What does she do all day?”
Rexie was just misunderstood.
She saw things no one else could.

One day all The Rex were out on a hunt
when a terrible storm came and created a flood.
T-Rex aren’t known to be good swimmers.
The hunting crew got trapped chasing their dinner.

Rexie had wandered off counting petals
just to see how many were in her favorite meadow.
She saw the group and knew they were in trouble.
T-Rex don’t float so she hurried to help – on the double!
An idea! She knew what to do!

“I’ll roll this log over and make a dino-friendly canoe.”
The hunters watched in a huff, “What could Rexie do?”
They judged and they glared at her as she tried her best
to roll the log to the pop-up river that had stranded the rest.

Rexie reached the edge of the water and sat down.
She heard the others cry, “Get up! There’s no time to lie around.”
Working her claws to create a center big enough for two
she hollowed the log and then punched her feet through.
“Gasp!” The Tyrannosaurs all sounded off together.

“Great! Now she’s stuck and we’re still docked.
We’re never getting off this lousy rock!”
Rexie smiled and pushed off into the river.
It turns out T-Rex could be great swimmers.

She paddled her feet under the boat and glided across
landing on the rock with no problem at all.
There was silence. The hunters were shocked.
“Rexie! Rexie had saved them!” They shouted and gawked,
“Thank you! I mean, wow! How did you know it would work?”

“I didn’t, but we had to try something. You were stuck,”
She laughed, “Plus, I needed to test this anyway, what luck!
I had thought of making a boat to take on the lake
to explore the other side and see what else I could make?

I’ve seen all these flowers, I’ve traveled all these roads,
She continued, “Now I can go further using this boat.”
One by one Rexie carried them across to the shore.
Each T-Rex grateful not to be on the rock anymore. 
Rexie was a hero. They all agreed.

They had been wrong. They’d stop treating her poorly.
She was different and that was more than ok.
Her dreams turned into things
and those things might save them again one day.


Text and Illustration copyright © 2018 Jennifer Hart. 

A Not-So-Nice "Tail"


There was once a girl named Meg
that everyone in town thought was great.
She smiled and laughed
and put on a show
so the people would never guess.
How could they have known?
That underneath her grin
lay a monster within.

One summer all the people in town
were planning their annual celebration.
A yearly party about love and kindness.
A singing, dancing jubilation.
Meg volunteered to help.
She showed up early and left late
but when the town wasn’t looking
she was up to no good, 
plotting and scheming,
hiding behind her sweet face.

The day before the party
the town woke up to a shock.
The tents were crushed, the animals were loose,
the kids were crying, the woman were spooked.
There was trash blowing back and forth, up and down.
Everything they’d built had been burnt to the ground.

Well, as you can imagine the town was upset.
They had no idea what had happened. What a mess!
They started to argue about who had done it and what to do
when an old traveler came quietly wandering through,
“Pardon,” He said, “I heard your plight. 
I assure you, you can trust it will be alright.
I've traveled many places.
And, one thing I know for sure
is people that do wrong without a care are marked. 
You’ll know when you see it. It’s easy to spot.”

That made the people nervous. Who would it be?
The butcher? The farmer, the lady with the wooden knee?
The traveler spoke once more, “Just wait. You will see.”
The town’s people stood watching the traveler’s long baggy cloak
as he walked down the path till he was gone. 
What a strange day. How did things go so wrong?

As predicted, the very next morning, the traveler was proven right.
They learned the truth when Meg came happily strolling by –
 BUT she wasn’t the same as she’d been the previous night.
Meg had grown a long spiny monkey tail.
It had ripped through her pants and wrapped around her toenails. 
Though she tried to pretend it wasn’t there
everyone knew what she’d done and they stared.
She couldn’t hide this from them.
She was a faker, a betrayer, not a friend.

That night Meg grew fur all over her limbs
and her hands and feet became claws with nubby talons.
The town’s people pulled together to set the party back up.
but Meg wasn’t invited. She sat alone in a huff.

A few days more and Meg’s face went flat. 
Her nose slid right off. 
She grew warts all over her back.
She began walking on all four paws.
On top of her head grew three bumpy horns.
Big, lumpy horns that showed every flaw.

Now her outsides matched her insides.
There was no pretending anymore. 
At last, she shrank to the size of a bug.
And, all the people just forgot where she was.


Text and Illustration copyright © 2018 Jennifer Hart. 

Beware The Sel-Fish


There are all kinds of fish in the sea; 
blue fish and red fish,
shiny fish and plain fish,
fish that swim and fish that crawl,
fish that don’t look like fish at all.

But, if you ever meet one
that is enchanting on first sight
never makes waves or puts up a fight.
Beware its sweet watery speak
a flowing rhyme meant to make you weak. 
This fish is looking for a meal.
It will use its slimy sickly ways
to hook you without a reel.
And, that’s when it will happen.
From behind - a monstrous bite!
Because this fish is a hunter,
It’s only goal is to survive.
If you’re not careful you too will fall into the trap.
This Sel-Fish will have you for its dinner,
breakfast, lunch and snack.


Text and Illustration copyright © 2018 Jennifer Hart. 

Little Gray Cloud


Little gray cloud
I see you following me. 
And, that’s ok.
I invite you to come along.
I’m not afraid of your shadow.
I don’t mind your sad song.
I know you’re only here a short time.
So, I’ll enjoy the shade
till you’re no longer mine.

Little gray cloud
I see you leaving me. 
And, that’s ok.
I knew that this would happen someday.
I’m not afraid to step into the sun.
I won’t forget all that you’ve done.
And, until you return,
I’ll appreciate each happy thing
– each and every day
that your absence brings.



Text and Illustration copyright © 2018 Jennifer Hart. 


What's In A Scribble?


There’s a doodle
in my scribble.
I’m not sure how she got there?

There’s a scribble
in my doodle.
She’s got eyes, a mouth and hair.

I wish she could talk! 
What would she say?
Would she tell me a story?
A scribble story
about scribble things?

She might sing me a scribble song
and then I could try to sing along?
Or, maybe she’d do a scribble rap
that makes my feet tap tap tap?

She might braid her scribble hair
while reciting a scribble poem
that makes no scribble sense.
Unless you’re another scribble
or a doodle that dabbles in squiggles.
Come to think of it...
I guess if she could talk I wouldn’t understand. 
Because I haven’t learned enough scribblish
to know just what she meant.


Text and Illustration copyright © 2018 Jennifer Hart. 



Hello, I am one of the earless.
Of course, I have ears!
Rather large ones too, but you see
it’s not about having, it’s about doing
and doing relentlessly.

Confused? Let me explain.

To start.
To be earless means you must be strong
and willing to be told that you’re wrong.
It means when you’re turned down or told no,
you try again and again til you’ve made it so.
It means you choose not to hear the won’t, don’t or can’ts.
It means you hope others will also take this stance.
It means you’ll keep doing what you love because it’s what you do.
It means you play make believe and sometimes dress up too.
It means you’re probably weird.
But, you know, weird is cool.
It means you’ll likely never grow up
because if growing up means staying the same,
then that’s not for you.
It means you know there’s another way.
It means you want to grow higher and higher every day.
And, to do that you have to keep trying,
keep doing, keep seeking, keep moving.
It means there’s no giving up even when the payoff is far.
It means you can do it, no matter who you are.

Because, if you can be earless,
Then, one day, you can also be fearless.
And, if you can be fearless,
you can be free.

Will you join me?


Text and Illustration copyright © 2017 Jennifer Hart.