This is a little story I wrote with Greg about a year ago. If you have recently had a young child, you will probably identify with Elfie’s antics. The thought was to write a series of these verses, each with a different focus…eating, sleeping, learning to crawl, family etc. Since we didn’t hear back from the publishers, we have stalled…but other ideas are brewing. Let me know if you like it (or not!) Try reading it aloud. Zanni x

Elfie’s Little Book of Eating

Zanni Arnot & Gregor Hacska


Sunlight shimmers through the window

early in the morning.

A sudden rumble in my tummy

sends a little warning.


It’s time to have my breakfast

and I just cannot wait!

My parents eat their porridge

but I prefer my plate.


Then Mummy takes me to the garden

to listen to the birds.

But to be honest, I’m still hungry

and nibble on her shirt.


Eating in the garden

is a lovely thing to do.

I eat some leaves. I eat the grass.

I eat a twig or two.


Later on, I chew my rattle –

a bit of rhythm, a bit of brunch.

I am glad it’s nearly twelve

and Mummy’s preparing lunch.


Mum makes mush, and we both know

there will be quite a mess.

When most food ends up on the floor,

it’s time to eat my dress.


At three, I nibble on my feet

but isn’t it just funny

that I’m still hungry despite all the food

and love I get from Mummy?


She gives me hugs, cuddles and kisses

and even books to read.

I love these books, I devour them,

but that’s not all I eat.


It sometimes seems that I am eating

all the things I see.

It makes me wonder if anyone

eats quite as much as me.


Dinner is at five o’clock

and I am spoilt for choice.

I get excited and squeal so loud

I nearly lose my voice!


My table, chair, cup or bib,

what should I eat, and why?

Thoughtfully I chew my spoon.

Could I give them all a try?


The bath is made for eating

though rather large it is.

I wonder why my Mum and Dad

don’t help me out with this?


It’s time for bed, and I’m exhausted –

I’ve eaten quite a banquet.

I think about the things I’ve done

while munching on my blanket.


I’ve eaten twigs, a leaf, some grass,

a book, a plate, a spoon.

I fall asleep and dream about

how I could eat the moon.

(as an aside, the character is called Elfie because my grandmother Joyce repeatedly got Elka’s name wrong…she was 92, so it was forgiveable. Generally she settled on Elfie. We thought it a cute nickname.)