Monday, 9 October 2017

The Night-Takers

The Night-takers come in the deep of the night, 
When darkness has gobbled up all of the light, 
Through gaps in the floorboards and skirting they creep, 
And make off with children who won’t go to sleep.


Those children who stay up at night eating sweets 
And reading by torchlight snug under sheets, 
When dark gathers round them they’d better beware 
Lest the Night-takers carry them off to their lair.


They’d better make sure that their fingers and toes 
Are safe under covers for everyone knows 
That the Night-takers’ jaws have a terrible bite, 
They’ll snap them right off if they’re not tucked in tight!


Those children who like to remain wide awake – 
I hope they’re not easily scared for their sake, 
That scratching they hear at their windows and doors 
Just might be the sound of the Night-takers’ claws!


When Romo Press asked if I would like to share a poem from Poems for Children, I was delighted! It was an easy decision but selecting just one poem was far harder. I started by looking at the table of contents in the hope that one would stand out but they all sounded intriguing, and so I began to read.  And as I read the choice became even harder! Some like Fight (Down behind the Science Block Safely out of sight) reminded me of my school days when fights were a common occurrence.  Whilst Late (I can’t find my socks Mum, Mum, where is my vest?) took me right back to my son’s schooldays.

In the end, I decided to choose something for Halloween. Once again, I was spoilt for choice. The coat on the door is wonderfully evocative, just think of those nights when some little person you know is sure there is a monster hiding in the corner or under the bed! A hundred scary skeletons is also perfect, but my eyes kept returning to The Night-Takers simply because reading by torchlight snug under sheets was something I loved to do, (and my son loved it too).

POEMS FOR CHILDREN
by Susan Kassabian
Cover illustration by 
Susan Kassabian and 
Dan Chambers
Susan Kassabian is the author of the prize-winning children's novel, The Mummy of Mulberry Avenue. She is currently working on a sequel and on a second book of poetry. She lives in North London.

Learn more about Susan on Facebook

Website: The mummy of mulberry avenue.com

The Mummy of Mulberry Avenue at Amazon

Poems for Children Kindle edition: Amazon
Physical copies - available in November 


With thanks to Rome Press for permitting me to share The Night-Takers and to Pexels for the images.  (All images licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license).

51 comments:

  1. Oh yes........loved reading under the covers with a torch. I just loved reading!

    Julie xxxxx

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    1. Hi Julie, I still love reading in bed but these day I do it without a torch… :-) xx

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  2. Oh what fun. I too read under the covers. Often. And probably for too long. There were no monsters under the bed but there was definitely a wolf in the hallway...

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    1. A wolf in the hallway must have been very scary!

      The bedroom I shared with my sister had a big walk in cupboard which gave me nightmares. One part of it was full of old toys, suitcases and things and in the other was a long hanging rail where we put our clothes. In the winter, dad used it to store sacks of apples and potatoes. It was a haven for spiders some of which were enormous, and I’ve had a fear of them ever since. All our winter coats were in there, and I hated having to go and get them out especially as there was no light. I also had a fear of someone (probably my brother) locking me in.

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  3. Oh what an honor, Barbara. You have certainly picked a scary and fascinating poem, one I certainly had never heard of. Even your photos are great. BTW, what you call a torch, we in the states call a flashlight. To us, a torch has a flame. Now THAT would really be scary.

    Again, well done on the poem and finding just the right one, too.

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    1. It’s such a great little book for anyone who enjoys poetry, and I was honestly spoilt for choice.
      Reading by that kind of torch would have an entirely different result – maybe better stick with a flashlight! :) Funnily enough we also call that kind of torch a torch, whereas the word flashlight is very rarely used.

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  4. Poems for Children sounds like it would make a great gift!

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    1. Absolutely - and with Christmas just around the corner...

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  5. Well...l'm partial to a poem or two...
    Especially with pictures..gives more to
    a story, l think..! :).
    "Mary had a little lamb..." NO! Willie, l
    don't think so...Oh! But l am prone to
    Nursery Rhymes! But! a good horror, takes
    some beating...! So..I've had a search through
    and found lots..like this one...

    There are monsters under the bed, Daddy.
    Please won't you check and see?
    I know they're coming to get me.
    Daddy, Daddy, please tell them to go away, flee into the night.
    I won't be able to sleep until all those scary things are out of site.
    Don't turn off the light, that's when they wake up.
    Daddy, please check again. I don't think once is enough.

    © 2003 Elizabeth Wrobel
    Quite cute with a touch of horror....! :).

    And...yes..soon be Halloween...Boo! Lots
    of scary things about..but very few mirrors!
    Wonder why!

    HaHa! The bit at the bottom about under the
    bed...The mind boggles...! I dare'nt say a
    word...!!! "Nuff Said". :).

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    1. Hi Willie, I love that poem and can remember saying much the same thing to my own dad! The cupboard in the corner (see my reply to Elephant’s child) gave me the collywobbles; it was big and very, very dark and anything could have been hiding in there.

      Best to say nothing about what’s under the bed – we really don’t want to get into that territory! Hahaha

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    2. Oh! I don't know though....

      https://www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/the-history-of-that-monster-who-lives-under-your-bed/

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    3. Hi Willie, fascinating stuff and it might be helpful for my little granddaughters who are also afraid of monsters under the bed. Professor Gray could be on to something with his theory about wild animals – we no longer need to be afraid of that (hopefully) so we’ve substituted that fear with the bogeyman. Of course in Australia, there really could be anything under the bed! Karen (daughter in law) put this on Facebook the other day …
      Have to laugh... Steve kept saying he heard a hissing nose in the kitchen.... thought it may have been a snake inside..... turns out it was the auto air freshener I put in there. Hhhssstttt lol

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  6. There's plenty of 'hissing' that goes on in my
    kitchen...! :).
    Karen, who's been cutting my hair, here at home,
    for the last forty odd years..(hope she gets it
    right one day)..has one of her twin sons out in
    Australia, l've spoken to him by Skype, a couple
    times, only ever seem to talk about is the wild
    life, you have to take care, even putting your
    shoes on..not for me l'm afraid, only place on
    the planet l've never wanted to go to...Even
    the cities are rife with poisonous wild life!
    HeHe! I know, l watch a lot of Nat.Geographic..!
    I know that 21 out of 25 of the worlds poisonous
    snakes live in Australia..Hisssssssss! :0).

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    1. You are not wrong Willie, and with my fear of spiders and Terry hating snakes it makes for an interesting holiday! You’ve never seen the pair of us run so fast as the day we came upon a very angry brown snake. We were visiting the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and like idiots, we were wearing flip-flops and shorts! It was our first visit, and we had a lot to learn!

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  7. What a wonderful, atmospheric and rather scary poem. I shall be sure to keep my fingers and toes well tucked away, even if I'm not a junior any more! I am not a friend of spiders either, but I can look at pictures of them, just don't want to be sharing my home with them!
    Have a great week, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Me too Valerie but then I always do, just in case there are any spiders about!
      I hope the week goes well for you, hugs Barbara

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  8. I was definitely guilty of reading under the covers pretty much every night with a flashlight, and it really got on my mom's nerves. (lol) Great post! Hugs...RO

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    1. I used to hide my torch and book from my mum and dad, but I'm sure they knew.

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  9. I used to read to my boy, I think this one would have given him ideas to be scared about, haha.

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  10. What a great poem. And I love the photos you chose to go with it. I used to read under the covers when I was supposed to be sleeping - at least until my sister complained about it. Thanks for sharing this wonderfully creepy poem.

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    1. I shared a room with my sister too but I don't remember her complaining - maybe she was reading too!

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    1. Perfect for Halloween then. Thanks for commenting.

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  12. A perfect choice, as always, Barbara! :)

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    1. Thank you Marilyn. I've just been enjoying reading your latest posts, I almost missed one of them!

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  13. You couldn't have chosen a better spooky kids' poem!

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  14. YIKES! Barbara! I am going to keep my torch (aka flashlight ) handy. I am guilty of all of the above. Perhaps the Night-takers think I would be more trouble than it is worth...I will risk my bad habits! What a FUN post!

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    1. As am I Colleen! I’m also a real scaredy-cat and always have several torches (flashlights!) around the house in case of power cuts or other emergencies and I never ever read anything scary after dark! Don't forget to keep those toes under the covers tonight those Night-takers might just decide to take a chance on you. :-)

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  15. While extremely well-written that would have scared the jammies right off me when I was a kid. As it is, I'll probably have my fingers and toes under the sheets tonight:)
    And kudos to you for being asked to pick out a poem:)

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    1. I know exactly what you mean Sandra, maybe keep this one for slightly older children! Funnily enough I enjoyed being frightened in my youth, I’m not so keen on it now.

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  16. That takes me right back to childhood, where the patterns on the curtains turned into strange beasts, and the bedroom seemed to come to life when the lights went off ... brrr! But, like you, I think I enjoyed being frightened!

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    1. Hello Sue, I understand that only too well! We had flowered curtains when I was a little girl, they were perfectly innocent in daylight hours but all kinds of things lurked there at night!

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  17. Good morning, Barbara! I am finally here after a real-life scary moment....the wild fires in Northern California claimed the home and possessions of a family member and we are shocked. But, life goes on, and I go to work, but with so much dread in the news, one needs to relax and go into a fantasy mode. I know I can always come here to find new material that is creative and fun and feeds my imagination. Much love to you!

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    1. I am so sorry to hear that - I was reading about the terrible situation in Napa Valley just now.

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    2. Hello Anita, I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ve just been watching the fires on the lunch time news they look truly awful. It always amazes me how life trundles on regardless.
      If my blog can bring a little light relief when so many disasters keep unfolding around us, then I’m grateful for it. Sending love to you and to everyone caught up in these awful events.

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  18. Kind of a spooky, creepy poem. As one who is often awake during the night, I'm very glad I don't believe in 'night-takers!' It's getting close enough to wish you a Happy Halloween, Barbara! :)

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    1. Hi Marcia, I don’t believe in night-takers either, but I do believe in ghosts … and I wish I didn’t. It doesn’t help my fear of the dark! Happy Halloween to you too. 

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  19. What a frightening poem. I love it, but probably wouldn't as a child.

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    1. I know what you mean Roger! Although I’m far more cowardly now than I was as a child. I don’t watch horror films anymore because I know I won’t sleep well if I do.

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  20. Love the poem you selected. I remember being worried about letting hands and feet dangle over the bed. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I still am Stephanie! Thanks for calling in, Barbara

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  21. This was scary and so good! I love this poem! I have to admit, I don't even like hanging my feet off my bed at night, even at my age! LOL! Truly loved this poem! Big Hugs, you made a great pick!

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    1. It looks as though an awful lot of us are afraid to leave fingers and toes out of bed. My fear is more of spiders than anything, but I’m always well covered!

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  22. I can remember reading under the covers by torchlight ... happy memories.
    Good choice of poem for the Halloween theme.

    All the best Jan

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    1. These days I read by the light from a bedside lamp – but it’s not the same! :-)

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  23. A great poem. Brings back many memories.

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  24. Very scary, would have been terrified of that poem as a child - love it now though!

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    1. Yes, I don’t think I will be sharing it with Zoe and Lilly but good for older children. xx

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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