Children's Books & Writing Stories Once upon a time...  Children's Books & Writing Stories Once upon a time...




New Year and Christmas was over. Decorations all taken down and put away. So Eric the Gorilla was getting a little bored in his pound at the zoo. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?


“May I can borrow the keys to let myself out for an adventure?”  Eric said in Gorilla talk to his Keeper. Gorilla talk is like baby talk, but instead of saying “Coo Chi Coo Chi Coo.” You say “Uggy, Uggy, Uggy, Uoo.”


“OK. But remember you need to behave like a human.” Said his Keeper.


“I’m sorry,” Said Eric “But not even I could be that naughty.”


So his Keeper lent him the key. Well you would wouldn’t you?


“Just one thing,” said his Keeper as Eric walked towards the gate. “Please do not take all the animals with you, like last time. If there are no animals in the zoo the public refuse to visit us.”  Well, you wouldn’t would you?


“But can I take Belinda-May, the Elephant with me. I need a friend.” Said Eric.

“Oh, go on, then.”


“Thank you.” Said Eric lifting his paw to high five his keeper. Well you would, wouldn’t you?


Eric called on Belinda-May.


“I’m getting bored you know.”  He said to Belinda-May.


“Tell me about it.” Said Belinda-May.


“I’ve not been this bored since I left the circus. An animal needs a purpose in life.” Well you do don’t you.


“Well, I have always fancied being a pirate.” Said Eric. “You know Life on the open waves, making people walk the plank, one eye covered up and best of all a parrot on my shoulder whispering sweet nuthin’s and pieces of eight in my ear.”


“Wow.” Said Belinda-May.  “I will probably go down in history as the first Pirate Elephant. Long Belinda-May Silver.”


Belinda-May was so excited she almost forgot to close the elephant compound door behind him and as you know normally an elephants never forgets.


“First,” said Eric, “We have to work out how to get to a port and find a pirate ship.”


“Easy, just catch the bus?” said Belinda-May.


“Have you never read any books?” Said Eric. “Only last week I read ‘You Can't Take An Elephant On the Bus’ by Patricia Cleveland-Peck.” Well you wouldn’t would you?


“No, I only read thrillers, I don’t like instructional books.”


“We can’t go by train.Trains are always on strike.”


“What about an aeroplane or helicopter?” Said Belinda-May.


“We’d still have to get to the airport.”


“Shall we cycle?”


“We are so big and heavy that we’d flatten and squash the cycles.”


“Suppose we would wouldn’t we? I was going to start my diet tomorrow. Oh well.”


I think we just need to get on and walk.


Eric went to the nearest bookshop and bought some ordnance survey maps with the bits of money he had in his purse from his last trip.


“Going far?” Asked the shop keeper, making polite, friendly conversation. He didn’t get gorillas in his shop everyday and didn’t want any trouble. Well, you wouldn’t would you?


“Just need to find the nearest port.” Said Eric.


“Oh, just turn right as you go out the shop and follow the road until you get to the M20 and that will take you all the way.”


So Eric and Belinda-May set off on their adventure. Well not quite. Eric wanted to call in one more shop to buy a stick and a red spotted handkerchief.


“What’s that for?” asked Belinda-May.


“Every traveller has one to put their change of underwear in. You wrap your underwear in the handkerchief with a few sandwiches and tie it on to the stick and carry it over your shoulder. I read it in books.”


“But you don’t wear underwear.” said Belinda-May.


“That is a point. But I want to look the part as I walk.” Well, you would wouldn’t you?


It must have worked because after not many miles word got around that a gorilla and elephant was walking towards Dover. People started to line the route and all the media, radio and TV turned up. Everyone thought it was a charity walk and gave Eric and Belinda-May lots of money. Well, you would wouldn’t you?


Eric and Belinda-May tried telling everyone it wasn’t a charity walk, but no one listened. So they gave up trying to tell them and just gratefully accepted the money. Well, you would wouldn’t you?


Supermarkets along the way gave them all their out of date produce which kept them well fed. At night they slept comfortably under trees by rivers. By the time they reached the port they were ready for a good wash and bath which they got by jumping in the sea. Well you would wouldn’t you?


“There are not many pirate ships for hire.” Said Belinda May.


“Infact there are no pirate ships for hire.” Said Eric.


“Do you think there is a gap in the market? Could we make our millions hiring out pirate ships?” Belinda-May said getting so excited again.


“We could.” Said Eric, thoughtfully. “But not all pirates would look after the boats as if they were their own like we would. I bet you wouldn’t be able to get insurance either.”


Well, you wouldn’t would you?


“No, never thought of that.” Agreed Belinda-May. “Pirates wouldn’t be the carefullest sailors in the world.”


“I’m worried we are not going to be able to find a Pirate Ship?” Said Eric. Well you would, wouldn’t you?


To be continued… Well it will won’t it…?


©2017 Phil Robinson


POST 072




Kumbuka the London Zoo gorilla who escaped from his cage on Thursday reminded me of a story I wrote.

Eric the Gorilla also decided to escape. Being a twenty eight stone gorilla means you are strong. People just do not feel they can stop a gorillas if it approaches them. But you wouldn’t, would you?

Someone, for a reason only humans understand had thrown a £2 coin into Eric’s cage. So he picked it up and took a red spotted handkerchief to carry a change of underwear and all his belongings in. At the last minute he realised he did not wear clothes and had no belongings and so filled his handkerchief with food. And just walked out of the zoo. No one challenged him. But you wouldn’t, would you?

Eric was very intelligent he had taught himself human. He also knew to survive out of the zoo he needed money. Money to spend in shops and to take a female out and buy a car and buy the odd bag of chips or Chinese take away. He also knew the way you get money is by buying a lottery ticket.

So he went to the newsagents and bought one. The newsagent didn’t bat an eyelid. He took Eric the Gorilla’s £2 and gave him a Lucky Dip. As he said afterwards, “I wasn’t going to argue with a gorilla.”

But you wouldn’t would you.?

Eric the Gorilla had no diary or calendar, so he did not have a clue what day it was. But you wouldn’t would you. It just happened to be a Tuesday, meaning his £2 lottery ticket was for Euromillions. It was triple double flip backward dive, pirouetted rollover which Eric did not realise, his reading skills were limited. He could only read words  like ooZ or animals, the, feed, not, do..

He checked his numbers watching TV through someone’s lounge window. The family just turned round and saw a gorilla at the window and ran away. But you would wouldn’t you?

Eric checked and he had every number. So Eric the Gorilla won £158 million. He wasn’t phased or excited. He just thought that was life on the outside. But you would wouldn’t you?.

So he collected the cheque from the lottery office. The Lottery man took Eric’s winning ticket from him and gave him the cheque for £158 million. He asked Eric no questions. You wouldn’t would you? He asked Eric to do just one publicity photo. He didn’t bother opening a bottle of champagne. Well, you wouldn’t would you? Have you ever seen a gorilla drink a glass of champagne?

Eric took his cheque to the nearest bank to open an account. The lady behind the counter, opened it without question, even though she thought his signature was a little shaky You see she had adapted/sponsored a gorilla for a number of years paying £3 a month from her modest salary to keep him in the luxury he needed. She just thought it was he and he had been careful with his money and invested it wisely on the lottery. She thought he looked just like he looked in his photo he sent to her each year. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

Eric had a nervous couple of days waiting for the cheque to clear. . Well you would wouldn’t you?

When it was cleared, he thought he would buy himself a house. A very modest3 bedroom semi.

The estate agent just sold it to him. He was not worried that it was a gorilla. It was a sale. The house had been on the market for a number months, with no one viewing, Eric was prepared to pay well over the asking price and he was a cash buyer. So you would wouldn’t you?

So Eric moved in. He enjoyed the house. He had no trouble from the neighbours. Well you wouldn’t would you? If you lived next door to a gorilla and he played his music too loud would you dare knock on his door and ask him to turn it down a smidgen.

But Eric became bored sitting by himself every night watching Emmerdale. Well you would wouldn’t you?

So he had this amazingly brilliant idea. He would go and liberate many more of the animals from the zoo to come and live with him. And he did just that. A lion, a tiger, a giraffe, a snake even a crocodile or alligator as he preferred to call himself.

The animals at the zoo were so excited at the thought of freedom. Eric gradually broke the locks on their cages and led them to the exit. The zoo staff did not stand in their way. Coming face to face with a gorilla, you wouldn’t would you?

They all made themselves comfortable in the modest 3 bedroom semi, except the elephant of course. He was too big to get through the back door. So he smashed his way into the conservatory. He couldn’t make it to the upstairs bathroom, he was too big and clumsy. So he made his den in the conservatory. Well you would wouldn’t you?

The alligator needed a pond and they all set to and dug a hole in the garden. The elephant poked his head through the kitchen window and took water from the kitchen tap into his trunk and then blew it all in the pond to fill it up.

The animals ordered their food on line from Tesco. The Lion and tiger had lots of meat. There were lots of fresh leaves and buns as a treat for the elephant. Leaves and branches for the giraffe,. Eric the Gorilla had a mainly vegetarian diet, feeding on stems, bamboo shoots and fruits. Whereas the crocodile, he had a big appetite for fish and other small marine creatures, but as he was quite a large individual he ate small mammals, birds and turtles. The man from Tesco was very obliging and tried to fulfil all the animal’s needs, giving alternatives for just a few of the items on the crocodile’s order.

Having said that the man from Tesco dropped the order on the doorstep and never waited for a signature. Well, you wouldn’t would you?

But life became a little tedious at the house. It was so small and  crowded. Everyone was getting ratty with each other, not just the rats. Well you would wouldn’t you?

Then after a coach trip day out to Longleat Safari Park, Eric inspired thinking it was possibly time to splash out the cash on a new bigger home. A stately home.

He found one bought it and they all moved in. Life was amazing. Every animal had his or her own bedroom. The rooms were high enough for even the giraffe to stand upright in. And a special reinforced lift was installed so that the elephant could have a room right at the top of the house. His dream come true. The crocodile even had a river to swim in.

The only drawback was that the Tesco deliveryman would come no further than the front gate, but they took it in turns to pick the order up from there. Well you would wouldn’t you?

They had special rooms for eating and a cinema room for watching films and TV, one for playing games, a library, a gallery of pictures, a music room and a ballroom. They even had a room specially for playing Bridge in. But as none of the animals knew how to play bridge it was a bit of a waste.

And there was acres of garden. So they played cricket, football and beach volley ball.

But life was too easy and Eric and the animals soon became bored just watching boring soaps on TV, dancing and playing hide and seek. They decided cricket was boring, football had been spoilt by the money and corruption that ruled it and the lack of sand spoilt the beach volleyball.. Well it would wouldn’t it?

One breakfast meeting in the Grand Ballroom, Eric was reading out notices and announced that night there was to be a special showing of the Disney film Jungle Book in the Home Cinema room at 7.00pm sharp. No late comers admitted. There was a great gasp and roar of excitement. And a huge boing as the snake recoiled with pleasure.

That evening whilst watching the film Eric came up with a brain wave. They could all go back to the jungle.

The animals had a meeting and Eric put his idea forward. He was supposed to give seven days notice but that was deemed not necessary. Well would you want to argue with Eric, after all he was a gorilla and the leader. And so it was accepted unanimously. Well, it would be wouldn’t it?

That day Eric got straight down to making arrangements. He went to see an airfreight company to transport the animals out to the jungle. They reached a deal, although they charged him a bit extra because he was a gorilla. Eric didn’t mind and the airline was happy enough, they said it was all good for turnover. Well you would wouldn’t you?

The elephant was happy because the plane was a cargo plane and had huge doors that could be opened for him to walk on. The giraffe was a bit luke warm as he was slightly too tall,  as usual, and as usual no one seemed to care, so he had to lie down on the floor to be comfortable. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

So as the animals had no bags to pack they just upped and went to the airport.

Security was easy with no bags. Passport control was a little more difficult. The Passport Control personnel had never had to deal with a party of animals before. But Eric the Gorilla had a quiet word with the senior supervisor, pointing out particularly the lion, the tiger, the boa conscripter and the four metre long crocodile and she kindly waved them through without question. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

As the animals were boarding the aircraft the crew looked on a little nervously. But they had been given a special bonus for this flight. So they locked themselves securely in the cockpit and prepared for take off. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

The flight was not bad, a little bumpy from turbulence at times. Crocodile was a little air sick, he said he needed a swamp full of water, but all they could find him was a tumbler full. Not quite what he needed.

As they flew over the jungle a message came over the radio.

“This is your flight captain speaking. We thank you for flying Freight Airways. We hope you have had a pleasant journey. At the back of the aircraft you will find a heap of parachutes. Please share them out one each and put them on. Then when the back doors open please jump out. The parachute will automatically open, hopefully. Due to health and safety issues, please do not crowd the doorway. When you land on earth, that is the jungle.

“Again thank you for flying Freight Airways, we hope you will choose to fly with us again one day.”

Eric the Gorilla was not expecting this. None of the animals had ever done a parachute jump before. There was only Eric who had the hands to help put the parachutes on all the animals and he was clumsy and not too good. But he had no choice. Once the doors opened gradually they jumped, one by one. Eric the Gorilla waited until last to ensure all were out ok, like the good leader he was. then he jumped, too.

Once on the ground Eric gathered the animals together  to ensure they were ok and granted them their freedom. There was such excitement and celebration to be back home, except for the crocodile, he was not from the jungle but swamp lands. On the other hand the animals were sad because they had all become such good friends looking out for one another. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

“Okey Dokey.” Said Eric, very casually. “Why don’t we meet up every Friday and have a drink and a bit of lunch together.”

“But I don’t know which dayof the week is which.” Said the elephant. “I forget.”

Just count the daybreaks and come here on the seventh.” Said Eric the Gorilla.

It then emerged the tip was most useful to all the animals as none of them knew the days of the week.

The following Friday they all gathered around the water hole as agreed. Eric asked how they were settling in. They all said they were loving the jungle and their new found freedom and spoke of their adventures.  They were very excited about their new lives which had renewed meaning. . Well, you would be wouldn’t you?

But then, Elephant said, “The only thing is I hate having to search out my own food and decide whether it is right for me to eat. There are so many dangerous leaves in the jungle, some disagree with my stomach. I assume some could kill me. I don’t know which.

The other animals nodded their heads sympathetically. Well you would wouldn’t you.

“I really miss someone turning up at the same time each day with a few kind words and leaving me with some good food and a nice clean bedding.”

“I know exactly what you mean. “ said Lion. “I’m expected to chase the poor old wildebeests and kill them for supper. After the first one I gave up. It is so barbaric and I can’t run like I used to.

“I’ve also had to retake on my role as King of the Jungle. How time consuming is that? And I’m scared of all the responsibility that falls on my shoulders.. So many papers to go through and sign. Then there is the “Red Box” containing all the jungle parliamentary papers, to go through and sign, every day but Christmas Day. They are even talking about replacing the box with an i-phone and you know me and technology, we just don’t work.”

“I agree it’s a real jungle out here.” Said Giraffe and then laughed when he realised he had made a joke. Well, you would wouldn’t you.

“I have to admit,” said Eric the Gorilla, “I miss people watching. They are so cute and interesting and say and do the funniest of things. You should see some of the faces they pull at me and the gestures they make. I often think I ought to get a video camera and film them and put them on YouTube” Well you would wouldn’t you?

“So, if I’m judging the mood right everyone wants to go back to the zoo, then?” Asked Eric.

“Oh yes please!” they all shouted excitedly.  All, that is except the crocodile.

“No.” He snapped. I know I am not from these parts but I like it here. I feel I’m on holiday, every day. Out in the fresh air being able to roam where I want instead of being stuck in a claustrophobic tank in mucky, murky water with horrible kid’s noses pressed up to the side. I feel nicely retired and relaxed here. I no longer dread Saturdays and Sundays.” Well, you wouldn’t would you?

“Also there are a lot of very exotic tasty small mammals for my tea. They are so easy to catch because they have never seen a crocodile before and don’t run away, they do not know I’m dangerous until I have gobbled them up.”

So the band of merry animals, excluding  the crocodile set off to find an airport. It took a few days, as the jungle is a very big place and they had no maps, just instinct.

Finally they found one. Eric the Gorilla took ages to negotiate a flight home. You see he had problems convincing the personnel at the airline and airport that they were not animals escaping from the jungle but were English zoo animals returning home after a holiday. Well you would wouldn’t you.?

Fortunately an old London bus ticket had become tangled in his fur. It must have been there for years. He could not remember the last time he caught a bus. Of course that convinced them. Well it would wouldn’t it.?

Disembarkation from the aircraft was quite normal, on the ground, this time, no parachutes. Fortunately the same Passport Control Supervisor was on duty. She was on days this week, but she preferred nights. Well, you would wouldn’t you? She had a quiet word with various colleagues, and the animals cleared customs and immigration in record time, all thanks to Eric the Gorilla. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

The animals, with Eric the Gorilla leading, left the airport and marched in a long line back to the zoo. They looked like the Parade of Animals from the days of old, when the circus came to town. Crowds began to line the route and started cheering. Well you would wouldn’t you? TV cameras turned up to film the event for the early evening national and international news that night. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

So the zoo was ready for them when they arrived.

 “Ah!, You’re back then.” Said the Zookeeper. “Thought you might be. You thought the grass would be greener on the other side.”

Eric the Gorilla did not answer. He did not want to offend him. Well, you wouldn’t would you?

But Eric had to admit he had never given the colour of the grass a second thought. Well, you wouldn’t would you?

“Come on then, you young rascals,” Said the zookeeper lightening his tone. After all, the animals had created amazing publicity for the zoo. “But I’m afraid you’ll have to share with some new inmates.” Well you would wouldn’t you?

But Eric the Gorilla had one more job to do. He popped out and bought a camera and an i-pad, to put his people watch on film “Life on Earth – Zoo Watch” he titled it.  Well you would wouldn’t you?

So if you visit a zoo and the gorilla has a camera filming you, you will know it is Eric. Wave and shout: “Filming me? Well you would wouldn’t you?”


©2017 Phil Robinson


When I was a lad at school around 13 years old, our Maths teacher used to call me Wol. At the end of the year as we were moving up a class I plucked up courage to ask why he called me Wol. He told meit was thename of the deslexic owl in Winnie the Pooh. With my Harry Potter glasses he said I looked like the Wise Old Owl in the Winnie the Pooh stories.


Being the vain person I am I took it as a compliment

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