RSS Feed


Don’t you step on those blue suede shoes:
A Pookie Balrog story

Marina Marina was making snuggle bunnies with her bunny, Snuggles. They were in bed, sleeping. Marina Marina was very sick. She had a fever. She was dreaming of weird and wonderful places and weird and wonderful creatures.

Kissenya, Marina Marina’s older sister, came into the room, with a big plate full of yummy spinach burek, and woke her up. “Eat some spinach burek, Marina Marina. It will make you feel better,” said Kissenya.

Marina Marina said, “I’m not very hungry, but I will try.”

“Please do” said Kissenya, giving her sister a kiss on her hot forehead. “I have to go back out and help Daddy-O in the store now. I will check on you later.”

“Oh, I am so sick,” said Marina Marina. “I wish I would get better right now!” Right then a ten foot tall monster appeared. He was not a scary monster. He was soft and fuzzy. He had fuzzy fur with pink and blue and white stripes. He had long blue hair, a pink face and a long white beard. “Who are you,” asked Marina Marina.

“Me Pookie Balrog,” said the monster, with a smile.

“What’s a Pookie Balrog?”

“Pookie Balrog part Pookie and part Balrog.”

“Oh. Of course,” said Marina Marina, “Where did you come from, Pookie Balrog?”

“We met, on da bridge between where you come from and where me come from. Was in your dream,” Pookie Balrog answered. “You not remember?”

“Yes!” said Marina Marina. “I do remember! You come from Balrogland, where there is no love.”

(pic of them meeting, pb on the bridge, m3 at the start of the bridge, sign reads “over the bridge is balrogland, where there is no love,” black, gloomy images across the bridge)

“Dat right. Pookie Balrog, all by himself, look for love for long long time. Den he see you on da bridge and Pookie Balrog know you FULL of love. But you disappear, so Pookie Balrog follow you here.”

“What do you want, Pookie Balrog?” Marina Marina asked.

“Pookie Balrog want to be friends. And me come to make you feel better. Pookie Balrog take all your sick away, Marina Marina.” Then Pookie Balrog touched the little girl’s forehead.

“It worked, Pookie Balrog! You made the sick go away! I love you, Pookie Balrog!” said Marina Marina.

“Really? You love Pookie Balrog!. Ohhhh, Pookie Balrog love you, too,” said Pookie Balrog.  “But dat was hard work and me hungry now. Do you got someting yummy yummy for Pookie Balrog to eat?”

Marina Marina handed the spinach burek to Pookie Balrog and the monster tasted it. “Dis so good! Spinach burek da best ting Pookie Balrog ever eateded!” said Pookie Balrog. He ate it all, super fast quick . He was hungry

When Pookie Balrog finished the last bit of spinach burek, he asked, “More?” Then his cheeks puffed up and he said, “Uh-oh. Spinach burek give Pookie Balrog Pookie Balrog poo poo gas!” And he farted. And farted. And farted again.

“Pookie Balrog poo poo gas is stinky stinky,” laughed Marina Marina, plugging her nose.  (pic includes snuggles looking like he might be dead)

Just then, Kissenya came back into the room. Pookie Balrog was shy, so he disappeared.. “Oh, sister,” said Kissenya, “you made much stinky stinky.”

“No!” said Marina Marina. “It was Pookie Balrog. Pookie Balrog made Pookie Balrog poo poo gas, not me!”

“Pookie Balrog?” said Kissenya. “Your fever is so high you are hallucinating. I suppose this Pookie Balrog ate all the spinach burek, too?”

“He did! He did! And he took all my sick away! Come and tell my sister, Pookie Balrog,” said Marina Marina. But Pookie Balrog was gone. .

Kissenya did not believe a word of it. She took the empty plate and went through the door and back into the store.

“Pookie Balrog?” Marina Marina sang. “Oh, Pookie Balrog? Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

The store was very quiet, so Kissenya asked Daddy-O, “Can I play the radio, Daddy-O?”

Pointing to a pair of blue suede shoes beside the door, Daddy-O sang, “You can do anything, but lay off of my blue suede shoes.”

Kissenya laughed, “I know, don’t step on your blue suede shoes, Daddy-O!” Then she turned the radio on.

“This is a special live report from the Spuz town jail,” said the man on the radio. “The Chief of Police reports that Bitter Hammer has escaped. Bitter Hammer is mean and stinky and ugly and stupid. He has a big nose, which he is always picking. The Chief wants Daddy-O to help him catch Bitter Hammer. Daddy-O, if you are listening, report to the jail right now.”

Daddy-O’s phone rang. He answered it and said, “I’m on my way, Chief.” He turned to Kissenya and said, “Lock the door as soon as I leave and don’t let anyone in.”

“Right-o, Daddy-O,” said Kissenya. “Go cat, go!” And Daddy-O was gone.

Just then, Marina Marina and her bunny, Snuggles, came into the store. “I’m hungry,” she said. “Is there any spinach burek left?”

“There’s a whole bunch on the spinach burek tray, here,” said Kissenya.

Just as Marina Marina was reaching for the spinach burek, Bitter Hammer burst into the store and yelled, “I’m mean and stinky and ugly and stupid!” He was picking his big nose. Bitter Hammer said, “I hate everything and everyone!”

The girls were very scared. Bitter Hammer spotted Daddy-O’s blue suede shoes and said, “I especially hate blue suede shoes!” He went over to the shoes. He was about to step on them when he noticed the spinach burek. “I love spinach burek! It’s the only thing I don’t hate. Gove me some of that,” Bitter Hammer said, pulling his finger out of his nose and pointing at the spinach burek.. He had a big, gross booger on the end of his finger.

Ewwww! Gross!” said Marina Marina. “STOP picking your nose! It’s really gross. Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?”

Bitter Hammer laughed, “I’ll, pick my nose, and eat it too, if I don’t get that spinach burek”

“Oh, no,” said Marina Marina. “No spinach burek for you, especially with your dirty, booger claws.” Bitter Hammer started walking towards the spinach burek. Marina Marina yelled, “Pookie Balrog! I have more spinach burek for you.” Pookie Balrog appeared!

“More spinach burek? For Pookie Balrog? Aw, you so sweet!” said Pookie Balrog. Then he saw Bitter Hammer, “Who you?” Pookie Balrog asked. “You really ugly.”

“Looks like you are going to have to eat that big booger, Bitter Hammer,” said Kissenya. “Go on, eat it! You know you want to. You do it all the time, don’t you?”

Bitter Hammer stuck his arm straight up in the air. He tilted his head back., The booger was dripping from his fingertip. Bitter Hammer lowered his booger-covered finger into his mouth and ate his big, slimy booger. Kissenya laughed. Marina Marina gagged and said, “Oh you are disgusting!”

“Yes, I am,” laughed Bitter Hammer. He turned and went back to the blue suede shoes. “And I will step all over these hideous shoes, if you don’t give me the spinach burek.”

When he raised a foot above the shoes, the girls sang, very loudly, “Well you can knock me down, step on my face, slander my name all over the place, but don’t you, step on those blue suede shoes!”

“Hey,” said Pookie Balrog to the girls, “Dat pretty good! You rhymin’ like Bob Dylan!”

“You mean, Paul Simon, Pookie Balrog.” laughed Marina Marina.  “Rhymin’ like Paul Simon, not Bob Dylan.”

Pookie Balrog laughed, “Oh, yeah. You right. Silly Pookie Balrog.” Then Pookie Balrog pointed at Bitter Hammer and said, “Don’t you step on da blue suede chews!”

“You don’t scare me, Pookie Balrog,” said Bitter Hammer.

“Pookie Balrog not scare you?” said Pookie Balrog, with a BIG smile. “Do I scare you now?” Pookie Balrog grew two feet (artist draws Pookie Balrog with four feet and Pookie Balrog says, “No! Not like dat, silly artist. Pookie Balrog grew two feet taller,” – artist corrects)

Then Pookie Balrog changed colours. No longer was he pink and blue and white. He was black and red and white. Horns grew out of Pookie Balrog’s head. Sharp fangs grew in Pookie Balrog’s mouth. Great claws grew from his fingers.

pb small and big

“Wowie!” said Kissenya. “Pookie Balrog is a shape-shifting chameleon!”

“Do Pookie Balrog scare you now?” Pookie Balrog laughed at Bitter Hammer

Bitter Hammer was scared. He was very scared! He said, “Stay away from me, Pookie Balrog, or I’ll step all over these blue suede shoes!” Then he started picking his nose, again. “And I’ll eat another big gross booger!”

Pookie Balrog took one step toward Bitter Hammer. Bitter Hammer, said, “I mean it! I’ll step all over these blue suede shoes! Back up, Pookie Balrog.”

Pookie Balrog stopped for a second.

Then, when he started to raise his arms and growl at Bitter Hammer, Marina Marina yelled (light bulb appears over Marina Marina’s head), “Pookie Balrog! STOP! Come back here and eat some spinach burek.” (this, with Marian Marina Marina picturing Pookie Balrog making Pookie Balrog poo poo gas in her head)

“Spinach burek?” said Pookie Balrog. “Now?” (then the light bulb goes on over Pookie Balrog’s head.)

“Oh! Yeah! Pookie Balrog want spinach burek!” (same picture that Marina Marna Marina has in her mind appears in Pookie Balrog’s mind).

Pookie Balrog walked to the spinach burek tray and ate the whole thing, including the tray

“Uh-oh!” laughed Pookie Balrog, turning around and pointing his big Pookie Balrog bum at Bitter Hammer. His cheeks puffed up. “Pookie Balrog poo poo gas!” laughed Pookie Balrog.

And then Pookie Balrog farted. And farted again. And again. The store filled up with stinky stinky Pookie Balrog poo poo gas.

Bitter Hammer gasped for air. He pulled his finger out of his nose. (pic of Kissenya, Marina Marina plugging their noses, Pookie Balrog laughing and Snuggles again looking like she has died)

Then Bitter Hammer ran to the door, opened it and ran out, right into the arms of Daddy-O and the Chief of Police.

Bitter Hammer went back to jail, where he belongs, with the Chief of Police.

Back inside the store, with the door wide open, Daddy-O, Marina Marina, Kissenya, Snuggles and Pookie Balrog did the shaky shaky happy bum bum dance.


Nikizza eats pizza at Plavnizza
A Pookie Balrog story

a happy, hungry, harmless, humourous and humongous hippopotamus named Nikizza lived in a small zoo, on the edge of a small village called Plavnizza.

Plavnizza was on the edge of a small lake. The small lake was located in the middle of a plain. The plain was located in Ukraine. And, as everyone knows, the rain, in Ukraine, falls mainly in the plain. Say it again – the rain, in Ukraine, falls mainly in the plain. And again – the rain, in Ukraine, falls mainly in the plain.

And where is that plain? In Ukraine! In Ukraine!

When the rain came, to that plain, in Ukraine, it came and came and came. It rained and rained and rained and rained, for days and days and days and days.

The lake got higher and higher and higher. Soon, the lake flooded the zoo. Hippopotamuses are good swimmers, so Nikizza swam over the fence that surrounded her house. Nikizza swam all the way to the village called Plavnizza.

The children of the village were playing football. Nikizza asked if she could play with them. A boy named Sue – yes, a boy named Sue – said, “Hippopotamuses can’t play football, you big silly.”

To which Nikizza said, “Oh yeah? Kick that ball to me, and I’ll show you ‘hippopotamusses can’t play football,’ you little sillies.” So the boy named Sue kicked the ball to Nikizza. The hippo bounced the ball from foot to foot to foot to foot. Go on, say it again. The happy, hungry, harmless, humourous and humongous hippopotamus bounced the ball from foot to foot to foot to foot.

The children were amazed. Never again would any of them say “Hippopotamuses can’t play football.”

Next, Nikizza bounced the ball from her foot to her head. And back to her foot. And back to her head. And back to her foot. Nikizza continued the show for five minutes and the children laughed and laughed and laughed.

Then, one of the childrens’ parents ran to the field yelling, “Get away from those children, you monster.”

Nikizza said, “I am not a monster! I am just a happy, hungry, harmless, humourous and humongous hippopotamus.”

But the parent kept yelling, “Monster! Get away, you monster!” Nikizza became very scared and ran away. Nikizza ran and ran and ran. Nikizza ran away, away, away. Far, far away. Over the hills and far away. Her little friends cried and cried and cried because they loved Nikizza and wanted her to play for the village football team.

After running and running and running, Nikizza was tired. And thirsty. And hungry. Nikizza sat down on a bench made of bark, in a park,  as it was getting dark. After a couple minutes, a small girl named Kissenya came along and said, “Well, hello there. You look like a happy, hungry, harmless, humourous and humongous hippopotamus”

“I wish everyone thought so,” said Nikizza, forlornly.

“What ever do you mean?” asked Kissenya. Nikizza told Kissenya what had happened. “That’s terrible,” said Kissenya. “Grown ups can be such dumb-dumbs, some times. What’s your name, honey?”

“Honey? No, no, my name is not Honey, you little silly. My name is Nikizza.”

“Nikizza from Plavnizza?”

“That’s me.”

“I heard on the TV that you were on the lam. It is a pleasure to meet you, Nikizza. My name is Kissenya.”

“Hi Kissenya, it is a pleasure to meet you,” said Nikizza. “Do you have any food? I am very hungry.”

“No, I have no food with me, but my parents own a food store and I can call my sister, Marina Marina, and get her to bring you some food.”

“Marina Marina is a pretty name,” said Nikizza. “Do you think she will come and bring food for poor Nikizza? That would be sowonderful. And some water, maybe, please?”

“I bet you can drink a lot of water, so I will get Marina Marina to meet us at the river,” laughed Kissenya.

Marina Marina and her friend Pookie Balrog showed up at the river with a bag full of food. Nikizza was afraid of Pookie Balrog because Pookie Balrog was a monster. “Who’s that with Marina Marina?” Nikizza asked Kissenya. “It looks like a monster. I’m afraid of monsters.”

“Oh, hush you big silly. Don’t be afraid. That’s Pookie Balrog. He is a monster but he is a nice monster.”

“Are you sure?” asked Nikizza.

“Yes, I am sure. Trust me, Pookie Balrog is a good monster.”

Marina Marina ran up to Nikizza and gave her a big hug. Marina Marina hugged everyone she met. “I brought food for you,” she said, emptying the contents of the bag onto a picnic table.

“That’s not very much food for a hungry, hungry hippo,” said Nikizza.

“I’m sorry,” said Marina Marina. “I had another bag, filled with spinach burek, but Pookie Balrog ate it all.”

Pookie Balrog hung his head and said, “Pookie Balrog sorry. Pookie Balrog hungry. Pookie Balrog love spinach burek!”

“Yes, Pookie Balrog, but you know what happens to you when you eat spinach burek,” said Kissenya.

“What happens when Pookie Balrog eats spinach burek?” asked Nikizza.

Just then Pookie Balrog’s cheeks puffed up like balloons. “Oh no, Pookie Balrog,” cried the girls, just as the nice monster let loose a lot a lot of stinky stinky.

“Pookie Balrog poo-poo-gas happen when Pookie Balrog eat spinach burek,” laughed Pookie Balrog, while the others plugged their noses and gasped.

“It’s not funny, Pookie Balrog!” cried Marina Marina.

“It sure funny to Pookie Balrog!” said Pookie Balrog, and he laughed and laughed and laughed.

Nikizza, who had already eaten all the food, said, “I’m still hungry.”

“Okay, honey, we will bring you back to the store and you can eat all you want, “ said Marina Marina.

“My name is not Honey,” repeated Nikizza. “But never mind that. I can eat all I want? Are you sure?” she asked “Hungry, hungry hippos can eat a lot a lot a lot.”

“That’s okay, Nikizza,” said Kissenya. “We have a lot a lot a lot of food. What do you like to eat?”

“Almost anything. But I am a vegetarian.”

“Oh, really? Me too,” said Marina Marina.

“Me not vegetarian,” said Pookie Balrog. “Me only eat see food.”

“You only eat sea food?” asked Nikizza.

“No, no, not sea food, see food. When Pookie Balrog see food, Pookie Balrog eat food!”

The four of them walked to the food store, where Nikizza proceeded to eat. And eat. And eat. The girls fed her bread. And more bread,. And tomatoes. The girls were amazed at how much Nikizza ate. “Nikizza, you have such a big mouth. Every time you open it, it looks like a dishwasher opening,” laughed Kissenya.

“A pink dishwasher, with teeth and a really big pink tongue,” laughed Marina Marina.

Nikizza ate lettuce. And cucumbers. And apples. And oranges. And peanuts. And more bread. And more bread. And grapes. And potatoes. And more bread. And more bread. And still more bread. Nikizza ate and ate and ate for two hours before she finally said, “Oh, boy, I think I ate too much.”

Looking around the almost empty store, Kissenya said, “I think so, too!”

“I have never been so hungry or eaten so much in my life,” said Nikizza. “All that swimming, and running and playing football must have given me such a big appetite.”

“Hey,” said Marina Marina. “Where is Pookie Balrog? Pookie Balrog? Pookie Balrog? Where are you, Pookie Balrog?”

There was no answer, but Kissenya heard muffled noises coming from behind the spinach burek table. It sounded like someone, or something, was eating. And eating. But by the time Kissenya got to the spinach burek table, there was no one there. Nor was there any spinach burek left!.

Kissenya, Marina Marina and Nikizza went out back of the store, where they found Pookie Balrog sitting in the Lotus Position. With spinach burek crumbs all over his face! “Pookie Balrog! Did you eat all the spinach burek?” demanded Kissenya.

“Who, me?” replied Pookie Balrog, with a satisfied smile “No, no! Pookie Balrog been right here, meditating. Nice Pookie Balrog. Quiet Pookie Balrog.”

“Oh, Pookie Balrog,” sighed Marina Marina. “You are so bad.”

Pookie Balrog said, “No, no. Nice Pookie Balrog. Nice Pookie Balrog”

It had been a long day for everyone and they all agreed it was time to go to sleep. “Nikizza, you can sleep out here with Pookie Balrog, okay?” said Kissenya.

“Okay, but it’s kind of cold. Maybe we can start a fire?” asked Nikizza.

“Yes, of course you can,” said Marina Marina.

Pookie Balrog said, “Pookie Balrog like fire! Pookie Balrog light fire!”

“Okay, Pookie Balrog, you light the fire,” said Nikizza. And with that, the girls went inside and off to bed.

Nikizza and Pookie Balrog were both falling asleep, with their backs to the fire, when Pookie Balrog said, “Uh oh!” Before Nikizza could ask what was wrong, Pookie Balrog let loose a BIG blast of Pookie Balrog poo-poo gas.

The Pookie Balrog poo-poo gas shot right into the fire. The fire exploded 50 feet into the air and burned Nikizza’s back. Hippos have thick skin, so no major damage was done. But Nikizza insisted that Pookie Balrog turn his back away from the fire for the rest of the night.

“Pookie Balrog sorry. Pookie Balrog not make more Pookie Balrog poo-poo gas.”

“Okay, just go to sleep, please. I am very tired,” Nikizza said.

Pookie Balrog mumbled, “Pookie Balrog wonder what roast hippopotamus taste like.”

“I heard that,” said Nikizza.

“Heard what? Pookie Balrog not say nothing. Nikizza must have been dreaming. Nice Pookie Balrog. Nice Pookie Balrog .”

The next morning Kissenya woke Nikizza and Pookie Balrog, saying, “Wake up, you two! We have to get out of here, right now.” Kissenya explained that the front page story in the newspaper was about the “Hungry, hungry hippo on the lam.” The villagers in Plavnizza said that Nikizza was very dangerous. They said that she could swallow a whole village of children in a single day. They said Nikizza should be caught and sent back to Australia.

“That’s crazy,” said Nikizza. “Hippos are from Africa, not Australia. And hippos are vegetarians. I would never eat a child… unless it was made of bread.”

“We know that, Nikizza, but grown-ups can be real dumb-dumbs, and a dumb grown-up is a dangerous grown-up,” said Marina Marina. “The newspaper also says the people at the zoo want you to go home, before the dumb-dumb grown-ups capture you. They are afraid that the dumb-dumbs will do something worse than try to send you back to Australia.”

“Well, I can imagine many worse things than being sent to Australia,” laughed Nikizza. “I could take the boy named Sue, and we could find a kangerooo, or two, to play football with. But what do they mean, ‘something worse?’”

Pookie Balrog said, “Maybe Pookie Balrog not only one wonder what roast hippopotamus taste like.”

“What?” screamed Nikizza. “That’s crazy! They would not dare!”

“Nikizza sure look like big pig. People here like to eat pig,” said Pookie Balrog.

“Don’t worry, Nikizza,” said Kissenya, “we are not going to let anyone eat you or send you to Australia.”

Marina Marina and Pookie Balrog scampered off to the zoo, to tell the people there that Nikizza was coming home, and to try to calm the dumb-dumbs down.

Kissenya and Nikizza headed through the forest to the zoo. Nikizza stopped every twenty minutes to eat grass and leaves. “I always eat a lot when I am nervous,” Nikizza said.

It was dark before Nikizza and Kissenya made it to Plavnizza. When they arrived there was a mob of angry dumb-dumbs waiting for them in the village square. “Send that beast back to Australia,” said one old dumb-dumb, when he spotted Nikizza.

“No, let’s eat that big pig,” said another dumb-dumb.

“I’m scared,” said Nikizza.” Just then, Marina Marina and Pookie Balrog arrived.

“Nikizza not worry,” said Pookie Balrog. “We have plan. Those dumb-dumbs not eat Nikizza.” The dumb-dumbs started closing in. They got closer. And closer. When the dumb-dumbs were only ten feet away, Marina Marina said, “Now, Pookie Balrog! Now!”

Pookie Balrog had been eating spinach burek all day at the zoo, and he let loose clouds of Pookie Balrog poo-poo gas. The dumb-dumbs gasped for breath, choking on the stinky stinky. As the dumb-dumbs were rolling around on the ground, Nikizza said, “Uh oh!” Then the happy, hungry, harmless, humourous and humongous hippopotamus turned and started to poo!

Hippopotamuses mark their territory with their poo. When they are pooing, they wag their tails over their bums, like a windshield wiper, in order to spray it as far and wide as possible. Nikizza’s poo was flying everywhere!

Just as Nikizza started to poo, the boy named Sue jumped on her back, and screamed at the dumb-dumbs, “My name is Sue! How do you do? Here’s some poo for you, and you, and some for you, too!”

Nikizza, who had eaten an entire food store, and a half ton of grass and leaves in the last 24 hours, kept pooing and pooing and pooing, and it kept spraying and spraying and spraying. The poo flew through the air, the poo covered the square, the poo flew, yes it flew, yes it flew everywhere!

Pookie Balorg was laughing his monstrous laugh so hard that he made the earth rumble. Marina Marina and Kissenya were giggling like a whole gaggle of goffy, giddy, giggly school girls.

And the boy named Sue kept right on yelling at all the dumb-dumbs, who were being buried in poo and gasping for air, “Here’s some poo for you, Mister Magoo! And some number two for you, too, Mrs. Magoo! Woo hoo! Yabba dabba doo! My name is Sue! What you gonna do, you dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb-dumbs?”

Finally, mercifully, Nikizza ran out of poo. Every single dumb-dumb was covered in poo and crying like a baby. Our heroes ran past all the dumb-dumbs, laughing and laughing and laughing, to the safety of the zoo.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Nikizza said to Marina Marina and Pookie Balrog. “You saved my life with your brilliant plan!”

“You helped the cause with that explosion of poo,” laughed Kissenya.

“I guess they scared the poo out of me,” laughed Nikizza.

“You not hippopotamus,” said Pookie Balrog.

“No?” said Nikizza. “What am I, then?”

“That’s easy,” said the boy named Sue. “You are a hippoPOOtamus!”

“Come here, Nikizza,” said Marna Marina Marina. “We have a special treat for you. Since you love bread and vegetables so much, we decided to introduce you to the joys of pizza. So open up that dishwasher of a mouth of yours and prepare for the best thing you have ever tasted.”

“Pizza? For Nikizza? Back home at Plavnizza? Aw, you are so swizza! I love you,” said Nikizza. “I love you all!”

Everyone sat by the fire eating giant vegetarian pizzas for hours and hours. Finally, Marina Marina said, “Oh boy, I think I ate too much.”

Me too,” said Kissenya.

“Me three,” said Nikizza.

“My name is Sue! How do you do?” said the boy named Sue.

Pookie Balrog said, “Pookie Balrog could eat a little bit of spinach burek…”

To which everyone yelled, “NO, Pookie Balrog! No more spinach burek!”


%d bloggers like this: