From James Carter

A u s t r a l i a

For the whole year

I was in Mr Watson’s class

I sat by Australia :

a little pink Australia

with a hopping kangaroo

on a massive map of the world.

My head was so close to Australia

I could have licked it. If I’d wanted to.

During Double Geography once,

Mr Watson asked me why I was smiling.

I pointed out the window and said,

‘Well, Sir. There’s a cloud, Sir. Up there.’

‘How interesting,’ he said. ‘Not.’

‘But Sir!’ I said, ‘It’s in the shape

of Australia – with the big wide bit

and the long pointy bit. Can you see it, Sir?’

‘Gosh,’ he said,’ ‘Shall we alert the BBC

to broadcast it to the nation on the 6 O Clock News?’

‘Well, Mr Watson, Sir.’ I said, ‘Maybe we should!’

‘No,boy.’ he said. ‘No. Anyway, we don’t have

time to hear about an Australia-shaped cloud

or an Australia-shaped rainbow

or an Australia-shaped snowman

or an Australia-shaped anything

for that matter. Do you understand, boy? Do you?’

‘Well, Sir’ I said, ‘Not really.’

I don’t think Mr Watson was too happy with my reply,

because he made me write out 50 times :

‘A cloud does not look like Australia

and Australia does not look like a cloud.’

© James Carter

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