Night Shift: Horseplay! by Karma Wilson
ONE DAY WHILE FARMER WORKED HIS FIELD,
HE CRIED, "FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
THESE HORSES ARE A WORTHLESS BUNCH--
THEY JUST CAN'T STAY AWAKE!"
These nags are lagging! Their withers seem weary, their stifles seem somnolent, and even their pasterns are pooped. Farmer's whole draft team is draggin'. He can't figure what's wrong with his horses. Are they ill, or are they just lollygagging when there's work to be done?
It seems that some spy work is in order. Farmer hides out in the hay to surveil his horses while they sleep to see what's up. But the problem is obvious--they are NOT sleeping in their stalls!
THESE HORSES DIDN'T SLEEP ONE BIT.
THEY FROLICKED ON THE LOOSE.
GAMES LIKE HIDE-AND-SEEK,
LEAPFROG, AND DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE.
Farmer hauls his herd back into the barn and issues an ultimatum!
But the daytime dallying continues. Farmer's horses are still sleeping on their day jobs, and he is forced to ramp up his surveillance. He locks them in the barn and slips in between a block of sleeping sheep to keep the night watch and sees the horses pull out a deck of cards and some seven-layer dip & chips and proceed to hold 'em and fold 'em in a protracted poker game.
And so the horseplay wars continue.
At last Farmer tethers each horse in his stall, and shuts them inside. He pulls up a bucket, seats himself before the horses, and dares them to dare to play.
COME ON. MAKE MY DAY!"
There's plenty of farm fun in best-selling author Karma Wilson's latest, Horseplay! (Little, Brown, 2012). With Jim McMullan's charming retro illustrations of the frazzled farmer and his frolicking farm animals, carried along by Wilson's quirky quatrains, the whole thing is a rollicking romp in the hay.
"The mood here is of subversive festivity, with a rolling, melodious pleasure to the words and a gratifying, easy quality to McMullan's artwork," says Kirkus Reviews.
Pair this one with its companion collaboration by Wilson and McMullan, Hogwash! (Wilson, Karma) (Little, Brown, 2011) for more fun down on the farm.