Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Lived in a house by the dunes at the shore.
He’d mooch and meander along the beach
Peering in rock-pools at things out of reach.

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Meant what he said, and said what he saw.
‘I saw a crab in a cave by the sea!’
‘I saw an octopus waving at me!’

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Loved nothing more than a dinosaur.
He tacked a triceratops to his wall,
And chased his T-Rex round the hall.


Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Stood on the cliff for an hour or more.
Surely it couldn’t be? Could it be true?
He squeezed his eyes at the hazy view.

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Knew his megaladon from his ichthyosaur.
That head! That tail! The length between –
Could they all mean what they seemed to mean?

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Waited until he was totally sure.
He gaped and gasped, and scratched his head.
And then to himself (as he did), he said:

‘Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw,
If the grown-ups see this, there’ll be war.
They’ll want to lock him in a zoo!
They’ll mess it up – they always do.’

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Imagined troops and trucks galore.
They’d box up the beast, and lock it away.
Saying, ‘We know best!’ (Like they always say.)

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Was smarter than most folk took him for.
‘Grown-ups are good at following rules,’
He thought. ‘I need to get some tools.’

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Found some wood, and his father’s saw,
Paint, a paintbrush, hammer, nails:
‘A sign,’ he reasoned, ‘never fails.’

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Wrote more neatly than ever before,
In big black capitals, THIS IS THE LAW:

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Got just what he was hoping for.
As goggling grown-ups gathered round,
And made an ‘Ooh, ahh!’ sort of sound.

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Watched as they watched, and saw what they saw.
They’d point and ponder; squint their eyes.
Or jump about in sheer surprise.

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Worried a bit, but then no more.
As soon as the grown-ups saw his sign
They calmed down, shrugged, and said, ‘Oh. Fine.’

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Smiled as they passed along the shore,
Talking of teatime and toast, and TV, 
And looking no longer across the sea.

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Watched the happy dinosaur,
Breaking the waves in the blue-grey sea –
Magical! Marvellous! And most of all: free.

Joshua Jacob Jeremy Shaw
Hung a new sign on his bedroom door:


I wrote this a while back as the first in a possible series of ‘Dinostories’. But my sails were somewhat de-winded when one of my other titles, Hocus-Pocus Diplodocus, suddenly appeared on a published book – written by another bloody copywriter! That’ll teach me to procrastinate.