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The Koala & Llama

-Koda & Leo-

By Kristen BalyeatPublished 17 days ago Updated 17 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - April 2024
41
Jay Kantor & Kristen Balyeat

Story & Illustrations © ‘For our Kids Someday’

It

has been raining cats and dogs,

the

skys’ been nothing but gray,

our

gigantic suns’ been hiding day after day.

Today

is so different, the storm clouds rolled away,

now

it's time for Leo the Llama to get out

and play!

Kid

Bud, Koda Koala, will be waiting outside.

Leo

is frantically fumbling with laces to get his shoes tied.

One

toe out, he gasped at Mama’s posted 'Fridge List'

Sadly grumbling

knowing he must not resist–

having

no choice but to enlist.

Leo,

{no going out} till your 'Chore' day is done.

He

turned into SadSack, so anxious to have fun.

Mama,

he said with his lip in a pout,

Koda

is waiting to run all about,

pllleeeaaassseee,

can I go, it's just so sun-shiny out.

I

know you’ve got ants in your pants to get out to play,

but

rules are rules, then you can be on your way!

Leo

moped in such a quandary,

yet

conceded and started with laundry;

folding

pants, tank tops, undies, and shirts,

matching

socks, folding jammies, jackets, and skirts.

Koda

knocked, asking what he could do–

chores

are more fun when done by two!

Mama

agreed to let Koda help out,

now

Leo and Koda were goofball twirling about~

running

‘round and

sliding on floors

wearing

fluffy dryer socks while stuffing the drawers.

Mama

got a whirl out

of their childish silliness

~still

a sock slider ~ even a grocery cart rider~

Next

on the list was cleaning up toys;

putting

away cars, trucks, and trains that make noise;

Legos

and blocks, bouncing balls and bats,

stuffed

animal giraffes and smiling Cheshire cats.

Toybox

is bursting

seams…

time

to move on to other things.

Zero

o’ dust, although no muss or fuss

mostly

just whiffing & wheezing!

They

shook out rugs while bagging the trash;

with

two, it was E-z/P-z.

Out

to the garden to pull up weeds,

mow

the grass and rake up leaves…

small

break to admire the flowers and bees. {viaKristenQueenBee}

Back

on kitchen tasks ~

snuck

'unnoticed' snax.

Washed

and dried bowls, pans, forks, and knives.

Carefully

wiped the stove so as not to ignite,

then

polished the counters, shiny and bright.

Up

to the bedroom to tuck sheets and fluff beds,

assuring

pillow fights between those two knuckleheads,

with giggles and feathers filling the air

~ no Goofs here ~ MamaLlama,

the white glove inspector will soon be upstairs

Bubble

scrub the tub while de-toothpasting the mirror–

Just

make it clean; you know what I mean!

With

each soapy sponge swipe, their reflections got clearer;

dreams

of escaping drawing nearer and nearer.

Mama

was delighted ~ now that you’re done

just

promise me one thing ~ you’ll have tons o’ fun ~

Now

skip on out, and as always,

don't

let the doorknob hit ya

where

the good Lord split ya!

Tossed

hard balls - parched, sipping water from the hose.

Clipped

playing cards to their bicycle spokes

~clickety-clack~

annoying

neighbors with rambunctious boyish sounds

popping

wheelies single file all over town.

Paid

a visit to the candy shop ~

ate

junk food ‘till their buttons popped!

Stopped

by the river to take a Dip,

back

to race bikes as they “Schvitz”...

Drip,

Drip, Drip.

Off

to the merry-go-round for a spin–

faces

sore from their dizzy grins.

Shoveling

deep in sandbox piles,

polishing

treasures through gritty smiles.

Koda

taught Leo how to climb a tree,

found

shapes in the clouds, floating free.

Told

jokes and laughed till their bellies hurt.

Made

royal castles out of sand and dirt.

Hopscotch,

jump rope, and hula hoop,

tic-tac-toe,

and Rubix cube, too.

Knuckling

down marbles and magic tricks;

collecting

shiny rocks and cool wand-like-Schticks,

{j-amigo-ism}

Showing-off

somersaults and risky backflips.

Ears

perk up at the dinner bell,

noses

sniff skyward toward suppers super smells.

Totally

Buddy-Bummed to part ways,

hungry

rumbles bring an end to their play.

High-fives

~ fist bumps ~ secret handshake

wraps

up another Epic PlayDay.

Co-Creators, Ink - By: Jay Kantor & Kristen Balyeat

- Vocal Village Community -

humorFamilychildrens poetry
41

About the Creator

Kristen Balyeat

Words fly to me on the wind, bump into me as I'm strolling the city, splash me in the face while I rest by the river, and shake me awake in the middle of the night– I’m humbly one of the many vessels they use to come to life.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

Add your insights

Comments (27)

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  • Lacy Loar-Gruenler13 days ago

    Kristen, I responded to Jay's post on this story, but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it with your input, too. Collaborations are difficult, but you two put your heads together and came up with something beautiful!!! Congrats on TS!

  • Mark Gagnon15 days ago

    I've been out of touch for a couple of weeks so I had no idea you are Jay's partner with this until he told me. Great, fun story, and congratulations on Top Story.

  • Gena Adamson15 days ago

    I’m definitely going to read this to my son 🩵

  • ROCK 15 days ago

    I loved this beyond loving, laughed beyond laughter, the character's hand drawn added such brilliance. I hope you can submit it elsewhere for a collection of children's stories! Congratulations on Top Story 💐

  • Anna 15 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

  • What a great story! Congrats on the Top Story! This would make a great kid's book.

  • Asad Message16 days ago

    April will be filled with peace

  • I just read this on Jay's page &, as I told him, not only is this so incredibly good, it not only could but deserves to be published as a children's book.

  • Omggggg, I had soooo much fun reading this and the artwork as well! You and Jay make an amazing team! Congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Andrea Corwin 16 days ago

    Such storytelling and drawings. I feel the same way when it is a sunny day - either get outside or sit and read - no chores, Ma, save them for a rainy day. (But then you don't feel like doing stuff so I guess they need to be done like your poem, first, LOL).

  • Ameer Bibi16 days ago

    Congratulations 💐💐🎉🎉 for top story Your resilience is an inspiration to all who know you. Keep inspiring others with your strength .

  • Jay Kantor16 days ago

    Kj ~ Who me cynical: As you applied the eyelashes onto our MamaLama. You knew exactly who to WinkLash "TAP" to the TOP...such subliminal charm...! Funny: Comment from one of my Newsletter Followers @ Valley Beth Shalom from JoAnne: "Awesome, Great drawings, too. What an exhausting day with Work & Play - It wore me out so I'll be taking a nap today." This story so emulates your 2 young sons; such a Helicopter-Mom in a 'Stop & Huge-Hug' loving way. Thank you for being Us with Us: Our unique communication (you being degreed in communication) and me just streetwise - Your 'Fluff & my Gruff' - I can't imagine a more joyful experience; in a platonic sorta way! We weaved in/out with content and our sketches - with respect for one another's opinion - not a selfish bone in either one of us. I was just so proud having taken so many steps with you to make this presentation happen - 'For our Kids Someday' - Our thoughts on this just boped offa each other; in such an interesting coincidental way. 'Hit me Again ~ One more Time.' btw; Congratulations on TOP story...Hmm! J ~ Amigo

  • Lindsay Sfara16 days ago

    Wow, this was amazing storytelling, and so delightful to read! Congrats on top story, very well deserved on this collab!

  • Gabriel Huizenga16 days ago

    This is wonderful, in both visuals and writing!! Would love to see a completed children's book of it someday :) Congrats on the Top Story! :)

  • Excellent work on both your part and Mr. Kantor's!

  • Caroline Jane16 days ago

    Truly epic playday! All the fuzzy feels going on here. Fab collab! 🥰

  • Dana Crandell16 days ago

    Oh, what a fun little adventure, and I love the illustrations! Well done, both of you and congratulations!

  • samrin mohammadi16 days ago

    Well done!

  • Christy Munson16 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Shirley Belk16 days ago

    Congrats!!!!

  • Romano Meyer16 days ago

    I enjoyed reading this. great job.

  • What a great collaboration! Adorable for all ages. Congrats on the top story

  • Paul Stewart16 days ago

    Boom. Didn't even get a chance to read it before it got Top Story lol. This is a pure delight. 100% pure delight. Like LC felt like I was there. Loved the memory lane feel to it and lots of alliteration/tautogram stuff. Well done Kristen and Jay. Congrats on Top Story!

  • JBaz16 days ago

    Well that didn't take long. I like when they spot talent so quickly. adorable poem, my kids are grown but this brought a smile to me with memories/ congratulations

  • L.C. Schäfer17 days ago

    Felt like I was there too!

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