Don’t step on the cracks down on Sullivan Street,
That’s a place in the town where no one puts their feet.
No one asks why, it never enters their heads,
but on cracks in that footpath, nobody treads.
All except down-to-earth, sensible Emily Price,
who walks her new school shoes wherever she likes.
FACT: Emily only believes what she sees,
Not in monsters or fairies or trolls or ghosties.
In truth she’s a rather sweet, dull creation,
who’d be much more fun with some imagination.
But to our tale,
One Tuesday, Emily was slouching to school,
Not something she normally did as a rule,
But this day Emily was sulking, displeased,
She’d peaked at her lunch, and found rolls filled with CHEESE!
Cheese is Emily’s least favourite food,
And its place in her lunch is not happily viewed.
So she dragged at her heels, and she lagged far behind,
And she stood on the cracks just to prove her own mind.
One dawdling step… she tripped… something was wrong…
She stared at her feet and saw her SHOES gone!
Now Emily’s school shoes were polished and shining,
black leather on top with a bright orange lining.
Not easy to miss, though she looked all around,
The polished new school shoes were not to be found.
“I simply must find them!” she squeaked, at a loss,
“When Mum finds I’ve lost them, she will be so cross”
“I knows where they vanished”, said a voice low and thick.
It was old Mishty Kippered, propped up on his stick.
“They’s not lost, but stolen, and I knows by whom.
Under the pavement, in the dirt and the gloom
Waits the Shoe Stealie Boot Thief, I seens it, I knows!
If you step on them cracks, this is how it goes.
“It has strong, skinny fingers that poke through the cracks
to latch on to the heel of your shoes as you pass.
Then up pops the stone and your shoe disappears,
It’s not new little one, it’s been happening for years!
Says Em “that’s just silly, you’re just making fun!”
“go sees for yirself, or go tells yir mum…
If you wants them back, I will tells you how.”
“Can’t you help me?” She asked, with a serious frown
“You needs to be brave, and you needs to be quick,
And I’s an old man who must stand with a stick.”
He points to the post box “That’s where you must go,
Here’s the key to the stairway that is hidden below”
Young Em took the key and it turned with the catch,
And lo and behold, there below was a hatch.
Below the hatch were some stairs, which went on and on,
As she descended, Emily noticed a pong!
Slowly, gently at first, then quicker it rose,
A sour, mouldy smell wafted up to her nose.
As the stairs levelled out the smell made her gag,
Like vinegar… bin juice… her brother’s gym bag!