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Bad Bat and the Sloth with a Cough

A Bad Bat story for more advanced readers.
Ages 7-10.

(learning: -th and -gh diphthongs, as well as some ‘memory’ words.)

Today was poetry day in Mrs. Hoff’s class. She gave each child a tough task; they had to write their own poem.

It was Camilla’s turn.

This was her poem:

I’m off
like a moth
to see a sloth
with a cough.

When she finished, there was a big laugh in the classroom. Everyone thought the poem was very funny, except for Nathan.

Nathan said, “‘Off’ and ‘moth’ don’t rhyme. Neither do ‘sloth’ and ‘cough.’”

Mrs. Hoff looked at Camilla to see what she thought.

“It’s an A-B-B-A poem,” Camilla said proudly. “’Off’ rhymes with ‘cough’ and ‘sloth’ rhymes with ‘moth.’”

“Very good!” said Mrs. Hoff. She went to the board to explain what an A-B-B-A rhyme was. She used Camilla’s poem as an example. She wrote the poem on the blackboard, like this:

A - I’m off (‘f’ sound)
B - like a moth (‘th ‘sound)
B - to see a sloth (‘th’ sound)
A - with a cough. (‘f’ sound)

Little did anyone know, but Bad Bat was in the room. He heard the poem. He liked the poem, but he wondered why the sloth had a cough. He decided to find out.

So, Bad Bat flew out the window (which was half open) and went looking for a sloth with a cough.

He found a sloth. It was white as a sheet, but it was not sick and it did not have a cough.

Then he found a moth. It was feeling a little under the weather, but it did not have a cough.

Then he found a calf. The calf was not at all sick. In fact, it was so healthy that it was doing a little dance. This made the mother cow annoyed, but it made Bad Bat laugh.

Last of all, Bad Bat found a cat. The cat looked very ill. He heard the cat cough. And cough. And cough. The cat had caught a cold.

That night, Bad Bat flew back into Mrs. Hoff’s classroom. He took the chalk and wrote on the board. No one was allowed to write on the board without first asking Mrs. Hoff, but Bad Bat did not care. Bad bat!

The next morning, when the children entered class, this is what they saw on the board:

Neither the sloth nor the moth had the cough.
It was the cat, says Bad Bat. Now I’m off.

The next day Camilla got her grade for the poem. She got an ‘A’. She was very happy.

Mrs. Hoff also gave Bad Bat a grade for his poem. She gave him an A-. She liked the poem (very much), but was mad he wrote on the board without asking first.

The End.

Note: Bad Bat’s poem contains internal rhymes. Internal rhymes are rhymes that occur within the line of verse. (Not simply at the end.) For a better example see Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven.” Though, to give credit where credit is due, Bad Bat’s rhymes are entirely internal.

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