Been flying here forever
I layed your planet
Use it as a loo, a bedroom
My home
You're all I've got
I love you, yes I do

I hatched you
From my egg
Watched you break through
Didn't teach you to fly
You learnt that
Boy, you grow
You grew

Been trying to build a nest
Entice you back
Humming nursery rhymes
Scolding and tapping on wrist watches
To no avail

My only child ignores
My very existence
So be it

Donald Ward (Scarecrow) 24 July 2005

1st student activity:  

Witchy says:

Raising up a child is a hard job, have you ever thought about it? Let me guess: your parents are very boring and keep asking you if you've done your homework, who your friends are, what you do when you're out...

Just for a moment try a little NLP experiment:

  • close your eyes and breathe deeply
  • visualize yourself while changing the date of your PC calendar: set it to 2025
  • You’re an adult and have got one child who is five years old now
  • Watch him while he is growing up under your eyes
  • He’s 18 years old and is already 1.85 metres tall!
  • Hear what he says to you, see what you see and feel what it feels like having a child.

Open your eyes and tell me if you can empathize a little bit more with your parents' feelings...

2nd student activity:  

The poet uses the nest as a metaphor to describe his relationship to his child. Can you list all the nouns and verbs which create the metaphor?

Nouns Verbs
Nest Fly


3rd student activity:

Three disturbing (grammar!!!) questions:

1. Which tense is used in the poem to express actions referring to the present state?

a) Present simple

b Past simple c) Present perfect continuous
2. Which tense is used to express actions referring to a precise period in the past (child's infancy)?

a) Present simple

b Past simple c) Present perfect continuous
3. Which tense is used to express actions begun in the past and still happening in the present?

a) Present simple

b Past simple c) Present perfect continuous
4th student activity:

In pairs, write a dialogue between father and son. The father can repeat or paraphrase the lines of the poem; for instance:

  • You use this house as a loo and a bedroom!
  • I love you so much but you don't care for me!
  • You ignore me!

The son uses this set of *useful* expressions:

  • Don't bother me
  • You're a nuisance!
  • You're always belly-aching!
  • You're a real pain in the ass...
  • I'm 17 years old now!
5th student activity:  
  Click on the link and do the multiple choice quiz on the use of Past simple and Present Perfect. You can also revise the use of these two tenses on the *dedicated* Grammar page.
(Present Perfect Continuous will come later... )
6th student activity: Witchy says: this one is the most important of the series!!!
Go to your mother, or your father or, even better both..., and give them a big kiss and a hug and tell them you love and care for them...
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