The Interminable Isolation of Engelbert

Hi everyone,

Here begins an unusual adventure. The boy, my son, has been waiting patiently all throughout Reception for the chance to take home Engelbert the Elephant. Every child gets a turn and finally, his came! It would seem, however, that with the Government’s decision to close schools until further notice, Engelbert’s stay with us will be a prolonged one. He watched with great concern, as did many other stuffed animals around the country I imagine, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement yesterday.

So, Engelbert is facing a lengthy stay with us under challenging conditions. He wanted to mark this in some way so, with mine and the boy’s help, he composed a poem to highlight his emotions at this challenging time. He plans to do the same on a regular basis during his time with us and we will share them here.


Interesting News

My name is Engelbert, an Elephant I am

I’ve travelled this wide world from Nantucket to Vietnam

But now I find myself in trouble, I think it’s quite a jam

For I’m confined indefinitely to a house in Twickenham


My normal life is spent, you see, on journeys week to week

I’m stuffed into a book bag for some Sam or Veronique

A very pleasant 5 year old with whom some time I spend

Before returning to Silver Class with memories of my new friend


This week I went to Michael’s house and met his lovely Mummy

His Daddy and his two black cats, and his sister who is funny

Before I got to see my room and have a bite to eat

I saw some news which I confess, fair knocked me off my feet


It seems that there’s this virus; this bug that’s going round

The man in the box said schools are shut; he meant it ’cause he frowned

We all need to wash our hands and try not to touch our faces

And keep indoors wherever we can, avoiding crowded places


With all that I was seeing, I felt a little afraid

Worried that my return to school might be awfully delayed

But luckily, I thought, and I hope that it’s true for you

There are people I can talk to and things that I can do.


I can read lots of books, play in the park and help with DIY

I can dust off board games, make pillow forts and stare up at a moonlit sky

I can spend time really listening to the stories people tell

Until all this is over and things are once again well


For in all my travels, I’ve learned one important truth

That applies in Mozambique as it does in Redruth

The people in this world are generally kind

And if we all act together, an answer we will find.


 Thanks for reading,

May all those stuffed toys and mascots stranded with children away from their classrooms be safe and happy in these difficult times, and may they look forward to a day not long in the future when things will be back to normal.

All the best,

Richard, Engelbert and the boy

2 thoughts on “The Interminable Isolation of Engelbert

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