Rizzly the Grizzly, Why Won’t You Sleep? (Excerpt)

By Doug Jantzen

 

When the first winter winds arrive at the zoo,
all the bears, young and old, know just what to do.

 

They gather around a long wooden table
and gobble down food…as much as they’re able.

 

Then off they retire to each of their dens
to lie down and sleep ‘til the long winter ends.

 

But out in the cold, away from his bed,
a grizzly named Rizzly was playing instead.

 

Despite being tired, he felt rather bold.
“Naps,” Rizzly claimed, “are just for the old.”

 

The penguins were out on the ice with their skates.
They danced and they twirled and they made figure eights.

“What fun,” Rizzly thought as he yawned a great yawn.
But before he could try, he dozed until dawn.

“Oh no,” Rizzly groaned, when he woke the next day.
“I must stay alert or I won’t get to play.”

 

Just then in the distance, aboard a green sled,
three monkeys came barreling full steam ahead.

 

“Woo Hoo!” they all cheered. “Yippee!” said the three.
“Now that I must try,” Rizzly said gleefully.

 

But before he could take the sled for a cruise,
he yawned once again and lay down for a snooze.

 

“Boo-hoo,” Rizzly moaned, “That’s another day done.
If I can’t stay awake, then I’ll miss all the fun.”

 

He slurped up hot coffee and rolled in the snow.
He pinched both his cheeks ‘til they started to glow.

 

But whenever he tried to play a new game,
the final result was always the same.

 

He needed some answers. He needed advice.
Dr. Long, the giraffe, was sure to be nice.

 

Now whenever a problem arose at the zoo,
Dr. Long was the one who knew what to do.