Teddy Book – Jessica Appleby’s jolly and fat.

Jessica Appleby’s jolly and fat.

She keeps a small shop with a large tabby cat,

Who lies curled in the window on wet days and dry

And purrs in his throat when the milkman goes by:

There are bulls-eyes and onions

And plasters for bunions

And toothpaste and toffee

And cocoa and coffee

And stuffing in packets with pictures of pigs

And lavender water and Syrup of Figs

And a box for the money that hasn’t a top

In Jessica Appleby’s shop.


Jessica Appleby knows all the news.

She likes to hear customers airing their views.

They lean on the counter and gossip for hours

Near the marzipan mice, and the Freshly cut Flowers.

There are rashers of gammon

And tinned household salmon

And mothballs and mustard

And cornflour and custard

Potatoes and postcards and permanent ink

And a white china bowl that says Drink Puppy Drink

And a cork screw to open the bottles of pop

In Jessica Appleby’s shop.


Jessica Appleby wears a print frock.

She puts up the shutters at past five o’clock:

With a cheery goodnight to the Poet and me,

She hurries back in to give Matthew his tea.

There are buttons and braces

And black or brown laces

And humbugs and handles

And carrots and candles

And soapflakes and sugar and self raising flour

And a clock with a cuckoo that calls every hour

And a pail and a broom and a swab and a mop

In Jessica Appleby’s shop.