Cranky Old Man

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Kidz Newz no. 130 – 9 December 2013

Welcome to Kidz Newz, especially to all new subscribers. Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome. Don’t forget to stay in touch on our Facebook Page and watch out for our exclusive fan page competitions.

It is good to be back on deck with a newsletter. I apologise for the lapse and I thank those who told me how much they missed them! I am touched! I have gone back into teaching (adult ESL), and my wonderful VA, Deb, went off to have another baby – making it 3 children under 5. No wonder she could no longer do it all! So with no time and no assistance, there was a break in contact. But we are up and running again thanks to the services of One Orange Cow. To make up for it, scroll down for some true Christmas bargains!

And have a wonderful Christmas!


This email was doing the rounds and I felt duty-bound to send it out. Perhaps you’ve seen it? At this time of year it is easy to get frazzled. It is easy to think it’s all too hard. But spare a thought for those who have no one to share their Christmas with, like the elderly whose loved ones may have passed on or moved away.

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, they found this poem. Its quality impressed the staff and copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Microsoft Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Xmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? … What do you see?
What are you thinking … when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, … not very wise,
Uncertain of habit … with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food … and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice … ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice … the things that you do.
And forever is losing … a sock or a shoe?

Who, resisting or not … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding … the long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? … Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse … you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am … as I sit here so still,
As I do your bidding … as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten … with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters … who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen … with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now … a lover he’ll meet
A groom soon at Twenty … my heart gives a leap.
Remembering the vows … that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five now … I have young of my own
Who need me to guide … and a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty … my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other … with ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons … have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me … to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, … babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children … my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me … my wife is now dead.
I look at the future … I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing … young of their own.
And I think of the years … and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man … and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age … look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles … grace and vigour depart.
There is now a stone … where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass … a young man still dwells,
And now and again … my battered heart swells
I remember the joys … I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living … life over again.

I think of the years, all too few … gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact … that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people … open and see.
Not a cranky old man … look closer … see … ME!!

It makes you wonder who else we are not really seeing.

Christmas Specials! One week only!

For the week of Monday 9 to Friday 13 December 20% discount on all stock (except Hebi products from NZ) and FREE delivery.

Kidz-Fiz-Biz Learning through Drama, Dance & Son



Kidz-Fiz-Biz Multicultural


Kidz-Fiz-Biz Scarf Magic Pack


Kidz-Fiz-Biz Let’s Get Physical PD DVD



Quotes of the Week

“If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you get this e-mail on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who have that opportunity. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness … You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.”
(source unknown)


Surprise someone by showing them the true joy of the Christmas spirit.

They will almost certainly hug you back instinctively.

Source of image:



Thank you Marlene for making such a wonderful DVD with your book Scarf Magic. My 3 year old daughter just loves watching it over and over again. She loves folding the scarf, she loves tucking it into her clothes trotting like a horse and she loves throwing it up in the air. I just absolutely love the way the DVD is so natural. The two kids are just doing exactly what kids do, and you bring them back to where they need to be so beautifully.

Well done and I look forward to many more wonderful and natural DVD’s

Yasmin Allberry
Perth WA

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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