My daughter came home from school yesterday, talking about Ibn Battuta – arguably one of the most travelled individuals in history. Had I heard of him? Had I binglepots.
So, I looked him up. His name and the places he’d been became the inspiration for some nonsense verse, something I used to love writing.
This was the result – not sure her teachers will approve!
The World’s Greatest Traveller
There once was a Berber named Ibn Battuta
Who travelled the East on a wind-powered scooter
With a beard so enormous, a turban so white
Robes streaming behind him, he made a proud sight
He traversed the mountains, the deserts and seas
His only requirement? A bit of a breeze
To power-up that magical zephyr-born scooter
And, on occasion, to inflate the hooter
When camels or lions strayed into his route
A blast from the klaxon and off they would shoot
He zipped across Africa, India and China
Of intrepid explorers, there never was finer
And when, in his nineties, he finally came back
And leaned that old scooter against his old shack
His friends all said “Ibn! Hey, where have you been?”
And he said “You’ll never believe what I’ve seen!”
But before he could tell them, the wind started stirring
And a few seconds later the scooter was whirring
He couldn’t resist it; old Ibn leapt on
And then, in a great puff of dust, he was gone
That was the last that was seen of Battuta
The gale took him West on his wind-powered scooter
And, so, if you see an old man dressed in white
Sailing down the M40 one midsummer’s night
Do give the world’s greatest traveller a wave
And don’t be surprised if he still hasn’t shaved!