Day 5 of 12 Days of Guest Bloggers: Author Todd Tarpley

My son, Madden, is obsessed with Ninjas. He loves reading books about Ninjas and he most certainly love pretending to be a ninja. When we discover a Ninja book, we read every book by the author. Then we eagerly wait for more.  I have been following NinjasRead on Twitter for quite some time. It’s a group of authors who have all written Ninja books. They get the need for Ninjas. I am SO very honored to have author Todd Tarpley join us for the 12 Days of Guest Bloggers. Appropriately, today is also National Ninja Day.

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4


It’s December, which means two things: Christmas and National Ninja Day! Here is a poem to celebrate.


The Ninjas ‘fore Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the village

Not a pirate was stirring to plunder or pillage.

The wind ‘gainst the windows was all one could hear

‘Til at last came the voice of a wee buccaneer.


“Is Santa here yet? Is he coming tonight?”

“Blimey!” cried Papa, “he’s coming, all right!

“But ye must close yer eyes and not make any noise

“Then Santa will bring us all presents and toys.


Just at that moment, up high on the hill

Nine little ninjas sat perfectly still.

There was Baxter and Bixler and Burpy and Blinky,

Ethan and Ella and Slurpy and Stinky.


And up in the tree was a ninja named Fin

Whose nose had turned red from the cold winter wind.

They crouched ’neath the moon in the fresh-fallen snow

And peered toward the enemy village below.


“You have to remind me of something,” said Fin.

“Why don’t we like them? Please tell me again.”

“Because,” whispered Ella, “as everyone knows,

Pirates and ninjas have always been foes.”


All of a sudden there came a loud crash

A boom and a bang, a screech and a smash

They saw two straight tracks leading into the snow

Then they heard the faint sound of a soft “Ho, ho, ho.”


“Santa’s the name,” said the jolly old man

As he brushed off the snow and reached out his hand.

“My reindeer got lost in the fog and the snow.

Now our sleigh’s broken down with just one stop to go!”


“Hooray!” cried the ninjas. “The town will be joy-less!

The pirates will wake to find Christmas is toy-less!”

Santa frowned toward his reindeer, cold and exhausted.

He looked toward the village, forsaken and frosted.


“Wait,” began Fin, “I’m not saying we WOULD,

Be we COULD help deliver the gifts—yes, we COULD.

It IS Christmas Eve, and just maybe—who knows?

Maybe pirates and ninjas don’t HAVE to be foes.”


“Let’s do it!” cried Stinky. “I’m in!” added Slurpy.

“Me too!” shouted Bixler. “Brrrrppp!” bellowed Burpy.

And when they were finished the sleigh was like new,

With a giant black cloak and new skis of bamboo.


“On, Baxter! On, Bixler! On, Burpy! On, Blinky!

On, Ethan! On, Ella! On, Slurpy! On, Stinky!”

With young, red-nosed Fin at the front of the pack

And Santa Claus steering, dressed only in black.


From rooftop to rooftop so nimble and swift

They slid down each chimney and dropped off each gift.

And just as the very last package was brought

The littlest pirate crawled down from his cot.


He tiptoed across the old wooden-plank floor,

And caught a quick glimpse of the closing front door.

Prying open the shutters with rusty old hinges,

“Papa?” he said. “I think I see NINJAS!”


Every lamp in the village was instantly on.

Every doorway flew open, every pirate sword drawn.

“Shiver me timbers!” the pirates commanded.

“Ye’ll walk the plank now—we caught you red-handed!”


Surrounding the ninjas, their faces aghast.

“Wait!” said the littlest pirate at last.

“The ninjas aren’t evil! They’re not here to pillage!

They came to help Santa bring toys to the village!”


“Blimey!” cried Papa, “I reckon it’s true–

Thar’s a ninja-ized sleigh with two skis of bamboo!

From this moment forward, our rivalry ends!

Now pirates and ninjas will always be friends!”


And when it was time, Santa sprung to his sleigh.

With a call to his reindeer they lifted away.

And they heard him exclaim with a final hurrah,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a HEE-YAA!”


Todd Tarpley is the author of picture books including “Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep!” and “My Grandma’s a Ninja!” He’s also a member of “Ninjas Read!” which celebrates National Ninja Day on December 5 and encourages ninja readers year-round.

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