Learning the Rules

by Nikki Grimes

When Gorilla Goes Walking by Nikki GrimesAt first it wasn’t easy
remembering who was boss,
whose turn it was to catch the ball,
whose turn it was to toss.
But now I’ve got the hang of it.
(Housebreaking was a snap.)
I scratch Gorilla’s belly when
she commandeers my lap.
I switch the sunlamp on for her
if it’s a cloudy day.
I run, I jump, I fetch, unless
my master turns away
and stretches ‘cross the carpet,
reclining still as stone,
ignoring me until I see
she wants to be alone.

Copyright © 2007 Nikki GrimesFrom the book When Gorilla Goes Walking. Orchard Books. Reprinted by permission of the author.

About this Poem

I used to have a cat, and I’ve always thought it so funny that humans think we own our pets when, in fact, they own us!  I wrote this poem to show how true that is.

About The Author

Children's Author Nikki GrimesNew York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include ALA Notable book What is Goodbye?, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, the novels Jazmin’s Notebook, Dark Sons, and The Road to Paris (Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books). Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California.

Where to Buy this Book

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleShop Indie Bookstores

3 responses to “Learning the Rules”

  1. Janet F. says:

    I KNOW this is true about cats, Nikki. LOVE this and “who’s the boss”? Right???? Delightful and we know (and they know) that we love them so much we don’t mind at all. Did you really have a cat named Gorilla?

  2. Aw, this makes me miss our cats… I love Gorilla! I love how her “master” is busy scratching and switching and fetching:>)

  3. […] collection of poetry about a little girl named Cecilia and her cat, Gorilla. I especially liked “Learning the Rules”. I am pretty sure that most of my cats also think they know who’s boss–and it […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *