Birds in the Mailbox

They waited there for a while, feeling sorry for the little bird who could help them

Photo by Kerin Gedge on Unsplash

Once upon a time there were four little things

Which made up the ground: a duckling, a goose, and a


The first little thing was the dog.

The four little things were not very

Good at home.

The duckling said, “Don’t be crazy,

I haven’t been to France much,

So I can’t tell you anything.”

The goose said, “Well, that’s all right.

I went to the Zoo a-seventeen times.

I caught the little birds

Before they got here.”

The duckling said, “I don’t know what the matter is with you,

Papa,” but I hear there is some sort of a problem.

I should like to stay with you, so maybe I might find a friend.

For now, anyway, I’ll come to America.”

The dog said, “Well, I heard there was a fire.

Let’s go and see it.”

So they walked past a sign and into a mailbox.

Then down a narrow stair a door went a nail and a key.

They waited there for a while, feeling sorry for the little bird who could help them.

Then they came to a door of tall grass.

“There’s the mailbox!” cried the little birds.

So they walked right by that mailbox and there was a nail in the grass.

“How very funny that stands in the middle of nowhere!” said Papa.

“Tweet! Tweet!”

The dogs got into the mailbox and waited for Papa to come through.

Unfortunately there wasn’t a reply. So they stood in the door and waited for Papa to say, “Hey, there!

The funny little bird is sitting right in the middle of nowhere.

I must try to catch him.”

“Tweet! Tweet!”

“I don’t see why it would be any good,” said Papa.

“What if he just sort of flies away?

Or just hangs on the yel ow?” said Mama.

“I can’t think of any way,” said Papa. “I know there’s a way.”

“I can,” said Mama. “I just have to find the little bird who sniffs poison darts.

With poison darts in the bottle, of course!”

“You mean you can snuff them out?” said Papa.

“Sure can be fun,” said Mama. “After the first day, maybe we won’t need to take those anymore. But still,” she said, “I’m not buying it.”

“No, wait!” said Papa. “I think we’ll look into it.” He leaned over to pick up the pin, which lay in the garden shed.

At the shed, propped high with a vine, was a machine that carried paint into the nest.

“Build in some oases,” said the engineer. “The sheds will be cold. Don’t oases too high!

The nest will be wet. Then some drywall. Wall!

We’ll need some wire to jump over the oases.

Let’s build in some fortresses.


Editor’s Notes

Excerpt from samples output around 1300 steps of a children’s picturebook model I’m training


I put horizontal rules between the long spaces in the generated text to preserve them.