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Hello, I'm Ben.
Are you ready for tonight's bedtime story?
Ever since I was a little boy,
I've always loved kicking a ball,
and that's what tonight's bedtime story is all about.
Kicking A Ball.
And it's by Allan Ahlberg with pictures by Sebastien Braun.
What I like best, yes, most of all,
in my whole life, is kicking a ball.
Not eating an ice cream, or riding a bike.
BICYCLE BELL RINGS
No, kicking a ball is what I like.
Not reading a book, or writing a letter.
No! Kicking a ball is 20 times better.
My legs might be skinny, my feet might be small,
but I get a kick out of kicking a ball.
Yes, kicking a ball!
Kicking a ball with Clive and Trevor,
Malcolm and Paul,
or even without them, just me and a wall.
Not punching a ball, or bashing a ball,
serving a ball or smashing a ball.
Not throwing a ball, or blowing a ball.
Not bowling, or batting, or patting a ball.
Not pinging or ponging, or potting or putting,
but booting and shooting,
yes, kicking, oh, kicking!
Just kicking a ball.
A ball in the playground, a ball on the grass,
a shot on the run, a dribble, a pass,
a ball before breakfast, a ball before bed...
..a dream of a ball, a goal in the head.
Don't want a ball that's odd or screw,
that you hit with a mallet or a billiard cue.
Don't want a ball that's made of meat.
I'd really rather SCORE than eat.
Not a ballcock or a ballpoint.
Or a plastic ball-and-socket joint.
Not a ball bearing - bit too small,
but putting it more or less baldly...a ball!
Kicking a ball, kicking a ball -
that's surely the purpose of life after all.
Not climbing a mountain in far Nepal,
or diving for pearls in the Bay of Bengal.
Not sailing a yacht on a tight haul,
in a sudden squall, to Donegal.
But kicking a ball, kicking a ball.
Kick, kick, kick, kick...
kicking a ball.
And later on, as the years pass,
I'll still be running across the grass.
Kicking a ball, kicking a ball,
with Clive and Malcolm, Trevor and Paul.
Reading the paper, having a shave,
forcing the goalie to make a save.
Kissing my wife, bathing our baby...
..kicking a ball and scoring, maybe.
Till baby toddles and tackles,
and then starts the ball rolling all over again.
What I like best, yes, most of all
in my whole life is kicking a ball.
In freezing cold or blinding heat,
ever and always, a ball at my feet.
Caked in mud, covered in sweat,
scoring the goals I'll never forget.
CHEERING AND SHOUTING
Yes, life's a circle, endless and small,
and when all's said and done, the world's a ball.
Oh, I had such a ball reading that story,
and I hope you had a ball listening.
Now it's time to get nice and comfortable
and curled up into a tiny ball as you get ready to go to sleep.
I'll see you again soon.