Journey With Story


Journey With Story

Doctor Powderpill – Storytelling Podcast For Kids

Doctor Powderpill

Doctor Powderpill

July 11 2024


What do you call a doctor who looks after animals?  Yes, a vet – short for veterinarian.  If you could make up a nickname for a vet, what would be a good one, do you think?

Hello everyone. I’m Kathleen Pelley. Welcome to Journey with Story.  Not sure what kind of names some of you thought of, but today’s story is a storypoem about a vet called Doctor Powderpill – isn’t that a fun name?   And this Doctor Powderpill ends up visiting an area of South Africa called Limpopo – hello to all of our listeners in South Africa!

Before we get started, big thanks again to all of our listeners who recently joined our patreon community and are enjoying all sorts of benefits, such as monthly coloring sheets and an extra story episode every month.  Find out more at  We really appreciate your support to keep this podcast ad free and to be able to offer you even more storytelling resources to help you continue to nurture a life-long love of stories in your little listeners.

Let’s take a journey with Dr. Powderpill

Dear old Doctor Powderpill, 
If you’re ailing, if you’re ill 
Come and see him and be healed, 
Beast and bird of wood and field, 
Worm and bug and wolf and bear, 
Cow and sheep and goat and hare! 
Everyone from everywhere 
Will receive his aid and care! Once a fox came and paid him a call: “Oh, a wasp stung my back!” Did she squall! Then a pup came to see him, morose: “Oh, a hen pecked my poor little nose!

Mrs. Bunny ran up in a flurry 
“Oh, how sad, how unhappy I am!
My sonny fell under a tram, 
My sonny, my bunny 
Fell under a tram!

“He hopped and he skipped in the street
When a tram came and cut off his feet.
And now he’s in bed, poor bunnikin-boy,
My sonny, my bunny, my only joy!”

But the doctor exclaimed, “Never fear!
Just bring your bunnikin here.
I’ll make him a new pair of feet
And again he’ll skip in the street!”
And they brought him the bunny, poor dear,
So ill, without any feet.
And the doctor sewed on a new pair
And again he could skip in the street.

And his mother, the old Missis Bun,
Danced around and around with her son.
She laughed and she wept with her joy:
Thank you, Doctor, for curing my boy!”

Then a jackal on a mare
Galloped up from god knows where:
“Here’s a telegram for you
from the Hippo, just come through!”

“Come and see us, Doctor,
In Africa, be quick.
Save our children, Doctor,
They’re very, very sick!”

“Really? Truly? What is wrong? 
Have they been laid up for long?”

“Yes, oh yes, they’ve got the ‘flu, 
Chickenpox and smallpox too, 
Measles, mumps, appendicitis, 
Malaria and bronchitis.

“Come, dear Doctor Powderpill, 
All depends upon your skill!”

“Very well, I’ll come, all right, 
And help your children in their plight. 
Only your address — what is it? 
Hill or swamp — what shall I visit?”

“Well, we live in the Sahara, 
In the scorching Kalahari, 
Up on Mount Fernando-Po, 
Where the grumpy Hippo-Poppo 
Roams the mighty Limpopo.”

Then he goes, Powderpill, 
And he runs, Powderpill, 
Over marsh, over mire, over dale, over hill. 
And one single word he repeats, Powderpill, 
“Limpopo, Limpopo, Limpopo!”

The snow fell thick and the night was black: 
“Hey, Powderpill, turn back, turn back!”
 And he dropped, Powderpill, on his face in the snow: 
“I’m tired, too tired to get up and go!”

All at once grey wolves rushed out from a wood 
And ran to the spot where the doctor stood: 
“Come, mount us. Doctor, and let’s be gone. 

QuiBut soon they arrived at a sea, 
Roaring, stormy and free, 
With waves so fearfully tall 
They’d swallow the doctor, his hat and all!

“Oh dear, if I ever drown 
In the waves and go deep, deep down — 
What’II happen to my poor friends 
Whom nobody nurses or tends?”

quicker than lightning Then a whale from the waters chill 
Rose and said: “Climb up, Powderpill, 
And like a great big ship 
In a jiffy I’ll make the trip!”we’ll speed you on!”

Up on the whale he gets with a will. 
And one single word he repeats, Powderpill: 

Then mountains he met of great height,
And he climbed and he climbed until night.
But the mountains grew steeper, the mountains grew starker,
And the sky became darker and darker and darker.

“Oh, if I don’t reach my goal,
If I never get there at all, 
What’ll happen to my poor friends 
Whom nobody nurses or tends?

, Limpopo, Limpopo!”

In Africa, in Africa, 
By the mighty Limpopo,
Weeping out his poor old heart,
Sits woeful Hippo-Po.

In Africa, in Africa
He sits beneath a tree
And looks and looks from Africa
Upon the deep blue sea:
“When will the doctor’s ship arrive,
Dearie, dearie me!”

The rhinos and the elephants 
Keep running up to telephones 
Asking with impatience: 
“When will he see his patients?”

Nearby the baby hippoes 
Lie suffering from hiccoughs, 
Holding their poor tummies, 
Their tummies torn by pain.

The ostrich-chicks, so bad they feel, 
Like little pigs they wail and squeal, 
The poor dear baby ostriches 
Whimper and complain.

They’ve mumps, appendicitis, 
Measles and bronchitis, 
Soar throat and tonsillitis, 
Their cries are loud and shrill.

They moan and groan in fever: 
“Must we wait forever,
Must we wait forever 
For Doctor Powderpill?”

Beside them sprawls a sharp-toothed shark, 
A sharp-toothed shark, 
A deep-mouthed shark 
Whose tots are very ill.

Her poor dear darling sharklings 
Are in a dreadful plight:
Their teeth so sharp and sparkling 
Keep aching day and night!

Poor grasshopper — o me, o my!
He’s hurt his foot and sprained his thigh.
He doesn’t jump, he doesn’t leap,
But all he does is sob and weep
With tear-drops falling fast:
“Oh, where is Doctor Powderpill,
When will he come at last?”

But look — in the sky two great eagles appear. 
Another ten minutes and they will be here. 
On one sits the doctor of world-famous skill — 
The doctor, their saviour, the dear Powderpill.

“Hullo to you, Africa,” loudly he cries. 
“Hurrah!” they all greet him with tears in their eyes.

The eagle flies slower and slower, 
The eagle comes lower and lower.
The doctor lands and runs to their aid 
With jam and treacle and marmalade. 

He pats the poor hippoes’ bellies 
And treats them to sweets and jellies.
And takes the poor darlings’ temperature.

Then he runs to the tiger
Who came from the Niger
And then to the ape
Who came from the Cape
And gives them all honey
Hot milk, egg and honey,
Hot milk, egg and honey,
Hot milk, egg and honey to cure them.

Ten nights and ten days
Without sleeping he stays,
Ten days and ten nights
He tends the poor mites
And takes the poor darlings’ temperature.

Now at last he’s cured the lot,
Every ill and ailing tot,
And they all began to giggle,
Jump and caper, dance and wriggle, 

And the huge and fearful shark 
Winked its eyes from waters dark 
And it laughed and laughed and laughed
As if it suddenly went daft!

And the hippoes, dear, wee fellows,
Puffing, whoofing just like bellows, 
Roared and laughed and guffawed so 
That the oaks rocked to and fro!

Here comes Hippo, here comes Poppo, 
Hippo-Poppo, Hippo-Poppo! 
Here comes Hippopotamus, 
From the great Kilimanjaro 
Through sands of the Sahara, 
Singing gaily, “Long live doctors 
Bringing health to all of us!”

What a great story poem to celebrate all the doctors who heal our animals – what do you think the story souvenir is – the nugget of truth about what it means to be human?

And grown ups – quick word for you….. I want to thank you first of all for taking the time to nurture a love of stories in your children by listening to this podcast and of course, I know that all of you are also making time for your own read aloud sessions at home where YOU are the one finding great stories to read to your children.  But if you want to find out even more about how to continue to raise children who LOVE to read, then why not sign up for my FREE monthly newsletter, where I will be sharing some tips and insights into why reading aloud matters as well as some thoughts on one of the stories from our podcast that month.  Oh, and if that is not enough, when you sign up, you get a free bonus story along with a coloring sheet – go to and sign up today.

Oh, and if you want to get one of our special JWS teeshirts, you have until June 5 to join our patreon community at the Unicorn level.  Your support helps us keep this podcast advert free and to bring you even more storytelling resources for your children.

Cheerio then, join me next time for Journey with Story.

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