Look both ways when crossing a street.
In fact, don’t cross streets at all
unless I’m with you.
Don’t approach wild animals.
They could be rabid.
Don’t pick up bugs or snakes.
Despite the temptation,
don’t chase butterflies.
They could lead you to bees and wasps.
Step carefully on polished floors and in tubs.
Grip the handrail when descending stairs.
Don’t talk to strangers.
Don’t even go near them.
just because a man is old
that doesn’t make him your grandfather.
Don’t go near swimming pools
if there’s no adults around.
In fact, only if that adult is me.
Sure, that sparkling coolness looks tempting
but so does someone in a car.
Don’t play around electric sockets.
and touch stove plates
to see how hot they are.
In general, just take care.
And don’t just drink any liquid.
Or bite on anything that could be food.
Or spend hours watching television.
Just because it feels good,
doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
And don’t go near cliff edges.
Or lean out of windows.
Or unbuckle your seat belt
when we’re driving somewhere.
I know it must sound as if
life is no more than a series of cautions.
But keep in mind
I love you very much.
Please, don’t take that as a warning.
By John Grey