Those of you familiar with the original Bible story may spot that in one or two places I have taken the liberty of adding some details and embellishments. Please forgive me.

The Prodigal Confectioner

by Andy Back © 2001 Children's Ministry
This may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder

Once upon a time, a farmer had two sons.

One of them was a

Smartie and good looking. His hair was

Curly Wurly with

Highlights,although he was slightly Flakey.

He said to his dad with a Wispa (photo not available) ‘I’d like

to talk to you about a certain

Topic. I feel my life could do with a

Boost, so give me my inheritance.’

His dad tried to

Fudge. ‘You want half of my money?’

‘Yes, Pa,’ replied the son, ‘and half of



Eventually the father agreed, and handed over all his

Bounty. The son did up his Buttons,

put on his


(actually it was a pair of Snickers), left the farm

and went off to spend his dad’s fortune. He took a

Picnic and walked, not waiting for a

Green & Black (photo not available) Double Decker.

It wasn’t long before he found himself in a large city,

in a superb shopping Mall, known as

Quality Street, where some people mocked

and made fun of the shops. They were known as

Malteasers. The farmer’s son also visited a night club where they played music by

M&M and there were

Minstrels playing

Tunes while customers played

Skittles. There were also female dancers known as the

Turkish Delights, and some of them would

Twirl, while others had tummys that could

Ripple. The son enjoyed all these

Revels, and soon his money was spent.

His friends were gone and so was his livelihood.

He finished up as a

Drifter, and took a job working on a pig farm. It was

run by a moaning, complaining old woman who had

no teeth, and she was known as

Wine Gums. The boy had to

Lion the ground to sleep, making his pillow from

leafy branches with not too many


He was peckish and got the

Munchies and ended up longing to

Chomp on the pig’s food, which was

Crunchie. But obviously he had to


Eventually he came to his Senses (photo not available).

He looked up at the

Milky Way (oh, no, sorry)

Milky Way and the Planets (photo not available) and the

Galaxies beyond and repented of his sin.

When he got home, his father forgave him,

welcomed him and decided to have a

Celebration, but his older brother was a right



Encouraged by the magnificent KT Hollway, I thought briefly about soap powders, gave up on that and then devised

The Prodigal Periodical

by Andy Back © 2006 Andy Back

Please don't thieve this, either

The Farmer’s Weekly Sun said to his dad ‘Hallo. Can we have a Chat? I need to take some Time Out. First, you’ve been a faithful Guardian and I know you’re Loaded, so give me a share of your Empire, Sport, so I can Travel More.’

OK, it’s Yours,’ said the father. ‘It’s probably for the Best,’ and gave him his inheritance, free, Grazia and for nothing.

The boy was very pleased. ‘Bella,’ he declared. The boy took the money, left the House Beautiful and went to Vanity Fair, in a foreign country, taking the Express. It was Easy Living, full of Zest.

There he lived in a Penthouse, met up with bad Company who pretended to be The People’s Friend, (although in reality they were more like an NME) but That’s Life.


So the boy was a Rolling Stone and lived like a Dandy, with some Glamour girls, which was rather Cosmopolitan, and he wasn’t much of an Economist. The News of the World into which he’d drifted was that they would all have to be Weight Watchers.

Viz there would be no Sugar, no Nuts, there would be tough Times and to get any dinner he’d have to join a Q. It wasn’t what he’d left home four. Four two long he waited for something New to come along.

The boy went to work in a Zoo and got Closer to some pigs than he wanted, which wasn’t a good Match.

Eventually, Kerrang!, he came to his senses, looked in the Mirror.

God began to Reveal to him that his behaviour had been Total Carp and that he should return to his Ideal Home. He decided to face the Heat, go back to his House & Garden and ask to be a servant or an Amateur Gardener. But a long Time before he got there – in fact, while he was still a long way off - The Oldie, who had been a Spectator, saw him coming from his vantage point on the rooftop and ran eagerly to meet him.

He threw a serious Beano, complete with live music and dancing and Good Food including veal, because he wasn’t particularly PC. Plus, he gave him some other things to wear – a special ring, a meaningful coat, and a pair of shoes – what you might call Top Gear.

The father was completely delighted, and announced to the crowd ‘There’s absolutely no need for this welcome home party to be Private. Eye want everyone to know that you were dead... but now, in complete contrast, you’re alive! Celebrate everyone!

'Yes, indeed, rejoice, tout Le Monde! He’s welcome back. What a Star!’

His older brother, Figaro, saw Red for a Week, but the other Men Only celebrated his return to the Family Circle.




The idea has developed into literally dozens of ways to write this amazing story. One of them is quite literary:

The Prodigal Heteronym

by Andy Back

© 2004 Andy Back

Please don't thieve this, either

Heteronyms are, of course, words spelled the same but pronounced differently, according to meaning

Younger son asks father for his inheritance, who cashes his savings and proceeds to give him the proceeds. Mouth agape at this agape love, the son decides to appropriate the appropriate funds, and his father does not verbally object to his son being a greedy object.

begins/gains; open wide/unconditional; take for himself/correct; raise reasons why not/thing

The boy manages to collect with having to say a collect. He puts on a bow tie and with a bow, decides to close the door and go to a city that isn’t close; he shall desert the farm and cross the savannah, the jungle and the desert. On his way, there are no female deers, so he does not see any does.

receive/prayer; non-dangling or formal neckwear/bending from the waist; shut/near; leave/arid plain; action/female deer

Upset when the food runs out, he rent his clothes (tears, with tears) and beats himself in punishment for desiring a meal (buffets due to lack of buffets). In a minute, he comes to his senses, and feels minute before a mighty God and several large pigs. Then he patches his clothes, even while he’s in a waste-water pipe (he’s a sewer in a sewer), and thus he dismisses his illness — he considers that being an invalid is invalid. He’s wound a bandage tightly over the wound.

rips/lacrymose secretion;hits/finger food; 60 seconds/tiny; needleperson/waste water outflow; ill person/not right; wrapped/cut or sore

He returns to his home. On his journey, he’s still hungry and fancies a pale, slightly undercooked snack, but doesn’t have a pasty pasty. He is keen to entrance his father at the farm with a speech, but while still a long way from the entrance, the father kisses his son, an intimate act to intimate his love.

pale/meat & swede in shortcrust; put under a spell/door; personal/mean

He represents his shoes to him, along with a ring, which represents sonship. The father remembers that the boy took all his cash, but even though he can recollect, he does not attempt to recollect. He’s so proud of his son that he throws a golfing party, putting him up for the pitch and putting. Some partygoers take a dip in the sea, where the band plays, and while divers divers make a splash, the bass (and carp) listen to the bass (without criticising). The servants avoid becoming electrically-charged atoms by forming a workers’ co-operative, which makes them unionised, and unionised as well.

gives again/symbolises; remember/demand repayment; naming/ propelling a ball across a green towards a hole;a variety/people who enter the water from a height;family of fish/stringed instrument providing lowest notes;formed into a political group/not electrically charged

The Prodigal Medic

by Andy Back

© 2004 Andy Back

Please don't thieve this, either

Seed of the farmer’s loins, the second-born extracted the cash and began an extended binge of overindulgence in alcohol, with a protein and carbohydrate-rich diet and procreative interactivity.

Thereafter, an extreme, enforced low-calorie diet was prescribed for the population by circumstance, and the boy took a role caring for animals likely to suffer from ringworm, scrofulous, halitosis and trotter-rot. He envied their vegetarian ingestion.

He benefited from a sudden and serious cranial infarction, and decided to resume residence at home, taking the role of porter. En route, his father applied lip-therapy, some torso massage, provision of a minor specimen of metal exoskeleton, ensured he was able to maintain his body temperature, included protection for his soles and caused fatal trauma to the obese calf.

During the celebration, the father said ‘This cadaver has been resuscitated!’

The Prodigal Star Trekker

by Andy Back

© 2004 Andy Back

Please don't thieve this, either

The Captain gave the Lieutenant Commander many bars of gold-pressed latinum, and he joined an away team, beaming down to the surface of a nearby planet.

He made first contact with several life forms which proved to be as destructive as the Borg, and soon his shields were down and his phaser was stunned. He envied a porcelline entity.

A mind-meld rerouted his neural net and he beamed back to the transporter room. But while his biomatter was still caught in the buffer stream, the Captain gave him a new ring, a new uniform, holodeckshoes and replicated some dinner.

‘Fetch me earl grey tea (hot), Romulan ale and synthahol for the entire crew. Make it so. Number Two was entering Stovokor, but has returned to this timespace continuum.’

The Prodigal Confusion

by Andy Back

© 2004 Andy Back

Please don't thieve this, either

The son went to find his share of the portion, which was stuck by its horns in a thicket.

He carried it home rejoicing, but fell among robbers, who took all his money and left him for dead. Famine struck, and he went off to feed pigs, some of which ran off the edge of a cliff. He longed to fill his stomach with seeds which fell among thorns, or with thorns which were built upon the rock.

He came to his senses and said to himself ‘Ninety and nine are safe, I shall dip seven times in the Jordan River and then go to my father and tell him I am no longer worthy to sow seed where I have not winnowed and where the birds of the air swoop and feast themselves. And all their neighbours.’

But while he was still a long way off, his Priest and his Levite passed by, and they were sore afraid, and their tongues did cleave to the rooves of their mouths, even unto the fourth generation. But his father gave him a ring for his finger and agreed to make him a good and faithful servant and soil for the hundredfold.

‘This my son might as well have been hung for a sheep as a lamb, but when I return I will reap what I have sowed, pay more if more is owed and provide shoes for his feet, milk for his porringer and butter for his bread (tho' marmalade is nicer if it's very thickly spread) and the fatted calf for the sheep, the birds, the lillies and the Samaritans.’ What?

Prodigal Acrosstick (Diagonal rules apply)

by Andy Back

© 2008 Andy Back

Please don't thieve this, either

Acknowledgements to the inspiring chapter 51 of Life: A User's Guide by Georges Perec

Sin Revelation Forgiveness

(24: 1+23; 1+1+22; 2+1+21 etc)

1    ‘Share out your wealth with me,’

2     His younger boy demanded. ‘Yes.’

3     Son took the cash and spent it

4     on drinking and prostitutes

5     and very quickly, he was broke.

6     One severe famine struck the

7     whole region. Deserted by his

8     ex-so-called ‘friends’ he made a

9     plan: take a job on a pig farm. He

10   longed to stuff himself just

11   like those pigs with the pods…

12   Suddenly recognising utter

13   disasters, he understands he

14   might go home to father’s farm,

15   not asking for a son’s welcome

16   ‘The truth? I am unworthy.’ While

17   his boy was yet a long walk off,

18   the farmer saw him. ‘He is alive!’

19   Demonstrating his love - gave

20   him a hug, a coat, some shoes and

21   one ring to wear on his finger.

22   ‘Partying with many of my next

23   door neighbours; my son was so

24   dead but now he’s alive! Cheers!’

Prodigal Acrosstick (Reverse diagonal rules apply - this is starting to sound a bit like Mornington Crescent...)

by Andy Back

© 2008 Andy Back

Please don't thieve this, either

Acknowledgements to the inspiring chapter 51 of Life: A User's Guide by Georges Perec

Repentance and restoration

(24: 23+1, 22+1+1, 21+1+2, etc)

24   Son’s greed demands of father

23   ‘Give me my share of your money’ -

22   gets a third of the principal.

21   He enthusiastically spends

20   on wanton women and drinking –

19  wastes all being a partygoer.

18   He’s financially cleaned out!

17   No cash, no friends and no hope.

16   Famine causes all concern. No

15   Income: he shall get a farm job.

14   Hungry, sad boy wants pigfeed:

13   decides filling his stomach

12   With those pods not good idea

11   ‘Could be a servant now at home…’

10   Having come now to his senses

9   ‘I will arise, leave and go back;

8    say to father: I am confessing

7    my sin to you. I’m not any longer

6    dad, worthy to be known as a son.’

5    his father saw him when he was

4    distant. He ran, embraced, gave

3    a ring, pair of shoes and a coat.

2   ‘Good news! A lost son came back:

1   Now he is alive, no longer dead!’


Prodigal Poetry

by Andy Back

© 2004 Andy Back

Please don't thieve this, either

And to close for now, some poems

Haiku (seventeen syllables; 5,7,5)

Son spent all Dad’s cash:

Famine; pigswill; repented!

Welcomed home again.

Clerihew (four lines, biographical, not scanning)

Having wasted all of his father’s hard-earned money,

The Prodigal Sonny

Understood, in a sty

That he certainly was, unconditionally, the absolute

        apple of his doting father’s eye.

Villanelle (like Do not go gentle into that good night)

iambic pentameter with rhyme scheme

A1bA2  abA1  abA2  abA1  abA2  abA1A2 (variation permitted)

The son hoped that the father loved so well;

Demanded such an early gift of cash –

His spirits gently rose from love’s compell.

He went away, so soon, bidding farewell

And quickly, wildly spent the giant stash;

The son forgot the father loved so well.

Now gambling, dancing with Mademoiselle

DuToit he stepped up with a perfect dash;

His spirit gave no thought to love’s compell.

But famine cruelly struck; he was unwell;

He envied, longed to eat the piggy’s mash;

The son reduced. His father grieved so well.

Returning boy, the watchman gave a yell

Of joy; was running, gifting with panache;

His spirits rose and hoped from love’s compell.

‘Reported death was a mere bagatelle.

He lives! E’en so he caused my teeth to gnash!’

The son now knows the father loves so well

His spirit’s welcomed back by love’s compell.

Limerick (you know this type)

There was a young fellow whose money,

Ran out — all spent on a honey.

Then he came to his senses,

Pigs and swill ’came past tenses,

And his dad gave him gifts that were funny.

Rap (oh, very modern)

Listen up in the house,

    got a message for you

And a radical way

    of expressin’ my view

Jesus told this parable to help

   us all to see

That the Father’s love is vast

   and eternal and free.

The boy took the cash from the farmer’s hand

And went right away to a far-off land

Where he wasted the money/with living that was wild

(This father’s boy was a Prodigal child).

His friends all left; he was/alone and felt gauche; a

Few days later got a/job that wasn’t kosher —

Looking after pigs, jealous of their pods,

He had a revelation that was/one of God’s.

‘I shall go back home and serve my dad;

I have to admit that I’ve/been really bad.’

On his way home he knew/he’d been a mug;

But his Pa rushed out and gave him a hug

And a ring and a coat and some/lovely shoes,

And he also killed the/animal that moos!

‘I thought he was dead, which made me very sad

But it turns out he’s alive and I’m/still his Dad!

Repenting is good and a/recommended move

By your Father God. At the party you’ll groove.

That’s the end of my story so/now I’m gone;

Respect to the Father of the/Prodigal Son.