Saturday, April 12, 2014


Oh don’t be frightened, little child!
Let squirrels do what squirrels do.
He likes the nuts – and though he's wild,
That squirrel won’t be biting you.

Oh yes, I’m old, as you can see.
And these are chips – for young and old,
But not for you and not for me.
And there’s a story to be told.

You want me to tell you the story, dear?
The story then it‘ll have to be.
So sit over there, where you can hear
And listen quietly to me.

No, no!  The chips are not for us!
Do listen. Then you’ll find out why.
I don’t like kids who make a fuss.
So sit.  And chase away that fly.

I met a statue in the park.
I asked him how he came to be.
And as the sky was growing dark,
This is what he said to me.

“I once could walk about like you.
But there were  times when I was glum.
I wondered, what I then should do,
Until I met an old-time chum."

What's 'glum'? It's when you're feeling sad.
And 'chum'? A chum's a pal, a friend.
And some are good and some are bad.
Some friendships last – and others end. 

But listen – listen till the end!
Listen, as he heard his friend.

“He whispered in my ear, ‘My friend,
Chips are better when they’re fried.
And now, your sadness, it will end.
I know – because this cure, I’ve tried.

“ ‘So hasten to the park. You’ll see
A cloud on high, and that’s a sign,
And then, a tall and spreading tree.
A squirrel, next.  And you’ll be fine.’ "

What's 'hasten'?  That's to hurry, run,
Like when you've got to catch the bus.
Now listen quietly, little one!
I don't like kids who make a fuss.

“I hurried to the park in haste.
I wondered if I’d see the cloud.
I wondered too, how chips would taste
If they were fried.  I wondered loud.

“The elders in my way, they stared
And gave me then a wider berth.
But younger folk were there, who dared
To point and then express their mirth."

What's 'berth'? It's this. And 'mirth'? It's when
You smile and laugh. The kids, ahem,
Were smiling, pointing, laughing then.
And why?  They joked and laughed at him.

But let us continue. He said, 

“But little did I care. I neared
The park, and saw a patch of sky.
And sure enough, within that blue,
A little cloud was sailing high!

“I cracked a smile when I saw the cloud.
I smiled yet wider at the tree.
The squirrel made me laugh out loud.
With which of these could I disagree?

“And when a bird did doo-doo on
My head, I rolled around in fits.
And who then murmured, “He is gone.”?
The ones, who thought I’d lost my wits."

What's 'fits'? That's when you do like so.
What's 'wits'?  That's sense. We all need more
Yes. It's funny. You can giggle.
But listen. Sit – and stop that wriggle!

“I did a handstand, waved my legs,
Did a cartwheel ‘round the park.,
Saw a pigeon, brooding eggs,
Heard a puppy try to bark.

“The more I saw, the more I heard,
The more I laughed, until I cried.
And this I did, when I got word
That chips are better, when they’re fried.

“ 'They taste much better, fried, than raw!
The smell is better too, you’ll see!'
These things, I shouted.  Then, the law
Appeared.  And they were after me.

“But I was clever, I was fast!
I zoomed around the park, I zoomed!
But woe!  My freedom did not last.
They called in jaybirds.  I was doomed.

“But one of those was known to me.
He perched upon my shoulder and
He whispered. “Like a statue, be.”
And so I did, and so l stand.”

On hearing this, I shed a tear,
And wiping it, I blew my nose.
And in that statue’s hand, my dear,
I left a red and thorny rose.

So you have listened, understood.
See the cloud? And see the tree?
And there’s your squirrel. You’ve been good.
And there’s the statue. Can you see?

Now come with me and we will find
That statue there, with rose in hand.
These chips?  I hope you do not mind.
But they’re for him.  You understand?

He likes the chips, that statue there.
I’ve heard he likes the children too.
No, not for eating!  No, his fare
Is chips.  He’ll munch on those, not you.

What’s wrong – and why do you run away?
The kids today are really weird!
They’re frightened, in the light of day,
By those like me, without a beard!

2014 April 12th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York


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