Other Things # 9 – Dark Poem #1

When I wrote this years ago, I thought of it as a children’s poem, but I’ve since decided it’s a little too dark for children, so I’m classifying it as one of the “Other Things”.

“Fowl Foul Play”

Mother Goose was quite the bird!

She wrote the best poems ever heard,

of Mother Hubbard, Jack and Jill,

and how those two went up the hill.

But did you know, one Christmas Eve,

while she wrote poems, I do believe,

a tap came at poor Mother’s door.

Thereafter — she was seen no more!

“Foul play” was certain, yes indeed.

That was something all agreed,

for Mother’s apron soon was found

with her small specs upon the ground.

It is believed, that Christmas Day,

that poor, stuffed goose just baked away.

Her poems live on and can’t be beat,

yet gooses don’t — cause them you eat!

Ambition

I’m building my own rocket ship

to take me to the moon,

and since I’m almost done the thing,

I know I’ll be there soon.

I’ll blast off through Earth’s atmosphere

and leave my backyard base,

and in three minutes, maybe four,

I’ll be in outer space.

I’ll orbit Earth — just once or twice,

which really will be fun,

and maybe, if I’m in the mood,

I’ll orbit round the sun.

I’ll finally zip off to the moon

and find a spot to land,

then play in zero gravity

which really will be grand.

Once I’ve travelled outer space

to each and every star,

then I’ll return to planet Earth

and start to build my car!

Eggs

Benny liked to eat boiled eggs;

he’d eat them by the score.

As soon as he was done a plate,

then he would ask for more.

His mom once tried to feed him soup;

“Please eat it!” she did beg,

but he refused the steamy broth

between mouthfuls of egg.

Alas one night, at dinner time,

a dreadful thing occurred!

When Benny tried to ask for salt,

“Cluck, cluck!” is what was heard.

Today that child eats everything —

his favourite is ice cream.

But if he even sees an egg,

all he can do is scream!

Boys

Boys are strange, my best friend says;

I must say, I agree.

They do and think the strangest things

that there could ever be.

They play with spiders, frogs, and snakes;

they like to roll in dirt!

They play rough games throughout the day

and don’t mind getting hurt!

They like to yell; they like to scream!

They like to push and poke!

They like to tease and make you mad —

they think that it’s a joke!

They’re not much fun to be around,

it’s very plain to see.

Despite all that, I get a thrill

when Andrew smiles at me!

The Last of Freddy

Freddy ate a jumping bean;

he ate it with some salt.

No sooner was it in the boy

than he began to vault.

He vaulted first his kitchen chair!

He vaulted next the table!

He vaulted o’er the kitchen sink!

He vaulted his Aunt Mable!

He vaulted through the living room,

and then right out the door!

Sadly, t’was the last of him

for he’s been seen no more.

The Stirring

Up in the attic, dark and still,

is where the thing occurred.

Within an old green toy box

a little something stirred.

Was it Sandy, that old doll,

whose ringlets once were pruned?

Was it Ben, the teddy bear,

whose ear was chewed and ruined?

Was it Lance, the gallant knight,

whose sword was lost outside?

Was it Beth, the baby doll,

who once — both laughed and cried?

Was it Dutch, the wrinkly dog,

who barked with just a squeeze?

Was it Fluff, the fuzzy cat,

who made his owner sneeze?

Had a toy been brought to life

by magic in that house?

Don’t be silly! Use your head!

What stirred was just a mouse!

Sharing

Douglas bought a bag of chips

he did not want to share,

and so he hid it in his room

beneath his bed with care.

He opened up the bag of chips

and ate three, one by one.

He popped them in his mouth with glee —

not sharing them was fun.

He walked into the living room

and saw his brother, Bill,

who if he knew about those chips

would try to eat his fill.

Yes, Douglas smiled and left the room

as he thought of that,

yet down beneath his bed right then,

he would have found his cat.

Other Things # 7 – One of My Most Insensitive Moments

The initial part of this story might be hard for you to believe, but it’s the truth. My first place of employment was at one of our city’s tourist attractions. I was a receptionist, and there was a restaurant in another part of the building. People would come into the reception area, and if they wanted to go for a meal in the dining room and hadn’t made a reservation, the receptionist would phone the dining room and see if there was room.

One particular evening during tourist season, a rather short, chubby couple came in and wanted to go to the dining room for dinner. Since they didn’t have a reservation, I told them I would check to make sure we could accommodate them. I phoned the hostess.

”Hello,” I said, “do you have room for two?”

The hostess assured me that they did and said, “Could I have the name please?”

I turned to the couple. “They have room, Sir. Could I have your name please?”

The man looked at me, and I started to sense a certain level of hostility as he stared at me in a somewhat threatening way and said, “Pigg — P — I — G— G.”

With the phone at my ear, afraid to even smile, I said into the receiver, “Pigg — P — I — G — G.” As Mr. Pigg and I continued to lock eyes solemnly, I listened to the hostess laughing uncontrollably. I ended the call with a “Thank you”, and the Piggs were soon on their way to dinner.

Of course, after the couple left the reception area, I laughed a great deal that evening, and I have often laughed since about the memory. In fact, it’s been one of my favourite stories to tell classes because it always gets a great reaction.

One day, I was with a grade 9 class and pulled out the Pigg story. The students, naturally, loved it, and as laughter filled the classroom, I noticed one of my students staring at me, no hint of amusement on his face. Our eyes met, and at that moment, I remembered his surname was Hogg.