Certainly you must like the idea of being a page held fast by a child’s soft thumb, and plied by a mind untried by no trial or grief beyond ordinary hunger and thirst, no fear, no loss, no doubt, or question of worth. Or would you rather be the child you think, you remember, you are, you were? Both, I’m sure.
A Bedtime Story
Read it again, Daddy.
I want to hear about
the kingdom of Nearfar,
and all the people
who live there.
Do they really ride monkeys
to the Great Bazaar?
Look, Daddy — my camel is a robot.
See? Isn’t he pretty?
Chp, chp, chp!
Do you like gazootles, Daddy?
Once upon a time,
there was Mama Pan,
Papa Pan, and Baby Pan,
and they all lived
in a big black stove.
Nonnysoozles was there,
and Grimbo, and Pipper.
Do you know who Pipper is, Daddy?
Pipper is Bazeembo, the roller bear.
We saw him at the circus. Remember?
One day, Grimbo ran out of bread.
I want bread, Grimbo said.
Make me some bread, or I’ll be dead.
Chp, chp, chp! Gazootles!
Better watch out, Daddy — here he comes.
And here’s Monzle and Kadoodle.
You know who they are. Meendee.
Daddy? Why don’t we live in Nearfar?
Don’t they have any houses?
We could live in a tent. Or a sailboat.
Can sailboats drive on the sand?
Mommy can change the tire.
That way you wouldn’t get mad.
You could eat a hot dog, Daddy.
With mustard on the mountain.
And then when the shepherd boy comes down,
you could give him some ice cream.
Flootle. He plays his bootle.
Daddy? Does a camel’s bump ever get sick?
I can hear Mommy. Do sheep really have wool?
When I get big, I’m going to sing too.
Songs and Letters, January 26, 2006
Categories: Songs and Letters