Thursday, November 23, 2006


Overheard yesterday:

“Are you spending Thanksgiving with relatives?”

“No. No relatives. My wife and me are spending a quiet Thanksgiving at home. Ain’t gon’ fight with nobody.”

Now, a lighthearted poem I wrote not long ago for children and for adults like me who remain children while their bodies grow up.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!




Fleming Lee

Pepito had a parakeet,
A gold and purple parakeet.
Looked so sweet!

When Pepito strolled the street,
Also went his parakeet,
Walking on its own two feet.
Little green feet.

When people said, “That is so sweet!”
“Can your bird go, ‘Tweet tweet tweet?’”
“Squawk!” would go the parakeet
Not too neat!

Now gold and purple parakeets
Aren’t meant to squawk when asked to tweet,
So Pepito paid someone to teach
His parakeet to sing.

Madame Lola, skilled in song,
Taught that birdie all day long,
With “Fa la la,” and “,”Mi re do,”
And “Pa- Pa- Pa-geno.”

At last Madame, in music skilled,
Said, “I must tell you, I am not thrilled!”
From goats I’ve heard a nicer trill,
Prettier notes from a purple mandril.”

So Pepito taught his bird to talk,
Talk and talk and talk and talk.
Not just squawk.

The birdie found such joy in speaking
That rarely would its beak stop squeaking.
Late at night it would recite,
While Pepito should be sleeping.

“Oh, parakeet,” Pepito said, lying wide-eyed in his bed,
You make me sorry that to you I’ve read
The books of Cervantes, Twain, and Conrad!
Cover your head!”

To make it worse, the bird conversed too much with everyone he met.
"Hello, and how are you?" would not suffice. He gave advice. He let
The neighbors know his thoughts on every subject from taquitos to Tibet.
He made people sweat. He talked till they squirmed like fish in a net.

So now when Pepito strolled the street
Along with his wordy parakeet,
People who once had called it "sweet" and begged for a “tweet”
Beat a quick retreat.

“From now on,” Pepito told the bird, “I must insist
That from excessive speaking you desist.
The only words I will permit
Are ‘Hello,’ ‘Thanks,’ and ‘Give us a kiss.’
And at night don't even whisper!"

The poor bird began to sigh and weep,
But Pepito finally got some sleep.
Deep, deep sleep.

That very night, as Pepito snored,
The silenced parakeet became so bored
It spread its wings and all the house explored.
Through every door and room it soared.

Lucky for Pepito his pet was such a flier.
Far from Pepito’s room the bird found fire,
Where rats had chewed an electric wire.
Flames jumped higher and higher!

“What can I do?” thought the parakeet.
“Pepito will not let me speak.
One word and he’ll put a padlock on my beak!”
Things looked bleak.

“I must, I must!” the parakeet said,
And flew straight down to Pepito’s bed,
Landed right on Pepito’s head.
“I’ve got to talk!” the parakeet pled.

Pepito groaned and sighed.
“I told you not to talk at night!” he cried.
He yawned and moaned and blinked, red-eyed.
“I cannot doze
With a bird on my nose!”

The parakeet feared Pepito's anger,
But loudly screeched, "You're in great danger!
Flames and smoke! The house is on fire!
Smoke and flames, climbing higher!"

Pepito thought no more of sleeping!
Wrapped in his sheet, from bed he's leaping ,
As down the hall the smoke starts creeping,
Parakeet screaming, Pepito leading, both escaping!

A fire truck came and put out the blaze.
Then,"Listen, all!" Pepito called. "I want to praise
"My parakeet! Because of him my life is saved.
I'll show him my thanks in a thousand ways!"

So now when Pepito goes to walk,
He lets his birdie talk and talk.
And talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.

PEPITO'S PARAKEET Copyright 2006, Fleming Lee

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