Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Skippery Boo by Earl L. Newton

The Skippery Boo

By Earl L. Newton

I went to bring,

From the rippling spring,

One morning dry and damp,

A brimming pail

Of Adam's ale

For use about the camp;

My happy frame

Did well proclaim

A cheerful bent of mind,

And I hummed a song,

As I loped along,

Of the most enchanting kind.

But my heart stood still,

As I turned the hill,

And the spring came to my view,

For drinking there

Of the potion rare,

Was the terrible Skippery Boo.

He drank his fill

From the flowing rill,

And shook his mighty mane,

Then with his jaws

And his hairy paws,

He ripped a tree in twain.

With fear and dread

To camp I sped,

For my trusty .30 bore,

Then turned about

With daring shout,

And sought the spring once more;

But though my feet

With speed were fleet,

As o'er the glade I flew,

No sign was there

On earth, in air,

Of the slippery Skippery Boo.

To left and right

I strained my sight,

To find where he had gone,

Among the pines

I sought for signs,

But found not a single one.

To East and West

I turned my quest,

But all to no avail,

No trace I found

On gorse or ground,

Of his departing trail.

And then aloft

My gaze I doffed,

And there in the hazy blue,

On the topmost spine

Of the tallest pine,

Hung the fabulous Skippery Boo.

Oh, the Skippery Boo

Is a fanciful zoo:

A mermaid and a bat,

A grizzly hare

And a webfoot bear,

A goof and a bumble-cat.

He can fell an oak

With a single stroke,

Or shatter a mountain side,

Then lightly rise

To the azure skies,

And light as a zephyr ride.

My heart he fills

With terror's chills,

Oh, don't know what I'd do,

If some dark night,

In broad daylight,

I should meet a Skippery Boo.

A poison flows

From his warty toes,

And the grass where he shall tread,

Shall wilt and fade

At evening's shade,

And tomorrow shall be dead.

And who shall walk

Where he shall stalk,

O'er valley, hill or plain,

Shall die, 'tis said,

Of illness dread,

And a terrible dark-green pain.

So as you wade

This vale of shade,

And jog life's journey through,

At day, at night,

Be it dark or light,

Watch out for the Skippery Boo.

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