He was only a simple storyteller
But looked much like a clown,
He wore red, yellow and jingle bells
When coming to our town,
He’d sit outside by the wishing well
And gather up all the kids,
Who’d laugh, and clap their little hands
At everything he did.
The parents, they didn’t like him much,
Their eyes were filled with fear,
They thought, like the Pied Piper, all
Their kids might disappear.
He seemed to be so harmless, though
He won their trust, despite
The stories that he would whisper by
The wishing well each night.
He set up a little pay booth at
The well, and scrawled a sign,
‘I only charge but a dollar each
For the stories that are mine.’
But no-one left any money
At his tiny little hut,
So everyone woke one day to find
Their doors were nailed shut.
And then they found in their gardens
There were strange things in the ground,
All their veggies were growing square
That should be growing round,
He told a tale of ungrateful folk
Who proved to be so mean,
Their square was filling with artichokes,
Their lawns were blue, not green.
He asked, would nobody pay him
For his stories and his verse,
They said there wasn’t a way in hell,
But he could do his worst,
The beer was turned into water down
At all the local bars,
And when they went to go home, they found
They couldn’t start their cars.
They dragged him before a magistrate
Who said, ‘You’re quite a threat,’
He jingled his bells and said, ‘Oh well,
You ain’t seen nothing yet.’
The bench the magistrate sat upon
Was wood, cut down from trees,
And suddenly sprouted branches
Five feet high and thick with leaves.
They couldn’t admit what he had done,
He’d made them look like fools,
He had a rapport with nature and
He’d modified the rules,
‘I’ve only to tell a story, it
Becomes a new creation,
Anything that I want, I get
From my imagination.’
Everyone pays their dollar now
The streets are neat and clean,
The carrots aren’t growing upside down
And even the lawns are green,
But everyone’s still suspicious when
It comes to telling tales,
They still remember about their doors
And hide their hammers and nails.
David Lewis Paget