Sidi J. Mahtrow
Archy the Flying Cockroach
Birds do it,
Bees do it,
Even man has to try.
But can cockroaches really fly?
Archy pondered this though in his head
While munching on a bit of stale, but delicious bread.
Why not? Have I not wings,
In fact two pairs of these flighty things?
How to use them was the question of the hour
No instructions came with them for this endeavour.
Of the finest materials they were made
Just right for power flying or to glide.
A running jump was out of the question
Too much effort would give him indigestion.
Or perhaps to wait for a fair breeze
To lift him as gently as you please.
Time was of the essence as the clock ticked away
Soon, out would come Mehitabel at the break of day.
She'd no doubt laugh and have her fun
To see Archy in a flight, just begun.
No a proper launch would be the way
To enter this event, come what may.
To the edge of the cabinet he boldly walked,
Unfolding his wings that had been so carefully packed.
Testing the wind to see if there was a proper course
Like human pilots wanting to get it in their face.
Unfortunate in this room so small
There was not a breath of wind at all.
What was the words that parachutists say?
Geronomo! That's it as they jump out the bay.
So with this into the air, did Archy leap
A leap of faith as he left his feet.
Soaring freely in the air,
This is fun, he thought without a care.
To the left and right he did go
Flexing his wings too and fro.
Suddenly afright. Impending doom.
Directly in front, a terror loomed.
The fridge with its steel exterior
Brought fear of a crashing terror.
Pull up! Pull up! In panic he cried,
And just in time the wall he shied.
Now upward he soared in flight
Wings a-flapping with all his might.
Now he discovered the curse of flyers everywhere,
A power-stall with nose pointed in the air.
Suddenly throughout the wings and body; tremors
As air no longer flowed over the outstretched members.
In mid air, Archy was suspended
But downward was the course, now intended.
A spiral our flying roach fell into,
Toward terra firma and death too.
Remembering from a book whose cover he once had enjoyed,
Use the rudder and flaps to gain some air were the instructions to be employed.
Alas, he had neither at his command
What to do in this instant head stand.
He wiggled his abdomen with a frantic twist
And success! It appeared the floor he would miss.
Zooming again, up, up and away
He would live to fly another day.
But something told Archy that there was another problem in the air
Everything was upside down, including the table and the chair.
For he saw that in his recovery,
He was flying belly up, not a pleasant discovery.
Wings that once to the cockroach were gifted,
Now, no matter how he tried he was not lifted.
A crash was what he had in store
As he approached the kitchen floor.
On the slick oaken surface, to his final resting place
Archy skidded upside-down in disgrace.
And there Mehitabel found him in the early morning light
Feet up in the air. Dead. Surely done in by fright.
But this story has a happy ending
Archy's life was not suspended.
Once made upright on four legs or more,
He skedaddled neath the pantry door.
So we are told.
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