Critter - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
His name was Rolf,
Rolfie for all the kids
who teased him, daily
while waiting for the yellow bus.
He stood behind the fence
ears perked and all wound up
the driver was a mama of
three hundred pounds or more,
she took a fancy to the critter
and gave him little treats
out of her bulging esky
just one to greet the day.
She always winked at him,
and he winked back at her
as if to say I like you too
and all your blubber is okay.
The day before Thanksgiving,
the snow had just begun,
a foolish postman did a big one-eighty,
in front of Rolf. Knocked down his fence
and slid into the deepest ditch.
It was his chance and Rolfie left
the safety of his property behind.
And as the bus accelerated
he ran, with eager legs and
sudden purpose quite unknown to him.
It had to happen, he slid and disappeared
right under the big monster by GM.
All kids now screamed and pounded
their little fists in great despair,
and one fat foot stomped on the brake,
she flew right out the door and crawled
no athlete could have beaten her
beneath that bus, expecting on this day,
when she had burned her toast
and broke the coffee cup, the one from Rome,
and when there was no time to waste
because the principal would not be kind,
she did expect the smirk of death, of course.
And, burning now her face on red-hot pipes,
while looking in the dark, within the snow
for one sad bundle of a snuffed out life,
the kids, now peeking too, between the tyres,
were startled by her sudden laughter,
by screams of joy and muffled cries.
And there she was, sprawled in the snow
her arms around the stupid critter, tightly.
'Twas very hard to tell for any of the kids
who was the happier right then, between the two.
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