This “The Back Page” appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of Texoma Living!.
Eustis McGurk was a meek little clerk
Who worked in a local bookstore.
When the circus came round to Eustis’s town
He decided his life was a bore.
So he walked up the hill in search of a thrill
And applied at the Big Top for work.
“But what can you do?” asked the boss of the crew,
And Eustis replied with a smirk.
“I can tame the big cats, and if you think that that
“Is too simple and quite ordinary
“In the cage I will slip, without gun or whip
“And do it in ways literary.”
The boss said, “I see, but it seems to me,
“That those felines might end your career,
“But I’ll not say no, so in you may go,
“And if you come out, we’ll all cheer.”
Eustis reached in the sack that he had on his back
And pulled out a tome most delightful
He gave it a look and then put back the book
Saying “Chaucer is far too exciteful.”
Then with a grin, he reached in again
And withdrew a volume of Dickens
“I know this will work, or my name’s not McGurk
“With this they will be easy pickin’s.”
Then he entered the cage with only a page
Or two from “Oliver Twist.”
And he stood by the door while the beasties did roar
And with finger to lips did insist,
“Be quiet my friends for I’d like to begin,”
Then as silence came o’re the wild climes,
The brave little man with the book in his hand
Started reading between the lions.
One cat gave a twitch; one scratched at an itch
And another one started to snore
Eustis thought it not odd when they started to nod
And stretched out upon the cage floor.
As Eustis read on, the beasts started to yawn
Soon lions piled upon lions in a heap.
Said Eustis, “It’s true, for I always knew,
That Dickens will put one to sleep.”
The Near-sighted Hawk
A near-sighted hawk, went out for a walk
To hunt for his dinner one day.
He wanted to fly, but from way up on high
He couldn’t distinguish his prey.
He came on a rabbit, but was too late to grab it
And the bunny hopped under a tree.
So he had to admit, that he just wasn’t fit
To catch what he couldn’t quite see.
Being an optimist, he sought an optometrist
To find out if glasses would work.
The doc made the hawk lenses, but some of his friends
Said the frames made him look like a jerk.
So he gave in to pride, put the glasses aside
And took off to soar high above,
Soon through the haze of his own fuzzy gaze
The hawk thought he spotted a dove.
Downward he hurled with his talons unfurled
Though he wasn’t quite sure of his goal
Too late to pull out, the hawk saw with no doubt
The brass eagle atop the flagpole.
When he awoke, he was battered and broke
His beak and his talons were wrecks
And from then on he knew, that when ever he flew
He should faithfully put on his specs.
Moral: Sometimes it takes a bit of
brass to make things clear.