Friday, December 24, 2021



 


THE BOY WHO LAUGHED AT SANTA CLAUS  (from Good Intentions Little, Brown& co., publ. 1937)

Ogden Nash (1902-1971)


In Baltimore there lived a boy.

He wasn't anybody's joy.

Although his name was Jabez Dawes,

His character was full of flaws.

In school he never led his classes,

He hid old ladies' reading glasses, 

His mouth was open when he chesed,

And elbows to the table glued.


He stole the mild of hungry kittens,

And walsked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.

He said he acted thus because 

There wasn't any Santa Claus.

Another trick that tickled Jabez

Was crying "Boo!" at little babies.

He brushed his teeth, they said in town,

Sideways instead of up and down.  


Yet people pardoned every sin,

And viewed his antics with a grin,

Til they were told by Jabez Dawes,

"There isn't any Santa Claus!"

Deploring how he did behave,

His parents swiftly sought their grave.

They hurried through the portals pearly,

And Jabez left the funeral early.


Like whooping cough, from child to child,

He sped to spread the rumor wild:

"Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes

There isn't any Santa Claus!"

Slunk like a weasel or a marten

Through nursery and kindergarten,

Whispering low to every tot,

"There isn't any, no there's not!"


The children wept all Christmas Eve

And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.

No infant dared hang up his stocking

For fear of Jabez' ribald mocking.

He sprawled on his untidy bed,

Fresh malice dancing in his head,

When presently with scalp a-tingling,

Jabez heard a distant jingling;

He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof

Crisply alighting on the roof.


What good to rise and bar the door?

A shower of soot was on the floor.

What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?

The fireplace full of Santa Claus!

Then Jabez fell upon his knees

With cries of "Don't," and "Pretty Please."

He hawled, "I don't know where you read it,

But anyhow, I never said it!"


"Jabez", replied the angry saint,

"It isn't I, it's you that ain't.

Although there is a Santa Claus,

There isn't any Jabez Dawes!"

Said Jabez then with impudent vim,

"Oh, yes there is;  and I am him!

Your magic don't scare me, it doesn't" -

And suddenly he found he wasn't!


From grimy feet to unkempt locks

Jabez became a jack-in-the-box,

An ugly, vastly ghastly jack

In Santa Claus's bulging pack.

The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;

They searched for him, but not with zeal.

No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,

which led to thunderous applause,

And people drank a loving cup

And went and hung their stockings up.


All you who sneer at Santa Claus,

Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,

The saucy boy who mocked the saint.

Donder and Blitzen licked off his paint.


Nash published over twenty books of his inimitable "poetry", to the thankful delight of many unserious souls.  One of his last recommendations to his faithful readers:  "Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long."

22 comments:

  1. That made me laugh. XD I'm getting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory vibes from Jabez Dawes' demise!

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    1. Nash is a mood booster rocket for sure, lol...

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  2. Ha, ha! That's a great one. Ogden Nash is so much fun.

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    1. i think so too... i'd like to get all his books, but they're hard to find... i get almost as much fun from his work as from Walt Kelley's Pogo...

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    2. Are there really 20? That means there are still more I could find! It's true I haven't seen any in a used book store or anything in a long time.

      And Merry Christmas!

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    3. and the same to you, Reese!! they probably can be found on Abebooks, for (gasp) money... i've got three and am always looking for more, haha...

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    1. HAHA!! indeed! a social morality tale if nothing else! (tx for the comment!)

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  4. Hilarious poem! I love it. And I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. :D

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    1. you as well, Ms. L... (1st poem of the season, haha...)

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  5. A truly bad little boy!

    Merry Christmas to you and Mrs Mudpuddle!

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  6. Love this! I hope you had a great Christmas.

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    1. just got the power back on after being out for 12 hours, so it's good at the moment, lol... until it happens again: snowing all day, about a foot so far...

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  7. Happy New Year, Mudpuddle! Hope you and Mrs M are staying safe. We were snowed-in for a bit here!

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    1. we're still snowed in! it's been a week now; hopefully it will get better pretty quick. we lost power 4 or 5 times, once for 12 hours... trouble with car batteries: utilizing my car repair skills which is okay except for the cold...17 last nite... and Happy New Year to you and yours as well!!

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    2. Wow, 17!! :O Hang in there!

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  8. Replies
    1. LOL! tx for the comment, C... i thought it was pretty good, myself...

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