Once upon a time a teacher,
by Herbert Nehrlich
partial to most any creature,
had retired to his bed.
Slept as if he had been dead.
And, to illustrate my story,
I am sure you won't be sorry,
I will show you what transpired,
how the very much admired
teacher had a common habit,
he would curl up like a rabbit.
Sleep as soundly as he could,
wearing his combed cotton hood.
Teacher never had been married,
thus no lucky lady carried
in her heart his noble name.
But to him 'twas all the same.
Not that ladies found him boring,
not at all, it was his snoring
which would chase them from his pillow.
And when he went and cut the willow
down by the river's eastern edge,
the symbol of his new-found pledge,
he vowed to never share his pillow
and carried home that lovely willow
to feed his Swedish fireplace,
foreseeeing though the likely case
of loneliness to come at night.
He went to town and bought a kite
as well as one She-Teddybear,
the latter was to always share
his bed to keep the blues away.
The former would be for the day.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that
the teacher owned a pussycat.
But cats have (and I think the same)
a brain (so many people claim)
of tyrant and unkind persuasion
this cat, a manx, was also Asian.
In any case the kitty chased
each night the insects that were based
inside the house, in hiding places.
When caught she'd rip apart their faces
and eat them with an appetite
that even in the heat of night
could well be heard up near the school.
The cat would smack and purr and drool.
But this did not lead to estrangement
because the gist of the arrangement
was that he was quite unaware
that his own cat (her name was Claire)
was into nightlife in a way
that would look odd during the day.
That night, which is this story's feature,
saw moonlight shining on the teacher.
The cat was prowling through the house
in hopes of locating a mouse.
She used the seven-prong approach
and always caught herself a roach
if bigger prizes did elude.
That night she was in splendid mood.
Meanwhile, in bed the teacher snored,
mouth open wide, his music scored
at least one hundred-ten dB
(that's strength of sound, my friend, you see) .
His teeth were resting in a glass,
right next to bracelets of pure brass.
Out of the stainless laundry shute
emerged a roach, in hot pursuit
was Claire, but on the stainless steel
cat claws do not develop feel.
So right away the cat was sliding,
the roach looked for a place of hiding.
In utter panic, desperation,
the man who dwelled in deep sedation
seemed at this moment to present
escape from the predicament.
So, with tremendous speed and skill
the roach jumped in the, if you will
cavernous haven, with no light.
It was the middle of the night.
Inside the mouth of man and beast
most often one can find at least
a couple clever hiding places,
though it is different in those cases
where rampant periodontitis,
perhaps some angular cheilitis,
have sent the biting tools away.
And in the case of our hero
the molar count came up with zero.
With Claire still there, now on a chair
and getting well prepared to stare
inside the cave of only gums,
the roach now prayed and did his sums,
and, using some of teacher's spit
to grease the passage just a bit,
he slid into the pitch black gullet
resembling now a speeding mullet.
At this exact historic moment,
the gag reflex, a true component
of regions north of the true gut
did recognise that some weird nut
had entered the restricted space.
The signal came from brain to base
'EJECT, EJECT', and with a force
that makes you wonder where the source
of all this power may be hidden.
The roach that had gone in, unbidden
flew out, quite straight and heading south....
into the smiling, open mouth.....
of Claire who happened to be there.
I do not know if we could learn
from this a lesson somewhat stern.
But let me add that in the morning
the teacher found that, now adorning
his pillow, next to cute Miss Teddy
lay see-through pieces of confetti,
two little bits that looked like wings.
The teacher asked 'who brought these things? '
And, for the first time in existence,
while overcoming strong resistance,
Miss Teddy spoke and said quite clearly:
' Last night some creature did pay dearly
for venturing close to your heart.
He was an ugly looking fart,
as to those two translucent things...
cats never do eat cockroach wings.'