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by Clark James

It was a cold winter day
about 6 months past May.
We were out in our yard
and the earth was real hard.
With a foot of snow on the ground,
and not a soul to be found,
it was almost too cold to play.

But Willie and me,
we didn’t mind the cold you see
because when you're just a child
winter makes you feel wild
and when you breath in cold air
and get icicles in your hair
you feel one with nature and free.

So anyhow,
back to the story now.
We were looking up at the bright blue sky
when I saw something out the corner of my eye,
dart across the lawn and into the hedge,
then up the tree, and over the ledge.
Willie and me both said WOW!

Well Willie and me were in shock,
because the creature didn’t even knock
a single, teeny, tiny snow flake
from a single branch, but he did make
super strange tracks in the snow.
What it was, we didn’t know,
but they led to a hole under a rock.

In I went, to where I didn’t know,
with Willie behind, in we did go.
It was dark in that tunnel
and kinda shaped like a funnel.
So down into the black we walked.
So scared that neither one of us talked
and that’s when the wind began to blow.

It was a warmish, smell good breeze.
That smelled like pickles in hot melted cheese.
With just a slight hint of well aged rum
red apples, and fish sticks, and bubble gum.
Then the smell of mango chutney shampoo
and a catfish flavored, jellyish goo.

It was almost enough to make you sneeze.

As you can probably, surely guess
our fear became more, and more, and less.
Our tummies, they growled and they grumbled
and through the darkness we fumbled
to find the source of that yummy smell,
so we ran and we ran but we never fell.

Willie and me were hungry, I must confess.

Up ahead, just around a bend,
just when we’d thought it would never end,
we saw a bright light
and thought that it might
be the place to put all of the yummy
things we smelled into our tummy
and where the rest of the day we would spend.

Then around the corner Willie and me spied,
about this thing I’ve never lied,
a giant cricket about 4 feet tall,
preparing a buffet, enough for us all.
We watched it preparing
as we hid there just staring.

We couldn’t have left if we tried.

All of a sudden, he gave us a look.
He saw us both, then turned back to cook.
It seemed all right for us to stay.
We’d try to keep out of his way.
Or maybe it was a she.
Could it be?
For this here story, he’ll be a he.
To know for sure, you’d need a bug book.

The cricket never said a word.
At least not one that I ever heard.
We all sat down at a smallish table.
In the middle sat a jar with a bright green label,
And the jar was full of something smelly.
On the label it read “Mockingbird Jelly”.
Willie and me thought it quite absurd.

We ate it though, and we ate it all.
We ate everything and we had a ball.
Next we ate some mud on a crumpet
with tiny wheat cakes in the shape of a trumpet.
2 fried pigs noses dipped in baked brie.
Then we had salad and drank 4 kinds of tea.
The food was stacked from wall to wall.

It wasn’t over yet, it just began.
Our host cooked liver worst up in a pan
and ground up fresh onion
which he mixed with cow bunion.
He poured some raspberry slop from a can
that dropped with a plop into his pan
and into that he put a whole side of ham.

We ate, and we ate, and we ate some more.
Our stomachs were full and getting so sore.
But that didn’t stop us as you will see.
We haven’t yet had course number three.
He made bitter snail spread, on bitter tree bark
then a full side order, of cream covered lark.
It was covered with gravy that you could pour.

Crunchy French toast smothered with curd.
Made with the feathers of a blue feathered bird.
I had hot cider over roast sesame snake
with a topping of rust from an old garden rake.
Willie had fried turtle, served on it’s back
with a dozen pancakes stacked in a stack
and a bread stick that twisted and curved.

Just when we thought that we were all done,
along came something that made eating more fun.
A scrambled egg in the shape of a bike
with a ketchup sauce that you’d surely like.
With oatmeal cookies in the place of wheels
and tiny bike pedals made from mango peels.
It was then that we thought we had better run.

The Cricket shook his head from side to side.
I swear it’s the truth we never lied.
He opened a counter with little red knobs.
Inside were pies full of little blue globs
of berry surprise and sprinkles of sugars
covered in slimy, little green bugars.

We ate it anyway and we never died.

Pretty soon the feast was completely through
And the kitchen looked like World War Two.
There were dishes piled from floor to ceiling.
A mess so big it sent you reeling.
Oh, all those dishes
that everyone wishes
they never, ever, never have to do.

The cricket escorted us out of the door
and guided us over the dark rocky floor
into the cold winter air up above
where everyone dressed snug as a bug.
He waved us goodbye, and we said so long
and thanked him for having us there for so long.

Then he disappeared inside and stood there no more.

Surly you all must know by now
Willie and me don’t lie, don’t even know how.
It was the most incredible dinner.
The kind that you serve to a marathon winner.

We had the chance to eat and to drink
with a giant cricket, who ever would think?
And it was the tastiest, super, duper good chow.

Wasn’t it nice of him to share with me
and Willie too, a meal for free.

Maybe some day we’ll see him again.
Who knows, not I, I know not when.
I’ll make him a dinner and we’ll have a feast
I’ll invite him over and make roast beasty beast.
And be as generous as I can be.


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