Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kangaroo & Kangaroo

My parents uncovered one of my books from when I was a kid, which revolves around a poem concerning hoarder kangaroos. It's out of print and exceedingly difficult to find, so I'm posting the poem.

Kangaroo and Kangaroo
Just like me and just like you
Except that they were kangaroo
And hadn't very much to do
But spend their lives collecting stuff
Afraid they would not have enough.
For everything they found a space
Because they figured --"just in case...".

"Just in case we need a bit, we'd better save a lot of it.
Just in case the martians come
We'll have the stuff and give them some.
Just in case, well just in case..."
And so they filled up every space.

The house was filled from floor to floor
With brics and bracs and then some more.
Every room was overstuffed,
Every pillow overpuffed.
The closet doors could hardly hide
The piles of stuff piled up inside.
Indeed so full were drawers and shelves
They almost couldn't fit themselves!

The first floor had a rocking chair
A darning egg shaped like a pear,
An anchor from a fishing boat
A 1920's old fur coat.
A portrait of their old aunt Lil
And old aunt Lil's old coffee mill,
A fishing rod, a fishing reel,
A green contraption with a wheel,

A section that was full of crates
And single shoes that had no mates.
Of fountain pens that had no ink
And yes, there was a kitchen sink
In which a bike took up the space,
And left no room to wash one's face.

The second floor was just the same,
And had more things than you could name.
Among them, though, to name just some,
A basketful of bubble gum
Potted plants and pots and pans
Corners crammed with coffee cans
Eight keys, a goat and seven limes,
And one whole room of Sunday times.

The attic too was very full
Of skeins of golden knitting wool,
With gramophones and green guitars
And pictures showing baseball stars.
And on a trunk of tools was set
A plaster bust of Lafayette.
Each day they filled another space,
To satisfy the "just in case".

There wasn't room for one thing more
Except a spot behind the door,
And there, with hardly room to sneeze
The kangaroos themselves did squeeze.
Said one "you know it's time to eat
Lets go and get ourselves a treat,
I'd love a piece of chocolate fudge
But neither kangaroo could budge!

For days they stood behind the door
And as their stomachs rumbled more
They dwelt upon their sad distress
And tried to figure out the mess.
"I've got it!" said one finally
We'll give it all away for free!"


"For free?" Oh dear oh dear
I can't be hearing what I hear
Give it all away? You're mad!
Things could never be that bad!"
"Oh yes they could, what's more,
They're worse! This stuff of ours is like a curse.
Bur while our things do us no good
There must be some for whom they would --
Now let's get going one two three
And start to give it out for free".

By now of course the two were thin,
So, pulling both their bellies in,
They squeezed their way along the floor
And somehow schwuzled out the door.
Then quickly made a sign with zeal
That said:

It's Free, It's Just For You
Signed, Kangaroo and Kangaroo

And soon a crowd had gathered there
But all the people did was stare.
The kangaroos were at a lack
To know why folks were holding back.
And finally from out the crowd
A little boy cried out aloud.
"Free? For free? It couldn't be
I can't be seeing what I see".

"Of course you're seeing what you see!
Anything you want is free,
And incidentally, little boy,
You might like a special toy
That's in the box that's on the chair
That's near the desk beneath the stair"
The boy replied "but what's the catch?
You're sure there are no strings attached?"
"Why sure there's string, third room in back,
It's in an orange leather sack."

And finally, convinced at last,
The people started moving fast
They cleared out every bit of stuff
Except the house (enough's enough).
"Thank you for the soldier's hat
I've always wanted one like that"
"Thank you for the model train
I left my old one in the rain"
"Thank you for the potted plant
It's just the thing to give my aunt".

And last of all, the little boy
Said, holding tightly to his toy
"A boatmobile! How could you tell!
Boy, you fellas sure are swell!"

The kangaroos felt wonderful
With house quite bare and hearts quite full.
"You see" said one "who needs full shelves
When all good things come from ourselves?"
"You're right! We needn't save up stuff
And be afraid of not enough .....

But, since we've not kept anything
It wouldn't hurt to save this string....
We might need paper too, some day,
No need to throw it all away.
I can't help feeling 'just in case'
And after all