Monday, January 23, 2006

Improbable Bestiary: The Ogre

Amazing Magazine published this poem written by Gwynplaine McIntyre in March of 1985. It wasn’t long after this printing that I became pregnant with my first child. I spent days memorizing this poem, I thought it was adorable. I planned to save the magazine for my daughter, but lost it when we moved just before her birth. I would love to have a copy of it, but not for $13.00 + shipping and handling. Anyway, it has been more than 20 years, and I don’t know how accurate my memory is here. Perhaps, if someone reads this, and knows better, they can let me know.

Improbable Bestiary: The Ogre.

Early one morning, without any warning, while both of his parents lie dreaming,
Young Johnny fell out of his bed with a shout and ran down the corridor screaming!
“An Ogre is under my bed!” Johnny said when his parents both asked what was wrong.
“An Ogre with big hairy fingers this wide! And his sharp pointy teeth are this long!
He’s big and he’s green and he looks really mean and he laughed and he grinned and he made all kinds of noise!
And he said ‘I’m and Ogre, I eat little boys!’
He’s under my bed, take a look!” Johnny said, and his five year old face had turned white.
“He said ‘I’ll go away, little boy, for today, but then I’ll come back and I’ll eat you tonight!’ “
“What a nightmare you had,” said his parents and smiled,
“What a dreamer, what a lad, what a boy, what a child!”
They would not even look underneath Johnny’s bed
for “The ogre was only a nightmare.” they said.


But his grandmother came and she took Johnny’s hand
And she spoke in way little boys understand.
“There will always be ogres to scare you,” she said.
“And monsters will always be under your bed.
You can’t run away from the shadows of fear,
The way to erase them is to stand up a face them,
And fight them and chase them, and they’ll disappear.”
So Johnny went back to his bedroom that night.
He lay in the darkness alone with his fright

And he tried very hard not to cry.
Then the ogre came at him from under the bed.
His big hairy fingers encircled his head.
And the Ogre said “Johnny get ready to die!”


Next morning the house was still as a tomb.
No sound emanated from young Johnny’s room,
But under the door, all along the bare floor,
Trickled something unpleasant and red.
His parents, not knowing what they should expect,
Broke open the door, and they found the place wrecked.
But they pulled Johnny free from beneath the debris.
And he managed to stand, and he pointed his hand
At the thing the corner that quivered and bled.
Johnny said to his parents “The ogre is dead!”


1 comment:

Shmuel said...

This was collected in "MacIntyre's Improbable Bestiary"; you can find the text here. Some differences, but on the whole, good memory!