My pa he didn’t go to town
Last evening after tea,
But got a book and settled down
As comfy as could be.
I’ll tell you I was offul glad
To have my pa about
To answer all the things I had
Been tryin’ to find out.
And so I asked him why the world
Is round instead of square,
And why the piggies’ tails are curled,
And why don’t fish breathe air?
And why the moon don’t hit a star,
And why the dark is black,
And just how many birds there are,
And will the wind come back?
And why does water stay in wells,
And why do June bugs hum,
And what’s the roar I hear in shells,
And when will Christmas come?
And why the grass is always green,
Instead of sometimes blue,
And why a bean will grow a bean
And not an apple, too?
And why a horse can’t learn to moo,
And why a cow can’t neigh?
And do the fairies live on dew,
And what makes hair grow gray—
And then my pa got up an’ gee!
The offul words he said,
I hadn’t done a things, but he
Jest sent me off to bed.
This poem is hardly like our Pa at all. He is more than willing to explain things to the children in matter-of-fact detail and it always astounds me just how much he does know from identifying historic military hardware, the pH levels of various liquids and the origins of geomorphic structures to handy knowledge about calculator functions, the locations of capital cities of the world and how to grow pond weed. Which gives me the perfect out. "Go and ask your Father" I say, and they do.
Illustration: Cool Daddy Rat by Mike Lester.