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Art Lee: A tale in rhyme from a past Christmas time (with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe)

Once upon a midnight dreary

While we pondered weak and weary

Wrapping this year’s Christmas toys

Suddenly there came a rapping

As if someone were gently tapping

Tapping on our bedroom door.

“Twas the kids! and nothing more.

Said two small voices (there are no more)

“Whad-ja doin’ Dad upon the floor?”

Quoth their father, “Shut the door.”

Finally we finished wrapping

And settled back to do some mapping

Mapping plans on where to store

Store the presents from the corps.

We decided then upon the closet

As a good place to deposit

Deposit when they start to snore

Quoth their parents, “What a chore!”

“What a chore” repeated mother

Should we go to such a bother?

To tie so carefully, then see them destroyed

By four small hands, with gleeful joy.

See them broken, crushed and mangled

Jumped on, sat on, hit and jangled

And two days later, hear them say with

Passionate wailing, “We’ve nothing’ to play with!”

Quoth their mother, “They’ll keep us poor.”

Feeling we had done our best

We finally settled back to rest

To sit and ponder, think and sigh

At the many events of the year gone by:

Things like concerts, songs and choirs

Plus barbershop singing and picnic fires;

Things like painting and refinishing wood

Like clocks, chests and chairs  — the best we could

Things like canoeing, with fumbling strokes

Things like long trips to visit our folks;


Things like camping and walks and schools

And hunting and fishing in our 10,000 pools.

Things like enduring cold nights at home

Then caring no more to winter roam;

All curled up with TIME (or LADIES HOME JOURNAL)

Or a book on Yogi, that bear infernal

Sipping coffee or cocoa — or something new

Like a refreshing(?) taste of Art’s home brew;

Things like good friends, good talk, good food

Things like good books, good letters, good news.

All these we remember; it’s really no riddle

If one just sits back and thinks just a little

‘Cause good things we’ve had; our sorrows but few

We hope all of you can say all this too.

So another good year in Bemidji

(And nothing rhymes with that but “fridgy”)

Are other couples just like us’n?

With little kids always fussin’?

We’re parents jus’ trying to stay afloat

To pay the bills — and live on hope.

Yet extra gifts this Xmas season!?

Will kids grow up with appreciation?

O Wise Spirit, give us the answer:

Was it right to give these extras?

Quoth Paul Bunyan:  “Yeah, yew betcha.”


At the start of this season

We’re a bit “in the dumps”

Because for this reason:

Art has the mumps.