Ballad of the Parakeets


A burst of thunder shook the house

As lightning pierced the night.

Then Johnson looked around and saw

No human ones in sight.

He moved with stealthy, padded steps

Across the room, unseen.

While wind howled noisily outside,

He stopped and scanned the scene—

One candle on the window sill,

One curtain swinging free,

One white-barred parakeet abode

For Fred and Carolee.

Old Johnson studied carefully

The peaceful, sleeping pair

And smiled at their quietness—

A circumstance quite rare.

With one swift leap, he took his place

Atop the window sill,

And patiently he waited there,

His body poised and still.

A sudden bolt of lightning

Split the calm in two,

And Johnson jumped into the air

As he had planned to do.

His furry form collided with

The silver candle stick

And sent it tumbling to the floor,

Effectively and quick.

It only took a minute more

To set the drapes ablaze,

And soon the couple’s dwelling place

Was swallowed in a haze.

Old Johnson bounded for the door

Trailed by wisps of smoke,

And mid the flaming, falling ash,

The parakeets awoke.

Safe outside, the scheming cat

Thought he smelled burnt feathers.

He thought of future peace

And smiled for stormy weather.

One thought on “Ballad of the Parakeets

  1. I find this is one of the poems I re-read frequently. Especially like: “One candle in the windowsill/One curtain swinging free/One white barred parakeet abode/for Fred and Carolee”


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