The old man rocked and rocked and rocked
The same old chair, the same old place,
The same old frown upon his face.
“Nothing new,” he croaks and sighs
“Everything is made for flies,
I’ve seen it all so now I’ll die.”

His daughter’s daughter clambers up
And gestures mildly with her cup.
“Whaddaya mean, Grampop,” she peeps,
And settles curls on wrinkled cheek.

“All the stories have been told
From time to time, they all are old,
Aged, useless, and so am I.
I’ve seen it all so now I’ll die.”

“You’re silly Grampoppa,” she giggled away,
“I’ve just read a brand new story today
With princesses, dragons and trolls and moats,
And a city in clouds that bobs and floats.”

“Derivative!” snarled the Grumpop, sitting,
“And hardly worth the time, not fitting
For young impressionable minds
Find something better to do with your time.”

“Well Grampop, I don’t believe that’s true.
Every story I read is new.
What about this one – a really great read,
About a young lady and brilliant white steed,
And the horse has great wings, and the lady can fly
On her steed over mountains up into the sky.”

“Child, that’s barely a plot line at best.”

“But Grampop, just wait ’til I tell you the rest.
She saves this whole village she grew up in, poor,
And if that isn’t enough, I’ve got more.

There’s this story about a humongous old mole
Who gets loose and climbs snarling up out of his hole,
But it turns out he only wants jelly beans, stat,
So they feed him and send him back down, how ’bout that?

And then there’s this one with a dog made of rain,
And the one where a berry bush grows from a drain,
And the wishing bench guarded by gnomes and wee elves,
And the furniture people who hide in the shelves.”

“Good grief, my darling, these stories are silly.”

“Oh no they’re not, Grampop, it’s you that is, really.
Don’t tell me you don’t know the one about mops
You can fly on like brooms but you never can stop,
Or the one with the things that hide in the dark,
That turn into dust at the song of the lark.”

“I’ve not heard of that one, I guess. All the same,
What are you thinking to prove with this game?”

“Then there’s the gnat who grows big as the moon,
So he flies off the world into space, none too soon.
The man-eating letters,
The bees who make sweaters,
A macaroni boat on an ocean of cheese!
The mouse with a limp,
The tap-dancing shrimp,
And the circus of kids run by fleas!”

“Okay now, okay!  I get your point, child.
Just where did you read all these stories? They’re wild!
In all of my life, I’ve not heard of such stuff.”

“That’s because, Grampop, I made it all up.”
And she smiled and leapt down off his lap with her cup.

He sat a while rocking and rocking, and slow,
His mind afire with newfound things,
And thoughtfully, watched her blond curls go
On down the hill to make use of the swings.

“Well, sweetheart, what a gift to give:
You’ll never see it all; so live.”










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