Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Black Beetle

My boy and I were poking in the dirt when a little black beetle poked its head out of a hole and scuttled into our field of view. And from the depths of my long-past childhood, from a funny book with a tattered dust jacket, this came flowing out my mouth:

I found a little beetle; so that Beetle was his name.
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the day...
And Nanny let me beetle out,
Yes, Nanny let my beetle out,
She went and let my beetle out,
And beetle ran away.

She said she didn't mean it, and I never said she did,
She said she wanted matches and she just took off the lid.
She said that she was sorry, but it's difficult to catch
An excited sort of beetle you've mistaken for a match...

-AA Milne ('Forgiven')*

There's even a song version of it by Melanie (of 'Brand New Key' fame). If you have small people, I highly recommend Now We Are Six (or When We Were Very Young), if you're after a bunch of short or long poems for children. 

* There are several more verses but, for copyright reasons, I can't reproduce them here. In a few more years, when AA Milne has been dead for 70 years, then his creations enter the public domain. I'm sure Disney will try their hardest to have those laws amended to keep hold of their Winnie the Pooh licencing, much as they did with Mickey Mouse. 

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