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Where the Sidewalk Ends, Page 2

Shel Silverstein

  Loved them more than shining diamonds.

  Loved them more than glistenin' gold.

  Hector called to all the people,

  "Come and share my treasure trunk!"

  And all the silly sightless people

  Came and looked ... and called it junk.


  INVENTION I've done it,I've done it!

  Guess what I've done!

  Invented a light that plugs into the sun.

  The sun is bright enough,

  The bulb is strong enough.

  But, oh, there's only one thing wrong...

  The cord ain't long enough.




  THE GOOGIES ARE COMING The googies are coming, the old people say,

  To buy little children and take them away.

  Fifty cents for fat ones.

  Twenty cents for lean ones.

  Fifteen cents for dirty ones.

  Thirty cents for clean ones,

  A nickel each for mean ones.

  The googies are coming, and maybe tonight.

  To buy little children and lock them up tight.

  Eighty cents for husky ones.

  Quarter for the weak ones.

  Penny each for noisy ones,

  A dollar for the meek ones.

  Forty cents for happy ones.

  Eleven cents for sad ones.

  And, kiddies, when they come to buy.

  It won't do any good to cry.

  But-just between yourself and I-

  They never buy the bad ones!

  5151 52

  FOR SALE One sister for sale!

  One sister for sale!

  One crying and spying young sister for sale!

  I'm really not kidding.

  So who'll start the bidding?

  Do I hear a dollar?

  A nickel?

  A penny?

  Oh, isn't there, isn't there, isn't there any

  One kid who will buy this old sister for sale.

  This crying and spying young sister for sale?




  SLEEPING SARDINES "I'm tired of eating just beans," says I,

  So I opened a can of sardines.

  But they started to squeak,

  "Hey, we're tryin' to sleep.

  We were snuggled up tight

  Till you let in the light.

  You big silly sap, let us finish our nap.

  Now close up the lid!"

  So that's what I did___

  Will somebody please pass the beans?


  ONE INCH TALL If you were only one inch tall, you'd ride a worm to school.

  The teardrop of a crying antwould be your swimming pool.

  A crumb of cake would be a feast

  And last you seven days at least,

  A flea would be a frightening beast

  If you were one inch tall.

  If you were only one inch tall, you'd walk beneath the door,

  And it would take about a month to get down to the store.

  A bit of fluff would be your bed,

  You'd swing upon a spider's thread.

  And wear a thimble on your head

  If you were one inch tall.

  You'd surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.

  You couldn't hug your mama, you'd just have to hug her thumb.

  You'd run from people's feet in fright.

  To move a pen would take all night,

  (This poem took fourteen years to write-

  'Cause I'm just one inch tall).


  ENTER THIS DESERTED HOUSE But please walk softly as you do.

  Frogs dwell here and crickets too.

  Ain't no ceiling, only blue

  Jays dwell here and sunbeams too.

  Floors are flowers-take a few.

  Ferns grow here and daisies too.

  Whoosh, swoosh-too-whit, too-woo,

  Bats dwell here and hoot owls too.

  Ha-ha-ha, hee-hee, hoo-hoooo.

  Gnomes dwell here and goblins too.

  And my child, I thought you knew

  I dwell here ... and so do you.



  SICK "I cannot go to school today,"

  Said little Peggy Ann McKay.

  "I have the measles and the mumps,

  A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

  My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,

  I'm going blind in my right eye.

  My tonsils are as big as rocks,

  I've counted sixteen chicken pox

  And there's one more-that's seventeen.

  And don't you think my face looks green?

  My leg is cut, my eyes are blue-

  It might be instamatic flu.

  I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,

  I'm sure that my left leg is broke-


  My hip hurts when I move my chin, My belly button's caving in.

  My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,

  My 'pendix pains each time it rains.

  My nose is cold, my toes are numb,

  I have a sliver in my thumb.

  My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,

  I hardly whisper when I speak.

  My tongue is filling up my mouth,

  I think my hair is falling out.

  My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight.

  My temperature is one-o-eight.

  My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,

  There is a hole inside my ear.

  I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?

  What's that? What's that you say?

  You say today is ... Saturday?

  G'bye, I'm going out to play!"


  UPSTAIRS There's a family of wrens who live upstairs.

  Upstairs, upstairs, upstairs,

  Inside my hat, all cozy in

  My hair, my hair, my hair.

  I've moved a dozen times and still

  They're there, they're there, they're there.

  I'd like to get away from them.

  But where, but where, but where?

  This hat just isn't big enough

  To share, to share, to share.

  But now I see you're bored and you

  Don't care, don't care, don't care

  'Bout the wrens who live inside

  My hair, my hair, my hair.


  THE GARDEN Ol' man Simon, planted a diamond.

  Grew hisself a garden the likes of none.

  Sprouts all growin', comin' up glowin'.

  Fruit of jewels all shinin' in the sun.

  Colors of the rainbow.

  See the sun and rain grow

  Sapphires and rubies on ivory vines,

  Grapes of jade, just

  Ripenin' in the shade, just

  Ready for the squeezin' into green jade wine.

  Pure gold corn there,

  Blowin' in the warm air,

  Ol' crow nibblin' on the amnythyst seeds.

  In between the diamonds, ol' man Simon

  Crawls about pullin' out platinum weeds.

  Pink pearl berries.

  All you can carry.

  Put 'em in a bushel and

  Haul 'em into town.

  Up in the tree there's

  Opal nuts and gold pears-

  Hurry quick, grab a stick

  And shake some down.

  Take a silver tater.

  Emerald tomater,

  Fresh plump coral melons

  Hangin' in reach.

  Ol' man Simon,

  Diggin' in his diamonds.

  Stops and rests and dreams about

  One ... real... peach.


  JUMPING ROPE This started out as a

  jumping rope

  You prob'ly think that

  I'm a dope

  But this started out as a
/>   jumping rope

  And now I fear there is

  no hope

  But this started out as a

  jumping rope.


  WHO Who can kick a football

  From here out to Afghanistan?

  I can!

  Who fought tigers in the street

  While all the policemen ran and hid?

  I did!

  Who will fly and have X-ray eyes-

  And be known as the man no bullet can kill?

  I will!

  Who can sit and tell lies all night?

  I might!


  Her mama said, "Don't eat with your fingers."

  "OK," said Ridiculous Rose,

  So she ate with her toes!


  WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS There is a place where the sidewalk ends

  And before the street begins.

  And there the grass grows soft and white.

  And there the sun burns crimson bright.

  And there the moon-bird rests from his flight

  To cool in the peppermint wind.

  Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black

  And the dark street winds and bends.

  Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow

  We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow.

  And watch where the chalk-white arrows go

  To the place where the sidewalk ends.

  Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow.

  And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,

  For the children, they mark, and the children, they know

  The place where the sidewalk ends.


  SNOWMAN 'Twas the first day of the springtime,

  And the snowman stood alone

  As the winter snows were melting.

  And the pine trees seemed to groan,

  "Ah, you poor sad smiling snowman,

  You'll be melting by and by."

  Said the snowman, "What a pity.

  For I'd like to see July.

  Yes, I'd like to see July, and please don't ask me why.

  But I'd like to, yes I'd like to, oh I'd like to see July."

  Chirped a robin, just arriving,

  "Seasons come and seasons go,

  And the greatest ice must crumble

  When it's flowers' time to grow.

  And as one thing is beginning

  So another thing must die.

  And there's never been a snowman

  Who has ever seen July.

  No, they never see July, no matter how they try.

  No, they never ever, never ever, never see July."

  But the snowman sniffed his carrot nose

  And said, "At least I'll try,"

  And he bravely smiled his frosty smile

  And blinked his coal-black eye.

  And there he stood and faced the sun

  A blazin' from the sky-

  And I really cannot tell you

  If he ever saw July.

  Did he ever see July? You can guess as well as I

  If he ever, if he never, if he ever saw July.



  Went to the dentist

  And sat down in the chair.

  And the dentist said, "Now tell me, sir.

  Why does it hurt and where?"

  And the Crocodile said, "I'll tell you the truth,

  I have a terrible ache in my tooth,"

  And he opened his jaws so wide, so wide.

  That the dentist, he climbed right inside.

  And the dentist laughed, "Oh isn't this fun?"

  As he pulled the teeth out, one by one.

  And the Crocodile cried, "You're hurting me so!

  Please put down your pliers and let me go."

  But the dentist just laughed with a Ho Ho Ho,

  And he said, "I still have twelve to go-

  Oops, that's the wrong one, I confess.

  But what's one crocodile's tooth, more or less?"

  Then suddenly, the jaws went SNAP,

  And the dentist was gone, right off the map.

  And where he went one could only guess ...

  To North or South or East or West...

  He left no forwarding address.

  But what's one dentist, more or less?

  67 67



  THUMBS Oh the thumb-sucker's thumb

  May look wrinkled and wet

  And withered, and white as the snow.

  But the taste of a thumb

  Is the sweetest taste yet

  (As only we thumb-suckers know).


  If you tell me the wild boar

  Has twenty teeth, I'll say, "Why shore."

  Or say that he has thirty-three,

  That number's quite all right with me.

  Or scream that he has ninety-nine,

  I'll never say that you are lyin',

  For the number of teeth

  In a wild boar's mouth

  Is a subject I'm glad

  I know nothing abouth.


  LESTER Lester was given a magic wish

  By the goblin who lives in the banyan tree,

  And with his wish he wished for two more wishes-

  So now instead of just one wish, he cleverly had three.

  And with each one of these

  He simply wished for three more wishes.

  Which gave him three old wishes, plus nine new.

  And with each of these twelve

  He slyly wished for three more wishes,

  Which added up to forty-six-or is it fifty-two?

  Well anyway, he used each wish

  To wish for wishes 'til he had

  Five billion, seven million, eighteen thousand thirty-four.

  And then he spread them on the ground

  And clapped his hands and danced around

  And skipped and sang, and then sat down

  And wished for more.

  And more... and more ... they multiplied

  While other people smiled and cried

  And loved and reached and touched and felt.

  Lester sat amid his wealth

  Stacked mountain-high like stacks of gold.

  Sat and counted-and grew old.

  And then one Thursday night they found him

  Dead-with his wishes piled around him.

  And they counted the lot and found that not

  A single one was missing.

  All shiny and new-here, take a few

  And think of Lester as you do.

  In a world of apples and kisses and shoes

  He wasted his wishes on wishing.



  Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout

  Would not take the garbage out!

  She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans.

  Candy the yams and spice the hams,

  And though her daddy would scream and shout.

  She simply would not take the garbage out.

  And so it piled up to the ceilings:

  Coffee grounds, potato peelings.

  Brown bananas, rotten peas.

  Chunks of sour cottage cheese.

  It filled the can, it covered the floor.

  It cracked the window and blocked the door

  With bacon rinds and chicken bones.

  Drippy ends of ice cream cones.

  Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,

  Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,

  Pizza crusts and withered greens.

  Soggy beans and tangerines.

  Crusts of black burned buttered toast.

  Gristly bits of beefy roasts ...

  The garbage rolled on down the hall.

  It raised the roof, it broke the wall...r />

  Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs. Globs of gooey bubble gum.

  Cellophane from green baloney.

  Rubbery blubbery macaroni,

  Peanut butter, caked and dry.

  Curdled milk and crusts of pie.

  Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,

  Eggshells mixed with lemon custard.

  Cold french fries and rancid meat.

  Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.

  At last the garbage reached so high

  That finally it touched the sky.

  And all the neighbors moved away.

  And none of her friends would come to play.

  And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,

  "OK, I'll take the garbage out!"

  But then, of course, it was too late ...

  The garbage reached across the state.

  From New York to the Golden Gate.

  And there, in the garbage she did hate.

  Poor Sarah met an awful fate.

  That I cannot right now relate

  Because the hour is much too late.

  But children, remember Sarah Stout

  And always take the garbage out!


  DRATS Can anyone lend me

  Two eighty-pound rats?

  I want to rid my house of cats.



  HAT Teddy said it was a hat,

  So I put it on.

  Now Dad is saying,

  "Where the heck's

  the toilet plunger gone?"


  If you want to marry me, here's what you'll have to do:

  You must learn how to make a perfect chicken-dumpling stew.

  And you must sew my holey socks,

  And soothe my troubled mind.

  And develop the knack for scratching my back.

  And keep my shoes spotlessly shined.

  And while I rest you must rake up the leaves,

  And when it is hailing and snowing

  You must shovel the walk ... and be still when I talk.

  And-hey-where are you going?


  OH HAVE YOU HEARD Oh have you heard it's time for vaccinations?

  I think someone put salt into your tea.

  They're giving us eleven-month vacations.

  And Florida has sunk into the sea.

  Oh have you heard the President has measles?

  The principal has just burned down the school.

  Your hair is full of ants and purple weasels-



  Inside everybody's nose

  There lives a sharp-toothed snail.

  So if you stick your finger in,

  He may bite off your nail.

  Stick it farther up inside,

  And he may bite your ring off.

  Stick it all the way, and he

  May bite the whole darn thing off.


  THE UNICORN A long time ago, when the earth was green

  And there was more kinds of animals than you've ever seen,

  And they run around free while the world was bein' born,

  And the loveliest of all was the Unicorn.

  There was green alligators and long-neck geese.