Monday, May 04, 2009
I took my children to the county fair,
To sample the delights of simple lives.
The sounds and smells of livestock filled the air,
And merry banter of husbands and wives.
Exhibits passed, munching apples we strolled,
Breathing in the burnt crisp October air,
Chanced upon a friend, who pointed and told
Of a miracle-man just over there.
A miracle-man! The children's eyes glowed.
I confess that mine began to glisten.
As we approached him, our quickstep it slowed
And ears unfurled and began to listen.
"Come one, come all! Gather round, gather round!
Let me make you richer than you can dream.
Hush now, hush now! Folks, please don't make a sound!
Allow me to tell you about my scheme.
"Something for nothing's the name of our game,
We use the latest financial magic.
Just give me the spark and I'll make the flame,
To miss out on this chance would be tragic.
"You lend us your livestock: cows, pigs and sheep.
We package them on to the street known as Wall.
They'll earn tidy interest for you as you sleep,
And always remain within easy recall.
The farmers applauded as their eyes brightened.
"We get paid for our herds and we don't have to feed 'em!"
Miracle-man smiled as my stomach tightened.
"You can always call back your swine when you need 'em!"
My friends and neighbours rushed to fetch their herds
And lead them to the miracle man's camp.
Too busily straining to exchange a few words
As they pushed their cows and swine up the ramp.
The speaker left, his trucks bulging with meat,
Each hoof and mouth checked for impurity.
The farmers were holding a bright pink receipt,
Left by the miracle-man for security.
The winter rolled in and hoar-frost descended,
Each day farmers strode past empty stable,
Felt a regret at the herds they had lended,
The winter is long with no meat on the table.
At last, spring's green shoots escaped winter's cold clutch
'Tis the time that the farmer loves the most.
This year, not least because of the crutch
Of good news from the miracle-man in the post.
When the envelope came, he snatched it with glee,
And called in his wife, two sons, and his daughter.
Then ripped it open, his jaw dropped to see
The miracle-man had sold his whole herd for the slaughter.