Amos finds a firecracker

By Gary Mitchell

Editor’s note: Amos is a church mouse, who types by hurling himself at the keys, but he can’t work the capital shift keys, and he shuns punctuation marks — except hyphens and dashes.

amos finds a firecracker

one grand and bright
sunshiny day as i was
whistling on my way
boss — it was just before the
fourth of july and i was
so happy i could cry —
when across my weary
path i spied this odd hot dog
with its tail just fried

what is it says i to
no one in particular

why it s a ufo from roswell
says willifred the white
rat who came by about then

no it s a missile from iran or
north korea or somewhere
says freddie flea who was
hiding behind a tree

no you re all wet says
sammy salamander who
popped up from a nearby
pond it s one of them new-
fangled breakfast burritos

no it s more dangerous than
that says bertie woeworm
who heard the commotion
and wriggled to the site

what makes you say that
says me

cause i know says he
that s a firecracker an
animal death-dealer oh
woe is us woe is us

what do you mean says me

i tell you these firecrackers
may not look like much but
they deal in death and disaster
a bunch says he i know because
last year about this time a
cousin of mine crawled out
of the ground just as one of
these poppers landed on him —
and we ve never seen any part
of him since then

maybe we ought to hide it
or put it under the ground says
sammy fearfully

won t do no good bertie says
cause it can blow up the ground

boss we stared at it we didn t
know what to do

just then louie the songdog
padded by chortling joyously

say guys whatcha doing with
that firecracker are we
celebrating the fourth of july

what s it got to do with the
fourth of july says i

everything says louie that s
how people celebrate freedom
independence joy and life

sounds good to me says willifred
how do we do it — just toss it in
the air wave it around or what

naw says louie you have to
light its tail and then it makes
this big ol pop and scares
everybody

and everybody dies bertie cries

naw everybody runs and hides
louie says that s the fun and
that s the surprise no one
knows where it is or how
she blows

let s do it let s do it says
freddie flea

okay but we better let bertie
get a head start since he s a
mite slower than the rest of
us says sammy salamander

oh me oh my bertie cried
i m going to be a mucky
worm pie

we need a spark says louie

like electricity a spark of fire

a spark of life

here s a match willifred says

so we lit the fuse and

scattered behind every tree

log and rock we could find

boom exclamation point here

boss and we all cheered for

freedom joy and life

boss here s hoping you get

a big bang out of your faith

and the fourth this week

amos