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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Seuss’

For all you fans of Diana Wynne Jones, here’s my 2007 Howl’s Moving Castle/Dr. Seuss crossover.  (It’s based on the novel, not the anime.)

Everybody in Ingary
Liked Christmas a lot.
But the Witch,
Who’d been kicked out of Ingary,
Did not.

The Witch hated Christmas!
The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why.
No one quite knows the reason:
It could be her head
Wasn’t screwed on just right.
It could be they got
Her last face-lift too tight.
But I think the
Likeliest reason, by far:
She had given her heart
To a cruel fallen star.

But whatever the reason,
Her heart or her face,
The Witch hated the annual
Yuletide rat-race,
Staring out from the Waste
With a sour Witchy frown
At the warm lighted windows
In every town.

“They’re hanging their stockings!”
She snarled with a sneer.
“Tomorrow is Christmas!
It’s practically here!”

With her long sharp red fingernails
Nervously clacking,
Said she, “I’ll find some way
To send Christmas packing!”

Then, “I’ve got it!” she cried.

“With this illusion spell,
I’ll create a disguise
So that no one can tell
That I’m not Mrs. Claus;
Sneak in quietly, very,
And steal every present.
Make Christmas un-merry!”

So she conjured a elf-hat,
Coat, and mini-skirt, red,
All trimmed in white fur.
Then she conjured a sled.

“All I need is a reindeer.”
The Witch looked around;
There were none in that world
So no reindeer was found.

Did that stop the old Witch?
Dear, no.  Don’t be silly.
She tied big fuzzy antlers
On her fire demon, Lily.

Lily felt quite exploited,
Being hitched to a sled.
“I am so going to
Get her for this,” Lily said.

Then the Witch said, “Giddap!”
Up the slope gently slipping,
They rode to the heath
Just above Market Chipping.

The village was dark.
Quiet snow filled the air
As they came to the house
Just beyond Market Square,
Where the three Hatter girls
Dreamed sweet dreams without care.

“This is stop number one!”
The fake Witchy-Claus hissed.
And she climbed to the roof,
Evil spells in her fist.

She got stuck in the chimney—
Too tight for the Witch.
Muttered Lily, “Why don’t you lose
Thirty pounds, b- – – -?”

She got all the way down,
Though her face had turned blue.
Then she stuck her head
Out of the fireplace flue
Where the Hatter girls’ stockings
All hung in a row.
“These stockings,” she said,
“Are the first things to go.”

Then she slithered and slunk
With a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room,
And took every present!

There was perfume for Lettie,
New combs for her hair,
A sparkling gold necklace,
A new frock to wear.

For Sophie, new scissors,
And needles and thread,
Three novels, two histories,
And a quilt for her bed.

For Martha, the youngest,
With a fortune to seek,
Cotton aprons and undies
For each day of the week.

The Witch made them all vanish!
Then, quick as a wink,
Hit the closets—she even
Took Fanny’s faux mink!

Then she transported up
Through the chimney with glee,
Pausing only to hijack
The wreath and the tree!

It was quarter past dawn
When the Witch, in great haste,
With Lily the reindeer
Returned to the Waste.

But she’d left off a listening-in spell
At Chez Hatter,
Eager to hear the girls’
Christmas hopes shatter.

“They’ll wail and they’ll weep,
They’ll shriek at the sight,”
She told Lily. “They’ll get in
A juicy cat-fight!
And that is a sound
That I really must hear!”
She added.

Then, putting a hand to her ear,
She listened in horror
As there came, clear and bright,
The three lovely Hatter girls’
Squeals of delight,
The crinkling of gift-wrap,
The crackling Yule fire
(Which, had she but seen it,
Was blue and quite jolly,
Munching pungent pine needles
And crunchy bright holly),
And old carols sung
By an impromptu choir—
Four warbling Hatters,
A tenor, a bass,
And one other
Who wandered
All over the place.

And the Witch and her fire demon
Stood in the Waste,
Looks of sour disappointment
On each ravaged face.

“Wait a minute!” cried Lily.
“I thought I heard men!”

Yes, those three manly wizards,
Howl, Michael, and Ben,
Had magicked the egg nog,
The wreath and the tree,
The gifts they had brought
For the fair sisters three,
The gifts that the girls bought
For Fanny, their mother
(Or step-), and the things
They all got for each other—
Right back down the chimney.
They’d re-hung the wreath
And put back the tree,
With the presents beneath.

While the Witch of the Waste
And her fire demon Lily,
Were doomed to a Christmas
Both bitter and chilly.

But our three noble wizards
Remembered the pair,
And gifts soon came winging
Through the dry Waste-y air:
Lily got Chicken Soup
For the Fire Demon Soul,
But the Witch got a stocking
All full of Welsh coal.

And in fair Market Chipping,
Old and young, short and tall,
Raise a glass to your health:
“Merry Christmas to All!”

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This week’s earworm is anapests. With the accent on “pests.” Genre or era, it makes no difference.

“It’s a pretty good zoo,” said young Gerald McGrew,
“and the fellow who runs it seems proud of it too.”

~~~

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

~~~

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

~~~

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

~~~

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky…

Yes, that’s very much what it’s like: Seuss to Moore to Carroll to Seuss, round and round in a wild hurricane of anapestic tetrameter…

So, on beyond Zebra! Explore! Like Columbus!
Discover new letters, like WUM is for Wumbus,
My high-spouting whale who lives high on a hill,
And who never comes down ’til it’s time to refill.
So, on beyond Z! It’s high time you were shown
That you really don’t know all there is to be known.

~~~

‘Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare
“You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.”
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.

When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark:
But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

Help!

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