Monday, September 13, 2010

Cinderella, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, and a poem for grown ups

New York City

Introduction by Annie, my daddy wrote these poems for me when I was a little girl

For all little girls everywhere

In New York City everyone lives in an apartment
And when I was a little girl our apartment was on 149th Street and Riverside Drive

My daddy was a teacher in a high school way downtown and we lived way uptown
He had to take the subway for a long time to get home when he finished work.

When I was a little girl you could buy chocolates from a machine in the subway for one penny

They had milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or orange chocolate

My favorites were milk chocolate and dark chocolate, so my Daddy bought me some when he was in the subway to give me when he came home

The school my Daddy taught at was in China Town
So during his lunch hour, he went to the little store and bought me a present

All the presents were 10 cents. My favorite was the beautiful fan he bought me

Since the ride on the subway to get home was so long, he would sit down, get out his paper and his pencil
And write me a poem

Since fairy tales are my favorite stories

And Cinderella was my all time favorite and then after that Snow White
First he told those stories in poems
But my daddy’s favorite fairy tale was Rumpelstiltskin so he told that story in a poem too

He read them to me when he got home and I loved them so much
I hope you like them too
I love you


When Cinderella was very small
Her mother died from a nasty fall
Her father took another wife
And for Cinderella there began a new life

The stepmother was not a bit nice
Cinderella hoped she’d slip on the ice
She was so mean, she was so cru-el
That all she let Cindy eat was gru-el

Take care of the dog, take care of the cat
Cinderella! Cinderella! Where are you at?
Wash the laundry, scrub the floor
See who’s knocking at the door

Press my dress, sew my skirt
Be sure you sweep up all the dirt
Cook our meals, shine our shoes
Hurry! Hurry! No time to lose

Whew! I’m tired said Cinderella
I’ve worked as hard as any fella
It’s all work and little play
Sometimes I think I‘ll run away

But for Anastasia and Drusilla too
There were only the nicest things to do
Like going to parties and dancing on your toes
And getting dressed up in your mother’s clothes

Sleeping over at grandma’s faraway
Eating chocolate pudding every day
Plenty of toys with which to play
And not even bothering to put them away

But tho’ Drusilla liked jewels
And Anastasia preferred pearls
Both were stooky-pooky
Looking girls

Then one day the king gave a ball
The girls were all invited to call
In their most beautiful gown dressed
One that would surely have to be pressed

Cinderella would have liked to go to the ball
But she didn’t have any party dress at all
She began to cry then decided not to bother
When there suddenly appeared her fairy godmother

Why do you weep my little honey
I can’t buy a dress I have no money
Drusilla and Anastasia have gone to the ball
While I haven’t any dress at all

O, have no fears, just dry your tears
Do you see this little ruler?
I wave it here, I wave it there
Then just say Magicadula

And there appeared the most beautiful dress
Fit for any real princess
And a coach drawn by horses four
That you couldn’t buy in any store

So Cinderella went after all to the ball
And saw the Prince so handsome and tall
The palace hall was a beautiful place
And Cinderella’s was the loveliest face

The Prince said “May I dance with you?”
And Cindy said “I’d love you to”
She danced and danced and danced the nite
Till she heard the clock — it struck midnight

Then to her home she flew so fast
She lost her slipper made of glass
The prince announced he’d marry the she
Whose foot fits the slipper to a T

The shoe was tried all over town
East side West side up and down
Nobody’s foot did it seem to fit
The king was beginning to despair of it

Until the Duke came to the stepmother’s house
Where Cindy was told by Jac the mouse
And the Duke was the happiest man to see
Cause the slipper matched Cindy’s foot to a T

The Prince took her on his horse to ride
And quickly made Cinderella his bride
I love you best of all Cinderella
For Christmas I’ll buy you a lovely umbrella


New York City has big rivers and lots of boats

I like to hear about Snow White
Even tho it’s a fairy story
I like it because it turns out all right
And y’don’t have to feel very sorry

Snow White was pretty and very good
And the Queen was a wicked queen
She left Snow White alone in the wood
As sorry a sight as you’ve seen

But the animals all loved Snow White
They made her happy they made her bright
And when the day turned into night
They even made for her a light

To show her the Dwarfs’ little house
Where all was quiet not even a mouse
Stirred. “The Dwarfs thought she, are at work or play
“I like this place, I think I’ll stay”

When the Dwarfs came home they found her asleep
Snow White woke up and wanted to weep
“Don’t cry” they said, “we’re all your friends
“Please stay with us, we’ll make amends”

“We need someone to clean this place
And make us wash our hands and face
And cook chocolate pudding and berry pies
And kill the roaches and swat the flies

“Will you Snow White, stay with us now
And promise to take care somehow
To cook and feed us and make our bed”
“I’d positively love to,” Snow White said

So Snow White stayed with the 7 dwarfs
And the house was kept as neat as a pin
Til one day the old queen came
And Snow White let her in

For the queen was dressed as a haggard old hag
Carrying a load of apples in her bag
They looked tempting, rosy, bright and red
“Will you have one?” the old hag said.

“I should not accept favors, the dwarfs would say
From any strangers that come my way
But if you insist
I won’t resist.”

She bit the apple and of its juice she drank
She hit her head when on the floor she sank
Snow White the female
Seemed dead as a doornail

Ah, but do not worry, my little honey
For you shall yet rejoice
When the handsome and charming the gallant Prince Charming
Gives Snow White back her voice

The apple falls out of her pretty little mouth
And she wakes to find the prince at her bed
And it all would seem just like a dream
Cause the Queen’s the one who is really dead.


New York City

A poor peasant, flustered when faced with his king,
Stammered he wanted to tell him something,
“Your Highness, my daughter, just eighteen, no more,
“Can spin gleaming gold out of common straw.”

“What! thundered the king, “you saw
“Your daughter spin gold from straw?
“Bring her here and let me see
“If she can spin gleaming gold for me!”

“If she can’t — it’s off with your head
“I’ll make idle boasting a thing to dread!”
So the peasant went home with fear in his heart
For, how could his daughter live up to her part?

To the palace the next day the girl was brought
To spin the gold his highness sought
She was put in a room all filled with straw
And she winced when she heard the lock on the door.

To tell the plain and simple truth
She felt terribly, terribly blue
For she could no more make gold from straw
Than either I or you.

She sat and she sat, and she thought and she thought
About the miserable lot to which she was brought
When suddenly a tiny man — in size a mere lad
Appeared and said “Stop feeling so sad.

“I’ll spin and I’ll work, and I’ll work and I’ll spin
“I’ll change this straw to gold, not tin.”
And lo! there was the gold, as if by magic
And the peasant was saved from a fate known as tragic.

With all the gold, of course the king was gratified
But although pleased, he still was not satisfied.
“Tomorrow,” said he, “spin more gold from the straw I will get you
“Or you will feel the executioner’s steel on your pretty neck too.”

At home she sobbed in her father’s arms
And her father sobbed in hers
And both of them felt as if their tears should melt
The hardest heart in the world.

So the daughter returned next day to the palace
Her thoughts, to be sure, were not free of malice.
She sat down and cried til the clock struck ten.
If only the little man would come once again.

“Dry those tears; why what’s the matter?”
Said a familiar voice, as her heart gave a patter;
It was the same tiny man who had come before
Now he was there to help her once more.

With a one, two three — quick as a flash
With sound of a gong — with cymbals a crash
First it grew hot, then it grew cold
Then psst! the straw was gone; in its place was gold.

“Oh how can I reward you, tiny man
‘I‘d like to give you whatever I can.”
Said he, “You do have something I need
May I have the ring on your finger?” She agreed.

The king at this miracle was truly amazed
When he summoned the court he was still somewhat dazed
He announced he would make the peasant’s daughter his queen
She would bring him more riches than he had ever seen.

But she would have to spin the gold once more;
“I’ll marry you when
“You do it again,”
He said as he closed the door.

What now, what now? the poor girl mused;
I feel like one accused;
To fail this time I do not dare
For the king’s own bed I mean to share!

The miraculous man appeared again on the scene
And said “Soon I shall have to call you ‘queen’
“But now my price — for being so nice — may appear a little wild
“Before I begin the gold to spin, promise me your first-born child.”

The girl was wrapped up in her dreams
And she apparently consented it seems
For when she gave birth to a beautiful boy
The tiny man came to diminish her joy

“O please don’t take my most prized possession
“For my sake please — this one concession.”
Pitying her, he said: “All right, you win
“If you guess my name, then I’ll give in.”

“Is it Joe, is it Harry, is it Peewee Reese?”
“No, I’m sorry, it’s none of these.”
“Is it John, is it Henry, is it Big Bad Mose?”
“No, I’m sorry, it’s none of those.”

“Is it Jackie, is it Rae, is it you-know-what?”
“No, no, no; that name it’s not.”
So the man gave her two days to discover his name
For the loss of her baby was too great a pain.

The queen sent her servants into every nook and cranny
Looking for a tiny man with powers most uncanny
Until one reported that this was what he heard
Sung by a tiny man with a voice like that of a bird;

“Today I bake, Tomorrow I brew
And next I‘ll have the young queen’s child;
Ha! Glad I am that no knew
That Rumpelstiltskin I am styled.”

“Aha,” said the queen, “let the little man call
“It’ll be a pity to watch him take a big fall.”
Then in with a swagger came the tiny man
Prepared to carry out his plan.

“What ho, my queen, today’s the day
“Either know my name or the penalty pay.”
“Sir, I hear your voice is to a bird akin
“Is that why they named you Rumpelstiltskin?”

In rage the little man stamped his foot so hard
That his leg sank up to his chin
He pulled and pulled til he came apart
And that was the end of Rumpelstiltskin

And now a poem by Leon for grown ups

The artist, Ronnie De Nota, paints his friend Myron painting

Leaving Miami

The flutter of a palm may flutter your heart
But it leaves me frigid — twill no passion impart
Leaves me as cold as a motor that won’t start
I said as I was leaving Miami

I’m tired unto death of the warmth and the sun
Of caring only for number one
And of doing nothing but having fun
I thought as I was leaving Miami

O for the feel of a little snow — a little teentsy weentsy bit of snow
And getting up when it’s ten below
I’ll never complain — I’ll love it so
I felt as I was leaving Miami

Who wants the smile of an ever-bright sky
Of coconuts leering at you from on high
Not I!
I said as I was leaving Miami

Or the tired hibiscus and worn poinsettia
And all the gosh-darn crowds getting in the bus ahead of ya
Game fishing? Catch a Swordfish or Sailfish?
Propaganda! A lot of tish-tish
(But at least when you fish from a pier you won’t catch a mal-de-mer:
I thought as I was leaving Miami)

I wanna go to a place
Where dogs don’t race
And where win, show or place
Doesn’t concern the entire human race

I wanna leave paradise for a world more work a day
Where men are men, and women don’t wear halters all day

O to get back to the city — I’ll love every inch of East Broadway
And ride just for fun — on the subway all day
Pray for a blizzard and when it comes yell hurray!
I said as I was leaving Miami

Essex Street I’ll take any day in preference to sand
Broom St I love you, Grand St’s just grand
Be my Valentine Orchard St we’ll go hand in hand
I said as I was leaving Miami

But now I’m older by a day or two
And as Houseman said, “tis true, tis true”
Give bliss to a fool and he’ll only
Give it right back to you.

Annie says Good bye
Good bye all little girls and little boys.
So kiss your daddy for me.
God bless you all.
I love you

this photo by Wahbi Elkout takes place in Paris now.
I love it very much.
This is how I looked when my daddy wrote these fairy tales for me
I had the same haircut as this little girl

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