The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

The Craven
by Jon Sindell

Once within a streetcar, sleeping, I dreamt there was something creeping
Over the ghastly greasy food bits strewn about the floor—
Startled woke I from my slumber to perceive my shoes encumbered
By a rodent pack that numbered twenty-two or more.
“Ghastly, horrid rats!” I hollered, “gnawing shoes that I adore!
Sleep here shall I nevermore!”
Thus aroused I stood up panting, for, though rats are quite enchanting
In their way, their scythe-like ratty tails I do abhor.
Hopped I thus from seat to seat as startled passengers did bleat,
Their fingers squashed beneath my feet like roaches on the floor—
“Pray forgive me!” I exclaimed, “for causing you to roar!”
Then I bolted to the door.

In the next car newly settled I resolved, though stunned and nettled
By the rudeness of the rodents rampaging next door—
My composure to regain, at least before I left the train
In fear that I might go insane if rats I saw once more.
"Ghastly, beastly rats," I sighed, "you'll torment me no more."
Then I spied droppings on the floor.
Dropping my pretense of calm I said a prayer, I sang a psalm,
I tap-danced through the mini-mines like Bojangles of yore;
Conscious of the stares of sundry passengers depressed by Monday
Who, amused to see me stunned, most mockingly did roar.
"Heartless passengers," I muttered, "you I do deplore."
Red-faced raced I to the door.
In the next car there awaited terrors fresh and unabated
Causing me to doubt if I were man or mouse or spore:
Ratatouille on an iPad, Mickey Mouse ears on a Goth dad,
Rat-tattoos on a large lad who barred me from the door
With bouncing rats on bulging biceps I could not ignore.
Thus I froze there on the floor.

Unnerved, I retraced the aisle, seeking vainly a warm smile,
But countenances cold caused me my sweet saints to implore:
Tweeters tweeting vicious tweets, Youths denying Olds their seats,
Monsters who set dirty feet on seats, not on the floor!
Vicious tweeters, selfish seaters, these I did abhor—
And could not take it anymore.
Horrified I backwards fled ignoring all the cruel things said
By hard-eyed folks with faces red whose manners I deplored;
Back in haste to where I’d started, shunning humans empty hearted,
Seeking those whose simple art showed what they were born for!
Peacefully took I my seat ‘midst rats upon the floor—
Peaceful there forever more!