Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Monday, March 26, 2012

To get our health back on track, maybe we all just need a good scare from the doc

Duke was a lion, a most able king.
He would have been happy except for one thing.
Like a lion should, he looked so strong.
But when he spoke, his voice came out wrong!
All within sight expected to hear
A really loud roar—but, goodness!  Oh, dear!
He meowed instead!  What a shock!  What a bore!
A puny meow!  Not a terrible roar!
Duke went to Alice, his neighbor and friend,
Hoping that she had advice she could lend. 
He knocked on her door and asked, "What should I do?
I sound like a kitty.  I might as well moo.
Meowing is fine if you're just itty-bitty,
But big as I am, sounding small is a pity."
“You need a nap,” she said with a frown.
“Put on a nightcap, and take off your crown.”
“But I cannot do that—I can’t up and quit!
My subjects would notice; they might throw a fit!”
"Well, do what you must," said the friend with a shrug.
"But meowing like that just won't work, you big lug.
A king should not yip.  A king should not moo.
And meowing is something a king should not do!"
"I know.  Oh, I know!  Oh, I have to make noise!
I want to scare girls!  I need to scare boys!"
“Well, good luck with that!” and Alice said, “Bye!”
“So long,” Duke said, with a great big sigh.
He walked away slowly, his thoughts all a'jumble.
"What should I do?" a bird heard him mumble.
"Are you talking to me?" asked the bird as she fluttered.
"I couldn't help hearing your voice as you muttered."
"My problem is this," said the king to the bird.
He opened his mouth and out came one word:
"Meow," said the king.  And the bird said, "Good grief!
Who stole your roar?  We must catch the thief!"
"A thief did not steal it," the lion said sadly.
"I just open my mouth, and my roar comes out badly.”
"Meowing is something that kings should not do.
A king should not yip.  A king should not moo!”
"I know.  Oh, I know!  Oh, I have to sound mean!
Meowing like that just makes me sound clean!"
Duke walked away slowly, his tail drooping down.
Instead of a king, he felt like a clown.
“I should NOT yip or moo or meow.
I need to roar loudly.  I need to roar now!"
He thought to himself, "Now, what are the facts?"
A light bulb turned on, and he stopped in his tracks.
"A doctor!  A doctor will help me, I know!
To Old Doc Magee, I must go.  I must go!”
He went to his doctor to look for a cause.
The doc looked him over from his tail to his paws.
"Now, what's wrong with you?" asked the little old guy,
As he looked in Duke’s throat, and he tugged on his tie.
"I just cannot roar.  All I do is meow.
I need to roar loudly.  I need to roar now!”
“Everything's fine,” said Old Doc Magee.
"But I’m sure I can help you.  Here is my fee."
The lion looked down at the bill in his hand.
The roar that came out could be heard through the land!
It was loud!  It was fierce!  It was mean through and through!
It was NOT a meow or a yip or a moo!
“I thought that would do it!” the old doctor crowed.
He grabbed his hat then, and he raced down the road.
Duke started to chase him but stopped in his tracks.
Cause these were the absolute, positive facts--
Duke never had yipped, and he never had mooed.
And, thanks to his doctor, he no longer mewed. 


  1. What I like about your style of rhyming is that it tells the tale smoothly so that I am carried along by the cadence of the rhyme without noticing it. I really like that.

    I love that the bill inspired the roar.

  2. Thanks! I think you can tell I love to rhyme!

    I'm willing to put this one on my blog because the ending's too mature to be successful as a children's book; there's no point in trying to get it published as is, but I've been struggling with a rewrite.

  3. Your ending is wonderfully relevant to our current national debate about healthcare. What's the best system to get high quality care at an affordable price for the citizens and the nation?

  4. Let's hope the Supreme Court finds that the current law meets the need.