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Amos finds a firecracker

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