Friday, November 16, 2007

Don't walk on the lions or the bears will get you...

It's funny how memories stay with us.

When we were kids my Dad loved to read us poems from A.A. Milne's "When We Were Very Young" (A.A.Milne is also the creator of Whinnie the Pooh).

I remember one night my youngest brother (4 or 5 at the time) wanted a story read to him at bedtime and Dad kindly offered. In he went to Lac's room with two books in hand, A.A. Milne's "When We Were Very Young" and J.R.R Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Lac was not impressed!

Anyway, my point is, Dad often read us these poems. I have many favourites, but one I remember always (not the poem so much as the topic) is 'Lines and Squares'.

Lines and Squares

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I'm ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, "Bears,
Just look how I'm walking in all the squares!"
And the little bears growl to each other, "He's mine,
As soon as he's silly and steps on a line."
And some of the bigger bears try to pretend
That they came round the corner to look for a friend;
And they try to pretend that nobody cares
Whether you walk on the lines or squares.
But only the sillies believe their talk;
It's ever so portant how you walk.
And it's ever so jolly to call out, "Bears,
Just watch me walking in all the squares!"

by Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956 [from his poetry book: When We Were Very Young ]

Whenever we walked anywhere I was always very careful not to walk on the lions in case the bears got me. Yes, I know, it's L-I-N-E-S but had a lot of trouble saying lines and it always came out L-I-O-N-S. It was such a natural thing to walk down a footpath avoiding the lines that even now I have trouble walking on the lines (and the lions).

I was thinking this as I found myself avoiding the lions on the footpath as a walked home from the station. Actually I was cursing the council for not making the squares even and making me adjust my steps for each square, just so I didn't step on the lions. That is when I realised that I was doing it! People must think I'm strange but hey! what do I care!! as long as the lions are OK and bears stay away. *grin*


Shirley Goodwin said...

We also avoided the cracks but more from the rhyme "step on a crack, break your grandmother's back".

lachlan said...

those pesky lions are still very scary


Mom2fur said...

It's been a few months since you posted, so I'm not sure if you'll see this, but... dad had a copy of that book from his childhood and I loved to read it. My favorite was "Disobedience." You know...
James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took Great Care of His Mother
Though he was only three.