Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: Puddle School No. 9
By Beth LaBuff
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For gloom had enveloped the bog.
The ripples fell flat as they made an attempt
To cheer up the young pollywogs.
The budget was cut by the school board,
Results from a taxbase decline
That slated the closing of outlying schools,
And doomed Puddle School No. 9.
Miss Carp went to school, tears pooled in her eyes,
She fought hard to keep them at bay,
For bravely she knew that cheer must prevail
On this, the last school day.
The school, itself, was a one-puddle school.
Miss Carp taught all scholars combined.
The bluegill, the catfish, the crappie, and bass
And others, though not of their kind.
The morning commenced with the Pledge to the Lake.
The scholars all bobbed in a line.
Fins, flippers, and scales placed on hearts of the few—
The patriots of Puddle School 9.
Post-haste to the lessons, all students at once
Recited assignments, en masse.
The catfish meowed, the mudpuppies barked
And they set the tone for the class.
The bullfrogs provided the downbeat
And metered this maritime song.
The turtles then snapped in three quarter time,
While pollywogs followed along.
The chorus frogs hopped to the meter,
Then showed off their trills and their blips.
No wonder their sound was so beautifully pure for
The frogs sang with perfect fish lips.
In a one-puddle school, a student who shows
A predisposition to sass,
Is sent to the corner, no backtalk allowed,
So ergo – the largemouth bass.
Miss Carp thought her eyes had betrayed her,
For one pupil just disappeared.
The smallest and youngest, a bullfrog named Fred,
To no harm, she hoped, though she feared.
One turtle, a young whipper-snapper,
Unable to snap out his note,
For lo and behold, it was then they discovered
That he had the frog in his throat.
Then snaps, barks, and meows were melodious,
A song — bitter-sweet, intertwined
That echoed and rippled …then faded away
From Puddle School No. 9.
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