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One Word Apiece
From "Animal Tails and Stories"

When God first made the Animals, they all knew how to speak.
They gathered in the Garden on the Seventh of the Week,
To greet with celebration, the dawning of creation.

The Lord made his apologies, left them with one request:
"Please try to keep it quiet, so that I can get some rest!"
"If I'll not be required, I'm feeling rather tired."

Soon animals were arguing which one was made the best.
Then Rooster crowed, "It's me! I've got a comb to crown my crest!"
Poor Platypus was pouting—through the bickering and shouting.

The Lord said, "This must stop, if I'm to ever get some sleep!"
"I'd like to take their words away, and give them one word each."
"That ought to keep things quiet! What harm is there to try it?"

"One Word Apiece! Enough for every animal."
"One Word Apiece! That's the way to handle it."
And that's why it was done. Now animals have only got one.

He said, "I'd like each animal lined up to have a look."
"I've written every word, from A to Z, in this big book."
"Come choose the very best word, to use from this day onward."

So, galloping, the horses ran to claim the first of words.
When flying in from everywhere came all the kinds of birds.
As they hovered 'round Him, winging, He gave songs to them for singing.

Then horses, cats, and dogs took words, and also cows and sheep.
Now pigs say, "oink", and lions roar, and billy-goats, they bleat!
As each one of them agreed it, that's the way the Lord decreed it.

One Word Apiece! Enough for every animal.
One Word Apiece! That's the way He handled it.
And that's how it was done. Now animals have only got one.

The fish had gone to school that day, and chose no words at all.
The tortoise came in much too late, and ants are much too small.
Mole couldn't see to read one. Underground, he'll never need one.

Then God said, "Adam, keep my book, I'm off to catch a nap."
"So take care of my animals, 'cause I'll be checking back. "
"Now be careful you don't spite them, or you might end up just like them!"

One Word Apiece! Enough for every animal.
One Word Apiece! That's the way to handle it.
And that's why it was done. Now animals have only got one.

copyright 1987 Scott Hooper

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