The Grocery Man And The Bear

A poem by Ringgold Wilmer Lardner

He was weary of all of his usual joys;
His books and his blocks made him tired,
And so did his games and mechanical toys,
And the songs he had always admired;
So I told him a story, a story so new
It had never been heard anywhere;
A tale disconnected, unlikely, untrue,
Called The Grocery Man and the Bear.

I didn't think much of the story despite
The fact 'twas a child of my brain.
And I never dreamt, when I told it that night,
That I'd have to tell it again;
I never imagined 'twould make such a hit
With the audience of one that was there
That for hours at a time he would quietly sit
Through The Grocery Man and the Bear.

To all other stories, this one is preferred;
It's the season's best seller by far,
And out at our house it's as frequently heard
As cuss-words in Mexico are.
When choo-choos and horses and picture books fail,
He'll remain, quite content, in his chair,
While I tell o'er and o'er the incredible tale
Of The Grocery Man and the Bear.

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