A Brief Romance

by David L. Harrison

The Boy Who Counted Stars by David L. Harrison

“Oh Mistress Hen,
Won’t you let me in?”
The fox asked
With a foxy grin,
But the hen said,
“I’m too clever.”

“I love you so,”
He murmured low,
“Just one little squeeze,
And then I’ll go,”
But the hen just cackled,
“Never!”

“Don’t make me blue,
My sweet Baboo,
I’d do anything for you,”
But the hen said,
“No you wouldn’t.”

“My knees are weak,
I can scarcely speak,
I long to kiss
Your lovely beak,”
And the hen said,
“I just couldn’t.”

He winked and smiled,
“My darling child,
I’ll only stay
A little while,”
And the hen said,
“We really shouldn’t.”

At last the hen
Let the fox come in
And no one knows
What happened then
Though it only took a minute.

I can only say,
When she hopped away,
Her tummy was round,
It made her sway
And I think
The fox
Was in it.

Copyright © 1994 David L. HarrisonFrom the book The Boy Who Counted Stars. Boyds Mills Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.

About this Poem

I’m a sucker for a surprise ending. I love reading this one aloud to 3rd and 4th grade kids. It’s best to warn them that the following poem has lots of mushy stuff in it so they have my permission to cover their ears. Some boys really do, but only until the girls stop giggling at them or the teacher fails to give them the look.

Here’s a good chance to talk about why the poem’s ending surprised them. Which leads to a discussion of how we expect certain animals or people or situations to behave or end in a certain way. Which can also lead to new poems based on a list of surprises you might compile on the board.

About The Author

Children's Author David L. HarrisonDavid L. Harrison has published eighty-nine books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for young readers and educational books for teachers. He is poet laureate of Drury University and David Harrison Elementary School is named for him. His work has been anthologized in more than 120 books, translated into twelve languages, sandblasted in a library sidewalk, painted on a bookmobile, and presented on television, radio, podcast, and video stream. Let’s Write This Week with David Harrison is a 20-episode video program that brings writing tips into elementary classrooms and offers graduate college credit for teachers. David holds degrees from Drury and Emory universities. Two universities have presented him with honorary doctorates of letters. His poetry collection, Pirates, represented Missouri at the 2013 National Book Fair in Washington, D.C.

Where to Buy this Book

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & Noble

5 responses to “A Brief Romance”

  1. Thanks, Kenn. It’s nice to see this one posted today. It’s fun to read to kids, boys especially.

  2. What fun! A great surprise ending, and a fun story told in rhyme. :)Thanks, Kenn & David.

  3. Truly excellent poem, David. If I were a psychologist, I’d posit that there might be more going on in that ending than simple role reversal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *