Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Wealth of Friends

Here is a little something from a long time ago. I have wanted to put this up for a while now but haven’t had the right time until now.
This text was originally written for a children’s book. I have long ago lost track of the artwork and I wish I still had it because the original 10 pictures were done by 10 different artists from the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!).
I have re-edited the story by the way and I have added one character in there and a few new lines. I am not sure if this was for quality or if I simply didn’t remember all of the words anymore. I used to perform this for children with a musical accompaniment on the guitar. To my memory at least, it was always well accepted.

There was an old man and a dog that came to a town
And when they got there they looked around.
And the man said to his dog, Ï think I like what I see,
I think that this town will be good to me.
I think that this might be the place to be
I think we will like this town my friend,
I think we will like this town.

The dog looked up into the old man's eye
And then back again at this new place they would try
He and the old man had been on the road so long
And always the old man had sung the same old song
But in the end something had always gone wrong
But the dog was the old man's friend, and so was always by his side, my friends
Because the dog was a true friend, he would always be by his side.

"Well first things first, let’s get something to eat.
I'm plumb tuckered out," said the old man "I'm asleep on my feet.
But I'll bet you my friend that this little town will be kind
To an old man and a dog who are a little behind
I'll bet you there's something great that we can find.
So let's just go down this street my friend,
Let’s get out there and see who we might meet.

So the first place they went was to the bakery for some bread
And when they met the baker the old man smiled and said:
"Do you have some food for us today?
We have no money with which to pay.
But I am sure that there could be a way?"
But the baker just frowned and turned a bit red,
"My friend, go away; you will not be fed.

"You see money is the thing that means a lot
And obviously money is something you haven't got.
Do you think you can just ask and get what you need?
I work for my money and my jobs not to feed
Every groveling bum who comes to beg and plead
Feed you for free? I will not, my friend
Simply feed you for free I will not!!"

So the baker tossed out the old man (and then thumbed his nose)
And out on the street the old man looked at the dog and asked "Do you suppose,
That we indeed look like we are beggars, could this baker be right?
Well, perhaps; just look at us; we must make a horrible sight.
We look as if we've been sleeping beside the road each night.
(They had) Do you think we need some new clothes, my friend?
You don't think its time for some new clothes?"

So they went next to the haberdasher’s quaint little shop
But in one second flat the tailor said they should stop!
"Go away please, quickly, you're in the wrong place.
My clothes are only for the finest people, for the winners of the race.
I mean, just look at you two; your clothes, old man you're a disgrace
My clothes are for those who sit at the top, my friends,
Not for the likes of you, only for the cream of the crop!

So a bit shaken up the old man went again down the street
And who do you suppose that next he would meet
But a man selling shoes out of a rack
Wonderful new shoes of brown and of black
So the old man smiled and dropped his sack
And asked "Do you have some shoes for my feet, my friend?
I need some new shoes for my feet."

But the shoe man sadly said "Don't bother me please, just go away.
I am not selling any shoes to anyone at all today.
You see old man I have such troubles in my life.
All my long dreary days are filled with such endless stress and strife
And all because you see I am alone, I have no wife
So please just be on your way, my friend
We are closed so please be on your way.

So the old man lifted his sack and sighed
When suddenly, up ahead, just down the street he happily spied
A hotel sign and when he saw it he said to his friend:
There is just the place that we should spend
This very evening comfortably sleeping from beginning to end.
So, let's go there and get ourselves inside my friend,
Let's go to the hotel and get ourselves inside.

So the old man rang the bell and the innkeeper came
And she looked at the old man, shook her head and said "I'm sorry, and you're not to blame,
But you see we've just added a ballroom, big and new
And so we don't need free guests, what we need is a party or two
We need paying customers you see or we're through
Because without them the hotel is lost, such a shame, my friend
Losing the hotel would be such a shame...

So the old man and the dog went out in the cold
It had started snowing and in that minute the old man indeed felt so old.
He sat down on a park bench and started to cry.
And there he sat in the snow until a young lady came by
She was crying also and frightened and begged him to help her hide!
Don't let him catch me, I don't care about his gold, my friend
I'm running away from my father; please don't let him get a hold.

The snow flakes that had fallen were like diamonds in her hair
And they sparkled and shined and looked beautiful there
Said the old man to the girl,” How can we help, what can we do?"
It's all right, you're not alone, we're here, it's true,
And my friend and I won't let anyone harm you.
And as he wiped away her tears she felt she was no longer scared, my friends
The moment he touched her she was no longer scared.

And so she told him about her father, a very wealthy man
Who demanded that the whole of her life only he should plan
"And all what I really want,” she said "he'll always refuse.
And he won't even let me marry the man that I choose
You see I am in love with a man who sells shoes
But father said he is too poor, so no! And so I ran, my friend
He wouldn't let me marry so I ran."

Quietly the old man thought while holding the young girls hand.
He considered things slowly and then suddenly jumped up and shouted "Äha! I've a plan.
Come on, let's go see him right now, let's go straight home to your dad.
I think I have got a way to make everyone glad!
He explained it and at first the girl was thinking he was mad
But the old man just smiled and said "Just be patient and listen, he'll understand, my friend,
Just listen patiently and don't worry, he'll understand."

And so they went up to the great mansion, all white and stately
And after hearing the old man out the girl's father harrumphed quite greatly
"Do you mean to say that my daughter I should loose?
And to of all people some poor seller of shoes?
What have you been drinking my friend, what kind of booze?
Have you been a bit out of it lately, my friend?
Been a bit out of it lately?"

But the old man smiled and shook his head
No, nothing like that at all" is what he said.
"It's simply that your daughters love, on which you so depend
Comes from the people she cares for and not from the money that she spends
You need her heart because she has what you lack and that's friends
And this is why only for love should she wed, my friend
Even if he is poor, only for love should she wed."

The girls father paced back and forth and considered this news
And for a moment he looked as though he might blow a fuse
Let me get this straight" he said "all these things that you say.
You suggest that because her heart is what counts and because it's this shoe man's anyway,
That my daughter's hand I should just give away?
You're saying for love and not for money is how I should choose, my friend
You are suggesting that love is the road this rich man should use?"

The old man and his dog stood there quiet as mice.
And after a minute, the old man said, "Well, it'd be nice."
And the father looked to his daughter who was nodding her head
And she said "Yes papa it's true: Living life without love is like you're already dead."
And the rich man began to cry at what his daughter had said
And after a moment answered: I think I should take your advice my friends.
Yes, I think your right; I'll take your advice."

And so on the day of the great wedding the old man danced all day
In his brand new shoes and suit by the way
And the baker was there, and he baked the cake
And the tailor made a bride's gown as beautiful as he could make
And the wedding was held at the hotel ballroom for goodness sake
And everyone could see that there had been no mistake
As the shoe man, his bride's hand, with pleasure did take.
And at the end the girls father had this to say, my friends
At the end the rich man stood up to say:

"Today I am as happy as I can be
Because I know now that my wealth is you see
Made up from the friends with whom I stand
And not just from what money might be in my hand
And so I find that indeed life is grand
Because I have all of you and my daughter here with me, my friends
I am so very happy to have you all here with me!"

And as the dog watched his friend dance in his new suit and shoes.
His tail was wagging just like happy dog's do
And he thought: My friend you were right this time about what we've found.
Perhaps we could stay here a while, have a home, stick around.
Just look at us now, we've become rich in this town.
We are rich here because we have friends. This the dog knew;
Our wealth is in our friends.

From 1993
Contact me at: beinghad_mail@yahoo.com
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More soon…