by Dr. Seuss
the last day of summer,
ten hours before fall . . .
. . . my
grandfather took me
out to the Wall.
For a while
he stood silent.
Then finally he said,
with a very bad shake
of his very old head,
"As you know, on this side of the Wall
we are Yooks.
On the far other side of this Wall
live the Zooks."
"It's high time that you knew
of the terribly horrible thing that Zooks do.
In every Zook house and in every Zook town
every Zook eats his bread
with the butter side down!"
we Yooks, as you know,
when we breakfast or sup,
spread our bread," Grandpa said,
"with the butter side up.
That's the right, honest way!"
Grandpa gritted his teeth.
"So you can't trust a Zook who spreads bread underneath!
Every Zook must be watched!
He has kinks in his soul!
That's why, as a youth, I made watching my goal,
watching Zooks for the Zook-Watching Border Patrol!
days, of course,
the Wall wasn't so high
and I could look any Zook
Square in the eye.
If he dared
to come close
I could give him a twitch
with my tough-tufted
prickely Snick-Berry Switch.
For a while
that worked fine.
All the Zooks stayed away
and our country was safe.
Then one terrible day
a very rude Zook by the name of VanItch
snuck up and slingshotted my Snick-Berry Switch!
broken-off switch, with my head hung in shame,
to the Chief Yookerooo in great sorrow I came.
But our Leader just smiled. He said, "You're not to blame.
And those Zooks will be sorry they started this game.
dress you right up in a fancier suit!
We'll give you a fancier slingshot to shoot!"
And he ordered the Boys in the Back Room to figger
how to build me some sort of a triple-sling jigger.
I sure felt much bigger.
to the Wall with great vim and great vigor,
right up to VanItch with my hand on the trigger.
"I'll have no more nonsense," I said with a frown,
"from Zooks who eat bread with the butter side down!"
looked quite sickly.
He ran off quite quickly.
he came back the next day
in a spiffy new suit with a big new machine,
and he snarled as he said, looking frightfully mean,
"You may fling those hard rocks with your Triple-Sling Jigger.
But I, also, now have my hand on a trigger!
wonderful weapon, the Jigger-Rock Snatchem,
will fling 'em right back just as quick as we catch 'em.
We'll have no more nonsense.
We'll take no more gupp
from you Yooks who eat bread with the butter side up!"
have failed, sir," I sobbed as I made my report
to the Chief Yookeroo in the headquarters fort.
He just laughed. "You've done nothing at all of the sort.
Our slingshots have failed.
That was old-fashioned stuff.
Slingshots, dear boy,
are not modern enough.
we need is some newfangled kind of gun.
My Boys in the Back Room have already begun
to think up a walloping whizz-zinger one!
My Bright Boys are thinking.
They're on the right track.
They'll think one up quick
and we'll send you right back!"
thought up a great one!
They certainly did.
They thought up a gun called the Kick-a-Poo Kid
which they loaded with powerful Poo-a-Doo Powder
and ants' eggs and bees' legs
and dried-fried clam chowder.
And they carefully trained a real smart dog named Daniel
to serve as our country's first gun-toting spaniel.
Daniel, the Kick-a-Poo Spaniel, and I
marched back toward the Wall
with our heads held up high
while everyone cheered and their cheers filled the sky:
"Fight! Fight for the Butter side UP!
Do or die!"
Well . . .
We didn't do.
And we didn't quite die.
But we sure did get worsted, poor Daniel and I.
VanItch was there too! And he said, the old pig,
"The Boys in my Back Room invented this rig
called the Eight-Nozzled, Elephant-Toted Boom-Blitz.
It shoots high-explosive sour cherry stone pits
and will put your dumb Kick-a-Poo Kid on the fritz!"
Poor Daniel and I
were scared out of our witz!
by VanItch I was bested and beat.
Once again I limped home from the Wall in defeat.
I dragged and I sagged
and my spirits were low,
as low as I thought that they ever could go,
when I heard a Boom-Bah!
And a Diddle-dee-Dill!
And our Butter-Up Band
marched up over the hill!
Yookeroo had sent them to meet me
along with the Right-Sid-Up Song Girls to greet me.