With apologies to the original and to its author (either Clement C. Moore or Henry Livingston, Jr., the authorship is apparently disputed) I present “‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving,” as seen through the eyes of my son.
‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, when all through the house,
Just one creature was stirring and it wasn’t a mouse.
Mom was in the kitchen, baking pies with care,
In the hopes she could produce some edible fare.
Daddy and I were hiding in my room under the bed,
While visions of cooking disasters danced in our heads.
My mother was frantic; her baking skills were the worst,
Why hadn’t she just called the bakery from the first?
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Daddy and I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window we flew like a flash,
Tore open the mini-blinds and poked a hole in the sash.
The moon on the breast of the lawn never mowed,
Gave the luster of mid-day to the toys scattered below.
When what to our wondering eyes should appear?
Burnt piecrust toppers shaped like reindeer.
With a chef quickly following, tossing pies without care,
I knew in a moment Mom was pulling out her hair.
More rapid than eagles, her pies they all came,
And she swore and she cursed and she tossed without shame.
“Now, Pumpkin! Now Sweet Potato! Now Raisin Cranberry!
On Apple! On Mincemeat! On Strudel with Cherry!
To the top of the trash! To the top of the heap!
I’m starting all over because I don’t need sleep!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the trash can, the pies they all flew,
I think they just wanted to escape from her too.
And then in a twinkling I heard from the stove
Mom muttering about recipes that needed whole cloves.
As I crept out of my bed and was just coming round,
Out of the kitchen Mom came with a bound.
She was covered in flour from her head to her foot,
And her eyes were all wild with recipes to cook.
A bundle of pie pans she had flung on her back,
She looked like a woman about to attack.
Her hair was so wild! Her eyes were so scary!
Her cheeks were aflame, her nose covered in cherry!
Her droll little mouth was drawn tight with no bow.
And the flour turned her fingers the color of snow.
The stump of a spatula she held tight in her teeth,
The smoke from her anger encircled her head like a wreath.
She was muttering to herself and consulting her books,
I could see right away she was not a good cook.
She was chubby and plump, and could be a jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself.
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
She told me to be smart and to go back to bed.
She spoke many words, while she went about her work,
“I should have just gone shopping, instead of cooking like a jerk.”
And laying a pie pan along side the stove,
And giving a nod, to the front door she dove.
She sprang to her car, to my Dad gave a whistle,
And away she flew, like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim as she drove out of sight,
“There’d better still be pies at the grocery store tonight!”