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The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus -- Ogden Nash

Guest poem submitted by Firdaus Janoos :
(Poem #1964) The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus
 In Baltimore there lived a boy.
 He wasn't anybody's joy.
 Although his name was Jabez Dawes,
 His character was full of flaws.

        In school he never led his classes,
 He hid old ladies' reading glasses,
 His mouth was open when he chewed,
 And elbows to the table glued.
 He stole the milk of hungry kittens,
 And walked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.
 He said he acted thus because
 There wasn't any Santa Claus.

        Another trick that tickled Jabez
 Was crying 'Boo' at little babies.
 He brushed his teeth, they said in town,
 Sideways instead of up and down.
 Yet people pardoned every sin,
 And viewed his antics with a grin,
 Till they were told by Jabez Dawes,
 'There isn't any Santa Claus!'

        Deploring how he did behave,
 His parents swiftly sought their grave.
 They hurried through the portals pearly,
 And Jabez left the funeral early.

        Like whooping cough, from child to child,
 He sped to spread the rumor wild:
 'Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes
 There isn't any Santa Claus!'
 Slunk like a weasel of a marten
 Through nursery and kindergarten,
 Whispering low to every tot,
 'There isn't any, no there's not!'

        The children wept all Christmas eve
 And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
 No infant dared hang up his stocking
 For fear of Jabez' ribald mocking.

                He sprawled on his untidy bed,
 Fresh malice dancing in his head,
 When presently with scalp-a-tingling,
 Jabez heard a distant jingling;
 He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
 Crisply alighting on the roof.
 What good to rise and bar the door?
 A shower of soot was on the floor.

        What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
 The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
 Then Jabez fell upon his knees
 With cries of 'Don't,' and 'Pretty Please.'
 He howled, 'I don't know where you read it,
 But anyhow, I never said it!'
 'Jabez' replied the angry saint,
 'It isn't I, it's you that ain't.
 Although there is a Santa Claus,
 There isn't any Jabez Dawes!'

        Said Jabez then with impudent vim,
 'Oh, yes there is, and I am him!
 Your magic don't scare me, it doesn't'
 And suddenly he found he wasn't!
 From grimy feet to grimy locks,
 Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
 And ugly toy with springs unsprung,
 Forever sticking out his tongue.

        The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
 They searched for him, but not with zeal.
 No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,
 Which led to thunderous applause,
 And people drank a loving cup
 And went and hung their stockings up.

        All you who sneer at Santa Claus,
 Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
 The saucy boy who mocked the saint.
 Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint.
-- Ogden Nash
It's a bit too  early for Christmas [not any more it isn't! -- ed.], but
I had to send this one in -- it is one of Nash's real gems. I'll not say
much about it -- a light, witty ditty, showing Ogden Nash's typical
flair for nonsense verse.  I'll let your readers chuckle over its silly
simplicity, without my analyzing or philosophizing over it.

Firdaus.

252 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 252   Newer›   Newest»
Jeff Berndt said...

--- In , "Thomas, Abraham" <thomas@...> wrote:
>
> Guest poem submitted by Firdaus Janoos <firdaus.janoos@...>:
>
> "The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus"
>
> Said Jabez then with impudent vim,
> 'Oh, yes there is, and I am him!
> Your magic don't scare me, it doesn't'
> And suddenly he found he wasn't!
> From grimy feet to grimy locks,
> Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
> And ugly toy with springs unsprung,
> Forever sticking out his tongue.

Does this stanza remind anybody else of that one episode of the
Twilight Zone where Anthony makes everyone think happy thoughts all
the time, and turns one guy into a jack-in-the-box, and then "wishes
him into the cornfield?"

Right up until we reached this point, I was amused by this poem.
After, it creeped me out.

Cheers,
Jeff

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY, Jeff--I thought the same thing.

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I love the poem because is so nice and exprees a lot of emotion and you can see that the life has another meaning and you can be a better person.

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

Right up until we reached this point, I was amused by this poem.
After, it creeped me out.

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

Right up until we reached this point, I was amused by this poem.
After, it creeped me out.

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

Right up until we reached this point, I was amused by this poem.
After, it creeped me out.

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

I love the poem because is so nice and exprees a lot of emotion and you can see that the life has another meaning and you can be a better person.

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หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

used by this poem.
After, it creeped me out.

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reminds me so much of roald dahl. Its so funny when Jabes' parents pass through the pearly gates because of his antics!!!

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Anonymous said...

Jeff, yes it does, except in the Twilight Zone episode, people are appalled about what happened to the guy who turned into Jack-in-the-Box, whereas in this poem, no one cares when Jabes goes missing. I do not know if they are happy he died, or if they just thought he ran away, but nonetheless, I strongly dislike how the poem ended.

Yes, it is a good poem, but until the end, because the moral (to me anyway) is: be a brat, your parents will commit suicide in disgrace of your bad behavior, Santa Claus will punish you, and no one will sympathize when you die, even if you are merely a child. Yeah, great moral, Ogden.

Anonymous said...

Also, just saw the Twilight Zone episode, and it is interesting to see that it is reversed: Santa Claus turning a kid into a Jack-in-the-Box, a kid turning an adult into a Jack-in-the-Box, but this poem came out not more than just four years before the episode, so it is possible it did influence it.

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Anonymous said...

I do not know if any of you read this, but there is an alternative version available to view on-line. It is pretty much the same, but some sentences differ. In that version, we find out that Santa Claus gives Jabez (in his toy form) to a child, I don't know about you, but for me, that makes it even creepier. I do like this poem, but I dislike it at the same time, but it does have a good message, be nice to others, and let children believe in Santa Claus if they want to, but that is pretty much it. I am still appalled by the behavior of the neighbors, and saddened by the choice his parents made, but otherwise, I like it.

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