Erewhon For Kids
Chapter 1 – Waste Lands
Come and listen to my story;
If it scares you - do not worry.
Though the details may be blurry,
heed its warning or be sorry.
I was born in England the grand,
but dealt by luck a poorer hand.
That's why I came to this far land,
to seek my furtune - you understand.
Where exactly? does not matter;
Lest some men try follow later.
Please forgive my rusty manner,
I'll now tell you my adventure.
This land is lush with ample grass,
and sheep and cattle can amass.
But when the mountain range you'll pass,
It's wild and rough of different class.
My living came from herding sheep,
From station base along the trip,
To grazing ground through forest deep,
And then back home my job to keep.
But although my life was pleasent,
I'm not content as simple peasant,
To my curiousity I was a servent,
What over the range might be present.
Chapter 2 – In the Wool-Shed
in shearing time there was a man
who was important for my plan
they called him Chowbok way back then
he was a native old chiftain.
I asked him what's behind the range
so that my journey i'll arrange.
but then he started acting strange
in his behaviour there was change
he took a liking to the grog
i gave him some to that mean dog
but still he kept me in the fog
pretended sleeping like a log.
next night the battle of the will
he craved the drink so i asked still
until at last his secret spill
what happened next gave me the chill
he looked demonic in his stand
to warn me off that danger land
he signaled stop there with his hand
but then i didn't understand
and while he sat there with a frown
his voice was moaning up and down
it reached a shriek and then back drown
and silenced in his lips of brown
i made my mind to find the source
and to that goal i bought a horse
i lied to Chowbok about the course
or else he wouldn't come of course
i packed the food that will be handy
salted mutton, even candy
some bottles of the finest brandy
we started off all fine and dandy
Chapter 3 – Up the river
The river glistened in the sun,
We started easy – it was fun.
Although floods there sometimes run,
We were lucky to have none.
So pretty was the valley's view!
One side in evening shadow blue,
The other sunset golden too,
And cliff and forest peeking through.
At night we camped along the way,
The horses tied so they won't stray,
We lit a fire without delay
And cooked the ducks we caught that day.
The nature was again sublime,
I didn't notice at the time.
We never know it's sugar prime,
That's also true when things are lime.
This ignorance is sometimes bliss,
For things inside us that we miss,
That's hiding in our souls' abyss,
It's good the mirror can't show this.
The road was now becoming harder,
The river roaring like a thunder.
We travelled slowly with each other,
The horses almost falling under.
The ground was worthless as I told,
There wasn't any hint of gold,
Just useless shrubs and damp with mold,
We headed on despite the cold.
I found a path all by my own,
'Cause Chowbok lied that there was none
And then it turned out he was gone,
That crook has left me all alone!
Chapter 4 – The Saddle
i sat and thought things carefully
he kept me out from this valley
should i stop now when - by golly -
the mystery unfolds finally?
but to procceed i should be mental
what happens if i sprain an ankle
or in a pit fall for example
who the helping rope will dangle?
so then i made up my mind
when danger comes i'll turn around
try reach the top and look behind
to see what's on the other side.
Chowbok dropped his swag as whole
so everything in blankets roll,
i tied the ends so i could stroll,
and 'round one shoulder carried all.
i reached the top and took a glance
thousands of feet below my stance
on riverbed that's so immense
an angry river gushed intense
but then it happened just by chance
the clouds were shifting like a dance
through an easy pass like an entrance
i caught a glimpse of distant plains
the night's not far, all cold and black
no camping here - that choice i lack
i must go forward or go back
i took a pull off brandy flask
what precipices i'll come across
would my descent see my grip loss
and then the river how to cross
where to and fro the current toss?
discover this and make my name
to gain the fortune and the fame
i felt that life would be a shame
if missing this would be my blame
i had to reach the lower ground
i bruised a lot and took a pound
a waterfall at last i found
alas i could not go around
i leaped down to deep pool below
my heavy swag gave me a blow
i nearly drowned in all that flow
to providence my life i owe!
the blankets kept the matches dry
i was so happy i could cry
some tea and biscuits 'neath the sky
helped to keep my spirits high
i can't go back that chasm fall
so my return's impossible
the only comfort to my soul
my watch reminds me of people
i fell asleep and dreamt a dream
with mountain sized organ it seem
in caverns depths its pillars gleam
when Handel played the keys supreme
when i woke up i couldn't tell
distant music on my ears fell
aeolian harp as clear as bell
exact same noise as Chowbok's yell!
and now the reader i implore
remain on your familiar shore
don't go where none has gone before
it's never easy to explore
Chapter 5 – The river and the range
I walked down to the river side
its icky ground with tons of mud
The stream was rapid rough and wide
I heard small stones as they collide
I couldn't swim, I couldn't ford.
I'll make a raft and go on board.
to leave my swag i can't afford,
unsafe alone so help me lord.
a plant three meters long its stalk
grew everywhere 'round every rock
it's hollow so it floats like cork
at right angles i piled a stock
this plant with iris looking flower
its fiber leaves packed lots of power
just weaving strips took me an hour
to sightly tie the bundles' "tower"
i picked a spot to make my cross
where it was slow and wide across
to grip i must in spite the toss
without my raft i'll be at loss
the water there were much to deep
at last my hold i could not keep
the current took me in its sweep
what's done is done too late to weep
i drifted on the current roar
a kilometer less or more
at last i woke up near the shore
i can't recall what was before
i missed old Chowbok's wretched soul
he'd help me here in this hell hole
to make him Christian was my goal
but there i failed – he always stole
i rose from sleep in early dawn
feeling strange there all alone
but still my hope was far from gone
seeing the dangers i took on
the clouds rolled up into a mist
my keen eye sight came to assist
some goat tracks that can't be dismissed
could shepherds in this land exist?
i raised my eyes ahead again
the horror's shudder hit me then
a circle of gigantic men
ten times myself they're higher than
i must have fainted from the chill
the figures standing silent still
perhaps statues the cloud conceal
i waited long but movement nil
a crude barbaric Stonehenge here
their pose like Chowbok's filled me fear
the mouths were open, two fell near
their heads all empty contents clear
Then came a gust of howling wind
the statues moaning like a fiend
the organ's evil pipes that grinned
to hear this choire - what have i sinned?
since i came home to England's bay
a friend on organ some chords play
brought memories of that strange day
it's Handel's concert by the way
Chapter 6 – Into Erewhon