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