By Saibal Chatterjee
Story time was almost over in Hoffmann’s Kindergarten And the children were restless in their seats Because Hoffmann’s stories were ever so practical And never had any fairies or angels or God Mothers Or even giants But always had a moral in the end Which the children had to learn by heart And today’s story was almost over Those fat pigs had to be made into fat sandwiches Because, “Sandwiches,” cried Hoffmann, “Are of more use to us than pigs!” And Tommy the terrier Who had served the shepherd for ten long years Had to be shot And Priscilla the cat had to be drowned Because both were quite old now And would have otherwise gone on living uselessly For God knows how long And as for the blind poet and the deaf singer They both realised the futility of their unproductive lives And drank poison with their tea Much to the delight of the National Productivity Council The story ended “But everyone else lived happily ever after,” Said Hoffmann “Died happily ever after, Sir?” Asked a child who was a little hard of hearing “LIVED! LIVED! LIVED!” boomed Hoffmann “LIVED…HAPPILY…EVER…AFTER” repeated the children And these innocent babes went home and taught their mothers How we all live happily ever after Like black birds in their pies and pigs in their sandwiches
Saibal Chatterjee is an entrepreneur and also a visiting faculty in reputed colleges in Kolkata. He is widely travelled and is an avid photographer.
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