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Poetry

Kindergarten

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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