On the corner of Elmwood in the middle of Rhine,
sat a fat little house with one stair to climb.
It’s inhabitants were not many
in fact only two,
Peculiar Mr. Norsworthy and his camel Tootsie Lou.
Mr. Norsworthy was not old and his hair was not gray,
but strange things he did and he liked it that way.
Like every third month since 1994
he slept in a tent outside his back door;
and on the weekends when school had let out
he would hide in the library and the books he would count.
It was a bicycle that got him from this way to that,
and when he saw a lady he gave a tip from his hat.
But nothing was as strange and as great to debate
than when at his fat home
arrived a great crate.
It was made of cracked wood with big holes on it’s sides,
and the neighborhood kids looked on with big eyes.
He stood on a chair to open the crate
with the whole town anxiously awaiting it’s fate.
The wood fell down with a swhoosh and a thud
and out popped a camel who spit in the mud.
Everyone cheered at what had come into town,
but the mayor of Rhine looked on with a frown.
“That camels no good, she’ll mess up the place and bring
this whole town to shame and disgrace. So, get that big
animal out of my face.”
The people got quiet and went home in a hurry,
but Mr.Norsworthy didn’t understand the big scurry.
“But I like her Mr. Mayor, I’ll not send her away.
Tootsie lou is my friend and in my house she will stay,”
Mr. Norsworthy said full of shock and dismay
and shouted at the Mayor, “Goodbye and Good day”.
But it turned out to be that the Mayor was right,
for Tootsie Lou had begun to act out in spite.
She spit on the rose bushes in the whole neighborhood
and made all the neighbors think she was exceptionally rude.
For in this small town one thing is world known,
you don’t spit on a rose bush or from your house you’ll be thrown.
For everyone knew to mess with such a good
brought you straight to jail without water or food.
Tootsie Lou did not know this was such a mistake,
she just had to spit or her poor jaw would ache.
All she ever wanted
was just to be loved,
not to be hollered at, pushed at
So, Mr. Norsworthy with words so polite
convinced the townspeople to give up their fight.
With a wink from Tootsie to make things right
a promise to use a hose solved their big plight
and even the mayor didn’t seem so uptight.
So on the corner of Elmwood in the middle of Rhine,
sat a fat little house with one stair to climb,
and in the backyard often you would find a camel watering roses in a way so refined.
For the neighborhood folks, it was a sight not to be missed.
A camel watering roses with a hose,
not a kiss.
Copyright Dana Trauth, 2009
The author lives in Louisiana, USA.
Return to the Free page.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.