Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Professor No More, The Professor Yet

They were building a new building. As they had built the last,
They had often seen him give a—well, a look as he passed.

The principal of the college thought building much fun—
Until the professor asked quietly, “Hmm. Another one?”

The principal caught his breath, knowing what was meant. “You cannot pass!
By the secret flames, if you go now, who will teach next week’s class?”

With a kind smile, the reply: “Your buildings. But I won’t stay.”
And lifting off his professor’s hat, he threw it a very long way.

The principal tried to block the professor’s perilous path,
but the gentle professor quickly gave him some math.

Then slowly and silently walked to the wall.
The other looked up and croaked out a call

but the professor went over. It was not the glass on top
that made the principal, distrot, whisper, “Please stop.”

They hired trackers who sought him with hounds,
but the clever old professor was not to be found.

The principal rushed to the prof’s house and banged on the door.
A little girl answered, with a sweet, “What’s the pounding for?”

Unused to being spoken to so, he flushed thuroly red.
The shame cut so deep he then would have fled,

but she said softly, “If you are looking for my grandpa, he is here.”
He was aghast at his own odious response, which was: “Oh dear.”

The prof was in the kitchen, sleeping on (what the girl called) the picnic table.
The principal tried to say “Hi.” Instead came, “Um, Mr. Mentally Unstable—”

“That’s so; I never have kept horses in my brain.
The weight is likely to cause a good deal of pain.

“One day an obnoxious reduced my granddaughter to tears,
so I stuffed equines into his head till he bled thru his ears.”

Involuntarily the principal offered, “Is that story true?”
Not even looking. The girl said, “He made it for you.”

Again accidentally—“Hey, you can’t scare me, dude.”
“What?”—a hint of surprised anger. “Were you rude?”

Still looking away, the prof wrote, “Granted: permission to go out.”
Mission forgotten, the principal ran, barely swallowing a startled shout.

He consoled himself: “He’ll be back; he must turn a resignation in.”
But that was that. The professor never set foot on the campus again.

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