The Irony of Big Oak John

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 28, 2018

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Submitted: August 28, 2018



In a droopy forest green

Where the woodland creatures be,

There lives a man named Big Oak John

Who stomps the fallen, crunchy leaves.


It was morning in the forest.

Slowly golden light dripped in,

The sing-song birds twittered above,

Laughed at the forest folk in the din.


They chirped, “Hoo hoo John’s a-looming.”

Then all the little critters scurried,

Stopped their prowling, stopped their grooming.

Ducked and covered in their burrows

When they heard John’s feet a-booming.

In the treetops the birdies sneered.

They pointed, snickered, shrugged, and jeered:


“Hoo look-ey here now hoo look-ey there,

I see not a fox, nor mouse, nor hare.

They’re hiding in the ground,

They’re making not a sound.

Pity their paws can’t fly up in air.


Bird folk roost free in treetops revered.

We fly up here unscathed, sleep unfeared.

But we see why you hide

It’s one hell of a ride

And we heard John’s got fur for a beard.”


Big Oak John emerged from the brush,

Snapping roots with his leather boots

Smashing the undergrowth to mush.

He wore a vest of brown suede

And stained jeans, machine made,

While chanting in the woodland hush:


“Look what I have

Look what I’ve got!

Here in my hand

I’m taking the pot!


Look what I have

Look what I’ve got!

O it’s so grand

A man in his lot!”


The critters hid deep in their holes.

The sing-song birds watched from the leaves.

John had something strange with him,

A large, thick stick with a sharp rim.

It stuck off the top and

Sparkled with a bronze din.


Big Oak John marched up to a tree,

(One of his own name, tall and lean)

And struck the bark with his strange stick.

The startled birds took flight;

Chirped with trebled panic.


The woodland critters delved deeper

And ever deeper into their dens.

Big Oak John struck the trunk again.

Again and again thunked the trunk.

The notch grew from one inch to ten.


The old tree shuddered, low leaves fell.

The birds could not see, could not tell,

Their livelihood doomed for timber

And they swooped upon John

In a terrified swell.


John the great woodsman, Big Oak John,

Flailed his strange stick at the birds in air,

Struck two but could not quell the terror.

Thrashing, he tripped upon the tree

And dropped his strange stick - it laid bare.




It echoed through the forest land.

Then silence

Brooded like a glowing brand.

The woodland folk emerged

And gawked

And sniffed an empty hand.

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