Benjamin Oliver Flanagan
A Boy with his little red wagon
Happy and Free, Bouncy and sweet,
Riding through trails of Shenanigans
Our story begins on a fine summer’s day,
A morning that greets you with, “Come out and Play!”
The birds are all singing, the squirrels all smiling,
The grasshoppers bouncing and lady-bugs flying.
Dandelion’s dance in their magic trapeze,
Swirling and twirling along with the breeze
A whimsical dance of magical motion,
Cotton candy dots on a great hidden ocean.
The grass is so soft that it tickles your toes!
And flowers so sweet that they tickle your nose!
A wonderful day when your smile just can’t hide,
A Day that was made just for being outside!
The fish in the pond jump up in the air,
Leaving little misty rainbows shimmering there,
Chasing the buzzing and quick dragon-flies,
Slapping their tails as their snack flies right by!
Benjamin Oliver squirmed in the kitchen,
The wonders outside had all his attention!
Speedy the wagon peeked through the screen door,
Anxious to fly through the hills and explore!
Benjamin slurped at his cereal bowl,
Winking at Speedy so ready to go!
He drank all his juice just as fast as he could,
Then helped with the dishes, as little Boys should!
Speedy continued to peek through the doors,
Waiting while Benjamin finished his chores,
He peeked at the beautiful morning outside,
Excited to go for a long, bouncy ride!
Benjamin Oliver dashed from the house,
Smiling at Speedy who giggled and bounced,
Their mighty adventure began with a flash!
Not sure where they’re headed, but going there fast!
“Where should we go?!” shouted Benjamin, grinning,
Speedy just laughed as his wheels kept on spinning,
“Maybe to town or to Farmer Brown’s pond,
I might see a shark, or catch a bull frog!”
“Or how about going on down to the creek?
I know a neat place made for splashing your feet!”
Speedy thought that was a wonderful plan!
And sped through the field led by Benjamin’s hand.
The creek shimmered bright in the valley below,
A glimmering wiggle between the green slopes
It bubbled and whistled its special creek song,
Whisking the tadpoles and crawdads along.
A chubby Raccoon splashed his hands in the water,
Telling a joke to his furry friend, Otter
The Otter just laughed as he drifted right by,
Glistening whiskers aimed at the sky.
Benjamin Oliver kicked off his shoes,
Wiggled his toes in the riverbanks ooze,
Squishing the mud between squiggling toes,
Grinning at Speedy and wrinkling his nose!
He rinsed off his feet in the crystal clear flow,
An idea in his mind beginning to glow,
“Speedy, I’ve got it!”, came the report,
“Let’s you and I stay here and build us a fort!”
Speedy nodded his handle in a wagon “Okay”,
What could be more fun for a wagon at play?
To haul all the lumber and mud and the rocks,
The sticks and the stones, (and Benjamin’s socks!)
“I think we should build at the top of the peak,”
Benjamin said, as he dried off his feet,
“We’ll need a great fort to protect us from Goblins,
A great solid wall with no signs of wobbling!”
Benjamin walked by the creek with great care,
Picking the biggest of rocks he could bear,
Placing them gently on Speedy’s stout back,
Piling them high in a great, heavy stack.
Speedy was filled way up over the top!
He thought any moment his wheels might go “POP!”
He’d never had this much inside him before,
Building this fort would be quite the chore!
Benjamin looked at his friend stacked so high,
A determined spark gleaming from twinkling eyes,
He grasped Speedy’s handle and gave it a tug,
But Speedy just sat there, refusing to budge!
Benjamin pulled just as hard as he could,
Yet Speedy remained just right where he stood!
The chubby Raccoon chattered support,
Perhaps he could help them in building the fort!
He rubbed his small hands and then walked behind Speedy,
“We’ll get up the hill, Oh yessir, indeedy!”
Benjamin Oliver spied the Raccoon,
“And just what exactly are you trying to do?”
“My fort will not hold any chubby Raccoons,
I’d rather have Pandas or hairy Baboons!”
The chubby Raccoon walked away with a huff,
This smug little boy was simply too much!
Benjamin grinned at his laden companion,
“No chubby Raccoons pushing my special wagon!”
“Come on!” he shouted to Speedy with zeal,
And Speedy tried hard to move towards the hill!
But try as they may and with all of their might,
Speedy just couldn’t be pulled from that site!
Farmer Brown’s Sheep Dog watched all the struggles
He thought he could move it without any trouble
He lumbered his wooly big frame to the scene
And offered his paws up for Benjamin’s dream
“No fuzzy Sheep Dog can match my great Speedy!
You can’t even see!! Are you nuts or just dreaming?!”
Farmer Brown’s Sheep Dog lumbered away,
Sad that he wasn’t invited to play,
Benjamin Oliver couldn’t care less,
He and His Speedy would pass this great test!
“I’ll get up this hill with my cargo of stones,
Speedy and I always manage alone!”
But try as they may and with all of their power,
Speedy just sat there hour after hour.
Benjamin grunted and sweated and strained,
But there at the creek-side fair Speedy remained,
The sun danced its way cross the great summer sky,
And finally, tragically, Benjamin sighed.
He sat there beside His great friend and he cried,
Feeling dejected and beat deep inside,
His great fort would never be built, it would seem
Perhaps he was chasing an impossible dream?
Speedy felt maybe that he was to blame,
His round eyes looked down at the ground in great shame,
He wanted so much to climb up that great hill,
But stubborn bad luck seemed to challenge their will!
It seemed they were destined for numerous struggles,
Tiny sharp darts just kept bursting their bubbles!
Benjamin Oliver didn’t know what to do,
When a familiar kind face loomed into his view!
“Oh Daddy I’m glad that you’ve found me here!
Speedy and I are in trouble, I fear!”
Benjamin told of His ambitious plans,
And the tiresome critters that offered a hand.
The bumbling Sheep Dog that proffered his paws,
The chubby Raccoon rat-tat-tatting his claws,
Both being pesky and ever the nuisance,
Foiling poor Benjamins progress and movements.
Benjamins Father listened with care,
Nodding agreement as Benjamin shared,
Lost in the tale of the fort’s great construction,
And the animal’s efforts at total obstruction!!
Benjamin wailed as he told the great story,
Robbed of his fortress and all of his glory,
Surely his Father would know what to do,
For Speedy and Benjamin had’nt a clue!
Benjamin’s Father grasped Speedy’s black handle,
And off towards the hill he dashed off with a ramble!
Speedy leapt easily from his place by the creek,
Benjamin gasped at this great feat of strength!
He leapt to his feet and rushed after his Father,
Whose strong and bold steps soon started to falter!
Benjamin couldn’t believe his own eyes!
His Father was struggling with Speedy’s great size?!
Benjamin’s Father was as strong as an Ox!
Yet He struggled with Speedy and all of those rocks!
Benjamin Oliver cried out in despair,
“I’m coming fast Daddy! I’ll quickly be there!”
He scampered the path that his Father had made,
Anxious to quickly provide for their aid,
When all of a sudden His Father stood still,
Stopping with Speedy at the crest of the hill
His Father knelt down and then spoke to the dust,
“Speedy’s too heavy!! This load is too much!!”
Benjamin looked in the eyes of his Father,
And froze when he saw the hard look that was offered,
“Speedy and I climbed this hill all alone,
And we’ve almost brought up this cargo of stone!
Maybe I’ll build a great fort here without you,
With Raccoons and Sheep Dogs and whatever I choose!”
“I’ve almost completed this journey you couldn’t,
Why should I let others help me when you wouldn’t?”
Benjamin pushed against Speedy’s backside,
And shoved his great Friend with all of his might,
He couldn’t leave Daddy up here all alone!
Holding his Speedy so filled up with stones,
He pushed the great Speedy with all that he had,
And forced back the tears as he looked at his Dad.
Speedy tried so hard to help his companion,
He dug in his wheels with a reckless abandon!
Slowly and surely Fair Speedy moved on,
Then crested the peak, his great journey won!
Benjamin lay in the grass by his side,
His little chest heaving, his teary eyes wide,
His Father reached down and stroked his small chin,
Then Benjamin’s Father spoke once again.
“My son, precious son this old world can be tough,
And sometimes alone really isn’t enough,
There’s trials that we face, massive mountains to climb,
Some things we beat quickly, some others take time,
But the hardest of things that we face day to day,
Are the challenges life seems to throw in the way,
We think we can beat them and do it ourselves,
But the hardest words spoken are “I need your help”,
A wise man knows when he can’t do it alone,
A problem that’s still hard for men that are grown!
I know that this lesson is hard to accept,
Just face what you can, and get help with the rest!
The fireflies are dancing now, why don’t we go home?
Let’s quickly unload our shared load of stones,
Speedy looks tired, and so do you, little man.
We’ll come build our fort when tomorrow begins.”
Benjamin smiled as he emptied their treasure,
Feeling the weight of each stone for good measure,
He gazed at the creek ‘neath the silver moonlight,
The Raccoon and Sheep Dog waved their goodbyes.
He grasped Speedy’s handle with one gentle hand,
And smiled in the eyes of his hardworking friend,
Benjamin, Speedy, and Daddy went home,
Tomorrow’s another adventure! And you’re never alone!