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ODE TO A CURL-UP BUG
O! pity the poor maligned curl-up!
Its form, tho' well designed, inspires many to fear!
But many a curl-up has faced
a cruel and untimely fate
'neath some shoe or sneaker well-placed
So it raises its hackles to have some such footwear come near!
Though 'pill bug' it's properly named,
so low on the food chain, one hides behind cautious deceit!
The 'pill bug's kept secret and dear!
Mere 'curl-up' when others are near!
Lest the higher aesthetic, they fear,
of some higher predator find 'pill bug' deliciously sweet!
In the science museum on a visit,
I viewed an exhibit of insects both fearsome and small.
But one creature displayed, I saw not!
"Unworthy of view, or forgot,"
so I thought, 'til chagrined I did spot
In some beetle's food bowl, poor curl-up lay curled in a ball!
Injustice! Whose foul vision is it
that sees fit to visit on poor curl-up such indignation!
Can poet not visit museum
And look upon curl-up, and see 'em
regarded with higher este'em
than chiefly of value as some beetle's mere delectation?
My wrath hits its limit! I must make a stand! Steeling my courage, with clenched fist I tilt towards exhibit!
Beetle and beetle curator be damn'd! By indignant poetic hand I SHALL FREE 'IM!
Unlike my own hue and cry,
Without heave nor sigh the small pill bug awaited his fate.
So stoic, as if deep in thought
In spite of what fortune had wrought
the pill bug appeared undistraught!
As if unconcerned that a curl-up's thought best to be ate!
So nobly it faced its demise?
Rubbing my eyes, I peeked close at small curl-up again.
Yes! Naught but peace shown on his face
Him placid and stately with grace
Disturbed not by impending fate
For such is the curl-up's exemplary practice of zen!
Embarrassed I was, I confess,
For mine lesser grace and finesse than the doomed curl-up shew.
Perhaps, then, this pill bug has shown
a strength we can find of our own
when looms near that darkness unknown,
should we ever come to be ate by a huge insect too!
So heed now all creatures my call!
Should you walk, fly, swim, slither or crawl!
The merest of pill bugs is mightier still than us all!
This poem, previously published on my website, is based on a real experience that happened to me and Chris in the Boston Science Museum in 1993.