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Lessons from a Cardboard Creation

One day close to Christmas my boy said "You know,
I think that my favorite toy
Would be a small friend made of gingerbread dough.
Could we make a gingerbread boy? "

And then his small fingers went up to his head
As if they were doing some scratching.
The way that his lips were pursed quite plainly said
That shortly a plan would be hatching.

He soon took his hands from his light golden locks
And out of the room fairly flew,
Then shortly returned with a large cardboard box
And markers and tape and some glue.

He drew all the lines and had me cut it out,
Then drew on it some curly hair
A face with a smile that would never wear out
And eyes with a comical stare.

What he had built with his two little hands
Was a masterpiece as you'd agree.
Three feet high even the cardboard lad stands
That my son named his "Gingee."

Hand in hand all summer long the two played
And never were too far apart.
Right by the bed at night Gingee boy stayed
Watching over my boy, bless his heart.

One night Gingee boy was left out all alone
At bedtime, and that's bad because
The sprinklers turned on and soaked him to the bone,
Being made of cardboard as he was.

Early next morning my boy found him there
And set him to dry for awhile.
"Look, Dad," he said, "Gingee boy doesn't care.
His face has still got a big smile."

And late in the night of a difficult day
My patience was wearing quite thin
And try as I might I could not find the way
To make the kids finally turn in.

Just when I thought they were all sent to bed
And I could relax and retire
Through the hall doorway bobbed in a small head
And I felt my temper rise higher.

"Why aren't you in bed?" I growled as I'd been
Doing for about the whole night.
"I just wanted Gingee to come and get in
My bed 'fore I 'turned out the light."

I said that was fine but my boy then asked "Dad?
I've been thinking and, do you know
Why Gingee boy is the best friend that I've had?
Do you know why I like him so?"

I said I did not, would he tell me why. But,
I wished he would cut to the chase.
"Well, said my son, "It's 'cause no matter what
Happens his smile's on his face."

I guess you don't have to have a Ph.D.
Or software in UNIX or DOS
To prove that a cardboard kid's more fun to be
Around than a person that's cross.

If ever I'm asked to list folks who have taught
Me lessons, part of that rendition
Will be a small boy with a friend who will not
Quit smiling in any condition.

Frank Leany

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