There once was a girl named Kathleen
Who felt that she was the queen
Of all pronunciation, spelling and diction
And quite frankly, any fact to be seen.
Whether classmates or teachers
Parents or lowly creatures
It mattered not who she thought was wrong
(And in her mind the mistakes came in throngs).
Kathleen stood ready to detect
Any slip or misfeature
And invariably would cause herself harm.
Day in and day out
Her peers tolerated her bouts
And arrogant shouts.
They listened and listened
Without thought or misgiving
Never getting the nerve
To do more than observe
Her terribly wrong correcting:
“Ms. James, I give you pity
for you see, Germany is a city
and not at all this country which you claim.”
“The founders wrote the Constipation
when they were forming this great nation,
and a frog is a type of a swamp,
not this thing whose legs the French chomp.”
“The true meaning of a book
is a team not a theme
as I’m sure you’ll agree if you look.
This went on for a while
Until the quiet kid Kyle
Knew deep down that enough was enough.
So he made up his mind
The next time that she cried that
“This thing is that thing and that thing is this”
it would be up to him alone to call her bluff.
So it was the very next day
As he placed his homework in the tray
That he heard dear Kathleen
Being awfully mean,
“Yes, you should be e-w-e.”
she was, as always, quite keen
on catching all “those mistakes.”
Kyle threw his hands high
And opened up wide
For he knew he had a lot to say:
You’ve got to be kidding me?
And constipation is an irritable condition.
A BOG is a swamp and a frog’s legs ARE chomped, when fried in hot oil in a pan.
A TEAM is a group and THEME of the book is the right thing to say everyday.
YOU is indeed Y-O-U for a EWE is a grown-up girl sheep!
So, Kathleen could..you…please….THINK before you speak
And stop making us all feel so dumb…
Because You are the one who was wrong all along
And could someone please get this girl a book?
Of spelling and phrases
Of rhymes and of sayings
Of history and cooking and art,
Of reading and writing
Fancy sewing and doodling
Everything, anything and all.
Look, we all make mistakes
But this is more than we can take.
So just stop this and put on the brakes.
Kathleen stared at the floor
And then at the door
As if she very much liked to run.
But instead she sat still
And found herself quite ill
At the spectacle she’d made all those days.
“I…I’m sorry.” She stammered
That I forgot all my manners…
You see once upon a time I felt dumb,
But when I started correcting and, stopped respecting
I actually felt better in turn.
“Kathleen, listen to the truth
we are still in our youth
and all will mess up from time to time
you are certainly not dumb
so let’s have a truce
and put these crimes far behind.
Long after that day, Kathleen would always still cringe
When she thought she detected someone riding the fringe
Of correctness and rightness and the way it should be,
But she would think of quiet Kyle, would hold her tongue…
And would smile…
For “Thinking before speaking”