Prince Slade and the Flibberty-flu
                                    for Slade Charles 2007

Far in the North, in a kingdom cold,
Where blood runs blue and the rivers run gold,
Where the muskrat swims and the great moose wade,
There lived a prince, and his name was Slade,

A Prince of a lad, just four years old,
Far in the North, in a kingdom cold,
Where he caught the salmon and tracked the bear,
In his long, warm, woolly underwear.

And he loved to fish! And he knew all about
The grayling and the rainbow trout.
He could talk to them too, and would beg their pardon
When he hooked a pike or a dolly varden.

And he loved the woods, the birch and the pine
And was friends with the squirrel and the porcupine
And the moose and the elk and the wild caribou,
But his favorite friend was the flibberty-flu.

Well, you've heard of the others, but I bet that you
Have never heard of a flibberty-flu,
And only Prince Slade...as far as is known...
Had a flibberty-flu of his own.

Now a flibberty-flu doesn't live out-of-doors,
Like a moose or a bear or a pig or a horse.
Slade's flibberty lived in an old shoe box
In his dresser drawer, next to his socks.

And whenever the King and Queen were away,
Or Prince Slade was lonely and wanted to play,
He'd go to the drawer where the shoe box was hid
And, calling out softly, he'd open the lid.

Then out with an "Oink," hopped the flibberty-flu.
And then there was always something to do,
For whatever Slade wanted, whatever the game,
The flibberty-flu, happily, wanted the same.

And all day long, for hours on end,
Slade had someone to play with, a friend.
Monopoly, Candy Land, checkers, and Clue
Were the favorite games of the flibberty-flu.

Card games, like rummy and spit and old maid,
And hopscotch and Legos were games that they played.
Let's Pretend, cops and robbers, Peter Pan, Captain Hook,
Or they'd keller with crayons in the Kellering Book.

But what does he look like, this flibberty-flu?
Well, of course, he's about the size of a shoe,
With feet kind of small and eyes kind of big,
A tail kind of curly and a snout like a pig.

He was covered with feathers, or lets call it fur...
Furry feathers, perhaps...hard to say what they were.
But, for sure, it was fur unlike any other,
For the flibberty-flu, every day, changed his color.

On Sunday the flibberty-flu fur was white.
On Monday he made it go green.
On Tuesday, yellow. On Wednesday, red.
On Thursday an aquamarine.

On Friday the flibberty-flu fur was pink,
And finally, on Saturday, blue.
So Slade always knew what day it was,
Cuz Slade had a flibberty-flu!

The flibberty-flu had a laugh like a loon,
And he'd hop up and down and was kind of a goon.
He'd hide when the grown-ups were near, kind of wimpish,
But alone with Slade, he was totally impish.

Like naughty kittens or an unruly pup,
He liked to make messes and not clean them up.
In addition to not-cleaning-up and mess-making,
He also liked tearing and spilling and breaking,

Bending, spindling, stapling, and folding
Or anything fun that might earn a scolding.
So most folks prefer spiders or roaches or mouses
To having a flibberty-flu in their houses.

For example, one day the King...call him Joe...
Had poured some concrete for a new patio,
And he posted a sign, "Wet Cement," for a warning,
As Prince Slade sat watching his father that morning.

But when he returned in an hour, the King
Found wet, sticky footprints all over the thing.
"Who tracked up my patio concrete?!" cried Joe.
"These look like Slade footprints! Slade, was it you?!"

"Why, Father, I'm hurt and offended," said Slade,
"But I bet I know how these footprints were made.
Look at 'em. Look. They're the size of a shoe.
You know what I'm thinkin'? A flibberty-flu!"

King Joseph stepped back with a look of dismay.
"A what'sit? A jiggery-poo did you say?"
"The flibberty-flu, Dad. He did it for sure!
Wait'll I tell you about him. There's more."

So Slade told his Dad all the flibberty-flu stuff.
How he lived in a box; how they'd play stuff and do stuff.
Joe's eyes grew as big as two silver dollars,
When he heard how the flibberty-flu changed his colors.

"I guess," thought the King, "I just have to admire,
A son who's such a fanciful liar.
Boys will be boys," he said with a sigh.
"And that was a lulu; that was some lie."

But King Joseph wasn't so proud of his liar
When he next found the family cat in the dryer,
And more tracks in the repoured concrete to spoil it,
And a teddy bear stuffed in the bathroom toilet.

There was tar in the kitchen and mud in the halls,
And keller crayon drawings all over the walls,
More messes than I have time to disclose-all,
Like Lego bricks stuck in the garbage disposal.

Like Joe's minivan all covered with scratches
And burns where someone was playing with matches.
"Tell the truth, young man!" said the King. "Was it you!?"
"No, Dad. You're forgetting. The flibberty-flu!"

But now the boy's father had heard quite enough,
And grabbing his fanciful son by the scruff,
He said, "Slade, just once I'll say this to you...
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A FLIBBERTY-FLU!"


"Come see for yourself then," said Slade to the King.
"Come upstairs right now, and I'll show you the thing."
So they went to his room where the shoe box was hid,
And Slade got the shoe box and lifted the lid.

Then out with an OINK! jumped the flibberty-flu,
Saturday, as it happened, the day he was blue.
The King was amazed, and just stood there gawking
As the creature hopped up and down, oinking and squawking.

Dumbfounded, Joe went all whey-faced with dread
And ran to his room and hid under his bed.
But Slade came and tugged him out by the arm
And promised the creature would do him no harm.

Then each day for a week the King came to call
To see all the colors (though he watched from the hall)...
A show like King Joe never had seen.
And his favorite color was aquamarine.

Then, without thinking, Joe joined in the fun
And forgot all the damage the creature had done.
He began to play hopscotch and Candy Land too,
Just Slade and the King and the flibberty-flu.

But oh, gentle reader, as you may now guess,
Whom the fates would destroy, they first send success,
For now a dark figure enters the scene.
As yet...you forget...we've not mentioned: THE QUEEN!

A no-nonsense lady, The Queen's name was Kay,
The power-behind-the-throne, as they say,
The brain power, the main power, the power of the purse,
The tutor, the teacher, the healer, the nurse.

And though never bossy or sharp-tongued or mean,
Everyone knows you don't mess with...THE QUEEN.
To mess with the Queen can be serious doo-doo,
But messing with queens is what flibberty-flus do.

So no one should be surprised to learn
The story now takes a dangerous turn.
The Queen was in the kitchen giving Slade a snack,
And she left for a minute, and when she got back,


There was salt in the sugar and milk in her hat
And peanut butter smeared on the family cat.
There were pop-tarts stapled to the floor, and worse,
There was chocolate syrup in her brand new purse.

When she went to her desk, the inkwell was tipped,
Her letters all smeared and the stamps all licked.
With fire in her eyes and her knickers in a knot,
She ran to the King. And she was hot!

As the King was waking from his morning nap,
The Queen was pouring chocolate syrup in his lap.
"Mr. King," said the Queen, "It's about your son.
I think it's time you had a little one-on-one!"

And then she poured the milk from her hat,
And showed him the pop-tarts and the peanut-butter cat.
"You're the Dad! Do your duty! Your son's gone berserk!
Get up! Get dressed! And get to work!"

"It looks like Slade," said the King, "but you...
You may not know about the flibberty-flu."
And so King Joe began to tell the Queen
Of the creature with fur that's pink, blue, and green.

"STOP!" shrieked the Queen. "Are you crazy? Insane?
Mad? Loony? Loopy? Soft in the brain?
This hat was my favorite. This purse was brand new.
And you're talking about... what? A flibberty-flu?!"

"I know! I know it sounds crazy," said Joe.
"So you'll just have to see it. C'mon. Let's go.
It's upstairs in Slade's room. It lives in a box.
In a drawer. In his dresser. Next to his socks."

And with Kay by the hand, up they went for a look,
And Slade was there, quietly reading a book.
The King got the box from the dresser drawer
And lifted the lid. But much to his horror...

No furry creatures! No flibberty-flus!
Just a pair of ordinary, sensible shoes.
"Slade, where's the flibberty-flu?" said the King.
"You're mother doesn't think there is such a thing."


Slade turned his eyes from his book
And gave his mother a puzzled look.
Then he said to the King with a tone of dismay,
"I'm sorry, father. But what can I say?

Dummy Dad! Really, I'm surprised at you.
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A FLIBBERTY-FLU!"
So the Queen took the King downstairs by the ear,
Going, "Yipe! Yipe! Yipe!" And she said, "My dear,

You know what's going to happen now? Three guesses!"
And she put the King to work cleaning up messes.
Joe gave her the sceptre that he carried around,
Rolled up his royal sleaves and removed his royal crown.

The Queen set the crown on a table near the back,
Just as Slade was coming down for his morning snack.
("That crown, that's a mighty fine hat,") thought Slade,
("Maple syrup, maybe? No! Orange marmalade!" )