In tribute to and memory of Dr. Seuss, who gave me and my children hours of delight.
"There's a ghost in the well! We heard him just now.
We were playing and singing just any old how,
Up on the hill, where the sun shines so bright,
Where the well water used to reflect back the light.
The well is an old one, its water quite gone.
We make wishes there now and use the sides to lean on.
Never before have we heard such a sound,
So sad and whispery, coming out of the ground!
It must be a ghost, one who's terribly blue."
And each one affirmed that the story was true.
Now all were afraid to go up on the hill,
To encounter the ghost who lived in the well.
They stayed in the valley or went wide around,
To avoid the whispery sound in the ground.
And then one day to the valley there came,
A strong merry lad, young Aden by name.
Friendly in nature, a builder by trade,
He'd come for a visit, and decided to stay.
The villagers smiled, they whistled and cheered,
They knew from before there was nothing he feared.
They told him their story, and told it again,
"Help us, young Aden, we're at our wits end!"
To Aden this sounded like his sort of game;
He decided to face down the ghost and his fame.
He wanted to see what the fuss was about,
To reclaim the well and free all from the doubt
Of climbing the hill to play in the sun,
Of enjoying bright days of wishing and fun.
So he climbed past the valley to the cliff up above,
Towards a stone-carved star in the mouth of a dove,
Chiselled with care by a shepherd in love.
Arriving at last beneath the stone star,
Aden looked down, down into the well.
He drew a deep breath, leaned over real far,
And just like a fog horn, let out a great yell,
So deep and so loud, it was heard in the vale.
Then listened and heard, as clear as a bell,
A reply, a long sigh, a whispery sound,
A sound that was sad and very profound.
He looked and he listened.
No one could he see.
He wondered and pondered:
"Just who could it be?''
Who was it that made such a downhearted sigh?
And why was he sad? He had to know why.
Aden looked down as he'd looked once before.
"Perhaps you are cold in that dank and dark bore.
Who are you down there? Why do you mourn?
What causes you to make a sigh so forlorn!
Perhaps I can help you, I'm willing to try."
He waited and waited but there came no reply.
"Did you fall off the brink,
Down deep in the sink?
Or leant over, then flew
When you slipped on the dew?
If that happened to you,
It's no wonder you're blue!
Are you alone in that flue?
Or perhaps you are two?
And while one is asleep, one is awake,
Too tired to speak save the sigh that you make."
But though Aden listened and listened quite hard,
Only the sough of the wind the silence did mar.
How strange, he thought. Perhaps he can't hear.
But he answered my yell, promptly and clear.
"Hello", Aden shouted. "What is your name?
If you tell me yours, then I'll do the same."
At last, in a voice as soft as the breeze:
"My name is Gee-Willi-Star-Knobboly-Keys.
Your voice is so faint down here in the deep,
At first I caught only a very small peep.
My ears are quite large or not even your shout
Could be heard by anyone out and about."
After a long pause, a sigh floated away.
Aden leaned lower, cupped an ear, and yelled 'Hey'!
"Why do you sigh? Why are you so sad?
What could possibly be so terribly bad?"
Gee-Willi-Star-Knobboly-Keys did reply:
"The well. It's the well. The well has gone dry!
There was water before, lower daily it's true,
But enough for us here and enough for you, too.
The water did make the most beautiful sight.
It wavered and shone with such sunny bright light.
Alas and alack, the well has gone dry,
And now all we see is the blue of the sky."
Aden pondered and thought, sitting by the old well.
The drought came so sudden, too quickly to tell,
What caused the well's water level to drop,
A little each day from bottom to top,
Til nothing was left, not even one drop.
There must be a leak in the well was his thought.
The where and the how are what now must be sought.
When we find out the how and locate the where,
We can plug up the leak with some tools and some care.
Then the well will fill up to the top once more,
And all will be just like it was once before.
Aden leaned over to shout out his plan.
Willi's whisper grew hopeful: "O, if only you can...
The well is our window to the sun for the deep,
We watch the light brighten, then fade as we sleep.
We'd be ever so grateful if you plugged up the leak!"
Aden crowed loud, his voice full of glee:
"Surely you see, I'm just the right man,
I'm a builder by trade, and I have a good plan.
Someone like me is just what you need.
I'll fix this right up, with all possible speed."
And that's just what he did, young Aden, that Fall,
He plugged up the leak in no time at all.
He did a good job; he's thorough, you see.
He patched it up right, as good as can be!
The last thing he heard, ere the water flowed in,
And the whispery sound was damped out again,
Was the happiest whisper there ever had been.
Gee-Willi-Star-Knobboly-Keys was so glad!
"A new celebration", he whispered, "we'll add,
To remember our friend who saved us this day,
Who gave back our sun. To young Aden, HURRAY!"
Copyright 2002, Marcia J. Maren Vilhjalmsdottir
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED