My young bro had a best buddy, Carl ‘Crazy’ Miller,
This singular boy did not possess one single scintilla
Of simple common sense the Maker bestows on mankind;
Carl could be big trouble, but very little troubled his mind.
Carl was a prospective member of the Punch Bunch-
The kids who only went to school to share your lunch?
By the time Crazy had attained the heady age of eleven
‘Twas obvious he wouldn’t be heading to Varsity, or heaven.
Anyway, down at the dead end of desolate Ingoldsby Street
The long promised demolition of a fine old fixture, complete;
The barn-like Theresa Green Home For Refined Retired Gentlefolk
Finally lay laid waste, ‘neath the shadow of a high and mighty oak.
My brother and Carl, being at that tender age-
Before girls turn one’s head and hormones rage,
Before teenage hi-jinks result in serving hard time-
Saw a tree sat on now public land, and free to climb.
Previously protected behind a palisade ten feet tall,
Its private land and croquet lawn, now turned over to all,
Carl’s eye beheld that crazed glint of the devil-may-care,
This oak would be Carl’s Everest and my bros nightmare.
Up a handy branch Crazy sprung, with a single bound,
With simian agility up he swung, foregoing safer ground,
Monkey see monkey do, my bro followed, but slowly, in kind,
Leaving those below looking up at bro, pale, dragging behind.
Halfway up bro heard the sound of dry wood snapping
Followed by Carl plummeting past, arms crazily flapping,
My brother followed Carl’s progress aaaaall the way down
Waiting for one stout branch to stave in Carl’s thick crown.
As a switch took a swatch of Carl’s curls it dawned on him
That if he hit this tree they could both lose a healthy limb-
Now the blood curdling uncontrolled bladder loosing scream,
Oh- did I mention this tree was perched by a tinkling stream?
This body of water was contained by a concrete culvert,
But wherever Carl chanced to land had to bloody well hurt,
Came the sound of a splash and his pals dashed out to aid him,
Amazingly, Crazy landed in water and, miraculously, could swim.
He waded out of the chill waters, shivering but safe, Christ be praised,
All gathered gazed on amazed, yet Carl looked imperturbably unfazed,
A bump on the noggin, a broken fingernail, but not one broken bone,
I’d say Carl had the luck o’ the devil- but he’s known to look after his own.