The Very High Beds of the Family McNed

by Sandra Rippetoe © 2020
for Ben Muncy

Once upon a time in the Land-of-Nature’s-Rhyme-and-Reason
a salesman stopped walking ‘cause he heard people breathin’.

It was Sallie, Ma Mallie, Father Fred, and Little Ted.
They were each climbing steps to get to their bed.

When they weren’t even sleepy, they began the ascent
because it took two hours to reach the beds’ tent.

Little Ted and Sallie said,“It’s really high up.
Sometimes we need rest and a drink from our cup.”

“We can breathe deeply with all that fresh air,
and the stars in the sky take our minds off the stairs.”

“Our long nightly walk has another great feature.
On the way up, we see and hear nature.”

“When we get to the top, we open our packs
and eat what we brought– pie-in-the-sky snacks.”

“But the best thing of all is: We’re close to our dreams
with our heads in the clouds or so it would seem.”

The next evening . . .

The salesman hiked up, “I’m Otto B. Buying.
You’re sleeping all wrong. You ought to be lying”

“like everyone else does with beds on the ground.
With four walls and a roof, you’ll hear not a sound.”

And so he convinced them to purchase new beds.
“Trust me. You’ll love them! You will!” Otto said.

It was so amazing that very first night,
with no stairs to climb. That salesman was right!

But after a few days plus a few weeks,
they missed their old beds. Out the window they peeked.

They felt so shut in, with four walls and a ceiling.
Closed off from nature. Burdened with sad feelings.

After supper one night at a family-time-meeting,
Sallie and Little Ted began desperate pleading,

“We want our old rooms back. This just isn’t fair.
Who cares if our beds are high up in the air?”

Sallie looked out the window. A night moth flew by.
A lightning bug twinkled. Tears filled up her eyes.

Little Ted said, “In here, it’s too quiet!
I miss chirping crickets. Why did you buy it?!”

Ma Mallie comforted and gave both of them hugs.
She, too, missed the night sounds of the frogs, birds, and bugs.

Father Fred’s voice boomed, “Well, okay then, it’s settled.
We’ll go back to our old beds and sell these that were peddled.”

And so it was on the very next night,
they walked up those steps and oh what a sight!

All the night creatures seemed to say “hello.”
The owls went “hoo – hoo” and the fireflies did glow.

‘Though it was hard work, did anyone complain?
No, no, no, no! (Not even when it rained)!

And as they lay down in their beds so very high
with night sounds familiar and stars in the sky,

each McNed was so tired with a smile on their face.
For sweet peaceful sleep, this was just the right place.

And, it was obvious to all, they were close to their dreams
with their heads in the clouds, or so it would seem. . . .