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The Tale of the Giblets by Robert O. Hooper - March 13, 1933


To the Land of Sand and Cactus,
down on the Rio Grande,
My fancy's often wandered,
As I've toured o'er sea and land.

Many a fond recollection,
Or a pleasant reverie,
Have I known and cherished fondly,
Of that land so dear to me.

But life in any clime, I find,
Is not a bed of roses.
Let hime who would that notiong hold,
Take note what life discloses.

Perspective often gives to us,
A sense of humor, keen,
And dresses in romance, those things
That once whould try our spleen.

And so it is, dear reader,
At this long distant day,
That I can now look back and smile
And venture on the lay.

On memories wing I hie me back
To that day in early fall
and vision again that soldier lad
who was subject to beck and call.

A dashing cavlryman was I
when I was on parade,
with sabre drawn, and at salute,
a pretty figure made.

But I was not always on parade;
that's sad, but still 'tis true.
Another guise I must assume,
the kitchen work to do.

This certain day it was my lot
to wrestle pots and pans,
And aid the cook as best I could
to fulfill all his plans.

Let us shift the scene for a moment or two,
while I picture, if I may,
A swine's abode and residence,
that figures in this lay.

Across the sward, a pace or two,
in rather close confinement,
Two porkers lodged without a care,
except their own beguilement.

The deep concern the porkers felt
lest they should not fare goodly,
was oft proclaimed by grunts and squeels
emitted all too rudely.

Now to revert to the kitchen once more,
though not that my heart was there,
but because this tale seems to ramble on,
without seeming to get anywhere.

Dishes and pots and pans galore
have been scoured and stowed away,
Much work has been done, but still there's more,
for this is a holiday.

The menu, grand, was all worked out
on epicurea scale,
But one lone item on that card
afford the point for this tale.

Turkey and cranberry sauce, to be sure,
were proclaimed in bold face print
on that placard designed as a souvinier,
of a feast that knew no stint.

Now the genus, autocrat, is found
where e're the sun doth shine,
Among the lowly castes of men,
and those of regal line.

Though army cooks do stand unique
in this broad category,
It's not my aim to praise or blame
them, in this present story.

Suffice to say, by conscience led,
I strove to do my duty.
So when I erred, as err I did,
It pained me most acutely.

On the floor, a bucket sat,
with sickly looking contents,
Thinks I, "I'll give that to the the pigs
without the cook's comments."

The cook, intent on finer points
of culinary arts,
did fail to see me give the pigs,
the gizzard and the hearts.

Alas, the storm, like shade of night
gathered black about me.
In shorter time than takes to tell,
I was undone completely.

Of all the blundering idiots
it was his pleasure to meet,
The cook declared, with irony,
in accents far from sweet.

The palm was mine; the honor, too,
to occupy a niche,
was undisputed wholly
beyond my power to wish.

With a fitting ending
to his scurrilous rebuke,
he indicated plainly
his contempt, and I was mute,

Lest greater woe betide me,
And make my plight the worse,
by insubordination,
the Army's greatest curse.

Anon, the tirade ended,
but still trembling were my knees.
For trouble still hung over,
like the Sword of Damocles.

For, should the banquetteers observe
upon that bill of fare
that giblets were in order now
and somehow, all to rare,

I'd have some tough explaing,
and alibying too
ere satisfaction
should it's benefits accrue.

This latter worry went for naught,
my apprehensions needless,
for good cheer mingled with good food,
made everybody heedless,

of minor things like giblets rare
or hearts in no profusion,
for there was plenty, and to spare
my fears were but illusion.

And after all, it mattered not,
the way those giblest went,
the valid conservation law
decrees that what is spent,

Is never really wasted, but
In other form resides,
to bless or curse humanity,
as usage so decides.

And so, thru transmutation,
the hearts and giblest scored,
and long, long after, they, as pork,
did grace the festive board.

A moral I might now append
unto this foolish rhyming:

Our blessings do not always come
according to our timing.


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