Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Important Lessons from Children's Books

My daughter has a new favorite book: The Little Engine that Could. It's very sweet, and teaches an important lesson. Every time I read it, though, I can't help but think of the definitive poetic version by Shel Silverstein.

Shel was a weird dude (check the link for his first major employer) but the dude could write serious poetry. This is one of my favorites.

The Little Blue Engine, by Shel Silverstein

The little blue engine looked up at the hill.
His light was weak, his whistle was shrill.
He was tired and small, and the hill was tall,
And his face blushed red as he softly said,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

So he started up with a chug and a strain,
And he puffed and pulled with might and main.
And slowly he climbed, a foot at a time,
And his engine coughed as he whispered soft,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

With a squeak and a creak and a toot and a sigh,
With an extra hope and an extra try,
He would not stop — now he neared the top —
And strong and proud he cried out loud,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”

He was almost there, when — CRASH! SMASH! BASH!
He slid down and mashed into engine hash
On the rocks below... which goes to show
If the track is tough and the hill is rough,
THINKING you can just ain’t enough!


Jonathan said...


JS Huntlands said...
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