Young boy lying on bed reading

Cure For a Rotten Day

by Gordon Klopfenstein

When summer’s past and the days grow short
And it’s too cold to play outside
And you’re ten or six or eleven or nine
And you’ve told your mother your school work’s fine
And your sister is watching her favorite show
And you’ve nothing to do but watch fingernails grow
You change from a pleasant, sweet little kid
And become a regular Mr. Hyde.

It starts very slowly, you don’t notice at first
The ornery things you did.
You hit your brother, you tease the cat,
You start complaining about this and that,
You sit in the chair your sister was in,
You call her fat when you know she’s thin
And finally even you will have to admit
You’ve become a rotten little kid.

You know you really didn’t want that chair
And it’s not any fun to hit
But they don’t have a quarter that you can borrow
And you hate the clothes you’re wearing tomorrow
And you go to the fridge and you open the door
And you spill a gallon of milk on the floor.
You finally decide you just can’t be nice
And you really don’t care a bit.

“Go to your room,” your mother is saying
You finally pay the price.
So you lay on your bed and you kick the wall.
You decide to run away from it all.
You guess you’ll go just any old place
Where you can run around with a dirty face
And they’ll all be sorry when they’re finally told
That you’re living with rats and mice.

There’s a way to run off without leaving the house.
You don’t have to go out in the cold.
You can win any game. You can slay any dragon.
You can cross any prairie in a covered wagon.
You can fight any battle or ride any horse.
Well—not really in the house, of course
But you can and your mother will say, “Oh, look,
The little angel is reading a book.”