The Nap Taker
By Shel Silverstein
Artist Chris Dunn
No – I did not take a nap –
The nap – took – me
off the bed and out the window
far beyond the sea,
to a land where sleepy heads
read only comic books
and lock their naps in iron safes
so that they can’t get took.
And soon as I came to that land,
I also came to grief.
The people pointed at me, shouting,
‘Where’s the nap, you thief?’
They took me to the courthouse.
The judge put on his cap.
He said, ‘My child, you are on trial
for taking someone’s nap.
‘Yes, all you selfish children,
you think just of yourselves
and don’t care if the nap you take
belongs to someone else.
It happens that the nap you took
without a thought or care
belongs to Bonnie Bowlingbrook,
who’s sittin’ cryin’ there.
‘She hasn’t slept in quite some time –
just see her eyelids flap.
She’s tired drowsy – cranky too,
’cause guess who took her nap?’
The jury cried, ‘You’re guilty, yes,
you’re guilty as can be.
But just return the nap you took
And we might set you free.’
‘I did not take that nap,’ I cried,
‘I give my solemn vow,
and if I took it by mistake
I do not have it now.’
‘Oh fiddle-fudge,’ cried out the judge,
your record looks quite sour.
Last night I see you stole a kiss,
Last week you took a shower,
‘You beat your eggs, you’ve whipped your cream,
at work you punched the clock,
You’ve even killed an hour or two,
we’ve heard you darn your socks.
We know you shot a basketball,
you’ve stolen second base,
and we can see you’re guilty
from the sleep that’s on your face.
‘Go lie down on your blanket now
and cry your guilty tears.
I sentence you to one long nap
for ninety million years.
And when the other children see
this nap that never ends,
no child will ever dare to take
somebody’s nap again.’
Fuzzy, you are underfoot!
You’re never still, you won’t stay put,
you twirl and try to catch your tail,
and never notice that you fail.
You clamber up and down the stairs,
depositing unsightly hairs,
and when it’s time to go outside,
you scamper off and try to hide.
Fuzzy, though you understand,
you never follow my command,
I tell you “Sit!” I tell you “Stay!”
You lick my face and run away.
I buy you bones, and yet you choose
to gnaw the chair, to chew my shoes,
I would not mind a dog like that,
but you’re peculiar for a cat.
From Something BIG Has Been Here by Jack Prelutsky