The Last Scarecrow

The Last Scarecrow

The Final Scarecrow

by Paul Hunter of Seattle, WA


When across the wooden range Charlie
lastly advised the children one winter night time
what he’d discovered from his outdated nation
schoolmaster who stored a basic retailer
who would expound late and early how
in England since earlier than the Conqueror
if on the farm you weren’t robust sufficient
to dig a ditch fork hay or pull a plow
with no rhythm within the fingers to exploit a cow
these marginal ones nonetheless at all times had a job
ladies males women boys too feeble or frail
sat in orchards or stood alongside fencerows
like statues with stones of their pockets
to maintain crows out of ripening crops

some would spend lengthy moonlit nights
round harvest to bar the darkish flocks
swooping right down to feed and like he stated
by no means thoughts how ragged they appeared
what would rely was that onerous lethal intention
what they did then what they received for it
as these downtrodden ones for his or her service
their vigilant well timed effort killing crows
possible scared off the remaining spared the harvest
as reward is likely to be thrown some leftovers
else let glean the empty fields to pluck
spilled gold kernels down upon their knees


So ever since that kind in human form
in rags in cast-off garments may generate
an historic rage and fright in crows
to disclaim intelligent dark-eyed birds the crop
their variety at all times knew simply when sweetest
most tender as if summoned by ripeness
to settle amongst raucous brethren collect
and gorge until so full the birds echoing
every others’ laughter scarce may flee
the stone chilly pelting rain that lower
them down not even really thrown
by the poorest and feeblest of those

So come subsequent spring with the kids
sufficiently big to poke seeds in grime Evaleen
took one spring’s wet Saturday to make
a scarecrow which none had ever seen
as she stated every of you go fetch a torn
shirt or worn-out gown or pants that
don’t fit your needs any extra that even
your little sister may fall out its gap
and we’ll sew all of them collectively then
stuff them with straw and dangle up
within the backyard to let swing and sway
within the wind perhaps dangle and sparkle
dangle tin cans catch wind make a noise
like a strangled ghost that may
for a minute scare away the birds


However that first yr the children would be taught
what it meant to be foolish not scary
to startle crows what they’d want
was perhaps to steal the lace gloves
their mom wore to church and stretch
out the fingers with coat hanger wire
to grab on the breeze dance and flutter
then get Charlie to assist make a head
with a neck that may spin on a bearing
and a hat that might seize the wind
with feathers to make the top nod until
it bobbed up and down spun round
just like the idiot couldn’t make up his thoughts

in order that they quickly discovered to decorate up the dummy
and as harvest time got here spherical once more
change its billowing vests and vibrant scarves
dangle tinsel to dazzle crows’ eyesight
until the tip of the season Thanksgiving
within the yard in a bonfire they’d burn
final yr’s most horrifying nightmare
that left them new scarecrows to dream
over winter sketch then sew and stuff
earlier than plowing and planting subsequent spring


Although for crows familiarity bred
mockery contempt or chuckles even so
the scarecrows at all times resembled
these women’ and boys’ castoff garments
with Halloween faces and fringes
as soon as a beanie cap with propeller
dancing flutters of fringes and fingers
that vaguely labored in gentle breezes
so none want throw rocks on the crows

However with their ultimate teen set to depart
for faculty they may by no means burn the final
however hung it up method out of attain of
area mice that overran the barn that
come spring the sparrows quickly discovered
constructed nests in its stuffing prevented
what might need been shameful and heartless
needed to wait until its pockets had been emptied
its fed child ones fledged and flown
then carried down hung within the backyard
this acknowledged dancer made welcome
by crows again to feast on the farm
the place the outdated couple not minded
the crows’ each day heckling and shouting
laughter at their candy acquainted
backwards and forwards turn into solely a recreation
practically singing of summers to come back

The Last Scarecrow


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here