Too Poor to Own a Cat

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Cat Poems

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Too Poor to Own a Cat

Based upon the Dick Whittington and HisCat folk tale

A young boy with nothing but clothes in a sack,
Left home in the country for London, and never looked back.
He found the streets not paved with gold,
But covered with mud and much else, it is told.

He was taken in by a wealthy merchant, a Mr. Fitzwarren,
Who gave him food and put him to work in the kitchen.
A space in the attic was his place to sleep,
And his meager possessions he there could keep.

It was over-run with mice and one very large rat,
But the boy was too poor to own even a cat.
What to do if you're enterprising,
Or maybe just the critters you're despising?

Shine some shoes n earn a penny,
In olden times, that was a plenty.
Buy a cat and sneak him home,
Otherwise cook'll make sure you'll both be gone.

Puss does what a cat does best,
And then you, the owner, r several times blest.
There's peace for a good night's rest,
With the household being free of rodent pest.

Then, opportunity knocks for all th' household.
Fitzwarren said, "Send a valuable across the sea to be sold;
Profits from sale will be your due." But the cat's all that Dick did own,
Never-mind. Put him on the ship, and soon Tom's gone.

O're the sea in a sailing ship, on the wind,
Fortune rides where the trades do send.
But, going afoul of the winds at sea,
The ship lands on a coast; wild, yet friendly.

The King invited the sailors to a banquet most resplendent,
However, rats and mice overran it all, without relent.
The King cried out in great despair,
Save us from this plague and I'll give a bounty most fair.

The Captain called on Tom to do what a cat does best,
Ridding th King's palace of its furry pest.
Soon he grew fat and comfortable at the Lady's feet,
As expected of any feline awaiting a banquet treat.

A ransom of gold and jewels the King did offer,
For this sharp toothed bundle of fur.
If the cat will remain and become a pet,
Dick Whittington's future will surely be set.

Done! Then back across the seas, the ship did fly,
Holds filled with goods for merchants to ply.
Sailing West and North to take advantage of the Trade Wind,
The ship, with its treasures went home again.

On landing in London with the bounty it was carryin',
The ship's captain called on merchant, Fitzwarren.
Seeing the cabinet full of jewels traded for Dick Whittington's cat,
He called for "Mister" Whittington to appear in fine clothes n hat.

Because of his wealth, he became "Mister,"
But, never forgot his poor "brothers and sisters".
Giving to those who had less than he,
Endowing great institutions that remain for all to see.

And his fortunes grew as he served the Crown,
As Sheriff and Lord Mayor of London, he was renown.
A wealth merchant he became,
But for his generosity rest his fame.

Perhaps this poem and the tale are based on pure fable,
But, for sure poor Dick Whittington had food for his table.
And for others who had such a plight as he,
Whittington never forgot how it's poor to be.


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