Beware the old witch who eats lost children.
Snuggle closely, my good little ones—
warm and tasty from your bath.
I will tell you fairy tales of abandoned children
shivering alone, selling matches,
big bad wolves leering at innocent girls,
and naughty little boys growing donkeys’ ears
sold into slavery.
To the rhythm of the squeak and creak of the nursery rocker
let’s clap hands to three-note songs about
a child who is beaten soundly
and left lost and alone in a forest.
It is our little secret:
Out There is something much worse than In Here,
and there are parents far meaner than yours.
Happy endings are available
for children who Learn their Lessons.
Off to bed now. Playtime is over.
I will pretend to nibble your toes and you
can be the woodsman who saves the day.