By Ben Clemens a/k/a Kelley Williams, Jr.
(with apologies to Theodor Geisel)
Now, the Mask-Wearing Fleechers had faces with masks.
The Plain-Faced Fleechers did not should you ask.
There were both types of Fleechers wherever one went
Often regarding each other with the utmost contempt.
The Mask-Wearing Fleechers were heard to observe
Of their Plain-Faced kindred, “Can you imagine the nerve?
Fleechers like that will never help us flatten the curve!”
“We must shelter in place, it is safer at home.”
So they’d don their masks when outside they would roam.
Thus when shopping, or walking, or standing in line
Mask-Wearing Fleechers were covered most all of the time.
The ardent, in addition to masks on their faces
Would adorn themselves in the most unusual places.
(Mask-Wearing Fleechers disliked straws made of plastic,
But gloves of the same, well those were fantastic.)
Meanwhile the Plain-Faced Fleechers from Colorado to Carolina
Proclaimed “We’re not afraid of this virus from China.
We know just what to do with this novel Wuhan flu.”
So they repaired shuttered stores with hammer, nail, and epoxy
All the while consuming their daily hydroxy.
And as the Plain-Faced bustled about hither and yon
They did so with neither masks nor gloves on.
For the Plain-Faced believed to protect the community
It was best to spur the arrival of Fleecher herd immunity.
When pressed on how they dressed as they performed their daily deeds
The Plain-Faced replied, “Just look at the Swedes.”
Thus was the unfortunate state of affairs
With the Fleechers – both Masked and Plain-Faced – putting on airs
Consorting with only their kind when in pairs.
When one day a stranger among them appeared
Who seemed at ease among both Masked and Plain-Faced, which was weird.
Unaccustomed to dealing with this type of bloke
The Fleechers kept their distance until the stranger spoke.
“The name's Alexander McMurphy McBean
And I have an anti-brain-washing machine
Which I offer to you completely for free.
(For I once had an unscrupulous uncle you see
Who died without heirs and left his possessions to me.
He made his fortune fleecing those not so different from you,
So restoring my family’s honor seems the right thing to do.)”
The Fleechers eased a bit closer at this
For if something were free, they’d not want to miss.
As McBean unveiled his machine and the Fleechers inched nearer
One remarked, “Why this device resembles nothing so much as a mirror.”
“Right you are,” said McBean, with a smile of delight
“But my machine provides some additional insight.
For it shows here and now how you look it is true
Yet it also reveals how others view you.
So step on up, don’t be shy, each Fleecher in turn
To distinguish the wheat from the chaff you will learn
And as you learn to discern and open your mind
The most astonishing things you will find.”
So they did.
As the Fleechers emerged from McBean’s reflective machine that day
They came out with new perspective to their credit I must say.
Realizing that the leaders of Tuskers and Mules
Had disdained the poor Fleechers and played them for fools.
While those wearing feathers of Peacocks or furs of the Foxes
Belittled the Fleechers, painting them into way too small boxes.
And just colors after all were red and blue, blue and red
Not a symbol, or other, or something to dread.
The false propaganda the Fleechers had been taught –
You’re either with me or against me – they no longer bought.
To wear or not became just a choice, no longer a name
Respect replaced contempt as the rule of the game.
And as each Fleecher learned to think with his or her own mind
They understood that to each other they could actually be kind.