If You Give a Louse a Cookie

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I simply don’t post food pictures to the public, and so this post is not about a recipe for oatmeal cookies but a recipe for a dream.

Today as I made these (and I confess, ate a couple of warm ones); I found myself thinking: If I could just sit down all the world’s leaders at my kitchen table right now, and say, “If you will stop hurting people, and stop destroying the planet, and start being nice and playing well with others, I will let you have as many of these yummy, warm cookies as you would like. Would you prefer a cold glass of milk or some hot tea with your cookies?”

And then all the nations’ leaders would put warm cookies in their mouths instead of words of hate; and with their fingers they would tweezer up the crumbs, instead of pulling triggers; and then they would smile at each other with little bits of cookie stuck in their teeth; and all the world could get back to their families, and jobs, and playgrounds in safety, and peace.

Well, if John Lennon could “Imagine” it, why not I? Remember that old optimistic song, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”? Today, I’m just really, really deeply feeling, “I’d like to share with the world a warm cookie”. . .

In the spirit of the world’s children and in the spirit of warm cookies, here is my silly take and quixotic dream-like riff on that famous children’s book by Laura Joffe.

If You Give a Louse a Cookie

by Jane Tawel

 

If you give a louse a cookie,

A louse who rules the world,

He’s probably going to want some milk to go with it.

And if you give him a cookie in one hand,

And a glass of milk in the other hand,

Well then, that louse-ey ruler,

won’t have any hands to hurt people.

And if the louse eats the cookie and drinks the milk,

He’s probably going to want to help you

make more delicious cookies,

Which means he won’t have time to

plan destruction.

And if he doesn’t have hands to hurt,

or time to plan destruction,

and has a belly full of warm, delicious cookies;

Why, then he’s probably going to want a nap.

And if he take a nap, well then,

He probably won’t want to wake up to a world

where all the icecaps, and clean air, and giraffes

have been destroyed.

And if he takes a deep breath of lovely air,

and pets a beautiful giraffe,

Why then he’s probably going to want to

tell someone about it.

And if that lousy ruler sees a needy person next to him,

Well, then, he’s probably going to want

to share a cookie with that person.

And if the ruler shares a  cookie with another human being,

They are probably going to smile at each other.

 And the ruler is probably not going to want

to be a louse any more.

And if he isn’t a louse any more,

and treats others as he would like to be treated,

well, then he will probably have finally worked up

an honest appetite,

for an honest day’s work.

And if he works that hard

at making the world a better place,

rather than a worse one,

Well, then he’s probably going to need

a glass of milk.

And if you give him a glass of milk,

Why, then…

He will probably want another cookie

to go with it.

 

Published by

Jane Tawel

"I'm Nobody, who are you? Are you nobody too?" In the words of that now famous "nobody", Emily Dickinson, I am a nobody, committed to the idea that words matter and that expressed creativity, no matter how crumb-y gives us hope. And as Dickinson also wrote, hope will keep us safe and warm together, even though it asks not so much as a crumb from us. My own journey in this world often takes the form of seeking those things that matter through exploring the written word in essay and poetry. Even the small and unknown of us are made better through the creative process. I am thankful to have a home in this blog to store my thoughts and thankful for any who sit awhile in this blog home, seeking crumbs on their own journeys. May you stay safe and warm and full of hope.

2 thoughts on “If You Give a Louse a Cookie”

  1. Well Jane, I made it all the way through this post and believe I actually understood it. It probably helps that I read the original version to my boys many times. If I were a mean old leader though, a warm brownie with ice cream would work much better than an oatmeal cookie. You need to get them started in the right direction before you switch them over to healthy snacks.

    Liked by 1 person

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