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What Happened at the University Library

One day all the books turned to birds
and flew away. The scholars chased after them,
crying: “This is no kind of transformation!”
for the books had turned into mere pigeons.
And their droppings may have been symbols,
but what did they mean? “Nothing,”
declared Professor Deerborn.
And the scholars agreed.
They stamped back to their empty shelves
and sat down together, somber and silent.
What could they say, after all?

Meanwhile the birds outside became books again.
Milton, Freud, The History of Western Philosophy
lay scattered across the university lawn.
But the scholars didn’t notice anything.
Finally Professor Adams pointed at his foot.
“Foot,” he said, his eyes bulging with scholarly zeal,
his toes wiggling inside aged wingtips.
“Foot,” agreed Professor Deerborn.
Then the scholars laughed so hard
they fell off their chairs.
“Door!” gasped Professor Newman between chortles,
pointing toward the doorway.
“Door!” the scholars agreed.
And out they danced, down the hall and toward the lawn,
naming everything they passed.

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