Richard Randolph

July 3, 1955--Oregon
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The Birds and the Bees Revisited

Your mother thinks it’s time
I taught you about the birds and the bees,
so here’s what I’ll say about that.
God knows it’s easy to envy birds,
seeing them flying so high and free.
But the truth is most of them live in constant fear
of being killed and eaten by bigger birds,
or cats, or some other creature.
And all that singing the Romantics talk about,
well, it’s really just them squawking in turf wars,
not all that much different from most of us.
So, the lesson, I think, is to not to envy others,
because oftentimes things aren’t what they seem.

As for bees, well, they look harmless enough,
soft and fuzzy with bright yellow stripes and such,
and even their buzzing can sound sweet and melodious,
but make them mad, and well, all hell breaks loose.
That humming quickly becomes a frightful roar,
and, before you can say Bob’s your uncle,
you’re stung in about a million places.
So, I guess my point is this.
Don’t assume small or beautiful things are nice,
and don’t be fooled by a gentle voice,
and, finally, avoid anything, or anyone, with a wicked temper,
because sooner or later they’re going to hurt you.
And that’s it, what I know about birds and bees.
Any questions?
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