naughty john and the fire

Naughty John lit a match or two,

Carelessly throwing them away,

So nothing much happened

But slowly throughout that day

A match burned without a flame in the trash,

that lay on the shed,

A small fire broke out

When the family went to bed

Fire jumped on the bunk,

Then the rabbit’s bale of straw,

A bristle brush with cobwebs,

some wood shavings on the ground

A rag soaked in turpentine

some moldy half empty cans

Of dry paint and creosote,

Then the flames danced inside the containers.

It no longer creeps slowly,

Became a raging fire

It creaked as it spread

higher still, then higher.

The gasoline in the big red can,

It exploded with a boom,

The quiet night was shattered,

as the smoke rose in a column.

A huge ball of fire

quickly crossed the grass,

scalding the white daisies on the black lawn,

burning the pond to glass,

The fire was already out of control.

But luckily, on the other side of town,

The fire station bells rang,

Sleepy firefighters descended.

Still unconscious inside his house,

The smoke began to enter

First he slipped under the cellar door.

As Milo the dog snored sleeping

Terrified, he jumped the door,

He whined, then he barked loudly

As I entered through the open windows on the first floor,

hundreds of fiery hot sparks floated up.

Little Jackie jumped,

who then woke up his brother John,

They both grabbed their slippers.

while putting on their gowns.

The father ran to the phone for help,

And fell headfirst down the stairs

Mama rushed to pick up baby Jill,

And Jill’s favorite teddy bears

Back they ran to the landing,

This time the father fell down the stairs.

Tried to phone for help again,

As the mother said her prayers,

she gathered all her children close,

Dad thought about knotting sheets,

They heard the crack crack crack of the flames

as the rafters creaked in the heat.

Sparks and flashes stung his eyes,

That’s when they heard the bells,

The flames jumped higher and Jackie said:

“I really don’t feel very well.”

In the window at the top of the stairs

A welcoming sight appeared,

A firefighter in a shiny helmet said:

“I have a ladder here, okay?”

The ladder was high and firm.

Each one of them climbed up the wall,

Jackie struggles awkwardly,

It almost seemed to fall.

John swallowed many puffs of smoke,

But I wouldn’t cough just in case

The great staircase shook and shook,

throwing it out and into space.

Everyone praised Milo.

for raising the alarm

His barking ensured that the family

It came to no harm

“It is to be hoped that the insurance will pay”,

Father said “I’d love a cup of tea”

“But how did this fire start?”

“That’s what puzzles me.”

The fireman said “You’re very lucky”

“It started in your garden shed.”

“Know something?” Dad questioned John

John shrugged as he shook his head.

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