Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Ode to My Favorite Easy Reader Lovebirds, Mr. Putter and Mrs. Teaberry

A couple years ago, I discovered the Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant.  Since then, I've read every book starring the kind, elderly Mr. Putter and his creaky cat.  They're beautiful stories.  They also happen to be incredibly romantic, as most of the stories also feature his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, who's a bit feistier than Mr. Putter but every bit as lovable.  Their friendship is purely platonic on the page, and yet their love for one another is so genuine, it's hard to deny the possibility of a long-term courtship.  Inspired by my musings on this subject with fellow enthusiast Beth, I concocted this little poem that imagines Mr. Putter awaiting the response to a love letter to his neighbor that concludes with a crucial question...

Mr. Putter and Tabby Send the Note
Mr. Putter, all aflutter
As he scraped a pat of butter
On his toasted English muffin,
Muttered, "Tabby, it's a tough one."

Pensive chewing.  Plaintive mewing.
What was Mr. Putter doing?
Tabby sensed, with tail a-twitchin',
Trouble brewing in the kitchen.

Forehead wrinkled, Putter sprinkled
Sugar in his tea and crinkled
Up his paper as he wondered
If she'd think he'd badly blundered.

Hesitation.  Dread.  Frustration.
Such a bold interrogation
From an insecure romancer.
Had she read it?  Would she answer?

Doorbell ringing.  Angels singing.
Putter pondered fiercely flinging
Arms around her, so enchanting -
But beheld her bulldog, panting.

Good Zeke flopping down and dropping
Daisies with a dainty topping:
One note bearing just three letters.
Putter floating, flushing redder.

What a blessing!  No more guessing. 
Love confessed with "Y-E-S"-ing.
Over to her porch he ambled,
Giddy with his gutsy gamble.

There sat merry Ms Teaberry,
Neighbor, friend and sanctuary,
Beaming like a lighthouse beacon.
Putter's knees began to weaken.

Tabby purring.  Zeke's tail whirring.
Putter's dancing eyes were blurring.
He could manage just a mumble.
"Yes?" he ventured, stooped and humble.

"Yes," his seated sweetheart greeted.
With a kiss, her task completed,
Ms Teaberry all but shouted,
"How could you have ever doubted?"

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