Sampurna Chattarji & Sukumar Ray

The Stolen Whiskers
from Sukumar Ray’s Abol Tabol

The head of our head office, a pleasant man and gentle,
Who could have ever guessed that he was really mental?
There he sat even-temperedly dozing in his chair,
When suddenly volcanic he erupted in the air.
Rolled his eyes, thrashed his limbs, started, and looked sick,
And shouted, “I’m sinking, someone catch me quick!”
At once some called for doctors, some others bawled for cops,
And some said, “Beware he bites, careful with Old Pops.”
All worked-up we scattered here and there like pollen,
When the Boss cried out, “Oh, my whiskers have been stolen!”
Whiskers stolen! The idea! Couldn’t be true, no never!
Why there his whiskers are—as luxuriant as ever.
See the mirror shows his whiskers clearly flappin’,
They’re not stolen, Sir, such things just don’t happen.
                        Raining ire, spitting fire, he said with angry looks,
                        “I’m not fooled by any of you, for all of you are crooks.
                        Gristly-gloom, bristly-broom, detestable and dirty,
                        Such whiskers I’ve seen on the wretched milkman Bertie.
                        I’ll kill you all if you suggest that these whiskers are mine,”—
                        Saying which he slapped us all with a hefty fine.
                        Croaking-mad, choking-sad, he wrote down on the double,
                        “Don’t encourage anyone, they’ll only cause you trouble.
                        Clueless about my whiskers are these wretched monkeys,
                        Dunderheaded useless nits are my office flunkeys.
                        I should scrape their foolish pates with a spade, if I please,
                        And swing madly by their whiskers as if on a trapeze.
                        Between you and me hangs a whisker money cannot buy
                        Whiskery you or whiskery me—therein the rub does lie.”


Goph churi