The Old Woman and Rip

The Old Woman and Rip (long)

There once was a herdsman
Named Rip
Who took his sheep
And whip

Beyond the boundaries
Of Homeville
Rip’s herds grazed
On a lush, green hill

One lazy, hot summer’s day
While his herd was awake & bleating
Rip found a green, shady tree
And was soon fast asleeping

Rip dreamed of a place
Called Lala Land
When he entered its gates
He thought My, how grand!

The city streets were wide
Broad and long
Commerce was everywhere
Oh, what a throng!

The smells of curry and bean curd
With spices so exotic
Rip’s mouth and mind were captured
In a world so hypnotic

He heard murmurs and mumblings
As he walked the long, broad streets
In a language so different
That was not so discreet

These murmurs and mumblings
Caught the ears of a princess
Who invited him in
And soon he forgot his misses

Welcome, dear stranger
To Lala Land
Tell me what you want
Your wish is my command

The princesses’ words
Were really quiet shocking
Rip could not think
Of his higher calling

I want to be happy
Have riches galore
I want to have gold
And not be so poor

I want to have fun
Dance to my heart’s content
Lots of food, wine, and laughter
Before the start of Lent

The princess snapped her fingers
Gold adorned Rip’s fingers

Food and wine appeared
The princess’ court jester cheered

All through the night
And into the morning
They laughed and talked
Until a sheep’s shorning

Rip finally awoke
From his deep, deep slumber
His green, shady tree
Had turned into lumber

His herd of sheep
Were no longer there
The hill once green
Was now barren and bare

Rip’s town of Homeville
Population over a million
Looks so foreign to him
And definitely alien

Streets once so familiar
With children abound
Now were paved
With cars driving around

Rip stopped a young man
What is this place?
It’s Homeville, asshole.
Get outta my face!

Rip remembered his misses
Do you know Rachel Van Winkle?
What? Are you insane?
Are you Kris Kringle?

The name Rachel Van Winkle
And Rip’s line of questions
His looks, his clothes
Got an old lady’s attention

My mother knew Rachel
She knew her well
But tell me dear sir
Are you under a spell?

I am NOT under a spell
Was Rip’s angry reply
And this is NOT Homeville
It’s a damn lie!

Oh, this is Homeville alright
Homeville 2015
But you’re clearly out of touch
This Homeville you’ve never seen

You say you know Rachel
How is her life?
What is she doing?
Has she encountered strife?

Yes, she has met strife
She fought it with might
But get into my car
I’ll show you her sight

Rip hesitated hmm…
Sitting in a machine
Something so lifeless and noisy
Definitely mean

Can’t we walk madame?
This machine clatters
Sorry, young man; I’m 90 years old
My knees are in tatters

Rip gently slides
Into the passenger seat
The woman cranks the engine
The pedals touch her feet

They reach Rachel’s sight
On the edge of town
The look on Rip’ face
Anxiety turns to a frown

Rachel’s sight is a cemetery
Its stones lined in neat rows
Some decked in flowers
Others decked with bows

This is Rachel’s sight
This is her place
The old woman bowed her head
Before saying grace

Then Rip approaches
So slowly he came
With grief in his heart
And a lot of shame

I went to Lala Land
And left you behind
I left you for riches
And a grand ol’ time

I’m so sorry, dear Rachel
For letting you down
I’m so sorry for leaving you
In this foreign town

As Rip rose to his knees
The old woman sat
On the stone next to Rachel’s
Looking to chat

Rip didn’t want to chat
His heart turned to indignation
His body itched
With every sensation

Sitting on this gravestone
The woman had no respect
Have you no decency?
His words had no effect

Instead the woman just smiled
Her legs hiding the inscription
Rip got the message
And met her smile with suspicion

Who’s grave is this?
Do you really want to know?
Damn it woman! Who’s grave is it?
Okay. I’ll show

The old woman slowly slides
Off the gravestone
And reveals three letters
That are clearly shown



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