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Friday Finds: Sharp Toothed Snail

May 29, 2009

I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me sooner.

When I was little, I had LPs of Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic and Where The Sidewalk Ends.

The poems themselves, are of course, silly and wonderful.  Full of memories and delight.  When Silverstein reads them aloud, they have an extra wonderful manic glee.  Ad-libs and song and strange digressions.

I found the MP3s on Amazon, and grabbed them.  And now I’m listening.  I’ve collapsed in giggles twice already.  “Warning” especially gets me.  Just like it did when I was little.

Inside everybody’s nose
There lives a sharp-toothed snail.
So if you stick your finger in,
He may bite off your nail.
Stick it farther up inside,
And he may bite your ring off.
Stick it all the way, and he
May bite the whole darn thing off.

Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends

But the completely great part about the sound recording… is the ad lib.  “So that’s why,” Silverstein continues primly “you should always use your handkerchief.”  Pause.  “Just take your handkerchief, wrap it around your finger and stick the whole….” he dissolves into maniacal giggling.

I get the same shocked delight my little girl self did, hearing a grownup make jokes about nose-picking.

I realize.  I’m simple sometimes.

This is going to become my default baby present I think.

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