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ZARA GETS HER Z'S

© 2002 Joe Smith

 

Now everyone has trouble sleeping sometimes.

It's just one of those mountains that everyone climbs.

You toss and you turn, strange hours you'll keep,

But eventually, everyone does get to sleep.

 

Except, of course, for this one little girl

With a crooked-toothed smile and one brunette curl.

Her arms crossed before her, her head in an ache.

Zara, her name is, and she lay wide awake.

 

Now don't get me wrong, Zara felt very tired,

And her patience for lying there'd long since expired.

She'd yawn and she'd fidget, one night she near lost it.

The long and the short of it – she was exhausted.

 

She drank some warm milk, she tried counting sheep.

She tried yoga, Tai Chi, but she just couldn't sleep.

 

For weeks this had lasted. Her friends, they would tease,

“You look ragged, Zara, go back to bed – please!”

Zara stared at the ceiling and shouted her pleas;

“I desperately, desperately need me some Z's!!!”

 

She closed her eyes tight, not hoping for much.

She squinched them and squinched them, and grumbled and such.

But then came a rustling, near the top of the stair.

She opened her eyes…

 

and a zebra was there.

 

 

A zebra, yes ma'am, you did hear me right.

That's right, sir, a zebra, at the top of the flight.

I swear that it's true, come to visit that night

Was a zebra right there in the room – what a sight!

 

 

She opened her mouth but no words did come out.

‘Twas a zebra right there in the room – not a doubt!

Like the ones from her books, only this one seemed tamer.

She didn't quite know what to think - can you blame her?

 

Then all of a sudden, there entered a man.

He wore a grass skirt, he was tall, lean and tan.

Darker than tan, chocolate brown, actually.

The man introduced himself – Zulu was he!

 

He took out a strange kind of homemade guitar.

A zither, he called it, and played a few bars.

He'd come from Zimbabwe , he'd just hopped a ride

on a zeppelin, a big one, he had parked outside.

 

And then came a zombie, he was playing the flute.

He was eating zucchini. He wore a zoot suit!

He played and sang zydeco, and was quite a singer!

He made cups of tea – oh what yummy Red Zinger!

 

Some friends of the zebra showed up from the zoo;

A zebu named Zell, and the zookeeper too.

And just when the music was jumpin' non-stop,

Zara turned to the door and she saw ZZ Top !

 

They came in with food, like big bowls of ziti.

They made homemade sauce, it was spicy and meaty!

They said “Sorry we're late – zounds! Really we are!

Had to zig-zag to get here – nearly wore out the car!”

 

It was quite a party, it went very late.

The food was fantastic, the company great.

The costumes were fancy, the dancing – fabu!

They sang songs and told jokes and they even played Clue.

They jumped on the bed and they read magazines.

They played Hide-and-Go-Seek and Don't-Spill-the-Beans.

 

It was a wonderful night. A real Number Ten.

It was zany and zippy and zesty and zen.

 

They left one by one, each giving big hugs,

Taking Tupperware home, empty bottles and jugs.


There were thankful goodbyes, and some even got weepy

And then…

 

(who'd a thought it?)

 

young Zara…

 

was sleepy .

 

She couldn't believe it, “I must be quite loopy!

I've started to yawn and my eye-lids are droopy.

I'm not just fatigued, or run-down, or not ‘pepped.'

I'm actually…

 

actually…”

 

and with that…

 

Zara slept .

 

 

 

She slept deep as winter, as soundly as snow.

As deep as the ocean, and even below.

Her face smushed into the pillow quite soundly.

And she dreamed dreams you dream

when you sleep quite profoundly.

 

She slept and she slept and she slept a bit more.

She turned over, drooled a bit, and started to snore.

At one point her pillow fell onto the floor.

She reached down and got it,

Then slept still some more.

 

She slept through the sunrise, no alarm clocks today.

With cool gentle zephyrs blowing in all the way.

And the song softly sung by this whispering breeze,

Was

 

Zara,

 

sweet Zara'd

 

finally gotten

 

her Z's.

 

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