A turtle named Brendle resides in the swamps
Where the girlybird grins and the tofflefish romps.
Deep down in the muck where no fin can disrupt him
He grumbles about all the creatures above him.
“That sunfish is irksome–I wish it were night.
The glowfish should know this: his light is too bright.
The girlybird’s eyebrows are much, much, too long
And nobody cares for a whistlefish song.
And mangroves–ha! Mangroves? They’re boygroves at best!
Those mudskippers must give their skipping a rest!
That awful fish tofflefish can’t even bake;
I asked him for a waffle and I got a pancake.
I should give that old twitterbird reason to mourn
And make all those egrets regret they were born.
Butterflies? Listen up! Asserfly’s your new name
And I’ll break all the skellyfish bones so they’re lame.
“That’s not very nice!” said a small voice from the dark.
“Who’s there?” growled Brendle, “My bite’s worse than my bark!”
“I’m Lansy.” the voice said, “I think you need a friend.”
At this Brendle snorted or loudly broke wind.
“I think,” Lansy said, “You might try being happy.”
“That’s a crappy idea—now you’ve made me get snappy.”
But Lansy was smart, a reliably quick fish,
And quickly surmised that old Brendle was ticklish.
So before Brendle’s mouth had the chance to clamp down
Little Lansy’s fins danced right up under his frown.
He tickled his chin and he tickled his toes;
He tickled his armpits, his kneepits, and nose.
And then Brendle did something he’d never before:
He let out a small giggle, and then a few more;
He let out a chuckle, a squeal, a guffaw,
He let out a rip-roaring HA-HA-HA-HA!
The turtle whose words had been hurtful and prickly
Discovered he also was incredibly tickly.
And now in the swamp the old whistlefish song
Makes Brendle quite joyful and he laughs right along.