(who sneered at Spinach and Cavilled at Crusts)
Lesley Gordon

It never would occur to some
That life is made of crust and crumb
That no one worth a button sits
And gobbles up the crumbly bits
Leaving the tougher odds and ends
To be demolished by their friends
And yet some children I could name
Without the smallest blush of shame
Refuse their rice, ignore their greens
Shudder at parsnips, sprouts and beans
And do not care a row of pins
About their daily vitamins
But think that they would like to see
For breakfast, dinner, lunch and tea
An endless heap upon their plates
Of ice-cream, jam and chocolates.

One case I know, a boy named John
I can't think what he lived upon
At Monday's lunch, he'd howl with grief
On being served with Sunday's beef
On Tuesday with loud cries of, 'Boo'
He'd push away his Irish stew
While Wednesday's soup would make him wild
He really was a faddy child
You should have seen his angry eye
To see on Thursday, Shepherd's pie
And at the sight of Friday's fish
He'd very often smash the dish
While what he said on Saturday
I shouldn't be allowed to say.

He'd leave his spinach in a huff
Saying it was disgusting stuff
And always hid his crusts of bread
Beneath the bath or in the bed
Till everyone remarked of John
'We can't think what he lives upon.'
To have good teeth and healthy skins
You must not miss your vitamins
But John James Jenkinson would say
'Don't give me any of that ‘A''
'I don't like egg - there's 'B' in that'
'Mother, you know I can't eat fat'
Till lack of breakfast, dearth of dinner
Made J.J.J. grow thin and thinner
And bit by bit, and day by day
He slowly faded right away.

And sometimes now on Winter nights
Or Summer's dusk, between the lights
Appears, all pale and woebegone
The ghost of John James Jenkinson
Up to the kitchen range he steals
And watches cook prepare the meals
He lifts the lids, he sniffs the stew
He hungers for a chop or two
Sadly he eyes his father's steak
It makes his mother's heart quite ache
How can they help poor John, oh how?
He hasn't got a tummy now.

So when you hide your crusts of bread
Or at the spinach shake your head
Think of this story you have heard
And eat them up without a word
Don't sulk or get into a paddy
For no one likes you if you're faddy.

The end