The Early Bird Special

Throughout history
It has been important
To be the first one to awaken
On Christmas morning

The early bird gets the worm
And all that

This year I found myself
Rising before the sun
At about a nickel past six
Not a creature was stirring
And for no apparent reason
I picked up the Bible
And read the entire book
Of Ecclesiastes

All six and a half pages
Filled with relevant pearls
About vanity, injustice
Hopelessness and wisdom
To everything there is a season, you know

Later that morning
Paige told me
About one Christmas in particular
When he was determined to be
The first out of bed
He’s always been a heavy sleeper
And even then he didn’t trust
His little wind-up alarm clock
The spirit of Rube Goldberg
Provided the inspiration
For his timely awakening

Rummaging through the garage
He found one of those
Plastic motorcycle engines
That kids used to bolt
Onto their bikes to make them
Sound more threatening than a fan
Of cards snapping against the spokes
He placed one wire from the engine
On a sheet of foil that he had laid
On the floor of his room
He then affixed the other wire
To a small nail which had been taped
To the wind-up knob on the alarm clock
The idea being that when the alarm
Went off, the nail would rotate
Touch the foil and then release
A torrent of quasi-motorcycle –like
sound effects

He said it worked just fine
I forgot to ask what sort
Of presents Santa brought that year
A job offer from Timex
A plate full of worms
The early bird special


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