Gracious and Grumble

(Story Poem)

Gracious and Grumble were two Gringlegorts
And although they were neighbors, they were opposite sorts.
While Gracious would go through each day with a grin,
Grumble would gripe, from beginning to end.

"It's too cold," would growl Grumble. "The weather's all wrong;
The morning's too dark and the night is too long.
The news is all bad; nothing's ever just right."
Yes, Grumble would grumble from morning 'til night.

Each time Grumble grouched, his small gripe, like a dot,
Would rise up in the air (and he grouched quite a lot!).
So, in time, all that grouching and griping out loud
Had formed a dark blot--a small gripe-dotted cloud.

The clouds kept on forming and steadily doubling
'Til they started to block the sun's warmth--that was troubling!
Each time a complaint rose on up to the sky,
Grumble felt colder--but didn't know why.
He just didn't see that his gripes in the air
Were causing the sun to stop shining down there.
The sun was still shining--of course, that was certain--
But above Grumble's house was a gripe-dotted curtain.

So he grouched at the sun, "It's your fault!" he'd declare.
"You're supposed to be shining down every which where!
You lousy old sun," Grumble grouched, "It's not fair!"
And a dozen more gripe dots rose up in the air.

Next door, Gracious noticed the clouds as they grew,
So he gathered his friends (and there were quite a few).
"Dear friend," Gracious greeted each one as he came,
"I thank you for coming," and he called them by name:
"Patience and Cheerful, Kindness and Love,
Thankful and Friendly and Joy--look above.
My neighbor there, Grumble, has a problem, you know--
His griping is growing--'One reaps what one sows.'"

"With all his complaining from morning 'til night,
He soon will be blocking the sun's precious light.
We must think of a plan--think of what we can do
To keep skies over Grumble all shiny and blue."

Now, as this group gathered in Gracious' yard,
Grumble watched from his window and griped long and hard:
"That neighbor!" he grumped (as more dots formed a cloud).
"He's always got visitors tromping about.
They'll trample his lawn with their silly old shoes;
I can't stand all their smiling and 'How do you do?'s'
How he praises and hugs them and carries on so--
Why, friends are a nuisance--I'd ask them to go!

"It just isn't right," Grumble grouched as Self-Pity
Came into his house from a Gringlegort city.

"You're right," said Self-Pity, as she settled down.
"They're always so happy on that side of town.
And poor little Grumble has nothing go right.
Why, even the sun won't give you much light."

"They make me so mad," said a voice that was new.
(Now Anger had come into Grumble's house, too.)
"Why should they be happy? Just what have they done
To deserve all those friends and the warmth of the sun?"

And quick as a flash, Grumble's house became crowded,
And gripes filled the air 'til the sky was all clouded!

Just one little sunbeam--just one and no more--
Was shining when Gracious knocked on Grumble's door.
Beside him stood Kindness and all of the rest
Who'd decided to visit and give him their best.

But before Grumble spoke, Rudeness got in his way:
"Yeah, what do you want on this miserable day?"
"Yeah, what do you want?" Grumble echoed the shout.
And in that very instant--

The light flickered out!

Grumble grew colder and shivered as Fear,
For the first time, crept into his house and drew near.

"Dear Grumble, forgive us," said Gracious, just then.
"We should have come sooner; please, may we come in?"
"Is there room?" Grumble asked, as he looked all about,
But as Love entered in, Fear quickly went out.
And as Fear departed, the light from the sun,
Filtered down through a hole--though a very small one.

"Yes, there's room," answered Gracious, and Rudeness left town
And a few more small sunbeams came shining on down.
Anger melted away but Self-Pity still stayed;
"It's no use," groaned old Grumble, while looking dismayed.
"The sun doesn't like me: it won't give its light.
But the sky over you seems so shiny and bright…"

As he spoke, great big gripe-dots flew up in the air,
And Grumble now saw them all crowded up there!
Those dots joined the others, and what did they do,
But plug up a hole where a beam had shone through.

Grumble stared and he stared, then he looked one more time;
"Are all of those clouds really gripe-dots of mine?"

Patience nodded her head; Cheerful gave a broad smile;
"Yes, Grumble, you've really been griping a while."

So Grumble thought hard for a moment or two:
The sun was still there in the shiny bright blue…

Self-Pity then vanished, but Guilt came to call.
"Oh no," cried poor Grumble, "I started it all.
It's all my own fault; with my griping I did it!
I blocked out the light--all my grouching just hid it!"

Guilt held Grumble tightly, but Kindness and Friendly
Took Grumble's two hands in their own, very gently.
"Dear Grumble, you've seen that you did it, that's true,
But Guilt isn't needed--he blocks the sun, too.
So now that you know that your gripes were the trouble,
Let go of Guilt and make those beams double!"

"I won't grump!" declared Grumble-and that was okay--
But none of the gripe-dotted clouds went away.

He looked at each neighbor and Thankful moved near
And she shared the Good News Grumble needed to hear.
His face lit with magic--he suddenly knew
Just what in this Gringlegort world he should do!

"You beautiful Light--You have given so much;
Forgive all my grumping and grouching and such.
I thank you for shining--I thank You, I do!
Your warmth's there for me and all Gringlegort, too!"

As he smiled at the sky, the clouds faded from sight,
And Grumble was bathed in a wonderful light.
He finally felt free and forgiven and warm,
And he knew he would live in the Light from then on.

In a flash he'd developed a new attitude,
So he chose a new name for himself--"Gratitude".

Of course, no one's perfect, and from time to time,
A small gripe would still make a brief skyward climb.
But surrounded by friends like Joy and like Love,
Gratitude keeps the skies clear up above.

In fact, Rudeness and Anger and Fear and Self-Pity
Just packed up their bags and left Gringlegort cities.

Yes, Grumble learned so many lessons that day;
Helped by his new friends along all the way.
And they can help you to not block out the Light
And be grateful and keep your skies shiny and bright!

Let God be your Light (Thankful's "Good News" to Grumble).
He shines all the time, so we don't have to stumble;
He shines for each one of us, but when it's dim,
We're blocking His Light…by not letting Him in.

So make friends with Joy and with Kindness and Love,
And know there's a Light always shining above.
God made you so special--there's only one you!
Let him shine in your life like the Gringlegorts do!

© SBK 1991

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