Purrsday Poetry: Anatole Flagtree and His Plaid Balloon

Anatole Flagtree had a balloon:
Anatole wanted to get to the moon.
How long would it take him to get to the moon ?
Anatole thought he could get there by noon.

He took his straw hat, put on little white spats
And his shiny black shoes that had soles like a cat’s.
He buttoned his coat that had blue cheetah spots.
He tied his bow tie that had red polka dots.

Anatole thought he could get to the moon
So he packed up a lunch that could feed a platoon:
With olives and pickles, anchovies and cheese

He thought he could fly just as long as you please.

He put in his pocket some catnip for luck
And under his paw his old bright yellow duck.
He polished his claws and he washed his mustache
And before he departed he emptied the trash.

When he shut his front door it was still very dark.
He had a long walk just to get to the park.
In the park in the dark was his giant balloon
That was puffed up and ready to float to the moon.

Since he wanted to get a head start for the moon
He’d have to leave early to get there by noon.
When he got to the park it was just before dawn.
The balloon waited there on the edge of the lawn.

His magic balloon was not new and not old
And was colored in plaid that was brilliant and bold.
His huge wicker basket was fine to behold
And was covered with ribbons of velvet and gold.

The geese at the park who had filled his balloon
Honked to Anatole “Sir, can you fly to the moon ?
Do you honestly know if your dreams will come true ?
Is the moon made of cheese? Is it orange ? Is it blue ?”

Well Anatole knew that he didn’t quite know
Just how far on his trip to the moon he could go,
But he said to the flock, with a wink in his eye,
“I don’t rightly know but I’m willing to try !”

He waved to the flock lifting off through the air
And he floated right over the little town square.
Old Mrs. McTavish saw Anatole fly
And she yelled to her friends “There’s a cat in the sky !!!!”

So Anatole waved as he climbed like a kite
At the people who gathered to witness the sight.
“Good luck to you Sir” Shouted all down below.
“Here’s a feather for luck !” Cawed a flying by crow.

The meadows were blooming, the skies were bright blue
And the trees grew much smaller the higher he flew.
The woods far below were a glorious green
And a silvery river completed the scene.

Small birds flew in circles around the balloon.
He was dreaming of nibbling. it wasn’t near noon.
He grew very hungry and ate up his lunch,
Including the cream puffs and tropical punch.

Well…. Anatole had such a marvelous time
Just bobbing and soaring, as fine as a climb,
He forgot all about flying up to the moon
For he certainly couldn’t arrive there by noon.

He felt very full and curled up for a nap
With his little old duck cuddled up on his lap
And he dreamed of fantastical marvelous things
Like eagles all wading and fishes with wings.

When Anatole woke day was turning to night
And he thought about calling an end to his flight
He knew there were many more days he could roam
So his chick-a-dee friends guided Anatole home.

He landed his craft on his spot in the park.
The moon was so full and the sky was so dark.
The geese on the ground all honked out in a flock
As our Anatole calmly leaped out on a rock.

“Did you get to the moon ? Did you fly very high ?
Did you see many butterflies high in the sky ?
Are you going to fly your balloon on more flights ?
Did you rise in the sky to incredible heights ?”

Then Anatole twirled his mustache and he thought:
He had munched on each crunch of the food he had brought
And he had lots of fun and had flown to a height
And he certainly had an enjoyable flight.

So he purred and he mewed to his waddling friends
About all of his hopes and his dreams and his ends
“I had planned on that morning to take my balloon
And to sail and to soar and to land on the moon

I had packed up my lunch with anchovies and cheese
For I knew I could fly up as far as you please.
I thought that perhaps I could get there by noon:
I never thought sunset could get here so soon

And I didn’t expect to see so many things !
I was so amazed to see fishes with wings !!
The sun was so bright ! Such a dazzling noon !
Yet I ate a fine lunch in my soaring balloon !

“If you follow your dreams, if you reach for the sun
You will find satisfaction and plenty of fun.
I’d such a fine time on my flight to the moon
That I promise to try it again very soon !”

So Anatole Flagtree went home and to bed.
He plumped up his pillows and lay down his head.
He dreamed every dream and he wished every wish.
He waded with eagles and flew with the fish.

A bold little guy with a very big dream
May not be as silly as first he might seem.
If you pack a great lunch and get in your balloon
You just never know when you’ll land on the moon !!!

Author notes

This is a very old one retooled. I’ll probably keep taking nips and tucks in it.

As for kindnesses, even a cat who wants to get to the moon in a balloon is someone to respect by geese, chickadees, people, crows, eagles and flying fish. All treat him with compassion and respect and lovingkindness … and he inspires them all !

Flying fish: Exocoetidae. Technically their “wings” are actually fins and they can soar for a great distance.

Chickadees: North American birds whose song sounds like Chickadeedeedeedeedee !!!!!!!

That’s a preliminary sketch I’ve done of Anatole himself.

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