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Benjamin Oliver Flanagan
By Abra Dale Triplett

Benjamin Oliver Flanagan
A boy with his little red wagon
Happy and free, bouncy and sweet,
Riding through trails of shenanigans

Benjamin's lucky, as lucky can be,
He has lots of toys, way more than me!
He has robots and airplanes and shiny bright cars,
Pogo sticks, tricycles, chrome monkey bars

Castles and blocks, GI Joes with green socks,
Roller skates, monsters and more!
Puppy dogs on a string, little phones that go "ding"
And stuff that I've not seen before!

But with all of his toys, just like so many boys,
You'd think he'd be bubbly with glee,
But for all of his treasures, none other can measure,
To his little red wagon, named Speedy

Now little Ben Flanagan with Speedy in tow,
Can be seen in the rain and the sleet and the snow,
Bouncing and flouncing and racing around,
Scaring the pigeons and kittens in town

The town folk all smile as he rambles on by,
"Not a care in the world," "Such a gleam in his eye!"
Raring and daring as he takes on each bend,
Surely such happiness never can end?

But alas came the morn when time seemed to stand still,
Benjamin Oliver flew over the hill,
Fair Speedy's black handle slipped from his small grasp,
And down tumbled Speedy in a thunderous crash!

Benjamin Oliver stood silent and still,
He saw his dear Speedy alone down the hill.
He somberly walked to his trusty steed's side,
And soon giant teardrops filled Benjamin's eyes

Speedy lay broken in a great wagon mess,
A picture of pure giant train wreck distress!
His handle lay bent in a terrible angle,
The wheels wobbled oddly in a free falling dangle

His beautiful paint was tattered and flaked,
With a big, shiny scratch that looked like a snake
One tire was flat, and one didn't matter,
The Great Wagon Crash had caused it too shatter

The floodgates came open and Benjamin cried,
He knelt in the dirt by poor Speedy's side
The kiddies from town heard all the clatter
And rushed to the hill to search out the matter

They saw little Benjamin lost in despair,
And thought to themselves, "Why should Benjamin care?
He has more toys than all of us put together,
One little red wagon's not a dent in his treasure!"

They scoffed and they laughed and they went to their homes,
And left little Benjamin there all alone,
One spoiled little rich boy is not worth the bother,
Then over the hill came Benjamin's father.

He knelt down beside little Benjamin's side,
And gently brushed the great tears from his eyes,
He smiled & He picked up his sad little man,
Then scanned the remains of Benjamin's friend

"My child, precious child, leave all this to me,
I'll fix up your Speedy as quick as can be!"
Benjamin stared at his father through tears,
Not fully believing his daddy's good cheer.

"Oh Daddy I know there's so much you can do,
But Speedy's broke badly, even for you!"
Benjamin's father broke into a grin,
"Trust me, my child," as he nestled his chin

He gathered the remnants of Speedy in tow,
And took Benjamin's hand as he guided them home,
Poor Benjamin couldn't help sneaking a peek,
At poor battered Speedy who once was so sleek

The tears and the sobs all came back in a rush,
The sight of the wreckage just all seemed too much,
"Patience, sweet child," said his father to him,
"Speedy will fly o'er the hills once again"

They came to their home and both went inside,
Benjamin climbing the stairs to go hide,
Amongst all his treasures he lay down and cried,
Feeling so lonely and cold deep inside

"Why did the other kids make fun of me?
Don't they all know how I love my Speedy?
I'd gladly give all of my treasures away,
If once again Speedy and I could go play."

"They think I'm so happy with all of these things,
They don't know what joy my dear Speedy brings,
I'm glad I have Daddy to watch over me,
I hope he can bring Speedy right back to me."

A glimmer of hope banished Benjamin's fears,
And he flew down the stairs with a new sense of cheer,
He bustled inside of his father's workshop,
And his hopes burst away with a mighty "Ker-Plop!!"

Speedy looked worse than he had once before,
His pieces were scattered all over the floor!
Newfound great tears came to life in his eyes,
And a soft quiet whimper gave way to great sighs

His father looked down with his eyes filled with care,
Feeling the sorrow his son had to bear,
"My son, all solutions can sometimes take time,
Have faith in your father and go wait outside."

Benjamin Oliver trudged on outdoors,
Heart feeling heavy and oh so forlorn!!
He wanted so much to believe his dad, still.
This seemed beyond even his father's skills

Alone on the front porch for what seemed like days,
His vision still clouded with teary-eyed glaze
The sun slowly stretching its way 'cross the sky,
Vast tons of sand through a small needle’s eye

And just when he thought he'd been all but abandoned,
Round the corner came Daddy with a shiny red wagon!!
Speedy was gleaming with a new coat of paint,
The wheels bouncing happily, his black handle straight!

Benjamin Oliver shouted, "Yippee!!"
He flew 'cross the yard to his great pride, Speedy,
He gazed on the wondrous good come from the bad,
And looked with great love to his almighty dad

"Oh Daddy how wonderful you are to me!
Look what you've done to my great pal, Speedy!
I doubted and wondered and hurt deep inside,
But thank you for making me go wait outside."

"Somehow I knew that you'd make it all right,
That Speedy would soon be along by my side,
But seeing him battered and beaten and torn,
I never believed I would see him restored"

"My Son I believe that you've learned a great deal,
What's broken down sometimes must be torn down to heal,
We see broken things and we say, "why bother",
But Son you must learn to put trust in your father"

Benjamin smiled and he ran on his way,
Speedy bouncing merrily along in his wake,
Over the hill to the village below,
Riding life's byways on rekindled hope.

A. Dale Triplett is an aspiring children's book author living in Springfield, Missouri. Dale is a former Marine and Airman, a member of the East Grand Church of Christ, and currently trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up! Benjamin Oliver Flanagan is the first in a series of moral based children's stories that will soon be available for purchase. If you would like to write to Dale, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.