Back in October, I wrote about an odd phenomenon:
For no reason I could think of, I was suddenly plagued by lines from a childhood poem, and I just could not get them out of my brain. But even worse, I couldn’t remember what book this poem came from, and despite my best efforts online, I was not able to track down the title or the author.
I’ve thought about it on and off ever since, and tried some rare book resource websites, but to no avail. And then, the absolutely amazing Mystereity Reviews (@mystereitytweeted to let me know that she’d found it!
— Mystereity Reviews (@mystereity) March 7, 2017
Following the link she provided, I saw the following:
There is a book called “Would You Put Your Money in a Sand Bank” by Harold Longman. It contains a poem about King Max and his taxes that ends with the people putting tacks in Max. Could this be what you’re looking for? The rest of the book is puns and riddles and other poems. – See more at: http://www.whatsthatbook.com/index.php?xq=21020#sthash.IckfiWhT.dpuf
Published in 1968, Would You Put Your Money in a Sand Bank? is a book of puns and wordplay. And there, on page 43, is my long-lost poem! What’s funny is that I don’t recognize anything else about this book — so perhaps just this one poem appeared in an early-reading anthology or something similar. Maybe? Also odd is the fact that I must have read it about a zillion times, and here we are decades later and I still remember big pieces of it by heart — but when I asked my sister if she remembered the poem we always liked to say out loud about a king named Max and all of his taxes, she hadn’t the foggiest notion was I was talking about.
In any case, this just goes to prove that it’s the little things in life that count, because I’m giddy with joy over being reunited with Max’s Taxes. And since I couldn’t find this in print or online anywhere other than in a very old book, I’m going to reprint the entire poem here, for the sake of posterity. I hope you like it!
A wicked King named Max
Decreed an income tax.
He put a notice on the wall,
And stuck it up with tacks.
The people cried, “We can’t abide
Either Max or tax!
The outcome is, our income
Won’t even buy us snacks!
“A plague on Max’s taxes!
They’re anything but fair!
He taxes both our income
And our patience , we declare!”
So up they rose upon their toes
And seized all Max’s tacks…
Went marching to the palace
And stuck the tacks in Max.
Fun, right? I wish I still had learning-to-read kids in my house to share this with… but maybe I’ll go torture my 14-year-old by reading it to him anyway.
And once again, THANK YOU to Mystereity Reviews!