THE LONG-HAIRED BOY
by Shel Silverstein
There was a boy in our town with long hair—
I mean really long hair—
And everybody pointed at him
And laughed at him
And made fun of him.
And when he walked down the street
The people would roar
And stick their tongues out
And make funny faces
And run in and slam their door
And shout at him from the window
Until he couldn't stand it anymore.
So he sat down and cried
Till his whole body shook,
And pretty soon his hair shook too,
And it flapped
And he lifted—
Straight up in the air like a helicopter.
Jenny Ricks saw him and dropped her
Knitting and screamed, "It's a flying kid!"
Lukey Hastings ran and hid
Under Old Man Merrill's car,
Miss Terance fainted, Henry Quist
Tried to shoot him down, but missed—
"I thought he was a crow," he said.
And 'round he sailed all through the day,
Smiling in the strangest way,
With the wind in his hair
And the sun in his eyes.
We saw him swoop and bank and rise.
He brushed the treetops
And skimmed the grass
On Yerbey's lawn and almost crashed
Right into Hansen's silo—but
Zoomed up in time and almost hit
The courthouse. Old Man Cooley bit
Right through his napkin when he saw
A kid fly through the diner door—
And out of the window, tipping the ladder—
Where Smokey was painting, he almost had a
Heart attack—he clung to a rafter.
The kid flew on—
Us runnin' after,
Cheering and sweating
And screaming, "Hooray!"
Mayor Lowry shouted, "Hey—
Come down here, kid. We'd like to say
How proud of you we are today.
Who ever thought our little
Town would have a hero in it?
So I'd like to proclaim this day—hey, kid!
Will you please come down for just a minute?"
But the flying kid did not come down.
He treaded air above the town,
Sort of cryin' and looking down
At all of us here on the ground.
Then up he flew, up into the clouds,
Flapping and flying so far and high,
Out past the hills and into the sky
Until a tiny speck against the sun
Was all we could see of him...then he was gone.