The drift was blowing on the land,
Blowing with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The index rise and bright –
And this was odd, because
The land was calm as the middle of the night.

The Oil Peakers were whining sulkily,
Because the drift of Dimson
Had got no business to be there
After all the screaming they had done –
'It's very rude of them.' They said,
'To come and spoil the fun!'

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The land was dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No margins' calls were flying overhead –
Because stocks were such a buy.

The Shark and the Pilot Fish
Were swimming close at hand:
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of dry land:
'If this were only washed away,'
They said, 'it would be so grand.'

'If seven goddesses each with seven heartaches
Wept for a hundred years,
Do you suppose,' the Shark said,
'That they could flood it all with fear?'
'I doubt it,' said the Doomsdayer,
And shed a bitter tear.

'O Californian beach comers come and swim with us!
The Shark did beseech.
'A pleasant dip, a pleasant trip,
Swim with the big boys in the briny sea:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a fin to each.'

The seasoned salty seaman looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The salty seaman winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head –
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the beach house - bed.

Out four newly retired beach dwellers hurried up.
All eager for the trip this morn:
Their wet suits taunt, their snorkels washed,
Their flippers were shabby and torn –
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't ever been worn.

Four other beach dwellers followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more –
All swimming in a school in the frothy waves,
Rushing to the next big commodity score.

The Sharks and the Pilot fish
Swam on a mile or so,
And then they rested on the deep bottom
Conveniently low:
And all the little retiree tread water
And waited in a row.

'The time has come,' the Shark said,
'To talk of many things:
Of oil — and gold — and declines –
Of deceits — and captured rings –
And why your estate is bubbling hot –
And whether the feds have wings.'

'But wait a bit,' the beachcombers cried,
'Before we have our chats;
For all of us are in over our heads,
And none of us know a bit of stats!'
'No worry!' said the Pilot fish.
His reply no need to count our facts

'A bit of blood,' the Shark said,
'Is what we chiefly need:
thrashing and splashing besides
Are very good indeed –
Now, if you're ready, beach dwellers dear,
We can begin to feed.'

'But not on us!' the beach lover cried,
Turning a little blue.
'After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!'
'The water is fine,' the Shark said,
'Do you admire the view?'

'It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!'
The bottom feeder said nothing but
'Give me another slice-
I wish you were not quite so deaf-
I've had to ask you twice!'

'It seems a shame,' the Shark said,
'To play them such a trick.
After we've taught them so much,
And made them swim so quick!'
The Ablefleckson said nothing but
'The last chunk was too thick!'

'I weep for you,' the Shark said:
'I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

'O commodities,' said the pilot fish,
'You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none –
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.





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