Poems You Can Eat: TumTummins: A Seasonal Cautionary Tale

By Stephani Cook

It was rumored on this street
That pattered full of children’s feetkids
A creature who had never been seen
Descended nights of Halloween
To steal away the biggest glutton
And so the tale of TumTummins.

Every year, the thirty first
Children dressed up, did their worst
To appear foul and most a fright
To be the most terrifying child that night
Knowing full well that the more they’d commit
The closer their candy bins’d be filled to the brim.

The children were teeming: a single desire
To acquire more candies than any other,
Every child who queried for candy this night
Had been warned to keep the intake light.

For their parents had sung them the sordid tale
Of what happens to children who eat more than they’re able,
A tune they had heard every Halloween
To keep their souls safe, and keep their waists lean:

An advocate of good nutrition
Performs requisite admonition
To cure the children of their greed
And bid them to more wisely feed
Little children heed your folks
Resist the extra marshmallows
All Hallows’ Eve brings TumTummins
Who devours the greatest glutton!

Meanwhile on this street so dark,
The children finished their candy march.
Bounding home with skips and leaps
To feast away on promised treats.

A little lad, Elmer Waddingsworth,
With no real or substantive girth
Fed on bon bons til his fill
And stopped when Mother’s voice got shrill.

His parents put him down to bed
And kissed his sugar-coated head,
But when the two had gone to sleep,
Elmer rose, kicked off his sheets
And scurried quickly to the kitchen
For he’d seen where his stash was hidden

He swallowed down a dozen bites
Of every chocolate bar in sight.

krampusAeros, Crunchies, caramels for days,
A handful of creme-filled Cadbury eggs!
The bliss was more than he had known
The button on his printed pajamas had blown.

When Elmer’s parents came down in the morn,
And found TumTummins’ footprints upon the floor
Imagine their panic, their poor hearts torn!
Wrappers leading out a wide-open door.

And so the rumors still they grow
For no one with any certainty knows.

Stephani Cook is a second-year FPAN student.  She is a firm believer that a photobooth can elevate a good party to a great party.  That and salmon pâté.    

The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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