The Chestnut Tree


I came upon a chestnut tree

as fine a tree — as fine can be —

loaded with chestnuts, large and small.

How would I get them before they fall?

Then Mr. Squirrel would have them all!


So I devised a plan

of intelligent degree

and climbed up in that chestnut tree —

and who was there to welcome me

but Mr. Squirrel — at home and free

way up in “his” chestnut tree

while I the trespasser

was not, you see —

at home, that is — up in a tree.


Now wars have been fought for many a cause,

but chestnuts? Chestnuts!!!

A thoughtful pause;

And while my diplomatic thoughts prevailed,

spiny chestnut bombs assailed

for, like a pilot in the air,

that squirrel became a bombardier

raining down chestnuts on my head.

You’d think that squirrel would wish me dead!


Knowing well I could not win,

I climbed back down to save my skin.

So now its chestnuts I despise

And let me put you to the wise:


If roasting chestnuts

in an open fire

is something that your heart desires,

of climbing chestnut trees

do not aspire.

Go pick apples — to your heart’s desire!


Lenny Hall is a student and observer of life without formal credentials who finds inspiration on Martha’s Vineyard.