Ready for storytime? This is called “The Grump Who Sacked Greatland.”

<br>

On the third of Octember
in a land far away,
a young woman was reading
and knitting one day.

All illustrations by Aphee Messer.

And as hours went by
as she read the day’s news,
her mind started to wander.
She started to snooze.

Then she dreamed a strange dream.
She was older and gray.
She was walking outside
on a dark, rainy day.

All the streets were deserted.
No one was in sight.
With the shops boarded up,
something didn’t seem right.

As she walked, she passed by
an old man in the street.
And he said, “Can you help me
buy something to eat?”

“STORIES: 1000 dollars”
was scrawled on a board.
She was shocked.  That was far more
than she could afford.

“Could you tell me a story?
My name’s Nixie Knox.
I don’t have any money,
but here’s some new socks!”

Then he clutched the wool socks
in his gnarled old hand,
and he said, “Here’s the tale of
The Fall of Greatland.”

In the country of Greatland  — 
this land that you see  —
 lived a proud, wealthy people
much like you and me.

We worked hard and were happy,
and people soon knew
that if they moved to Greatland
then they could be, too.

We got used to our wealth,
and each year wanted more.
But some people were not
as well off as before.

So we made a mistake,
a huuuuge, big-league mistake —
for a country, the biggest
mistake you can make.

We elected a leader
who wouldn’t prepare.
And to make matters worse,
he did not even care.

Mr. Harold J. Grump
was the name of this chump,
but most people who knew him
just called him “the Grump.”

No one knows why the Grump
got so grumpy at all,
but some say that his hands
were two sizes too small,

For when he was a little Grump
going to school,
the kids who played Greatball
made him feel like a fool.

His Grump hands were too little
to grasp the big ball,
and they grabbed it so fast
he would stumble and fall.

So his little Grump heart
didn’t grow. Not at all!
His poor heart was so hurt,
it’s four sizes too small.

(This is why it’s not good
to torment anyone!
They grow up and they grab
other people for fun.)

As years passed, he grew older,
and made lots of wealth
with big loans from his father
(not all by himself).

How he loved being rich!
He wrote “GRUMP” on it all!
And it made those mean kids
seem so silly and small.

He built Grump University,
Grump Plaza too,
Grump Casino and Towers,
Grump Park and Grump Zoo.

He tried selling Grump Roast
and Grump Water (so cold!),
but no one wanted food that
tastes bitter and old.

With the years passing by,
he got bored of his life.
“I should be more historic!
I’ve got a new wife!”

And one day, looking out
from the 99th floor,
Mr. Grump saw that things
weren’t as good as before.

He saw crime. He saw people
who’d lost jobs and health,
and he said “I can fix this!
I know how to wealth!”

“There are poor people here
who are living in hell!
I can make it all better!
Make sick cities well!

Yes, we need law and order!
Things must be set straight!
And there’s no one but me
who can make Greatland great!”

“All these poor foreign workers
are taking your jobs!
We will bring your jobs home
and kick out all the slobs!

Then we’ll build a big wall
to keep all of them out!
No more crime! Bring our jobs back!”
he started to shout.

“Lower taxes are just what we need!”
said the Grump.
“And this ‘Greatcare’ has made
our economy slump!”

And when not enough voters
said “NO” to his lies,
this man won the election,
to my great surprise.

The Grump did what he promised.
He built a huuuuge wall.
He sent immigrants home,
families, children, and all.

But then later that year,
farmers asked him to stop.
“All our workers are gone!
Who will harvest our crop?”

The Grump taxed all the shipments
across the Great Sea.
So things got more expensive,
from clothing to tea.

Now for Greatland this meant
food and clothes cost a lot.
So most people who used to go shopping
did not!

The shopkeepers went home,
and the workers did too.
With no customers left,
there was no work to do.

Then the Grump canceled Greatcare!
When people got ill,
they spent all of their cash
on a big doctor’s bill.

“Greatcare helped us get by!
If we’re sick, we can’t work
to earn money to pay for a doctor,
you jerk!”

But the Grump and his friends
didn’t care about health.
They were lowering taxes
and counting their wealth.

“This is ours! We deserved it!”
said Grump. “Can’t you see?
If you only worked harder,
you’d be rich like me!”

And that’s how Greatland fell.
All our jobs went away.
There was nothing to buy,
and no money to pay!

Then the old man’s sign changed.
He said, “If you elect
Mr. Grump, this will happen,”
and pointed: “EXCEPT…”

And the man disappeared
in a puff of blue smoke.
Nixie stirred in her sleep.
With a start, she awoke.

”This will happen, EXCEPT…“
Nixie sat up and thought.
”This will happen, except
if I care a whole lot!”

Then she said, “I will vote,
and my friends will vote too!
We can stop this mean Grump
and his bright orange ’do!”

Nixie logged on to Greatbook
and Instagreat too,
and she told all her friends
Greatland needed them, too.

“Who you vote for’s your business,”
she wrote on her Wall,
“but you must, or our Greatland
will crumble and fall.”

And millions of people
just like you and me
went to vote to make Greatland
as great as could be.

Though some well-meaning folks
voted Grump all the same,
he still lost, and flew home
in his fancy Grump Plane.

Then he said, “It was rigged!
It’s unfair! They all cheated!
It’s the only way I could have
been so defeated!”

The people of Greatland
were smarter than that,
and they paid no attention
to such a big brat.

“We are done with your lies!
We are better than this!”
And they waved at the winner,
and blew her a kiss.

With that, Nixie dozed off
as she watched GNN.
And with Greatland now safe,
Saw the future again…

THE END

<br>

“The Grump Who Sacked Greatland” is a work of fiction. It is not a factual account of any event or person, past, present, or future. The opinions and ideas expressed in this work are solely our own. We do not intend to imply that anyone who inspired or assisted us shares our views. You can pre-order the book here.

The work of Theodor Seuss Geisel (“Dr. Seuss”) inspired some of our ideas and our choice of prosody (rhymed couplets of anapestic tetrameter). Beyond the cover art inspired by “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” we have included a handful of “easter eggs” for astute readers to discover.

Leave a Reply