Big Deward the Dump was a mite bit upset.
Over long years, his diet of trash
Had been growing in items he’d rather forget,
Things that made him break out in a rash.
“How I long for an eggshell, a rind or a crust
That I used to enjoy by the ton.
Most the things in me now don’t digest, or they rust.
I am fasting ‘til something is done.”
With those words, Big Deward closed up his large mouth
And refused all the garbage that streamed
From the east and the west and the north and the south.
Heaps of cast-offs just piled up and steamed.
Many garbage truck drivers tried all kinds of tricks
To get Deward to alter his ways.
But no joking or patting, cajoling or kicks
Changed a thing. His fast went on for days.
At last—weakly—he posted a banner up high,
Right where all of the people could see.
And it said, “If you don’t want Big Deward to die,
Please recycle the trash that hurts me.”
“Recycle? What’s that?” asked a man at Town Hall.
Some kids heard him and held up their hands.
“You just use things again. Make a dish or a doll
Out of plastic or bottles or cans.”
“I can turn all the plastic to t-shirts and swings,”
Yelled a man who could weave and make toys.
“We’ll make bottles and cans into all kinds of things,”
Offered others. And soon all the noise
Of recycling ideas reached way out of town
To the ears of Big Deward the Dump.
And he tore down the banner while swallowing down
The edible trash in one lump.
How the people rejoiced as they carted away
Ev’ry smidgeon of synthetic scum.
Now they annually celebrate Deward Dump Day
Chewing biodegradable gum.