“Stand back!” said the manatee, “I’m going to sneeze!”
Ka-Poo! And I reeled, fell back on my knees.
Juices covered my body, from head to my toes,
And who knows what else from a manatee’s nose.
“Really!” I said standing and wiping my brow,
If you’re going to let loose, don’t wait until now.”
“Give me more warning, at least a shout.”
But the manatee looked remorseful,
And began to pout.
His hairy chin quivered, his nostrils turned in.
I forgot my discomfort and had sympathy for him.
I know it’s not easy, being a manatee today,
All those swimmers and snorkelers wanting their way.
They are not supposed to touch you, during your snooze,
But some come loaded from their afternoon booze.
“The path of resistance may not be clear, but
Trust me, dear manatee, your time is near.
I hear there’s a movement for manatees to unite,
And give back the jabs that give you the frights.”
“Oh yes, I belong to the manatee union
And that sneeze was just one of our retaliations.”
“There’s more?” I asked, my face now dry.
“Oh yes, there’s more, just look in the sky.”
Up I looked and what did I see,
a flock of birds right above me.
“On the count,” he yelled, “One, two, THREE!”
And I was barraged with doo splattering on me.
“Holy Cow! “I lamented, “You have an aerial assault!”
“Not only that,” he smirked, “There’s more if I shout.”
“Oh, no,” I surrendered, “I’m done with this mess.
I’m leaving you manatees to a well-deserved rest.”
—Linda W. Curtis
Linda W. Curtis is a science writer for botany and entomology journals. The humor gene often expresses after a session of science writing, leading from merely absurd to ridiculous stories. Laughter is a great stress reducer. See her stories on webpage www.curtistothethird.com.