The tale of Johnny Appleseed
Is one I’m sure you know.
He traveled clear across the land
To make the apples grow.
He planted apples near and far,
One seed after another.
But one seed he forgot to tend:
His jealous little brother!
Now, Tommy didn’t start out bad.
He once was sweet and nice.
He’d hold the door, he’d sweep the floor,
Then grin and thank ya twice.
He never broke a single rule
Or crossed his parents’ wishes.
Yes, little Tommy Appleseed
Was golden and delicious.
But somewhere there along the line,
He started to grow greedy.
He saw the praise that Johnny got,
And craved it—yes indeedy!
To top it off, his father said,
“Now son, you’ve got a mission!
Do honor to the family name,
And follow our tradition!”
“Your brother’s planting apple trees
From sea to shining sea.
It’s time for you to follow him
And be what you must be.”
Now Tommy loved his mom and dad,
He tried so hard to please ’em.
In fact, sometimes he tried so hard
The other kids would tease ’im.
And even though he hated planting—
Hated it so bad!—
He had to beat his brother,
So he shouted, “Okay, Dad!”
If apple trees were what they loved,
Who was he to complain?
So Tommy, with his seed pack full,
Went out to fruit the plane.
He started in the neighbor’s yard,
But Johnny’d been there first;
The trees were full of apples,
Ripe and red and ’bout to burst!
The next house down was just the same,
The next one even more!
So Tommy tried the next town,
Feeling rotten to the core!
But everywhere that Tommy wandered,
Johnny’d done his work!
Oh Tommy got so angry
That he shouted, “What a jerk!”
“Oh how am I supposed to win?
Oh how can I compete?
My brother’s made more apples
Than an Applesaur could eat!”
And with a rage that bubbled
Like a frothy cider fountain,
He swung his bag of apple seeds
And flung it up the mountain.
Now time went by, as time will do,
And Tommy plum forgot.
But boy those apples didn’t!
Oh, they grew—and grew a lot!
Oh high above the little town,
They blossomed, bloomed, and sprouted.
And in the fall, when harvest came,
Their might could not be doubted!
The apples hung so heavy,
And the orchard was so dense!
The crop upon the mountain top
Was bloated and immense!
And one by one, the apples fell—
Not too far from the tree—
But, mountains sloping as they do,
They started to roll free!
Oh down they tumbled, on they rolled,
Toward every farm and ranch!
A great pomaceous free-for-all!
A mighty apple-lanch!
And very soon, the little town
Was covered up in fruit!
It flattened farms for miles around,
And Granny Smith, to boot!
And all the folks knew where to go;
They knew just who to blame!
They went and found the family
With “Apple” in its name!
“What have you done?” the townsfolk cried,
“And where’s that blasted rover?
That no-good Johnny Appleseed
Who made the fruit turn-over?!”
Now, Tommy knew just what had happened,
Knew this was his fault,
And, jealous though he was of John,
He cried, “Good people, halt!”
“It was not Johnny Appleseed
Who made this fruity mess!
I did it out of jealousy—
It’s my fault, I confess!”
The townsfolk lunged at Tommy,
And he barely wriggled free!
It looked like they were going to prune him
From the family tree!
They snatched at him, their voices shouting
“Catch the cursed fiend!”
Before their arms could reach him, though,
His parents intervened.
They lifted Tommy high above
And over everyone.
They asked him for his story,
And they listened to their son.
He told them how he’d tried so hard
To match his brother’s deeds,
How finally he’d given up
And thrown the bag of seeds.
His parents seemed to understand
As Tommy told his tale.
By forcing him to follow John,
They’d doomed their boy to fail.
The townsfolk settled down again
And got a little sad.
This boy just wanted to be loved!
Oh, how could they stay mad?
There still was just one problem—
Tons of apples everywhere!
But Tommy saw a glint of hope
And cried out, “Don’t despair!”
“Just bring them to me one by one—
We’ll excavate the town!
Just cart them to my kitchen,
And I’ll gladly cook them down!”
And so they did—they stacked his kitchen
Up from floor to ceiling,
And Tommy found his niche at last,
A-cooking and a-peeling!
He cooked them down upon the stove
With just a hint of spice.
The townsfolk filled their bellies up
And asked for seconds—twice!
So Tommy made his family proud
And showed the town who’s boss!
Three cheers for Johnny Appleseed
And Tommy Applesauce!