Beating Eric’s Eating
Young Eric was a little boy who really loved to eat.
In any eating contest he’d be very hard to beat.
His slender older sister wouldn’t ever be his match,
Nor did his bigger brother think that Eric he could catch.
And even Eric’s father, who was more than average size,
When watching Eric eating could not hide his great surprise,
For Eric’s plate was piled up high with food of every kind:
To see it quickly disappear just blew his father’s mind!
His mother’s face looked anxious as she eyed what Eric ate.
She thought: “If Eric keeps this up, he’ll put on too much weight.
I’ll feed him lots of Brussels sprouts and serve him tripe and brains.
That surely ought to put an end to any weight he gains!”
But Eric didn’t seem to mind; he just kept eating faster;
He hardly tasted what he ate. The plan was a disaster.
His father said: “This can’t go on. It’s got beyond a joke.
If Eric keeps his eating up, our family will go broke!”
They pondered for a moment, thinking what next they could do.
His older sister said that they should put him in a zoo!
“He’d only eat the animals”, replied his older brother.
“Enough of that! That’s most unkind!” responded Eric’s mother.
“We have to think of something that will make him want to stop,
Or else I’ll spend hours every day just going to the shop.”
His desperate Dad was thinking fast: “I think I know a way.
We’ll start to ration all the food we’re going to eat each day.”
“First, everyone will get a serve, all generous, but the same.
When anybody asks for more, then that will start the game.
You’ll have to buy the extra food you want put on your plate
And if you can’t produce the cash, food won’t eventuate.
Your pocket money or your purse could gain you new supplies,
But as your money disappears, you soon will realise
There’ll be no money left to buy the things you want far more
And only empty pockets will go with you to the store.”
His Dad knew well that Eric loved to spend his cash on sweets,
But money spent on extra food meant none for special treats!
It was a most unhappy lad who came to meals each day.
Instead of filling him with food, they filled him with dismay.
His appetite began to wane. He left scraps on the plate.
Before, with something left to eat, he wouldn’t hesitate.
The ration plan soon brought an end to Eric’s problem habit
And that is how his family stopped him eating like a rabbit.
Submitted in response to 2016 Poetry Prompt #48
Monty says: I decided on the theme of overeating and brainstormed words related to eating, along with words rhyming with these that had potential as part of a story poem about a boy who ate too much. After introducing the family in verse 1 and posing the problem in verse 2, finding a convincing way to resolve the problem slowed my progress considerably.