Saturday, March 28, 2015

Poem: The Goats and the Big Bad Wolf (not a fairytale)

This poem is a little late. Winter is over in Iraqi Kurdistan and spring is showing its glorious green splendor. It was a very harsh winter for the people living in tents. It will be a harsh, hot summer for the people living in tents. So, here is my thinking in poetry.

(Screen shot taken from video by UNHCR)


In North America many children hear the story of the Three Little Pigs. The animals are trying to avoid a wolf who would like to end their lives. They build several shelters made of straw, sticks and finally bricks. The last house offers the protection they need and they are victorious over the dangerous creature.

In December 2014 I saw a video (see below) made by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees  about a Syrian family and their attempt to find shelter after fleeing from the militant group known as ISIS or Da’ash. The commentator did not state whether their faith  background was Muslim, Christian or other. So, out of respect I changed the story to be that of 3 little goats- or in this case a family of 7 goats.

The  Goats and the Big Bad Wolf (not a fairytale)

The father of this family built a new house
Not of straw
Not of sticks
Definitely not of bricks.
The new house is built of white plastic sheeting
And bits of wood found lying about the village.
The cost was all they had left
 60,000 Iraqi dinars –about $50
A necessary renovation as their canvas tent leaked from the winter water pouring from the skies.

                                                    ********************************

The family does not fear the wolf- it has already been and gone.
Wolf-like men: huffing and puffing and screaming defiance
“Be gone or be done”.
Now, a family of seven in a plastic house-huddled together exchanging body heat.
Craving donations of blankets and kerosene to survive winter’s chill.
They had heard….
“Family, family let us come in….”
 They replied--“Not by the hair of our chiny, chin chin”.
“Then we will huff and puff and blow your house in.
It was done.. and they ran- fleeing, running, scampering
Leaving everything behind----to live in a house of white plastic.



 Video: Iraq: Preparing for Winter in Dohuk

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