The Child Assassin
by Morgan S. Grether
They trained a boy to kill with knives and guns,
A dead-eye shot from ninety yards in wind.
His hands could cut through stone. His trainers, all
The highest men in government, were proud
The training went so well. Much shaking hands,
Much telling jokes, much patting on the backs.
A brilliant time for all involved. The boy --
Age six, eyes blue, hair blond -- as usual
Was sitting in a corner, crying. He
As usual was saying that he missed
His mother and his doggie, Fluff. The men
As usual went huffing, puffing ’round.
They did not like this flaw in training. Flaws
Like this one made the child weak and showed
The project was not done. Much wringing hands,
Much scratching beards, much heavy sighing, till --
Eureka! -- a solution was discovered.
However, turning round to take the boy
Back to the lab, they found him gone. Alarms
Went ringing, panic time. Unseen by all,
The boy -- the tiny killer, child assassin,
Three-foot menace to all menaces
Throughout the world -- had found beside a drain
A puddle with a frog. His giggles
Rippled ’cross the little pond, complete
With little lily pad and shade from two
Brilliant yellow dandelions. He,
As gentle as the autumn dusk, a smile
Just like a jack-o-lantern, cupped the frog
Within his hands, his laughter hushed with awe,
And patted the frog’s green head and called it Fluff.