One was Yopu

To “One Was Johnny” by Maurice Sendak and Carole King

One was Yopu

(One was Yopu!)

One was Yopu who lived by himself

Two was the toucan who flapped up a din

Three were the fennecs, all covered in sin

Four were the snakes, relaxed and sedate

Five were the rats, resigned to their fate

Six was the dog, all out of his head

Seven were the crows that normal people dread.

(One was Yopu!)

Eight—the macaw, all yellow and blue

Nine—the ingenious cockatoo

Ten was a puzzle: what should Yopu do?

He stood on a box and he said:

Here’s what I’ll do:

I’ll start to count backward, and when I am through,

If this house isn’t quiet I’ll eat all of you!”

Nine was Jodie who cowered in fear

Eight was Ara who watched with a sneer

Seven and Zen went flying to bed

Six was Kimahri who laid down his head

Five—all the rats agreed to be nice

Four were the snakes, who ate up all the mice

(One was Yopu!)

Three were the fennecs, who stifled a squeak

Two was the toucan, who shut his fat beak

And one was Yopu

(One was Yopu!)

One was Yopu

(One was Yopu!)

One was Yopu, at home by himself…

And he liked it like that.