"Now listen, my children, I'll tell you a tale,
How old Jonah, the Prophet, got caught by the Whale.
The whale caught poor Jonah and, bless your dear soul,
He not only caught him but swallowed him whole.
A part of this story is awfully sad,
It is how a big city went to the bad.
When the Lord saw those people with such wicked ways,
He said, "I can't stand them more'n forty more days.
He spoke to old Jonah and said, 'Go and cry
To those hard-hearted people and tell them that I
Give them forty days more to get humbled down,
And if they don't do it, 'Ill tear up their town.'
Jonah heard the Lord speaking and he said, 'No
That's against my religion and I won't go.
The Lord looked down on that ship and said He,
'Old Jonah is fixing to run off from me.'
He set the winds blowing with squeaks and with squeals,
And the sea got rowdy and kicked up its heels.
Old Jonah confessed it was all for his sin,
The crew threw him out and the Whale took him in.
The Whale said, 'Old fellow, don't you forget,
I am sent here to take you in out of the wet.
You will get punished aright for your sin',
So he opened his mouth, and poor Jonah went in.
On beds of green seaweed that fish tried to rest,
He said, 'Iwill sleep while my food I digest'.
But he got mighty restless and sorely afraid,
And he rumbled inside as the old Prophet prayed.
The third day that fish rose up from his bed,
With his stomach tore up and a pain in his head.
He said, 'I must get to the air mighty quick,
For this filthy backslider is making me sick'.
He winked his big eyes and wiggled his tail,
And pulled for the shore to deliver his male.
He stopped near the shore and looked all around,
And vomited old Jonah right up on the ground.
Old Jonah thanked God for His mercy and grace,
And, turning around to the Whale made a face.
He said, 'After three days I guess you have found
A good man, old fellow, is hard to keep down'.
He stretched himself out with a yawn and a sigh,
And sat down in the sun for his clothing to dry.
He thought how much better his preaching would be,
Since from Whale Seminary he had a degree.
When he had rested and dried in the sun,
He started for Nineveh 'most on the run.
He thanked his dear Father in heaven above,
For His tender mercy and wonderful love.
And though he was nearly three days late,
He preached from the time he entered the gate.
Till the whole population repented and prayed,
And the great hand of justice and vengeance was stayed.
Children, when you disobey, remember this tale,
When you run from God's call, look out for the Whale.
There are animals to catch you on sea or on land,
And children are swallowed much easier than man."
Written by : Clifford Lewis