They say all stories go the same, a pattern if you call it,
The usual happens every day ‘til miseries befall it.
They could have warned me of the day my universe would spin,
When all at once I realized the cash had not come in.
I put the card back in to check, despite my agitation –
It hadn’t come, our fraction of this month’s remuneration.
The calendar confirmed it was the end of month indeed,
Due time my Jack supplied our constant monetary need.
My little girl, she looked at me in great anticipation,
I’d promised her a present for her coming graduation.
It stung my heart but I had to be honest and decline,
The cash I had on hand was just a hundred ninety-nine.
“Perhaps next week,” I thus replied, and tried to be convincing,
And Daisy put a brave face on and listened without wincing.
I breathed, and then the worry flowed straight down into my gut,
Until the money came we’d need a major budget cut.
But lowering expenses wasn’t cause for great depression,
What prompted this delay – now there we had the bigger question.
For if I knew my Jack in our six years of married state,
The time may have been modest but the funds were never late.
But here I now reveal the plot beginning at the middle,
Forgive me if I’ve gone with my narration like a riddle.
Let’s set things right and start this tale with “Once upon a time,”
A proper introduction even when it’s told in rhyme.
(For more on the Illustrated Edition, meet the characters here.)