Struwwelpeter

by Heinrich Hoffmann

The Story of Johnny Look-in-the-Air


As he trudg'd along to school,
It was always Johnny's rule
To be looking at the sky
And the clouds that floated by;
But what just before him lay,
In his way,
Johnny never thought about;
So that every one cried out—
"Look at little Johnny there,
Little Johnny Head-In-Air!"


Running just in Johnny's way,
Came a little dog one day;
Johnny's eyes were still astray
Up on high,
In the sky;
And he never heard them cry -
"Johnny, mind, the dog is nigh!"
What happens now?
Bump!
Dump I
Down they fell, with such a thump,
Dog and Johnnv in a lump!
They almost broke their bones
So hard they tumbled on the stones.


Once, with head as high as ever,
Johnny walked beside the river.
Johnny watch'd the swallows trying
Which was cleverest at flying.
Oh! what fun!
Johnny watch'd the bright round sun
Going in and coming out;
This was all he thought about.
So he strode on, only think!
To the river's very brink,
Where the bank was high and steep,
And the water very deep;
And the fishes, in a row,
Stared to see him coming so.


One step more! Oh! sad to tell!
Headlong in poor Johnny fell.
The three little fishes, in dismay,
Wagged their tails and swam away.


There lay Johnny on his face;
With his nice red writing-case;
But, as they were passing by,,
Two strong men had heard him cry;
And, with sticks, these two strong men
Hook'd poor Johnny out again.


Oh! you should have seen him shiver
When they pull'd him from the river
He was in a sorry plight,
Dripping wet, and such a fright!
Wet all over, everywhere,
Clothes, and arms, and face, and hair
Johnny never will forget
What it is to be so wet.

And the fishes, one, two, three,
Are come back again, you see;
Up they came the moment after,
To enjoy the fun and laughter.
Each popp'd out his little head,
And, to tease poor Johnny, said,
"Silly little Johnny, look,
You have lost your writing-book!"
Look at them laughing and do you see?
His satchel is drifting, far out to sea!


=> The Story of Flying Robert

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Virginia Commonwealth University