Jan Brzechwa

In the reed a beetle’s buzz
And a famous buzz it does.

An ox asked in bovine bass
“Why go buzzing in the grass?”

“Why, you ask? Well, it’s a job,
Better do a job than slob.”

“Any profit it can yield?”
“What a question! See that field?

And that reed up to your knees,
Meadows, thickets, woods and trees,

Even rivers there, you see?
All those things belong to me!”

The ox reckoned: “That sounds fun,
Easiest job under the sun!”

Came back home with a light head
And went buzzing by the shed,

In a deep, ox voice of course.
Meanwhile, farmer Bob stepped close.

“What’s all that?” he could but shout
“Why’s my ox loafing about?!”

“Loafing? No no, don’t you see?
All that buzzing here - that’s me!”

“Oh I’ll show you buzzing now,
Back to work! Get to that plough!”

And he thought of such a chore,
The poor ox could take no more.

Knock-off time, it trotted back.
“I will give that bug a smack!”

But the beetle was not there,
Somewhere else buzz filled the air.

(Translated by: Witold Wojtaszko)