“Iceberg!” cried the Mate, as he slid down the mast.
“Iceberg, dead ahead! And it’s coming on fast!”
The captain, a veteran man of the ocean,
Stepped out on the deck to inspect the commotion.
“Now, Mister First Mate, what’s so perilous that
You disturb me, the cook, and the Second Mate’s cat?”
“Iceberg dead ahead! Broken off from some shelf!
Iceberg ahead! Climb and see for yourself!”
The captain climbed up to the top of the mast
To see for himself that great danger at last.
He squinted and there, dead ahead, right as rain,
The iceberg—and so he slid downwards again.
“You see what I mean?” cried the nervous First Mate.
“We must quickly take action, before it’s too late!”
But the captain replied, “There’s no reason to panic—
This iceberg would hardly have sunk the Titanic.
In fact, it’s so small—just an icicle thingy—
That, colliding, it wouldn’t put holes in a dinghy!
And, besides, there’s a passenger—maybe a crew—
If they’re in distress, we must think what to do!”
They slowed to a stop, being ready to take
On board what might be found on that floating ice cake,
But imagine their gasps when what should appear
On their deck was one thin and bedraggled p-bear.
“Excuse me for asking,” the p-bear inquired,
“If I’m anywhere near the South Pole? I’m so tired
Of beaches and palm trees! Chill winds would be nice.
And, best of all, acres and acres of ice.
I’d be glad if some person would hand me a seal—
It feels like an age since I’ve had a square meal!
Those sharks I’ve been eating have less taste than rubber
And I’d give anything for a mouthful of blubber!”
The captain looked puzzled. “But why are you here?
This is the Caribbean—no bear should appear.
It seems to me that your traditional role
Is to terrorize Inuits at the North Pole.”
“North Pole?” asked the bear—his expression grew colder,
And he flicked one long black claw back over his shoulder.
“I’ve news for you, bro: that place is a hole
And that thing I rode here on? That was the North Pole.
So, if you can’t help me, I’ll be on my way
‘Cause there’ll be no South Pole if I have to delay.”
He went over the side, and the last thing they saw
Of the Pole or the bear was a single raised paw.