...strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff...

The other morning I woke up to my favorite little person humming the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon in my ear. I taught him this song a few months ago after we enjoyed a picture book of Puff the Magic Dragon ( illustrated beautifully by Eric Puybaret.)

 I can sing it perfectly well until I arrive at the third verse:

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys, Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys. One gray night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar. His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain, Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane, Without his lifelong friend, Puff could not be brave, So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave..."

It happens to me every time. I arrive at that third verse and become so tearful I can't continue singing. The afternoon I taught Little Mr. B. the song, I tried to hide my tears by asking him whether he thought it was a sad song. He didn't understand why I thought it was sad, so I explained that, when Jackie Paper grew older, he didn't believe in magical dragons and Puff didn't have anyone to play with. Little Mr. confided that he, himself would visit the dragon after Jackie Paper grew up. I know my boy will grow up, but I hope he remembers to visit that dragon...


  1. I can't get through that verse without crying either...

  2. In a staff review on the Kepler's Books website, the reviewer mentions having a conversation with Peter Yarrow and telling him this anecdote shared by a local mother. Her daughter was crying because she thought little Jackie Paper had died. When her mom told her, " Jackie didn't die, he just grew up," she just cried all the harder and said "that's even worse!" Peter Yarrow responded by saying, "Oh, she gets it.”

  3. With you as his Mother, dragons will always be in his heart!

  4. Thanks for these comments, I'm teaching a topic about dragons and loe to play this song on my uke, just not sure if 4/5 yr olds would appreciate the final sentiment, but like the Blog Master here I hope (as I do love to use my imagination as a 27yr old) that the chn will use this to affirm their control and use of imagination - so they never have to really leave never never land, i feel sorry for anyone who lost the skills to delight in believing in things that science has no proof of.

  5. The big girl has been known to tinkle this little tune on the piano... Makes me cry too, all the best stories do


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