Dr. Suess-style Haggadah
Uncle Eli's
Most Fun Ever
Passover Haggadah
Calgary 1995 / 5755
(c) 1986, 1990, 1995 by Eliezer Lorne Segal,
16-310 Brookmere Rd. SW,
Calgary Alberta

A Present from Uncle Eli
The house had gone crazy,
        all turned upside-down,
with everyone busily
        running around.
Mommy was screaming
        "Get out of the way!
You can't keep on
        lying around here all day!
Tomorrow is Passover.
        You don't look ready.
We have to remove
        everything that is bready.
Pack up the old dishes
        and pull out the new.
Prepare for the seder!
        There's too much to do!"
I just stuffed up my ears,
        'cause I'm that kind of kid.
I didn't much care
        what the rest of them did.
I thought it was stupid;
        I felt it was dumb
to get so excited
        about one or two crumbs
when under my bed,
        under careful protection,
I keep the world's largest
        stale bread-crumb collection!
I hate cleaning up.
        I prefer a good mess.
I'm lazy and mean --
        kind of nasty, I guess.
I don't like the seder.
        It bores me to tears.
I sit making faces
        and noises and sneers.
I'd rather be out
        breaking windows with balls,
or digging up flower-beds,
        or drawing on walls.
Anything! Anywhere!
        Rather than be
at the Passover  seder
        with my family.
We mean little kids
        should be all sent away.
We don't want to celebrate
        dumb holidays.
Well, those were the thoughts
        spinning inside my head.
My ears were exploding,
        my nose had turned red.
I was very upset
        at my Mom and my Dad--
disgusted, disgruntled
        -- in short, I was mad!
right there behind me
        I heard a soft sound.
I perked up my ears
        and I turned my head 'round.
And right there before me,
        as plain as could be
was the weirdest old man
        that you ever will see.
"Weird" did I say?
        He was weirder than weird!
You hardly could see him
        because of his beard.
It flowed down his body
        and covered his feet,
all curly and snaggly,
        distinctly un-neat.
Aside from that beard--
        well, you couldn't see lots,
just two twinkly eyes
        that peeked out 'tween the knots,
and the hint of a grin
        that made everything bright
and sometimes turned into
        a laughing white light.
I stared at this strange little man
        for a while
as he kept standing there
        full of laughter and smiles.
The door to the room
        was still shut up quite tight,
and I didn't know
        how he had gotten inside.
I finally got up the nerve
        to speak out:
"You are a strange fellow,
        without any doubt.
Please tell me who are you?
        And why are you here?
And why do you look
        so fantastically queer?"
He lit up his smile
        and began to reply:
"I'm your old friend,
        Uncle Eli am I!
And I, Uncle Eli,
        am just the right one
to make sure that this year
        you will have lots of fun.
Instead of just sitting there
        twiddling your hands
while the grown-ups read words
        that you don't understand,
I've brought you
        a special Haggadah to read.
It'll keep you in stitches!
        It's just what you need!
I wrote it for children
        like you and your friends,
who hardly can wait
        for the seder to end.
It's just the right thing
        for a silly young boy--
a Haggadah you'll learn
        to adore and enjoy."
Then, waving his finger
        and wiggling his ears,
he stuck his right hand
        in his tangled white beard
and from somewhere down deep
        in that jungle of hair
he pulled out a book,
        which he held in the air.
It's the same fun Haggadah
        you're reading today.
Don't let your folks see it!
        They'll take it away.
You might want to hide it
        where no one can see,
under the table,
        on top of your knee.
It'll be our own secret.
        They won't understand
why you cover your mouth
        with the back of your hand
to stifle the laughs
        that burst out all the time.
--It's your own special secret,
                        and Eli's
                                ...and mine!
Bedikat Hametz
We have to get rid
        of the Hametz today--
We have to destroy it.
        We can't let it stay.
We'll punch it and crunch it
        and bury it deep,
or leave it to rot
        on Mount Zeepleep-the-Steep.
We'll pump on it, jump on it,
        grind it to dust.
Erode it, corrode it--
        We have to! We must!
We'll feed it to ravenous
        rampaging rhinos--or
trample it all
        on our dizzy old dinosaur.
Cut it to pieces,
        burn it to ash!
Bash it and smash it
        and dash it to hash.
Then send it by rocket
        to the Forests of Queet,
where fire-breathing Goo-bahs
        will turn on the heat.
We'll sink it way down
        to the floor of the ocean
and finish it off
        with a mighty explosion.
We have to get rid
        of the Hametz today--
We have to destroy it.
        We can't let it stay.
        The Four Cups
Jacky the juggler
        is four inches small,
but he'll juggle the four cups
        and not one will fall.
Each cup is filled up
        with red wine to its top.
They dance through the air
        but he won't spill a drop.
Sari is trying
        to tickle his toes,
and she's wiggling a feather
        right under his nose.
But Jacky keeps juggling.
        His eyes are now closed.
His feet in the air
        and one hand on the ground,
the four cups keep spinning
        around and around.
He sings through the Kiddush.
        He reads the Haggadah.
He's balancing now
        on the top of a ladder.
He's saying the Grace
        that we say after meals.
The cups are still spinning
        like wobbly wheels.
He's finished the Hallel,
        he's started to snore,
but he still keeps on juggling,
        asleep on the floor.
They're dancing like ducklings,
        they're spinning like tops--
I don't think that Jacky-boy
        ever will stop.
Ha Lachma
This is the poorest,
        the driest of bread.
It crinkles and crumbles
        all over our beds.
This is the matzah
        that Grand-Daddy ate
when he zoomed out of Egypt,
        afraid he'd be late.
You're welcome to join us--
        Come one or come many!
I'll give you my matzah.
        I sure don't want any.
The Four Questions
Why is it only
        on Passover night
we never know how
        to do anything right?
We don't eat our meals
        in the regular ways,
the ways that we do
        on all other days.
'Cause on all other nights
        we may eat
all kinds of wonderful
        good bready treats,
like big purple pizza
        that tastes like a pickle,
crumbly crackers
        and pink pumpernickel,
sassafras sandwich
        and tiger on rye,
fifty felafels in pita,
with peanut-butter
        and tangerine sauce
spread onto each side
        up-and-down, then across,
and toasted whole-wheat bread
        with liver and ducks,
and crumpets and dumplings,
        and bagels and lox,
and doughnuts with one hole
        and doughnuts with four,
and cake with six layers
        and windows and doors.
on all other nights
        we eat all kinds of bread,
but tonight of all nights
        we munch matzah instead.
And on all other nights
        we devour
vegetables, green things,
        and bushes and flowers,
lettuce that's leafy
        and candy-striped spinach,
fresh silly celery
        (Have more when you're finished!)
cabbage that's flown
        from the jungles of Glome
by a polka-dot bird
        who can't find his way home,
daisies and roses
        and inside-out grass
and artichoke hearts
        that are simply first class!
Sixty asparagus tips
        served in glasses
with anchovy sauce
        and some sticky molasses--
But on Passover night
        you would never consider
eating an herb
        that wasn't all bitter.
And on all other nights
        you would probably flip
if anyone asked you
        how often you dip.
On some days I only dip
        one Bup-Bup egg
in a teaspoon of vinegar
        mixed with nutmeg,
but sometimes we take
        more than ten thousand tails
of the Yakkity-birds
        that are hunted in Wales,
and dip them in vats
        full of Mumbegum juice.
Then we feed them to Harold,
        our six-legged moose.
Or we don't dip at all!
        We don't ask your advice.
So why on this night
        do we have to dip twice?
And on all other nights
        we can sit as we please,
on our heads, on our elbows,
        our backs or our knees,
or hang by our toes
        from the tail of a Glump,
or on top of a camel
        with one or two humps,
with our foot on the table,
        our nose on the floor,
with one ear in the window
        and one out the door,
doing somersaults
        over the greasy k'nishes
or dancing a jig
        without breaking the dishes.
on all other nights
        you sit nicely when dining--
So why on this night
        must it all be reclining?
Avadim Hayinu
We were slaves to King Pharaoh,
        that terrible king,
and he made us do all kinds
        of difficult things.
Like building a pyramid
        of chocolate ice cream
when the sun was so hot
        that the Nile turned to steam,
and digging a ditch
        with a spade of soft cotton.
That Pharaoh was wicked
        and nasty and rotten!
He made us prepare him
        a big birthday cake
and buy fancy presents
        for Pharaoh to take,
and he kept us awake
        with a terrible noise,
but he never allowed us
        to play with his toys.
It's a good thing that God
        took us out of that place
and gave evil old Pharaoh
        a slap in the face.
Because if he hadn't,
        we'd all be in trouble,
still slaving away
        in the dust and the rubble,
cleaning up the king's mess
        and still folding his clothes
and arranging his torn socks
        in eighty-four rows,
and balancing eggs
        on the tips of our toes.
Yes, even if we were
        as smart as my mother,
as wise as my best friend Dov's
        four-month-old brother,
if we'd read all the books
        in the public library
or watched as much TV
        as old Auntie Mary--
We still should keep telling
        this wonderful story
of how we got out
        in a huff and a hurry.
Ma'aseh Be-Rabbi Eliezer...
Once Rabbi Akiva
        and some of his friends
talked all night and forgot
        that the seder should end.
All the mice started snoring,
        they found it so boring.
The hoot-owls were hooting,
        the shooting-stars shooting--
But Rabbi Akiva
        kept talking away
till his pupils said, "Rabbi,
        it's not yesterday!
You act like the Drush-Drush
        who sleeps while it's light,
and talks of the Exodus
        all through the night!"
Amar Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah...
Is there anyone sorrier
than Eleazar ben Azariah?
He thought it was right
to tell stories all night.
But Ben Zoma was worse--
He could quote from a verse.
Now Eleazar looks seventy,
though he's not even twenty
(Now I think that's plenty).
The Four Sons
To our seder last year
        came a strange-looking man
with four sons:
        Nasty, and
        Simple, and
Now Smarty was smart--
        yes, so clever and wise,
he could do the whole seder
        while closing his eyes.
From beginning to end,
        from the end to the start,
he recited it
        over and over by heart.
In Hebrew and Hindu,
        in Snufic and Roman,
from the first Ha Lachma
        to the last Afikoman.
But Nasty refused
        to take part in the seder.
He just sat there and smiled
        with his pet alligator
as he pulled people's hair
        and he poked people's eyes
and sprinkled their matzah
        with beetles and flies.
What he needs is a thwack
        on the back of the hands,
and a slap in the face
        and a kick in the pants.
Away in the corner
        sits sweet brother Simple.
Whenever he smiles
        his face breaks out in dimples.
He only asks
        about simple facts
                like "What's a
                and "Tell me how tall is a Gloogasaurus Zax?"
And Sam doesn't even
        know what to say.
He just sits in his box
        till the end of the day,
till his Dad packs him up
        and takes him away.
Yachol Me-Rosh Hodesh...
The pigeon-toed, round-bellied,
        red-headed Bunth
starts his seder
        on the first of the month.
But we think that Pesah
        is early enough.
And the two-headed Dray
        has his seder by day,
but we think it's right
        to have it at night.
The Ten Plagues
When Pharaoh got nasty
        and mean and deceiving
and wouldn't agree
to the Israelites' leaving,
God sent him ten plagues
so he might change his mind,
and the Jews could leave
terrible Egypt behind.
There was
blood in the gutters
and frogs in the butter,
and lice on their heads
and beasts in their beds,
disease in the cattle
and big boils in the saddle.
Hail started showering
and locusts devouring.
It turned dark as a pit.
Then the first-born were hit.
Rabban Gamaliel Omer...
Rabban Gamaliel
        has something to tell,
so we'd better all listen
        to him very well.
He says that each person
        must mention these three
if he wants his whole seder
        to go perfectly.
Tonight these three things
        might be found in your parlor--
They are: Pesah and Matzah and Maror.
Pesah, the lamb
        that the Jews would prepare
at the time that the Temple
        was still standing there,
to remind us of how
        our ancestors were saved,
how they marched out of Egypt
        and stopped being slaves.
It wasn't a soup
        and it wasn't a stew.
It was more like roast lamb
        in a big Bar-B-Q.
We try to remember
        that lamb, if we're able,
by keeping a bone of some sort
        on the table.
Matzah, this strange flat
        and hard, crunchy bread
was the food that our forefathers ate
        when they fled.
They didn't have time
        to make something more tasty
like chocolate cake
        or cherry-cream pastry,
because their departure was
        ever so hasty.
The trip out of Egypt was
        all so haphazard,
they left mountains of matzah-crumbs
        all through the desert.
Manny, our matzah-dog,
        eats it by tons.
He'll have two hundred matzahs
        before the night's done.
The third thing is Maror.
        These herbs are so bitter!
Let's give some to Marvin,
        our mean baby-sitter!
Zekher La-Mikdash Ke-Hillel...
Hillel, while the Temple stood,
        made sandwiches he thought were good.
They had no jam of mozzarelly,
        tuna-fish or vermicelli--
just matzah, maror and some meat.
He thought they were a super treat
(but there are lots of things
        I'd rather eat).
Do you know who I am?
        Have you heard of my name?
Once you have met me,
        you won't be the same.
I show up each year
        towards the end of the seder.
My eyes see like telescopes,
        ears work like radar.
You can't ever fool me,
        you can't ever hide.
Your matzah's not safe
        in the house or outside.
I'm famous, fantastic!
        I'll tell you, in brief--
I'm Abie, the Afikoman-thief!
Whenever you think
        that it's hidden away,
locked up in a safe,
        covered over in clay,
in the ear of a rabbit,
        in the mouth of a whale--
I'll find it as quick
        as a wag of your tail.
Don't bother with watchers
        and guarders and catchers.
I'm Abie, the great Afikoman-snatcher!
I find Afikomans,
        no matter what size.
And I won't bring them back
        till you give me a prize.
I'm quick and I'm clever,
        I'm smart and I'm sly.
I hunt Afikomans
        wherever they lie.
In the trunk of a tree,
        in the nose of a rocket,
in the depths of a
        five-year-old boy's messy pocket.
You don't stand a chance.
        I'm beyond all belief.
I'm Abie the Afikoman-thief!
Opening the Door
As the seder stretched on
        and I started to snore,
my Mommy said: "Quick, now!
        Go open the door!"
I didn't know
        who could be coming right now,
but I stifled a yawn
        and I stood up somehow.
I walked to the door
        and I opened it wide,
and who do you think
        I saw standing outside?
My friend Uncle Eli
        with his beard to the floor
was waiting there quietly
        next to the door!
His eyes were still twinkling.
        His smile still shone bright.
He asked:
        "Are you having a good time tonight?"
I wanted to tell him
        about all the fun
I'd been having
        since this special night had begun.
But just as I opened my mouth to reply,
he was gone, disappeared,
        in the wink of an eye!
And I heard my Mom calling:
        "Come back in right now!
We already have welcomed in Eliyahu--
"Eliyahu shows up
        at our seder tonight
to make sure that
        everything's going all right.
He'll answer the questions
        we can't figure out.
He"ll solve all our problems
        and settle our doubts.
He also will taste
        from the wine in his cup,
and we hope that this year
        he will cheer us all up
by bringing us
        happy and wonderful news
of a year full of freedom
        in store for the Jews."

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