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Said the turtle to the bagpipe...

The Bagpipe Who Didn’t Say No

Poem by Shel Silverstein

It was nine o'clock at midnight at a quarter after three

When a turtle met a bagpipe on the shoreside by the sea,

And the turtle said, 'My dearie,

May I sit with you? I'm weary.'

And the bagpipe didn't say no.


Said the turtle to the bagpipe, 'I have walked this lonely shore,

I have talked to waves and pebbles--but I've never loved before.

Will you marry me today, dear?

Is it 'No' you're going to say dear?'

But the bagpipe didn't say no.


Said the turtle to his darling, 'Please excuse me if I stare,

But you have the plaidest skin, dear,

And you have the strangest hair.

If I begged you pretty please, love,

Could I give you just one squeeze, love?'

And the bagpipe didn't say no.


Said the turtle to the bagpipe, 'Ah, you love me. Then confess!

Let me whisper in your dainty ear and hold you to my chest.'

And he cuddled her and teased her

And so lovingly he squeezed her.

And the bagpipe said, 'Aaooga.'


Said the turtle to the bagpipe, 'Did you honk or bray or neigh?

For 'Aaooga' when your kissed is such a heartless thing to say.

Is it that I have offended?

Is it that our love is ended?'

And the bagpipe didn't say no.


Said the turtle to the bagpipe, 'Shall i leave you, darling wife?

Shall i waddle off to Woedom? Shall i crawl out of your life?

Shall I move, depart and go, dear--

Oh, I beg you tell me 'No' dear!'

But the bagpipe didn't say no.


So the turtle crept off crying and he ne'er came back no more,

And he left the bagpipe lying on that smooth and sandy shore.

And some night when tide is low there,

Just walk up and say, 'Hello, there,'

And politely ask the bagpipe if this story's really so.

I assure you, darling children, the bagpipe won't say 'No.'

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