Winifred Wallaby Weng was a mostly good little kid.
Always listened to Mumma; well, most of the time she did.
She studied for tests, cleaned her room, obeyed the babysitterer,
But the little girl with the adorable smile was a careless, frequent, litterer.
“Pick up after yourself, Winnie!” was Mumma’s constant reminder.
But everywhere that Winifred went, she left a trail behind her.
“Winifred Wallaby Weng, don’t litter!” Mumma said again and again,
Still, it only took one look to know exactly where little Winnie had been.
Everywhere behind the girl were snips and scraps and shards
And the path didn’t stop at the front door, it went out into the yard.
The floor of her room and hallway was littered with dirty clothes,
And tissues she discarded from each time she blew her nose.
Empty frappleberry juice boxes, and peanut shells she’d drop,
No amount of scolding would make stubborn Winnie stop.
“Mumma, it’s for the Wrapperer Snapper!” Winnie said one day, exasperated.
Mumma raised her brows skeptically, and for an explanation waited.
“He’s a hungry little dragon that comes when nobody else is around.
And the only thing Wrapperer Snapperer eats is trash left on the ground.”
“Come see what I mean, Mumma,” Winnie said, and took her hand.
And retraced her every step that day, so that she would understand.
“Right here is where I threw down my crumpled-up spelling test,
And there is where I tossed the broken button from my dress.”
“The banana peel I dropped here earlier, the penny and pencil stub,
They are gone! Just like the popcorn I dropped yesterday on the rug.”
“The chewing gum I didn’t chew was right here on the floor,
But just like my broken fingernail, it’s not here anymore.”
“The Wrapperer Snapperer ate it all for breakfast lunch and supperer,
He gets fed, the place gets clean, and we get a Pickerer Upperer.”
“The Wrapperer Snapperer, indeed!” Mumma laughed, and said,
“I don’t believe a word of this, my silly Winifred.”
“Really, Mumma?” Winnie said, “You don’t know who he is?
The Wrapperer Snapperer is for real! Cleaning is his biz!”
“That’s enough of this,” Mumma said, “Winifred Wallaby Weng!
You know just as well as I do that there is no such thing!”
“And as for who cleans up after you, as you must know, it is I.
I’ve done it for far too long for you, and now I will tell you why.”
“It protects you from a huge hungry monster called the Litterer Spitterer,
Because when it finds a messy naughty girl, it says, ‘I’m gonna gitter her.’”
“He’s humungous, and he’s hideous, and he’s foul-smelling, too!
And if he spitters, you’ll gitter covered with sticky stinky goo.”
“It won’t wash out for weeks and weeks, and everyone will know.
They’ll laugh, and hold their noses, and say, ‘Look at the lazy little litterer go.’”
“Winnie, I’ve kept you safe so far, but Mumma can’t always be around
To follow you each day and pick your trash up off the ground.”
“To stay un-gooey and un-spittered, and escape the awful critterer,
From this day forward, Winnie, you must never be a litterer.”
“It’s not that hard, pick up your trash, and put it in the bin,
Even better yet, Winnie, you can learn to do recycling.”
“I surely don’t want to get spittered,” Winnie said enthusiastically,
After that, her neatness and recycle-ness were exemplary.
It wasn’t all that hard to do betterer – all she had to do was try.
And if little Winnie can get it right, well, so can you and I.
So, everyone around the earth, in every neighborhood
Don’t be a slob, pick up your trash, and put it where you should.
Because if you don’t, the Litterer Spitterer will surely make YOU his biz.
(Of course, we know he isn’t real… or maybe, just maybe, he is.)