On the mantle sat the tarnished urn
that held the ashes of Uncle Vern.

Now Vern had longed to escape
the rasping voice of ol' Aunt Kate.

But Kate wouldn't allow them to be sprinkled at sea
where Uncle Vern always wanted them to be.

She kept them sitting on the mantle shelf,
so he had to stay in spite of himself.

Now Uncle Vern had lots of faults; it's true
he dipped and cussed and was known to lift a few.

Some of his stories weren't true, it's been said,
and many a cute young thing has turned his head.

Oh, he had lots of faults, there was no doubt,
and ol' Aunt Kate liked to point them out.

One wintery day she took him to the graveyard just for fun.
"See here," she said, "here's where we'll be buried when my life is done.

I'll bury your ashes right in here with me,
and we'll be together for all eternity."

As she spoke these words, the wind began to blow;
she hurried toward home, thinking it would snow.

But she stumped her toe on the root of a tree;
the lid flew off and ol' Vern blew free.

Now Uncle Vern's spirit rides on the breeze;
he smells the flowers and dances in the leaves.

Sometimes in the night Kate swears she hears his rebel yell
and believes that he tripped her that day she fell.

Copyright Shirley Guilhas
(Used with permission)

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