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Poetic License: Flat Stanley on Sanibel

By Staff | Jan 27, 2016


He is just a boy

And a smart one at that

He’s not tall or short

Or skinny or fat,

But everyone knows

Wherever he’s at

The whole world has changed

Now that Stanley is flat.

He could have been round,

Or oval or square,

Could have lain on the ground

With his feet in the air,

Curled up like a baby

Back in the womb

Or stretched out like a mummy

In a pyramid tomb –

But a bulletin board

Soon settled all that

By falling on Stanley

And making him flat.

It made his whole life

An adventure and tale

From a mission in space

To being used as a sail,

From meeting two presidents,

The thrill of his life –

Till he went to the Oscars

With Eastwood and wife.


Gramps Muttonchops

Lives in laid-back style

On an island in Florida

Called Sanibel Isle.

He worries that Stanley

Is living too wild

For a third grade student

And nine year old child.

He telephones his parents,

His arguments prevail,

Flat Stanley goes to Florida

Via first class mail

In a luxury mailer

With a cell phone card

To make the trip south

Less lonely and hard.


As the mail truck crosses

Sanibel’s Causeway,

The pelicans glide over

To show him the way.

The herons and egrets

Thin as they are

See that Stanley is thinner

By far than they are.

But the gators are jealous

As they stalk their prey

Stanley floats like a log

Much flatter than they.

When he goes windsurfing

He’s used as a sail,

When he flies like a kite

No need for a tail.

No need for a coat,

Ear muffs or sweater,

In Southwest Florida,

It’s always fair weather

Except for those times

In August and July

When lightning and thunder

Crash down from the sky

And rain washes down

For an hour everywhere

Till again it’s sunny

With much cooler air

And evenings are magic

As the moon passes by

The stars shine like fireworks

Frozen still in the sky.


On one of those evenings

On the beach with his Gramps

Stanley noticed the cover

Blown off one of the lamps,

Not shining down,

The light beamed around,

Mixed up turtle hatchlings

Marching on the ground

“Do something” said Gramps,

“And quick let it be,

To steer the hatchlings

Back toward the sea.”

What quickness and courage

Stanley displayed

As he climbed up the lamp

And served as a shade

Blocking the light

So the hatchlings could be

Safe home at last

As they entered the sea.

And as he slid down

Stanley told Gramp,

“It was sure hot and heavy

shading that lamp!”


He was given a medal

Next week by CROW,

(A Wildlife Clinic

In case you don’t know.)

And they threw in a gift

Of a big sand dollar

That Stanley being flat

Could use as a collar.

And when Stanley left,

He told everyone,

“I can say Florida

was nothing but fun,

I came down here

For rehab and rest,

The hatchling rescue

Put me to the test.

The weather was great

But what I liked best:

There were no mountains,

Not a hill or a crest,

Wherever we went,

The landscape was flat,

And you know I’m Flat Stanley,

And I really love that!”