by James Padgett 

It was a warm, sunny day in Willowy Wood.
Little Max Mouse ran as fast as he could.
He had to get to the Oak by the stream.
It was his turn to pick the winning team!
He saw Billy Bear-cub and Sammy Squirrel too.
He knew he’d pick first, but he wasn’t sure who.
Ricky Rabbit was fast and Sally Sparrow could fly,
He thought of Tommy Turtle, but he wasn’t sure why.
Tommy was nice and he was Max’s best friend,
But he always made an out, again and again.
He could kick the ball with all four of his feet,
But when raced to first base he’d always get beat.
Billy Bear-cub could kick the ball far into space.
Sammy Squirrel seemed to win every foot race.
Felicity Fawn was pretty quick too.
WHO TO PICK FIRST! If Max only knew!
Suddenly Max grinned as he spoke up and said,
“I pick Tommy,” the others shaking their heads.
What Max finally realized when it came to the end,
Is that it’s hard to beat sticking with your only “Best Friend.” 

James Padgett:

I was born in Clearwater, Fl. and grew up in Seoul, Korea.  My father was stationed there while working with the NSA. I also served four years in the USAF as a German linguist. I was stationed in Berlin, Germany where I met my wife, Renate. We have two beautiful children: Max, the poem’s namesake who is now 22 years old, and Lili (15 yrs). The attached image is of me and Max when he was just three years old.  A time of my life that was the fertile ground where the seeds of Little Max Mouse were lovingly planted.