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{IGHTMARES
POEMS TO TROUBLE YOUR SLEEP

UyJACK PRELUTSI(Y
illustrated

byARNOLD LOBEL

m

GREENWI f,LOW BOOKS
A Division of \rilliam Mor.ow & Compatry, Inc., New York

CONTENTS
House
The Will o' the rJTisp
The Haunted

TheBogeyman
The

Vampire

The Dragon of

'

10

12
14

Death

TheTroll

20

Witch

22

The

6

18

Ogre 24
The Werewolf 27
'fhe

The

rJTizard

TheGhoul

2a
12

The Dance of the Thirteen Skeletons

THE HAUNTED HOUSE
n a hilltop bleak and bate
looms the castle of desPair,
only phantoms linger thete
within its dismal walls.
Through the dark they're creePing, ctawling,

ftenzied futies battling, brawling,
sprawling, calling, caterwauling
thtough the dusky halls.
Filmy visions, ever focking,
dart through chambers, crudely mocking,
rudely rapping, taPPing, knocking
on the ctumbling doors.
Tortured spirits whine and wail,
they grope and grasp, they wildly flail,
their hollow voices rasP and rail
beneath the moldeting floors.

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eyes ate gleabidg. chanting. In the cornets. everywhere ate nightmares stteaming. squealing promises of &ead. diabolic hortols screaming in the sombrous air. Shapeless wraiths devoid of feeliog hovet blindly by the ceiling tanting. So shun this place whete sPecteis soaf. laughing disernbodied laughter in theit ghosdy glee.Shadows lrom the dim heteafter hang from evety creaking rafter. of evanescent hatter whisper theit uneathly patter.it's you and you the/te waiting for to hauot your souls fotevermole in their castle of despait. shrieking. luches as it despetately searches for its vanished head. . rattle chains that chill aod shatter on their sPectral sptee Shades Revenants otr misty perches taunt the ghost that luuges.

ever you follow the will o' the wisp you'll never be seeo anymore.isP summons you down to yoru doon It will lead you asray in the forest over ways never traveled before. If 10 .THE WILL O' THE WISP are lost in the desolate forest where the stars give a piciful light. \Zou I It is lonely aod cold in the forest and you shiver with fea! in the damP. But know as you trudge thlough the forest toward that glisreting torch in tbegloom that the eerie allure of the will o' the v. as you follow tbe way of the will o tbewisp and the dance o{ its dickering lamp. but the faraway glow of the will o' the wisp ofiers hope in the menacing night.

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He skulks in the shadows. when he gets you! . In that sulphurous. . what he'll do . . . . Never nevet go neat if you hold your life dear. never dare to apptoach his dark lair for he's waiting . to get you. just waiting . . rhe bogeyman lurks. . just waiting . relentless and wild in his search fora render.THE BOGEYMAN 1n lhe desolate deprhs of a perilous place I wirh a snarl on his face. . Many have entered his dreary domain bur nor even one has been heard from again. They no doubt made a feast fot the butcheting beast and he's waiting . sunless and sinister place he'll ciumple your bones in his bogey embrace. . . . just waiting . to get you. Vith his sreely sharp claws and his slavering jaws oh he's waiting. . . . . Never dare. to get you. . delectable child. for oh! . .

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and in the murkY gtoom. his skin is icy white.tisen His eyes are Pools of fle. he grins a hungtY gtin. Au open window treckons. Then thtough the silent citY he makes his silent wan prepared to take no PitY upon his haPless PreY.--::::- THE VAMPIRE Ffr I be nighr is stilt aDd soober. and blood his one desire this woebegotten ni8ht. the vampire leaves his tomb' a. from his slumber. and pausing not one semnd he swifdY climbs t4 I within' .

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blood ! t7 r .And there. his victim lies in sleep. he wakes and utters . With fangs agleam. so to his tomb he tums' and there awhile in silence he'll rest beneath the mud until. he flls his every pore. bites deep. His quest this oight is 6nished. licks dean the dripping gore. . he hovers and with those fangs. his thirst no longer burDs. rvirh powers now replenished. . beneath her covets. his thirst abated. The vampire drioks till sated. with thouShts of violedce. and then.

Its body is big as a boulder and atmored with shimmering scales. but guarding it closelY forever looms a being as old as the earth. have foolishlY stumbled on the dragon of death's golden cache All who remain evetmote in that forest.r"". nothing left of their bodies but ash' 1a . and the dragon of death is its name. Its teeth ate fai sharPer than daggers' they can tear hardest metal to shreds. n. Its eyes tell a story of tettor. faraway forest I li". even the mouotaintops ttemble when it thtashes its seven great tails. and any it touches must Perish. they gleam with afl angrY red fame as it timelessly watches its riches. It has seven mouths filled with theseweapons' for its neck swells to seven great heads. Each head is as frerce as the other. set ablaze by the dtagon of death.THE DRAGON OF DEATH Tn a farawav." of in6nite worth. Each head breathes a fetY bteath.u.

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or you might end in the Pit below as supper for the uoll. 20 . then swallow you like scrambled eggsgobble! gobble !gulP ! So watch your stePs when next You go uPon a Pleasant sttoll. He'll cook you in his dinner Pot. your desh. T)e vary of D His blood is black and boiling hot.THE TROLL the loathsome troll that slyly lies in wait to drag you to his dingy hole and put you on his Plate. he gurgles ghastly gtoans. He'll catch yout arms and clutch your legs and grind you to a PulP. your bones. your skin.

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cracked and chipped and crackled lips that frahe a toothless gtin. in fearsorne dight. two evil eyes iith walts and sties and bags about the rims. a ca&ling crone with brittle bones and desiccated limbs.THE WITCH Qhe comes by night. a sPell is cast on all her curses reach. As she swoops past. the queen of doom uPon her broom. . ten twisted toes and folds of shriveled skin. Take care to hide when thewild witch rides to shriek her evil sPell. She hurtles by. the wild and wicked witch. $7hat she may do with a word or two is much too grim to tell. she sweePs the sky and hutls a pietcing screech. J in garments black as pitch. a dangling nose.

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He wields his uglY cudgel in a wide and vicious arc. 24 .THE OGRE fn a foul and 6lthy cavern I where rhe sun has never shone. and render senseless. his stony heart beats fast. to speed his victim's end. He sits in silence in the slime that 6lls his fetid home and notes the nearing footstePs in the monstrous catacomb. he knows that for some girl or boY this day shall be their last. the one-eyed ogte calmlY gnaws a cold and holdY bone. Then down and down and down again the ogre's blows descend. pity those who stumble through the one-eyed ogre's caveSo that dark abode he calls his home shall surely be their gtave. The one-eyed ogre drools with joY. it swiftly fnds his victim in the deep and deadlY dark. to rend.

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lZith matted hait and jaws that tear. So as the 27 werewolf Prowls the street. I shake beneath my covers and I shiver in my sheet and I cower in my bed with a pillow on my head. . He sta. I and I quake froor head ro feet for this night I know.ing. the wer€wolf Ptowls the stleet. the werewolf Prowls the street.r THE WEREWOLF Ffahe full moon glows.lks with stealth add cunnitrg in his se4rch for a soul to eat. in the town below. forebod. His face is filled with fury as his btain cties out {or meat. aod oh his prey shall not see daY for the werewolf ptowls the stteet.

he needs no sleeP' His frngers wave atcane commands' ten bonY sticks on withered hands. his eycs ser deep. He's tall and thin. he scarcely eats. * illov'Y wand to summon sPitits from beYond' . throbbing thaumatutgic lotions. seething stews of putPlish potions.THE N(/IZARD he wizard. umutets. in silrer lines are PiLtured necromanLic 5igns' sYmbol\ of thc a$e5ome Power of the wizard. with wtinkled skin. supetnatural ttacts and tomes reDlee wi(h lore of elves and gnomes' taiismans. alone in h s cold srone towet' He scans his mYstic stock in ttadecharms to fetch a demon's aid. watchful. his flowing cloak is smirched with Srime' he \ worn it since the dawn of rime UPon his hat.Iaits alone within his tower of cold gtaY stone and ponders in his wicked waY what evil deeds he'll do this daY. a tangled beard hangs from his chin' his cheeks are gaunr.

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. "Begone from here. scooPs it ofi the floot. He ficls his wand. it starts to squawk. . the flea hoPs twice. the frog's a flea through elemental sorcern the flea hoPs once. . a fue bums brighdy thete' He ges$tes with ao aDcient knack to uy to bring tbe bullfrog back' Another flash! . tbe soaking bird's reduced bY half. . . The wizard soitks a fiendish smirk tefectmg on the woes he'll work as he consults a dusry text and checks which hex he'll coniure next' He maY Pluck someone oft the sPot and firn hirrr into ' ' ' who knows what? Should you encounter a toad or lizald' look dosely . and when. it may be the work of the wizard' 3r . the wizard tums it into chalk with which he de{dY writes a sPell that makes the chalk a silver bell which tinkles in the ashen air tilt flash . PerPlexed. the dea becomes a Pair of mice that dive into a bubbling brcw. no flame trow butns as once agarn the fiog retulns' but when it bounds about io fear." and midway thtough a frighteoed ctoak it vanishes in clouds of smoke. emerging as one cockatoo. The wizard laughs a hollow laugh. . the wizard shouts.He spies a bullftog bY the door and stooPing.

THE GHOUL ghoul' he gruesome ghoul. elbows' hands and knees andarms and legs and feetease' he eats them with delight and for everY Part's a tteat' ghoul And when the gruesome' gtislY has nothing left to chew' he hurries to another school and waits . PerhaPs for You' t2 .hews their thumbs like candy and pulls aPat their tongues' heatts He slices their stomachs and bites their and tears their flesh to shreds' their toes like toasted tatts heads' and gobbles down theit he swallows Fingers. . the grislY without the slightest noise waits patientlY beside the school to feast on gitls and boYs' He lunges fietcelY thtough the air as rhey come out to PlaY' hair rhen grabs a couPle bY the and drags them far awaY' theit backs He cracks their bones and snaps and soueezes out rheir lungs' snacks he . .

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alt is still till a distant bell tolls midnight and the sPirits work theit will lor emetging from their coffins butied deeP beneath the snow' thitteen bonY aPPatitions now commence their spectral show' and they gather in the moonlight undulating as theY go' And theY'll dance in theit bones' in their bare bate bones' with the click and the clack and the chittet and the chack and the clattet and the chatter of their bate bare bones' Thev shake theit flimsY shoulders and thev flex theit fleshless knees in greeting and thi nod their skulls in the Penetrating bteeze as they foim an eerie circle ttees' neat the gnarled and twisted 34 I .inE oaNcr oF THE THIRTEEN SKELETO\S Tn a snow'enshrouded grareYard I gripped by *inter's birter chill' not a single soul is stirring. all is silent.

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rn their bare bate bones. fasteJ ever fastef and yet faster now they race. And they dance io their bones. whirling.They link their spirdly fngers as they promenade around casting otherworldly shadows on the silver-mantled groufld and theit footfalls in the snowdrift make a soft and susutrous sound. winding. Faster. 37 . The thilteen grinning skeletons continue on their waY as to strains of soundless music they begio to swing and sway and they circle ever faster in their ghastly toundelay. with the click and the clack and the chitter and the chack and the clatter and the chatter of their bare bare bones. ever swiding in the frenzy of their Pace and they shimmer in the moonlight as they spin themselves through space.

Then as quickly as it started theft nocturnal dance is done for the bell that is their signal loudly tolls the hour of one and they bow to one anothei in their bony unison. with the click and the clack and the chittet and the chack and the clatter and the chatter of their bare bare bones.And they dance in their bones. in their bate bare bones. with the click and the clack and the chitter and the chack and the clatter and chatter of their bare bare bones. in their bare bare bones. But they danced in their bones. Then they vanish to their coffins by their ghostly thoroughfare and the emptiness of silence once more flls the frosted air and the snows that mask their footpdnts show no sign that they were there. 38 .

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Prelutsky's fine ttanslations of German verse include The Bad Bear by Rudolf Neumann and N o End ol Nonsetseby Wiltried Blecher. while its sequel. Frogand.w^s 'nall]. ^ Mr. Among his most belovedbooks ^te Oul at Home and Giaat lobn.ed Newbery Honor Book.l Otber Poems. New York.Tbe Pack Rat's Day.Toad Togetber. entertained young readets with his many devilishly funny books of animal poems.Tbe Tertible Tiger.Toacans Tuto an. Toad Ate Friends was a Caldecott Honor Book. before iltuminating the realms of darkness in verse.ACK PRELUTSKY. Massachusetts. RNOLD LOBEL is one of the most celebrated illustrators =and aLrrhor-illustrators-of children s books today. Among these arc A Gopbet in tbe Garcler. A native of New York City.Frog and. Lobel lives in Brooklyn. .d Circusthe last two illustrated by Arnold Lobel. FtoI a AToad AteFiexds. ar. Jack Prelutsky now lives in cambridge. Mt.