When evening breezes stirred the air
and shadows gathered length,
Old Kaspar settled in his chair
And husbanded his strength,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Turned on the television screen.
They saw a shabby little town
Where all along the street
Were groups of idle workingmen
Who stood on shuffling feet
Or leaned against the leafless trees
With backs turned toward the chilling breeze
The children watched the scene awhile,
Then ran to Kaspar’s side.
"What makes those strikers look so glum?"
They both together cried.
"Won’t they get more to wear and
By all that loafing in the street?"
"They’re not on strike," Old Kaspar smiled
"To get a raise in pay."
The children stood with open mouths
As he went on to say:
"The local firms were all destroyed
And all these men are unemployed."
"There’s something wrong," cried Peterkin,
"Are they not organized?"
"It makes no difference," Kaspar said;
"For unions are devised
To handle picket lines and mobs
While business firms provide the jobs."
"Can’t everyone get higher pay
By loafing in the street?"
"There’s one condition," Kaspar sighed,
"Attached to such a feat.
You can’t have jobs to strike or shirk
Without a firm to give you work."