It was a chilly afternoon At story-telling time.
Old Kaspar shivered in his chair
and gulped his rum-and-lime,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Warmed up the colorvision screen.
They saw a wide and rolling plain
Without a house or tree;
And filling all that vast expanse
As far as eye could see
Were countless groups of giant cans
Arranged in circles, squares, or fans.
And swarms of heavy trailer-trucks
In every dusty lane
Were standing by the giant cans
Unloading golden grain;
While waiting trucks with heavy loads
Were parked on all adjacent roads.
"Now tell us what it’s all about!"
The little children cried.
"It’s Surplus Wheat," Old Kaspar said
In tones of honest pride;
"We’re filling every desert plain
With shiny cans of costly grain."
"But what’s the sense in growing more
Than we can eat or sell?"
"In times of Economic War,
I’ve heard the Planners tell,
The countries that survive the test
Are those that outproduce the rest.
"Some other countries may excel
In population growth,
Or lead the race for bigger bombs,
Or faster cars, or both;
But there’s not one we cannot beat
At filling cans with surplus wheat."