With apologies to Mary Howitt
"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Kindle to the Indie;
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many ebooks at 10% commission for you there."
"Oh no, no," said the little Indie; "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."
"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with retail prices up so high.
Well you rest upon my little bed?" said the Kindle to the Indie.
"There are pretty incentives drawn around; my ereaders are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest a while, I'll snugly count you in!"
"Oh no, no," said the little Indie, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again who sleep upon your bed!"
Said the cunning Kindle to the Indie: "Dear friend, what can I do
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my selection all the bestsellers at a nice price;
I'm sure you're very welcome to a piece of profit - will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Indie; "kind Kindle, that cannot be:
I've heard what's in your long-range plan, and I do not wish to see!"
"Sweet creature!" said the Kindle, "you're witty and you're wise;
How handsome are your bricks and mortar; how brilliant are your buys!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
If you'd step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle Kindle," Indie said, "for what you're pleased to say,
And, bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."
The Kindle turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Indie would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web of discounts in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the Indie;
Then came out to his door again and merrily did sing:
"Come hither, hither, pretty Indie, with your stacks and children's wing;
Your covers are green and purple; there's a knowledge of books within your head;
Your ability to recommend is diamond bright, but mine is dull as lead!"
Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Indie,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With fear of being run out of business near and nearer grew,
Thinking only of her bottom line and monthly rent due,
Thinking only of her lost sales to showcasing. Poor, foolish thing! at last
Up jumped the cunning Kindle, and fiercely held her fast;
He dragged her up his winding stair, into the dismal den -
Within his little parlor - but she ne'er came out again!
And now, dear little booksellers, who may this story read,
To offers too good to be true I pray you ne'er give heed;
Unto an evil predatory competitior close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Kindle and the Indie.