by James Brady

The Village of Cane has a simple story theme.
If children will try to relate to it, and understand its
message, they can perhaps lessen to a degree, their trips
to their dentist, their pains and their screams.


In the village of Cane, there once lived a man by the name of


He had a family of four, a house and a store

And all the children in Cane, relished his name,

And even more, the candy he made in his store

O' he laboured all day far into the night

While the village all slept, he made candy delight

And th'o his children upstairs were all fast asleep

They never left Poppa -- for they dreamt of his "sweets"

Now there was Gumdrop -- a cute little tot

And Peppermint Stick -- a sweet little trick

And the twins who were twelve -- were beautiful belles

Called Lolly for Pop and Sugar for Cane

For you see, Cane got its fame -- from Sweettooth's last name. 

Now before I write on I ought to explain, for someone may ask:

Where is the village of Cane? And my answer would be --

In any old wood, where children play games.

"The Vegetarian Man"

And so -- in the village of Cane all was serene

Each house had its candy and family daydream

That was -- till Mr. Green came around

With his sackful of seed and menacing frown

And when the children saw him -- O'my how they ran

For to them he looked like a monster -- not at all like a man

Why, he had a nose like a carrot -- and hair like seaweed

All stringy and long -- like spinach you see

His clothes he wore green from his head to his toe

And he sneered as he leaned -- on a stick-like stringbean

That was fashioned, in shape like a hoe

He was seven feet tall at least that in height

And like a scary old scarecrow -- his presence brought fright

The children all scrambled hid now behind bramble

And so like the cricket that clicks in the thicket

They chatted away feverishly. 

Well -- Mr. Green took offense at this childish nonsense

And in a patter cried out -- "What's the matter you kids,

what's the matter?"

The children now laughed, for they felt they were safe

For big trees now hid his ugly old face

And -- said he, "Do you know who I am? I'm Mr. Green, The

Vegetarian Man!

And I've come to Cane -- with a vitamin plan."

"A VITAMIN PLAN" the children yelled out.

"Yes indeed, a vitamin plan" -- he replied

"My products come raw -- my products come canned --

Like tidbits of carrots so crunchy to chew -- and beans

a la 'Green'

So tasty and wholesome, for little children like you"

And then he held up a carrot, and a "giant" stringbean

And said to the children -- "You see -- This -- is what I mean."

The children, not hungry, disliked what they saw

And even more what they heard

And they let it be known, as they gave him the word:

"Mr. Green is a yuk stringbean,

With a nose like a carrot and a voice like a parrot

Mr. Green you're full of beans."

Well -- Mr. Green was so mad he was fit to be tied

And as he jumped up and down, he gave this reply:

"Eat all candy. Change to a worm -- you little devils --

I'll step on you, when I see you turn."

And the children in chorus sang backs

"Mr. Green with the carrot nose

Put it in the ground -- watch it grow.

Stick it in the mud-- cover it with goo

If you sneeze real hard -- it will blow in two."

Well -- that was the end ... Mr. Green couldn't take anymore

From these children he tried to befriend

And -- shaking his stick with contempt -- at these naughty


Who wouldn't repent -- he picked up his sackful of seeds --

And as the children peeped out from their trees

They heard him exclaim, as he climbed the hilly terrain,

"Before I'm through, I'll raise cain on all of you 

Before I'm through, I'll raise cain on all of you!"

And then he was gone.

"The Alarm"
The children alarm the Villagers
Into the village the children excitedly ran

And ringing the "Bell of Distress" -- They told each woman

and man

"Why! he had a nose like a carrot and hair like seaweed 

And he scared us so much -- we hid in the brush 

Oh -- A devil A monster -- was he!"

"Come children! Come children!" the villagers said

Though understanding their terrible dread

For tales of the village and monsters that long ago pillaged

Were stored in their head from books they had read,

And the word carrot was easily explained

For children always make names -- for their make-believe games.

"Come children, now tell us the truth -- or you will be


and all candy forthcoming will stay with Sweettooth.,,

"But we do not lie," the children complained -- "Mr. Green is

his name!

This villain with sack, who said he'd raise Cane."

"RAISE CANE? RAISE CANE?" the villagers cried out

"He has threatened our very domain."

And their echo went over the hill

And into the valley where waters run still

Mr. Green heard it too, on the farm he had bought -- but to him

It was merely the breeze, or birds in the trees

And he paid it no heed, as he planted his seed, in the furrow

of ground.

Now the village of Cane, was in a state of alarm

With the children all screaming,

"Capture the monster, before he does us some harm."

And as the elders looked on, with faces drawn wane

Why one sang the song, called "The Monster of Cane"

The monster of Cane was as tall as a tree

With branch like arms mighty to see

He lived in a wood near the village of Cane

Hidden by green leaves -- that covered his frame

Now there were those that said they had seen him

And though no one could prove what they claimed

It's a matter of fact -- that his home was the wood

For all heard him laugh -- and he laughed -- and he laughed

when it rained

0' he laughed so loud when it rained

His echo created vibrations

That shook all in the village of Cane

The monster of Cane was a legend of old

Who loved the rain for rain made him grow -- and so did the snow

But the heat made him mad -- and when he was mad -- 0' then he

was bad

He would howl and growl in the middle of the night

And prowl the village with a torch of light

And with the town bedded down -- he would stomp on their grounds

With wailing sounds -- "Ahhhh! Eyye! Ahhhh!"

And the brave not weak that dared to peek from the dark

caught sight

Of the monster's shadow in the full moonlight

The monster of Cane was a legend of old

Tall as a tree with arms twelve-fold

And he lived in a wood -- near the village of Cane

A long time ago when monsters reigned.

"Enough of this talk," one villager said,

"We'll take the bull by its horns -- and trounce him until

he is dead."

"Until he is dead -- What has he done?" another voice said.

It was Mayor Sweettooth --

Just arrived on the scene -- chewing a bar of chocolate


"He has done nothing as yet," said one little child.

"Cept scare us to death," said another, who eyeing the candy

now smiled.

And they told the Mayor what happened -- And he listened to all

As he passed out the candy -- that would stop any brawl.

"This matter is serious," said Mayor Sweettooth -- "But a

monster he's not --

And this I will prove -- when I go to the station, where all

people stop."

The station now mentioned was high above ground

On a mountainous edge -- where the ledger was found

For this was the entrance and exit to Cane -- and all coming

and going --

Signed in this book, their nature of business and name.

"I will go to this place in the mornings" said Mayor Sweettooth.

And as the sun sank low in the west

All said goodnight and went home -- to sleep and to rest.

The population of Cane was Nine Hundred and Two

Not counting domestics, like the horse and cow, the pig or fowl;

And of course, Cane had a cemetery of two.

Mayor Sweettooth made his candy that night -- but he was

restless --

For he harbored a feeling of plight --

And when he went to his bed, he tossed and tumbled, as he


Who was this man called "GREEN?"

Had he not met him before -- long ago in a dream.

"The Dream"
The Battle of Cane was fought on The Plain of Sweets

The sky was still dark, when Sweettooth ascended the ridge

Too early in fact for the Lark -- who quickly flew by with a


And with a wind at his back, and a fog at his feet,

Sweettooth climbed, till his climb was complete

And on reaching the border of Cane

He went into the station to look up the name

Of this man who inflamed the children in Cane.

Using a candle for light --

He scanned through the ledger, till his eye in a flicker

caught sight,

"GREEN! GREEN!" There it was -- His name, in black and white.


And what was this? Other entries were on the same list --


And many strange names - Sweettooth never had seen.

Who were these people with foreign-like names

"I will soon find them out," thought Mayor Sweettooth,

As he nibbled a bar of sweet 'Baby Ruth.'

The wind was howling -- as Sweettooth began his descent

Down the slope of the mountain through snow over crevice

he went --

His footing was good -- climbing up he had found --

But ice had now formed -- and he slipped going down.

And over he went with a flip and a flop

As he slid on the snow to the end of the stop

And though he was ruffled he managed a smile

As he chewed on a 'Chuckle' -- that would delight any child.

And when he reached the valley below -- he saw in a field --

A man and a horse pulling a load.

Extending his hand, he greeted this man,

Who had the ugliest face one ever could see

And yet, his beauty was there, and indeed it was rare

For when he smiled at Sweettooth -- Why his teeth were as

white as ivory

Now this was unique -- for no one in Cane, except children

had teeth,

And they soon lost them -- with so much candy to eat.

"I'm Mayor Sweettooth," he said to the stranger. "And who are

you, sir?"

"Why, I'm Mr. Green," he replied -- with a glint in his eye --

"The Vegetarian Man."

"THE VEGETARIAN MAN," Sweettooth cried out -- "WHAT A SHAM!"

And he laughed: "Ho -- Ho -- Ho!" --

And the canyon and mountain echoed along,

As he bantered this demon of children

For this was an old man -- not a monster of song.

Mr. Green on his wagon sat silently shocked --

As Seedy, his horse, let out with a "Neigh"

And in anger conveyed, he had teeth that would chop.

Now such antics from children, Green could understand -- but

from the Mayor?

Why this was outlandish behavior -- For he was am an.

Of course he had no idea of Sweettooth's relief

Who instead of finding a monster -- Found a man old and

apparently weak.

At least, that's what Sweettooth now thought

But he would find out he was wrong, for though withered by age

Mr. Green was to prove himself competitively strong.

Serious now, Sweettooth asked, "What is your business in Cane?

And who are you friends, with their odd sounding names?"

Mr. Green, now relaxed, readily explained,

"Our business in Cane, Mayor Sweettooth, is to see that children

are properly trained, and what they eat is our only concern

For you see, too much candy will give them a worm."

"A WORM -- A WORM? That is ridiculous!" shouted Sweettooth.

"Our children are properly fed -- Why, they eat chicken and


Milk and fruit and honey with bread."

"And," said Green -- as he spoke in-between, "Before and after,

you give them a sweet -- and that is one reason they lose

all their teeth."

"Nonsense!" said Mayor Sweettooth, "Our village depends on

the candy we sell,

And before selling, we sample the candy to see that its

tasty as well

And since the children know best -- we give them the test"

And -- again, Mr. Green interrupted, "One question," he said.

"Now don't bug me with questions," Sweettooth replied.

"Rather answer my questions instead 

You have threatened the children -- and the village of Cane

and caused such alarm, you have us all armed 

Now who are your friends -- and what is your game?"

"GAME? GAME?" snarled Mr. Green, as he frowned,

"I am not here to play games. Children do that 

My job in Cane is the planting of seeds in the ground."

And he stared at Sweettooth with burning eyes lit

That cut through the fog now growing quite thick.

"Aha!" said Sweettooth, in a voice emanating surprise -- "So

that's what you are ...

A planter of seeds -- a grower of flowers ... Eh!

Then I take it gardening's your lot, Mr. Green, is it not?"

"GARDENING? FLOWERS? POPPYCOCK! I cant stand their scent,"

sniveled Green.

"Why they smell! Though I admit we do share a bond that is

common as well ... "

"0, yes! And what would that be?" said Sweettooth.

"SEEDS, Mayor Sweethtooth. Seeds that are sown, harvest plants

that will sell,

Though mine," and he grinned, "are flavored to eat

and they are called VEGETABLES-- like the POTATO, the CARROT

and BEET.

Just to mention a few, but don't fret -- for before long --

you will have the whole batch of my patch on your tables in Cane

and for lunch and for dinner -- ALL, will enjoy their remains."

And he laughed such a heinous laugh -- Sweettooth shivered in

fright, as he thought --

"Why the children were right! This indeed was a "MONSTER"

who would not only take candy from children --

but would ruin if he could -- his business out-right."

Sweettooth thought, I must tell him his talk is all tripe.

"YOUR SEEDS GROW WEEDS," shouted Sweettooth -- "We will have


Now tell me, Vegetarian man, just where are you from?"

"From the village of Plants," Mr. Green quickly replied.

"THE VILLAGE OF PLANTS! The 'gulp' kingdom of giants!"

Sweettooth gulped down the words -- with visions of old of

stories once told of "MONSTERS" -- that grew there one night.

"FOREIGNERS -- OUTCASTS," Sweettooth cried out -- "How dare

you invade my domain?"

"YOUR DOMAIN?" Green said in anger -- and why not?

"For who are you -- to hold title to such a vast plain?

Caring little that anything grows" -- and he bellowed,

"EXCEPT FLOWERS! and you can't eat flowers you know."

Saying this, he picked up a carrot that lay by his side

and on taking a bite the CARROT went "CRUNCH" as Green said,

"Hmmmm! so good for one's eyes!"

"Bah!" said a disenchanted Sweettooth.

"Bah! all you like," said Green.

"You may 'bah' like a lamb, but like a lion you have grown

And your reputation and greed is very well known -- though I do

remember a time

When your generosity to others was clearly shown."

"Aha" said Sweettooth elated, "at times it's better to give it

than take it."

"I refer," said Green, "to a wagon full of 'SWEETSTICKS'

That found its way to our village one day.

On seeing it, the children did scent a sweet intent -- and

in their delight --

Ate all the sweetsticks, that very same night; till their

stomachs came sick

'WORMS,' no doubt, did the trick -- and they have never forgot

Not the worms, Mayor Sweettooth, just your candy -- They still

crave it a lot."

Sweettooth remembered that wagon full of sweetsticks

The horse riderless -- bolted running away

I will use this idea, thought Sweettooth, to keep Green out

of Cane.

"Aha!" said Sweettooth again and again, "That is good -- That

is very good!

And I'll send you more," he said eagerly, "whatever you need

a wagon load -- Two -- Three -- even four."

"And I in return will repay your generosity," said Green,

"With these seeds that I plant here today."

Sweettooth was mad -- his ruse didn't work

A showdown with Green was now the next scene.

"I don't want your seeds growing in Cane, and only on my terms

can you remain.

Now what would you rather declare," Sweettooth said, raising

his voice,

'WAR' -- or joining me in the profits I share."

"DECLARE? DECLARE?" Green shouted out,

"I came to Cane to offer a feast, and you -- you talk of war --"

Green laughed, "Ha ha ha!!" -- then scowled, "Why you have your

crust ---

Come -- Come with me, Mayor Sweettooth, and I will show you now

what I must."

Sweettooth complied, and 'Seedy' his horse took both for a ride.

Soon they came to a greenhouse.

"This is my house," said Green. "It is also my headquarters --

and from here I give out my orders."

"Orders?" said Sweettooth -- "I don't understand."

"In a moment you will," said Green, "for every field of battle

has its command."

Leaving the wagon, they entered the house

Where Sweettooth spied a gruesome scene.

It made him 'reel' and he nearly fell, but with an arm was

'held' by Green,

for round a table sat 'the ugliest looking creatures'

With unbelievable facial features

Some had heads too big, with bodies short and fat

While others thin and tall had barely a face at all.

And yet, all wore colorful costume clothes, most beautiful

to behold.

As Sweettooth eyed this ghastly crop, Green said,

"This is my command -- are they not a handsome lot?"

Sweettooth nodding, did agree, for certainly outnumbered now

was he

With odds of more than one to three.

And then Green said, addressing the group:

"Gentlemen, this is the Mayor of Cane, Mayor Sweettooth.

Mayor -- Colonel Korn and his staff.

Warriors all, who have not only fought but won

the greatest wars man has ever seen."

Omitting their rank, he gave their nickname,

and briefly spoke of their fame. "Red Carrot, Company Command

Whose eyes are so great they see every move the enemy makes.

Skinny Bean -- who spies in the dark --

Like a shadow, in enemy camps he's unseen." And as Green

spoke on, for each soldier he mentioned,

he gave their warlike dimensions,

Till he concluded the circle with his baker, Spud or Potato

and his luscious wife, Rosy Tomato.

"I'm impressed," said Sweettooth, "greatly impressed,

But what does all this mean?"

"WAR!" said Green, "WAR! That's what it means."

And on a placard he wrote 'A DECLARATION OF WAR'

Telling Sweettooth, that before the next moon,

We shall settle this score of rightful domain, in the village

of Cane.

Sweettooth was mad, and he left in a rush, 'shouting',

"Your Army of Plants I will soon crush."

Green laughed, and so did his staff. And Sweettooth heard the

ring of their laughter all the way back to his store where he

had provisions galore, more than enough to fight any war.

From his shed came the sugar piled very high

And from vats in the cellar --the syrup to glue his army

to size.

Sweettooth worked harder now than ever before -- But now he

was happy,

For this was his chance to show the world and the Plants,

'The power of Cane'

And to serve a warning to all, who would dare invade his domain!

Sweettooth Cane was a wise old soul

Who made his sweets from a candy mold

He had a secret no one shared

He could mold an army from candy fare

Using sugar as a base, he created energy to pace --

'TROOPS' -- that would carry out commands,

And each order that he gave, they willingly obeyed,

So long as they stayed coated, with the sweetness from

confectionery cane.

In his workshop Sweettooth assembled the tubular maze,

And turning on pumps, cylinders mixed the formula weighed.

Generated by steam, the formula streamed -- up and down in

the tubes --

Till came out to spout, liquid like chocolate and cream.

And filling ice pans molded in shape like a man

'FROZE' till they rose on Sweettooth's command,


Meanwhile, back at the greenhouse, Green too, was busy

preparing for battle.

Having sent his courier 'Bean' to the village of Plants

With orders instructing the army's advance,

He briefed his staff, outlining with draft his plan of attack.

The hours flew by with so much to do

And the people of Cane were alarmed

When they heard of the oncoming feud

For posters were tacked on many oak trees

Spreading the word of the battle to be.

It read: