By the goblin who lived in the banyan tree,
And with his wish he wished for two more wishes—
So now instead of just one wish, he cleverly had three.
And with each one of these
He simply wished for three more wishes,
Which gave him three old wishes, plus nine new.
And with each of these twelve
He slyly wished for three more wishes,
Which added up to forty-six—or is it fifty-two?
Well anyway, he used each wish
To wish for more wishes ’til he had
Five billion, seven million, eighteen thousand thirty-four.
And then he spread them on the ground
And clapped his hands and danced around
And skipped and sang, and then sat down
And wished for more.
And more … and more … they multiplied
While other people smiled and cried
And loved and reached and touched and felt.
Lester sat amid his wealth
Stacked mountain-high like stacks of gold,
Sat and counted—and grew old.
And then one Thursday night they found him
Dead—with his wishes piled around him.
And they counted the lot and found that not
A single one was missing.
All shiny and new—here, take a few
And think of Lester as you do.
In a world of apples and kisses and shoes
He wasted his wishes on wishing. —Shel Silverstein