The Old Banjo – Dennis Haseley – 1988
Illustrated by Stephen Gammell
All over this farm there are instruments that no one plays anymore.
“I wonder if some band used to live here,” says the farmer’s boy, “I wish we could have heard them.”
“Well, they’re gone now,” says his father, “and we’ve got too much work to do.”
So up in the attic waits an old banjo with worn silver strings.
And a trombone lies under a bed with a wool sock stuffed in its bell.
And an old piano sits in the gray barn with the ivory chipped on its keys–it looks like it has a few teeth missing.
And a violin waits in a shed with a bright trumpet going cloudyand a clarinet like a shadow left behind.
But one day just toward evening while the farmer and his boy are working and the sky is the color of a stone the old banjo remembers how a smiling old woman and all her sons and daughters used to sit on the porch and fill the night with music.