The ABC of Security

Said Mr. A to Mr. B,
"I doubt the loyalty of C."

Said Mr. B to Mr. A,
"I’m shocked and stunned by what you say;

We’d better check on him today,
And since you’ve brought up Mr. C.

I feel that I must mention D.
I rather doubt his loyalty."

Said Mr. F to Mr. G,
"G, have you ever noticed B?
What do you make of his loyalty?"

Said Mr. G to Mr. F,
"Lower your voice – people aren’t deaf!
I wouldn’t want you quoting me,
But sure, I’ve always noticed B."

Said Mr. C to Mr. A,
"I saw a funny thing today;
At least, it seemed quite odd to me.

I saw F whispering with G
And I just caught the name of B."

"No, really?" answered A to C
"Well, anyway – I don’t know B.
I guess it’s just as well for me."

And so the subtle poison spread
Until there rose a Mr. Zed.
The lightning played around his head.
"My fellow-countrymen," he said,
"The past, as you’ll observe, is dead.

The alphabet’s discredited;
You can’t trust teachers now to teach,
You can’t trust ministers to preach
,
And it has been my special labor
To prove that none can trust his neighbor.

In fact, it’s amply clear to see
There’s no one you can trust but me.
And by a happy turn of fate
I’ve come to purify the state.

My methods will be swift and strong
Against the crime of thinking wrong.
I know the cure for heresy
And you can leave it all to me.

Leave everything to me!" he said.
"Hurrah!" they cried. "Hurrah for Zed!”

— fin —

By E.B. White (May 9, 1953)