Have you ever sailed across dry land,
With a wooden leg and a hook for a hand?
All dressed in red, with a patch on your eye
And a crew of thugs who could say, "Aye, aye?"
Have you ever played such a game, my friend,
On a pirate ship made of Just Pretend?
Did you ever go on a long, long trip?
To the Milky Way in a rocket ship?
Have you flown to the dark side of the moon?
Or actually seen a Venusian Loon?
Did you ever imagine you could fly through space
In your own backyard's pretending place?
I have trekked Alaska's highest peak.
I have swum with mermaids in the deep.
I have hunted bison on the plain,
Flown kites with Franklin in the rain.
There is nothing I cannot achieve
When I play my games of make believe.
I wonder, lad and little miss,
If you ever played such games as this?
From a favorite place in your house or yard,
Have you ever marched like a castle guard?
Or danced like a ballerina queen?
Or sank a foreign submarine?
Or have you now grown up past the age
Where your own front porch is a magic stage?
Where your grass is a sea with a breaking wave
And your crew all drowning in a watery grave.
But with wooden boat and a plank for an oar,
Did you safely guide them to the shore?
I pray you always will attend
These things that come from Just Pretend.
I still play now at sixty-three,
Still young at heart, a fool like me.
And if I live to ninety-five
Just Pretend will keep my soul alive.
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