How They Broke Away to Go to the
Gimme the Ax lived in a house where everything is the same as it
"The chimney sits on top of the house and lets the smoke out," said
Gimme the Ax. "The doorknobs open the doors. The windows are always
either open or shut. We are always either upstairs or downstairs in
this house. Everything is the same as it always was."
So he decided to let his children name themselves.
"The first words they speak as soon as they learn to make words shall
be their names," he said. "They shall name themselves."
When the first boy came to the house of Gimme the Ax, he was named
Please Gimme. When the first girl came she was named Ax Me No
And both of the children had the shadows of valleys by night in their
eyes and the lights of early morning, when the sun is coming up, on
And the hair on top of their heads was a dark wild grass. And they
loved to turn the doorknobs, open the doors, and run out to have the
wind comb their hair and touch their eyes and put its six soft fingers
on their foreheads.
And then because no more boys came and no more girls came, Gimme the
Ax said to himself, "My first boy is my last and my last girl is my
first and they picked their names themselves."
Please Gimme grew up and his ears got longer. Ax Me No Questions grew
up and her ears got longer. And they kept on living in the house where
everything is the same as it always was. They learned to say just as
their father said, "The chimney sits on top of the house and lets the
smoke out, the doorknobs open the doors, the windows are always either
open or shut, we are always either upstairs or downstairs--everything
is the same as it always was."
After a while they began asking each other in the cool of the evening
after they had eggs for breakfast in the morning, "Who's who? How
much? And what's the answer?"
"It is too much to be too long anywhere," said the tough old man,
Gimme the Ax.
And Please Gimme and Ax Me No Questions, the tough son and the tough
daughter of Gimme the Ax, answered their father, "It _is_ too much to
be too long anywhere."