'Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon'


Editor's note: Harvey tackles a big job -- cleaning his room -- only to discover he and his mom have a different definition of "clean."

On Saturday morning at ten to nine

Harvey Moon was eating toast,

Waiting for the cartoon show

That he enjoyed most

With only minutes left to go,

He heard the voice of DOOM.

"Today, young man," his mother said,

"Is the day you clean your room!"

"Not nowwww ..." moaned Harvey,

Red in the face.

"I'll miss 'Rotten Ed'

And 'Invaders from Space'!"

"Right this second!" she ordered,

And gave him the broom.

Harvey marched angrily

Up to his room.

It really didn't seem

Messy at all.

First he'd throw his dirty clothes

Out in the hall.

Under the bed was

An ice cream-smeared shirt,

Jeans that had what Mom called

"Ground-in dirt ..."

Two towels and swim trunks

That seemed to be wet,

Three socks he sniffed

And found weren't dirty yet.

Under the dresser was a lump

Warm and gray,

That he didn't recognize

So he put it away.

The floor of the closet had clumps

Hard and dirty

Of T-shirts and sweat shirts ...


Harvey panicked then thought,

"I should be through soon,

I'll eat lunch while I watch

'Creature Zero' at noon."

Grabbing marbles and crayons and

Flat bottle caps,

Two of his own special

Lightning bug traps,

The softball he couldn't find

Last Saturday,

One toothbrush, one helmet ...

He put them away.

"I'll clear out those toys

And then I'll be done,

'Ken's Kung Fu Korner'

Will be on at one ...."

Under his desk were some comics

All icky

From something inside

That was dripping and sticky.

He found library books

He'd forgotten he had,

His skates from Aunt Sarah,

His bow tie from dad,

He found a caboose

That was missing its train,

A whistle, paintbrushes,

A map of the brain.

He found sneakers and card games

Up under the bed,

Goggles, flippers, and a grasshopper

... dead, A long-lost cookie

All fuzzy and gray,

Plastic cars, boats, and planes,

And he put them away.

Just then Harvey happened

To notice the clock.

"IT'S ALMOST TWO!!" Harvey shouted.

He went into shock.

"I missed 'Caveman Capers'

On channel nine ....

I'm starving! I'm tired!

This room looks fine!"

He put up his bathrobe,

His bat, and football,

With a few other things

Then ran down the hall,

Shouting, "Mom, I'm finished!"

Harvey put back the broom.

His mother stepped cautiously

Into his room.

"I'm really amazed," his mom said.

Harvey beamed.

He could watch TV now. He was through,

So it seemed.

"I fixed you some lunch," she said.

"When you are done,

You and I will get started

On lump number one!"

Excerpted from the book CLEAN YOUR ROOM, HARVEY MOON, by Pat Cummings. Copyright c 1991, by Pat Cummings. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc., Children's Publishing Division. All rights reserved.

Pub Date: 02/22/99

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad