Wharton Finds a Whatzit

My Passover Gift to You

Some years back, while preparing a Passover/Exodus message, I learned that manna, the miraculous little wafers that sustained the Hebrews during their long trek in the wilderness, translates to “what is it?” or more-or-less literally, “whatzits.” Delighted, I turned my message into a Dr. Seuss-style retelling of the story. Wharton Finds a Whatzit has since been read aloud (with pictures by my wife!) at congregations throughout North America and in other countries, as well. Feel free to share Wharton with your family and friends. And if you’d like to read or perform it publicly, along with all 19 original PowerPoint images, click here.


Now, down in old Eejip where Fayro was king,

A fellow named Mo did a wonderful thing.

There were Heebrooz and Sheebrooz all over the place,

And that put a frown on old Fayroze’s face.

So he did some upsetting to stop all their smiles,

But they just kept begetting. They stretched out for miles!

Then Mo said, “Hey, Fayro, you’re mean and you’re rotten.

What God’s gonna do—well, it won’t be forgotten!”

Sure enough, God got angry and took ‘em away.

Then Fayro got mad too, and yelled, “Ogla-hey!”

Which was Jipchin for, “I’m gonna hurt you so bad

You’ll wish you were one kid your mom never had!”

’Cause that’s the way Jipchins and most people get.

When they don’t get their way, they don’t like it a bit!

Now, ‘Ro was so mad that he followed ‘em all,

Little ones, big ones, short types and tall.

Then he backed ’em all up at the sea that was red,

And said, “Now you’ll wish that you really were dead!

But Mo took his big stick, and raising it high,

Said, “God, now would be a great time to drop by!”

And God, who was there all along anyway,

Picked up that old sea and just threw it away!

Then Fayro said, “Go soldiers, go on and get ’em!”

And the soldiers they tried, but the sea up and et ’em!

Then the Heebrooz and Sheebrooz of Izree-a-lee

Said God was the best god they ever did see.

They partied and stayed up ’til way, way past eight,

Celebratin’ their save from a Fayro-ish fate.

But before very long they got thirsty and cranky,

And started to grumble, ‘specially one guy named Spanky.

Then the people got hungry, in fact they were starved.

They were dreaming of roasted quail perfectly carved,

And freshly baked bread, right off of the shelf,

And hoping Jehovah would bake it Himself.

Sure enough, when the night came, a Heebroo named RalphPicture8

Was struck in the mouth by a quail flying south.

Then one after one they came flying in,

Soon quails were in stewpots and frying in tins.

The next morning out at the edge of the town

A Heebroo named Wharton was hangin’ around,

When he spotted a goldenish-pinkish-white disk,

And decided to eat it, despite the slight risk.

It was just like a sweet little edible plate,

Picture10And he ran into camp shouting, “Hey, this is great!

I’ve discovered the wonderflest food in existence!

It’ll feed us forever and be our subsistence!”

Now, despite the big words that Wharton had used,

He was instantly, nastily, verbly abused.

“You’re a fool,” they all shouted, “That one little speck

Can’t feed all these folks? What the hey? What the heck!”

But Mo said, “Hey, wait, folks! He’s right, look around.

There’re zillions of whatzits all over the ground!”

Then the people said, “Huh? Whatcha know!” and “He’s right!

They must have arrived while we slept in the night.”

There were whatzits in every cranny and nook,

For those who were willing to just take a look.

There were whatzits in every place they could think,

On their heads, in their beds, in their porcelain sinks.

So the Heebrooz and Sheebrooz said, “Oh, how He loves us,

To shower such blessings upon and above us!

And now we’ve no doubts. No, it’s not like it was.

For we finally have faith in the things that God does.”


But the whatzits went bad every time there were more

Than the people could finish the evening before.

Next morning that delicate flavor went south

And turned monstrously muckish inside of their mouths!

They were no longer goldenish-pinkish and white,

But a sick shade of green that put grown men to flight!

They said, “God, ahem, Sir. We don’t like to rail,

But we really don’t like your green whatzits and quail!

We said that we’d trust all the things that you do,

But we must tell you this time you’ve failed to come through!”

’Cause that’s the way Heebrooz and all people think.

When they can’t have it their way, they think it just stinks.

But Wharton stepped forward and, calm as can be,

Said, “Wait, I think maybe we’ve failed to see

That the thing we should really have placed our faith in

Is not what God does, but, well, simply in Him.”

Then the people said, “Wharton, now hey! What the heck?

You’re the guy who discovered that first little speck.

And now you say what matters most from the start

Isn’t found on the ground, but is found in our hearts?”

Then Mo hollered, “Bingo! You’ve figured it out.

Now the real test will come when you conquer your doubts,

And trust when you can’t see what’s happening next,

Just because, well, it’s God, and He always knows best.

’Cause you’ll never find anything good on the shelf,

’Til you learn to look past to the Father himself.”

After forty more years, Wharton Caleb O’Dell

Finally came to the kingdom of Izrael,

And he said when he crossed with the throng on that day

That the best part was trusting in God all the way.


© Mitch Teemley – neither text nor images may be copied or sold without express permission of author

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Wharton Finds a Whatzit

  1. Mitch, this is just delightful! You really captured the Seussian feel, and your wife’s illustrations are Seussian real!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love this retelling so much. Well done!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Bravo, Mitch! Your many talents never cease to amaze me.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. robstroud says:

    What a fun take. I especially appreciated (and identified with):

    “Now, despite the big words that Wharton had used,
    He was instantly, nastily, verbly abused.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I fancied your fantastical story about Wharton and the whatzits.
    Your wife’s illustrations were fabulous, wonderful, really good fits.
    If you keep writing such flabbergasting prose,
    I’ll be delighted from my nodding noggin to my wiggling toes!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It reminded me at Dr. Seuss. Wonderfully structures, lots of wits.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: Little Rock, Big God | Mitch Teemley

  8. I’m delighted to share this on Twitter!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pam Webb says:

    What a treasure chest of talent you are! Why M. Teemley, I’m sure you’ll go far!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. SarahC says:

    Love the names too 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s a delightful take on the Exodus and it murmuring people. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lesley says:

    You never cease to amaze me! That was such fun. “A fellow called Mo”, lol. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Please keep me in your prayers Mitch I have the shingles rash. I’m believing God based on Isaiah 53:5 with his stripes we are healed.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Aloya says:

    Well written 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Fantastic. Loved this. Brought a smile to my face and a zing in my step for the day ahead 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Just FABULOUS! Love this, Mitch!❤️🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Abe Austin says:

    What a clever rendition! Very impressive.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Now that was an excellent read! Great job, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Karen :) says:

    Wow! This is great. Thank you, Mitch. You have a gift.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Ana Daksina says:

    It’s very hard to find such accurate meter anywhere in the world of modern poetry and, when we do, it’s usually not nearly so entertaining. Impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

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