Updated date:

Verymerryville - A Poetic Tale

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.


"Verymerryville" is really a social commentary disguised as a quaint poetic tale. I think it portrays an important message of happiness and contentment overcoming greed and the lure of money.

When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need.'

— Dalai Lama



Now let me tell you all a tale,

And explain it if you will,

About the people of a town

Called Verymerryville.

The townsfolk all were happy,

They had no cares or woes.

All they needed was provided,

Nowhere else they had to go.

The Mayor's name was McHappy

And he loved his little town.

His generous caring nature

In fact, gained world renown.


No money lined rich pockets

In Verymerryville,

For the only currency people had

Were needs that they could fill.

The council got together,

And the wise old Mayor decreed

That every resident be trained

In a skill the town would need.

Even Peggy Littlefoot

Who was born without big toes,

Could spin the most amazing yarn

That made all the people's clothes.

The town was self-sufficient,

And provided for itself.

It used renewables for fuel,

And local products lined the shelf.

Because no-one had money

There was no theft or crime.

Anything or service needed

Could be bartered with your time.

Unfortunately, time moves on,

And sometimes much too fast.

Mayor McHappy was old and Ill,

The time came for him to pass.


The council was thrown in a spin,

A leader they must choose.

But that was easier said than done,

McHappy had big shoes.

Now greed is never far away

And it raised its ugly head,

The moment that it realized

The famous Mayor was dead.

One day a salesman came to town

Peddling goods they'd never seen,

And the Verymerryvillians,

Their wide-eyes brightly beamed.

But the people had no money

To buy these worldly goods.

They tried to barter services,

Fruit, vegetables, and wood.

And the salesman wouldn't have it,

He'd only deal in cash,

So the council held a meeting,

Their decision was quite rash.

They agreed that Verymerryville

Would give real currency a try.

The salesman had convinced them,

He sold things they had to buy.

He told them about money,

Its advantages and such,

And he gave the people credit

Until they had too much.

The salesman made his fortune,

Left the townsfolk all in debt.

His evil plan was now in place,

But he wasn't finished yet.

He offered to become the Mayor,

And the council had no choice,

For now they were financial slaves

And no longer had a voice.

So "Dollar Bill" became the Mayor,

It really was a shame,

For the town of Verymerryville

Would never be the same.

While the Mayor's fortune multiplied

All the people were in debt.

When gambling was introduced

Their dependence was now set.

But all were not as gullible

As Dollar Bill had thought.

They didn't want their town destroyed

So against the Mayor they fought.

Contentment consists not in adding more fuel, but in taking away some fire.

— Thomas Fuller

A rebellion started in the streets,

The city bank was raised,

The new Mayor's residence was burned,

McHappy's name was praised.

The bonfire burnt for days on end,

All the money used as fuel.

Dollar Bill fled from the town,

And those he took for fools.

The people went back to old ways,

Bartering for their needs.

The town of Verymerryville,

Now a garden free of weeds.


© 2016 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 16, 2021:

Hello Rosina, I appreciate you reading this story/poem Verymerryville. I am glad you enjoyed the message

Rosina S Khan on August 16, 2021:

That was a beautiful poem with Verymerryville having no cash, living simply when greed and evil take over but the place returning to its old ways of bartering services with no cash, being happy and simple again. Loved it. Thank you for sharing, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 15, 2021:

I agree it is an important message, Ravi. I never really thought of Verymerryville being a utopia, but you are right, it certainly is. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on August 15, 2021:

I loved this utopian poem about verymerryville and how greed turned a happy town into a disaster and unhappiness in the end. I think this lesson is important to be imbibed by every person in this world. Thanks for sharing John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 15, 2021:

You, and me too Lora. Imagine a place that you could live peacefully without money, and the greed and problems it brings. Thank you for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 15, 2021:

Yes, I once had landlords who let me have the first month free because we were willing to clean the place after the previous tenant left. These days if you want anything done you have to do it and still pay,

Lora Hollings on August 15, 2021:

I would just love to live in Verymerryville, John. Back to the basics and appreciating each other for their unique talents and what they can offer. Money often breeds discontent, greed, and unhappiness. A wonderful poetic tale, indeed.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 15, 2021:


You are so right.

I remember having Landlords who would let me paint the place or fix something in the house, then I would get a free month's rent.

These days...it's like, oh well.

If you do something you are just out of the money.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 15, 2021:

Thank you for reading my little tale, Brenda. Yes, unfortunately these days it is all cash or credit. Money, money, money.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 15, 2021:


What a wonderful tale.

The people learned that greed doesn't pay.

I remember a time when we could barter for things, but nowadays it's cash or nothing.

Very good poem.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 15, 2021:

Thank you MG. I Appreciate you taking the time to read this. Anything that makes us think is a positive, right? Gotta love the Dalai Lama.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on August 15, 2021:

John, what a lovely poem with a quote from the Dalai Lama. Thank you for sharing. I will say it made me think.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 15, 2021:

Yes, bro, unfortunately, greed is never far away, just hiding under the surface awaiting the right conditions to thrive and surface. But, yes, there certainly is hope. Thank you for sharing your insights and the verse from William Tell.

manatita44 from london on August 15, 2021:

Greed is never far away, no. In fact, it is already within in seed form, waiting to sprout at the advent of rain and manure, like a good man dying and being replaced by one without vision. Emerson and Jefferson, Lincoln and others, probably never envisioned a world like this one.

Yet there's hope. Mandelas, Gandhi's and others have come and will keep coming.

The poem has a nice flow to it. Reminded me of William Tell:

"Come list to me and you shall hear,

A tale of what befell,

A famous man of Switzerland,

His name was William Tell ..." Om Shanti! Peace!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 15, 2021:

Yes, Verymerryville would be a lovely place to live. Thank you for reading and enjoying this story poem, Vidya.

VIDYA D SAGAR on August 14, 2021:

Such a lovely story and poem John. I loved the happy ending. It would be wonderful to live in Verymerrybille. It is true that money is the root cause of all trouble. Quotes are inspiring too and I enjoyed the song. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 14, 2021:

Misbah, thank you for visiting Verymerryville. I am glad you enjoyed your time there. That quote by Erich Fromm is so very true. Thanks for sharing. Blessings back to you.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on August 14, 2021:

A very beautiful tale with a very great message. I loved your town and it's beautiful people. That sounds like a town I would love to live in.

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction." - Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom

Thank you so much for sharing this great and important message.

Many Blessings to you

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 14, 2021:

Just revisited this to see if it needed updating, and found a couple of typos to tidy up. I always liked the message in this poem so thought I'd reshare it on the feed.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 20, 2017:

Finn, thank you for the very insightful comment. I had fun writing this and glad you enjoyed the read.

Fin from Barstow on July 20, 2017:

Nice social commentary and unfortunately a realistic synopsis of how economy supersedes our true values. Good use of language, nice rhymes and a few clever double entendres (I like the one about the spinning of yarns for clothes). Good story and nice references (quotes)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 03, 2016:

That saying is so true for many people, and is probably how many millionaires got to be where they are.. always wanting that one dollar more. Thanks for reading, Lawrence.

Lawrence Hebb on November 03, 2016:

I heard John D Rockefeller was once asked "how much money is enough?"

His reply was "just $1 more!"

Great poem, and oh for such a place!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 21, 2016:

Thank you for reading Norma, and for the kind comment. Glad you liked it.

norlawrence on October 21, 2016:

Thanks for the great poem. The pictures are also great. Thanks for sharing it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 17, 2016:

Thanks Shauna. I'll be one of your neighbors.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 17, 2016:

I want to move to Verymerryville! I've always said whoever invented money was a real ---hole.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 16, 2016:

Thank you for that lovely comment, Shyron. It is greatly appreciated. Yes, money is the "root of all evil" as they say.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 16, 2016:

Oh John, this is beautiful, and what a lesson against the lust for money, but it is the "love of money" that is the root of all evil.

I am glad this has been published on LetterPile.

Blessings my friend

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 11, 2016:

Yes, Vellur. I often think the old ways are the best. Not spoilt by commercialism.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 11, 2016:

A great poem with an important message. Glad people went back to their old ways, they are the best.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2016:

Hi Seafarer Mama, thanks for that generous comment. Yes, I would love to live in Verymerryvile too, and the way this election is shaping up nothing would surprise me. It very well could become an allegory.

Karen A Szklany from New England on October 10, 2016:

Great poem, Jodah. Love the story, illustration and music. Would love to live in Verymerryville. ~:0) If the market falls just before the election, I think many citizens might strongly consider this tale an allegory and inspiration for action!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2016:

MsDora, thank you for reading and sharing that very appropriate Bible quote.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 10, 2016:

Great message, Jodah. A Bible quote comes to mind: "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Thanks for the reminder so wonderfully penned in this poetic commentary.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 10, 2016:

Well, I can't ask for a better comment than that, Shanmarie. So, I appreciate that deeply. I had problems finding a song I felt suitable to include on this. I actually had decided on another but came across the Eric Church one and liked it. Even if the subject of the song is about a breakup (I guess the town had a breakup with the new mayor) I wanted to include it, and the name fit well.

Shannon Henry from Texas on October 09, 2016:

I've been busy so I haven't read many hubs lately, especially this weekend since I was in a wedding. But this one is brilliant and worth the read any time! I am impressed. You have a true gift. Poetic prose and story telling. . .songs. . .You are so versatile.

By the way, if you care to know, the Eric Church song about his home town is about a break up, but it fits your poem well. I like your perspective on it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2016:

Eric, you get your message across very effectively in your Sunday sermons, whereas my soap box or pulpit is through poetry. Thanks for reading and kind comment.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 09, 2016:

Excellent expression of a very honest principle. Important stuff to ponder. I like how your poetry reads, a nice rhythm.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 09, 2016:

Not moved yet, still doing up the other property. It might take a while as it's extensive work but it will be great when it's finished, as they say! We're just plodding slowly and trying not to wear ourselves out. 3 weeks in France gave us a good breathing space so now it's onward and upward!


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2016:

Thank you, Blossom. Glad you enjoyed this.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on October 08, 2016:

What a delightful way to say it! Great poem and I love your choice of images, too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 08, 2016:

Cheers, Ann. I hope the move went well and you now have time to write more fantastic hubs.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 08, 2016:

Certainly did. I don't like to miss any of your hubs so I'm still trying to read older ones too.

Who indeed! Some poor sad folk I suppose but not many! Looking forward to catching up on your inspiring hubs.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 08, 2016:

Hi, Ann, good to see you. By your comment I guess this ticked all the boxes. Thank you, and who doesn't love a happy ending?

Ann Carr from SW England on October 08, 2016:

Lovely pics! And you tell the tale so well. It was entertaining, thought provoking and had a happy ending. Would that life was always so! Well done, John.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 08, 2016:

Thanks for reading Alicia. I'm glad I was able to convey the message I wanted successfully.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 08, 2016:

I love your poem and your message, John. The poem is a great social commentary and a cautionary tale as well.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2016:

Thank you, Faith. That kind comment is much appreciated. I guess this poem is rather like a parable, isn't it?

Faith- on October 07, 2016:

Absolutely Fantastic and shows a great awareness of our current days woes. Enjoyed wondrously and fully. Keep it up. your poems demonstrate very well the worth of Good Morals.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2016:

Manatita, the right leader can make or break a town or country. We need one who rules with compassion and love of his fellow man, not blinded by dollar signs and the profits of rich corporations.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2016:

Hello Chitrangada. Thank you for visiting Verymerryville. I am glad you enjoyed your stay, and thank you for your kind comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2016:

Thank you Rasma. It is my kind of town too, and I too enjoy days best when I can sit at home writing, rather than spending

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on October 07, 2016:

So well done, John. If I may be honest, I love every bit of it, except the destructive rebellion. Not sure how else it could be dealt with at that point and am VERY happy for the outcome, that it turned out well and good and just order was restored. But do hope the main lesson is to not give in to the one's desires and an evil force in the first place so that violence is needed to set it right.

manatita44 from london on October 07, 2016:

Nice poem, kind of like the rhythm of William Tell. Greed, a big one and yes, we need the right leaders or things will go horribly wrong. Nice tale.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 07, 2016:

Wonderful poem and beautiful message for everyone!

I loved your town and it's beautiful people. Sometimes I really wish I lived in such a place.

As always you excel in weaving the words into an excellent poem!

Thank you!

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on October 07, 2016:

A most delightful tale. That is a town I would enjoy living in. My best and most peaceful days are days spent at home and not spending a dime.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2016:

It does sound a bit like an alternative lifestyle commune, doesn't it Glenis.

Glen Rix from UK on October 07, 2016:

Oh, dreams of an ideal world. Sound like Verymerryville is a commune

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2016:

Hi there. Al. Thanks for reading this tale. Glad you loved it.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on October 07, 2016:

Very interesting! A happy beginning and happy ending! I loved it! Way to go John...

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Hi, Theresa. It is good to have you read this tale and enjoy the message. It is funny that in the big city where there is lots of competition the prices are high, but in the small town where there is little competition they charge less because they don't want to rip people off and they rely on repeat business. Glad you liked the artwork, and it reminded you of Dr Seuss too.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 06, 2016:

Love this poem so much, John! You have your creative juices flowing here to tell such a tale with a great message for all. I agree with Rebecca, in that I was reminded of Dr. Suess' rhymes. I live in a very small town now and love it. I was shocked when I went to a hair place to have my hair cut and everyone knew everyone and she did such a great job and only charged me $10.00! I felt so guilty about the low cost I just gave her a $20.00 because she styled it and all. I was so stunned that I repeated it outloud $10.00!!! LOL Just in the very next city about 7 miles away you can get a cut for $15.00. But in the big city an hour away it will cost you at least $35.00 to $.50.00 if they blow dry it and style it. Nevermind color and perms go on up into the hundreds. So, my point in all of that is that in a small town you get great service at a low price and they don't think it's low but fair.

Perfect choice of artwork too. As I get older, I realize I don't need so much "stuff" and I am happy too LOL.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Glad you enjoyed this, Rebecca. I don't mind being compared to Dr Seuss in the least. His books were an inspiration to me as a child.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Dana, thankyou for sharing your unfortunate experience. We need to learn from our mistakes, don't we? Yes, Provrbs 22.7 has a very similar message.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on October 06, 2016:

I like this! It reminds me of some of Dr. Suess's themes, and the rhythm and rhyme make it fun to read

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on October 06, 2016:

This poem reminds me of the scripture -proverbs 22:7) The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender. I had to learn this lesson the hard way with credit card debt. I was blinded by greed swiping that card as if the money was free. All was good until I got in financial troubles and the credit card bills became a burden, my blessing turned into one of my worst nightmare when I was hounded by creditors. Don't get me wrong good credit is important but you must be careful not to be greedy because you can be rich and employed today and broke and poor tomorrow.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Mike, your economics teacher would have given me a fail for even thinking like this. You are right that debt has tracked most of the population..same here too. Glad you liked the d'Arcy W Doyle artwork.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Living in this world, Bill, I wish we had a bit more money too. But it,s good to dream.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Thanks, Lori. Yes, I do feel this message is important. Unfortunately the world just wants more more more.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

I do wish this town existed, Whonu. I could be happy there.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Thank you for the great comment, Venkat. Glad you enjoyed the poetry, images and video. It is a pity the world doesn't look for the simpler solutions to its problems.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

I didn't know it was Poetry Day, Sally, so thanks for making me aware. It is always a pleasure to have you drop by one of my hubs though.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Hi MizB. Yes, our old pioneers bartered also, and there are small pockets of the community that still do. My wife and I used to be part of a "LETS" group where everyone bartered for points that they could exchange for other goods and services. I think it was suppose to be taxed but hard to police.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Welcome to Verymerryville, Ruby. Oh, if life could be so simple. Glad you enjoyed this tale.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on October 06, 2016:

Hello John, I am not sure Henry Hazlitt of Economics in One Lesson, would agree but it is still a nice thought. Debt has trapped almost the entire population here. I sure could not have gotten away with not working for ten years had I been in debt at the start of the journey. Great poem. I liked the accompanying artwork. And of course Bill is right, a little more money would be OK.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 06, 2016:

I won't lie to you. I wish we had a little more money. Still, I totally agree with the spirit of this poetic tale and, of course, it is exquisitely written.

Lori Colbo from United States on October 06, 2016:

Wonderful read. You story in poem is a message we all need to hear.

whonunuwho from United States on October 06, 2016:

I liked your town and its people were great. If this was true then we would never have to worry again about what tomorrow might bring. Very imaginative and what a grand utopia.Well done, my friend. whonu

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on October 06, 2016:

A very beautiful tale with a great message. People need to be content with whatever they have for happiness in life. As you told, greed makes to long for more with no stop at all. There are so many tales from which people should learn those good messages inherent in them and practice them so as to lead a happy and peaceful life.

Thanks, John, for sharing this wonderful tale in such nice lines. The images and video are also very appealing.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on October 06, 2016:

Nice one Jodah

I believe it is poetry day today so I thought I just had to stop by to say I enjoyed your contribution to this special day.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on October 06, 2016:

This is fantastic, John, and what truths to behold! Our old pioneers practiced bartering, as you Australians probably did, and it was a workable system. Few people went hungry and homelessness was unheard of. Your poetry is great as well as your thoughts. I love your opening statement by the Dalai Lama and your photos. BTW, bartering in the U.S.A. is taxable under our income tax laws. Isn't that ridiculous? How about in your country?

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 06, 2016:

First, let me say that the first picture is so serene and happy. I want to live there! Your story / rhyme is so cleverly worded and it conveys a wonderful message. I've read about the time when bartering was practiced and people existed well. That old credit card is evil.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2016:

Thank you, Larry. You were quick off the mark this time. Once you are reliant on the dollar it is difficult to give that up.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on October 06, 2016:

There's more to life than the almighty dollar.

As usual, very insightful.

Related Articles