Ode to the Rampaging Sloth

The Cast: The Rampaging Sloth (quick to action, slow while in it).

Years ago, I crafted a wooden sculpture of a ‘rampaging sloth’ for a table centerpiece. It was crafted from bits of wood that had ‘just the right shape’ to make the sloth posed in a rampaging punch stance. His body was coated with glue and long pine needles were affixed so as to give him a coat of ‘fur’.

The idea of a rampaging sloth has stayed with me since I first saw the super-rodent in action, over 20 years ago. Think of it, how does a sloth rampage? The idea is so cleverly ridiculous it’s impressive. So impressive that I have crafted a several works of art with a variation of the title The Rampaging Sloth. These would include prints (digital, litho, screen, and linocut), sculpture, and even this poem, who’s main subject is a sloth—rampaging, ancient ground, Picasso-ed, or other. And so, here is the poem that came to mind as I pondered how to deal with the old statue of The Rampaging Sloth. It has now moved to another plain of art-existence… (please note the faux-artsy-fartsy-snooty sarcasm)

Rampaging Sloth—my dearest friend—
The time’s now come, for your end.

Against evil, you quite did well,
Though, you were not fast. Oh well.

Brought to life by the great Ralph Bakshi
I saw you first upon tv.

With a mighty, slow fist that went “Ka-Pow!”
You took down an villainous The Cow.

This sculpture, it was an homage.
Hey look, I just rhymed “orange”!

Crafted from bits of found wood.
For years—in my yard—you have stood.

A few screws, and a little glue,
Are what together have held you.

Your pine-needle fur has succumbed to mange
As you now do, unto the flames.

Here is a reading of “Ode to the Rampaging Sloth”.
For some reason the audio isn’t working, I’ll have to fix it and will upload the repaired video later. Sorry.
Here is the episode with the Rampaging Sloth.
Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, S1: E8. The League of Super-Rodents / Scrappy’s Playhouse. Originally aired November 7, 1987.

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