Leonard Enns

composer, conductor, Monarda Music

Two By Four


This set of two pieces for four performers (or the housing construction material--take you pick)--pieces constructed from traditional building materials, concerned with shelter, security, comfort, joy and play--was commissioned by saxophonist Willem Moolenbeek, and written in 1996 for a benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity.

1. A House for Me

A mouse is at home in its nest underground, 

and a vole at the Pole, where the snowflakes abound 

is as snug as a bug all wrapped up in a bed, 

but it wouldn't be a house for me. 


I could rent me a tent 'til my money's all spent, 

I could live in a balloon like the man in the moon, 

I could put on a show and just live in the snow

but it wouldn't be a house for me. 


So what will you do with all this boo-hoo, 

when the cold winter blows and I'm losing my toes, 

or the summer's so hot that I wish it were not, 

and the buckets of rain are severely a pain, 

and I just can't find a house for me? 


Just put your arms around me, 

and let me say I'm so glad you found me, 

so let's make it our goal (I'm not a mouse nor a vole) 

to put a roof overhead, 

and make a room for a bed, 

and that will be a house for me.

        -Leonard Enns


2. The Elf and the Dormouse

Under a toadstool crept a wee elf, 

Out of the rain, oh he was trying to shelter himself, 

Under the toadstool sound asleep, 

Sat a big Dormouse 

--a big old ugly mouse that no-one could adore, 

this was no squeaky mouse, this one could reallysnore, 

he was a Dormouse, a big old Dormouse, and he sat all in a heap.


Trembled the wee Elf, frightened and yet 

Fearing to fly away lest he should get wet. 

Oh how he trembled, oh and how he was upset, 

and how he feared to do a thing he would regret! 

To the next shelter–– maybe a mile! 

Sudden the wee Elf smiled a wee smile. 


Tugged until the toadstool toppled in two. 

Holding it over him, so gayly he flew   

Soon he was safe home, dry as could be. 

Soon woke the Dormouse–– "Good gracious me!" 

"Where is my toadstool?" loud he lamented. 

––And that's how umbrellas first were invented.

        -adapted from Oliver Herford (1863-1935) by LE