Time for a little culture, methinks; well…of a sort. You might like to read the following with a Tommy Cooper voice – or you might want to treat it more seriously. I’m still not sure myself!
This is something – along with so much else – I have no recollection of writing. There was a time when I just bashed-out stuff without thinking and, to kind of repeat myself, I honestly cannot remember how the lines come to be in my work-book.
Anyway, for better or worse, here it is……
Deep in the wilds of a Sussex wood
Young Damien set up his bivvy
For there in a glade
A pond had been made
Years ago by the old Village Smithy.
Then, at a time when the carp was rare
He’d decided to flood the small valley
His intention was clear
There’d be commons in here
Now with the gear that had served him well
The youngster flipped out a floater
He prayed to his god
Then positioned his rod
So it just overhung the green water
Sitting back now, ‘gainst the trunk of an oak
He waited for dusk to engulf him
The evening grew damp
So he lit a small lamp
And a distant fish leapt like a dolphin.
But Damien was patient, he didn’t change tactics
He stuck with his bait by the lily
He glanced at his wrist
Through the thick swirling mist
And was glad of his faithful old Tilly
There in the dark of the Sussex wood
His lantern started to flicker
Then without any doubt
The flame went out
And the fog became wetter and thicker.
That silence could be so unbearably loud
And that darkness could be absolute
Damien knew not
That the night sometimes got
As black as his funeral suit.
Feeling alone and chilled to the bone
The fog continued to linger
Then holding his line
He was given a sign
As the monofil pulled through his fingers.
Wholly convinced that he must be mistaken
The young man covered his spool
And there, out of sight
The nylon drew tight
A leviathan started to pull.
Back went the carbon – yes, he had a carp on
A fish that pulled like a lorry
But the hook-hold was good
So Damien could
Give some stick to his battling quarry.
Hardly believing he’d tempted a monster
The young man took stock of his lot
He handled it well
And soon he could tell
‘twas a gigantic common he’d got.
Within twenty minutes the whacker was landed
And placed on soft, grassy ground
Then to the scales…
There’s be no need for tales
For it weighed bang-on forty-six pounds.
I do believe I have already given ‘The Swan’ to readers of Fishing Magic, but you may be interested to know that a fifth verse was written but mysteriously lost. Now it can be revealed after all these years, having been tracked-down by an intrepid team of crack anthologists.
Here it is in full…
Unlike the rest of the population
I’ve never been fond of the swan
It’s aggressive and mean
And frequently seen
Pecking mallards and coots on the pond.
It’s nasty, it’s spiteful
Even birds with a rightful
Place on the lake hate its presence
If it took my advice it would vow to be nice
Like the grebes and the wrens and the pheasants.
It’s a haughty old bird
Its shape quite absurd, not aero-dynamically favoured
Its neck is too long
It has no sweet song
And its take-off’s ridiculously laboured.
They’re bullies, they’re vicious
They may not eat fishes
But God knows they’re stuck-up, aloof and capricious
So ignore their appeal, if you’d like a good meal
I’m assured they taste quite delicious!
Don’t ask me then to be kind to the pens
Or to show any love for the cobs
I simply can’t stand ’em
They cruise ’round in tandem
The ultimate avian snobs.
You read it here first….
Oh, I forgot…the gull shouldn’t get off lightly either.
Now I’ve slated the swan
I shall just carry on
and have a pop at the gull
The greediest birds
with the sloppiest turds
They really are loathsome and foul.
They may look alright
In their brilliant white
As they pester old ladies for bread
But they really aren’t nice
And don’t think twice
About ****ting all over your head.
Black-headed or common or herring, too
All three are renowned for their derring-do
They’re raucous and cheeky
And ever so sneaky
You’ve got to give them their due.
It’s their noise I detest
Perhaps described best
As an un-oiled, rusty old door
They cackle and squawk
As they fly or they walk
And they s**t all over the floor.
They’re smooth and they’re sleek
But just look at that beak
It could open a tin of baked beans
Don’t encourage the beast
It’ll look for a feast
Then s**t all over your jeans!