Tuesday 23 April 2013

The hen and the tortoise

The hen and the tortoise
Sailed out to sea
On a very old leaky raft.
It was rather slow going,
The hen said, "Get rowing,"
The tortoise replied, "Don't be daft.

I must stand on all fours,
We haven't got oars,
Nor even a proper boat.
But it's jolly nice weather,
So maybe together,
We'll head for wherever we float."

They had lots of fun
In the heat of the sun,
For the grapes that they'd brought had fermented.
By wine now enhanced,
They laughed and they danced,
Then dozed, both completely contented.

When they woke it was dark.
"Blow this for a lark,"
Moaned the hen, "Do you know where we are?"
Said her friend, "No, do you?
I haven't a clue,
But we cannot have gone very far."

The deck was quite wet.
Hen started to fret.
"We didn't record last night's 'Corrie'.
Your fault I am thinking.
We're probably sinking!
We'll drown, then I'm sure you'll be sorry."

No moon gave them light,
Though the stars were quite bright.
They were hungry and feeling forlorn.
The horizon they scanned:
There was no sign of land.
They sat there and waited till dawn.

The sun rose at last,
A seagull flew past.
They shouted before he could vanish.
He would soon disappear.
What he said was unclear.
Tortoise thought that it sounded like Spanish.

Fresh winds from the west
Soon brought them to rest
On a shore. They were not now down-hearted.
"Looks a nice place to stay,
But it's not Whitley Bay,"
Said the hen, "which is where all this started."

Then a very loud noise
Of the kind which annoys
Began, as a house they were nearing.
"Let's get off this beach,"
Tortoise said, "What a screech!
I fear it will damage my hearing."

Hen declared, "No please wait.
It's that man by that gate."
"You are," tortoise said, "such a flirt.
He's hugging a sack
And it's kissing him back.
What is more, he is wearing a skirt."

With their feet clogged with sand,
They hobbled inland.
By now, it had started to rain.
Hen was crying. Asked she,
"Where on earth can we be?"
Tortoise answered, "I don't think it's Spain.

We're in need of some grub.
Let's go in this pub."
(The "Haggis and Kilt" was its name.)
"Ha ha. Very funny,"
Said hen, "We've no money,
For which you're entirely to blame.

What a terrible blunder...."
A huge clap of thunder
Caused hen to wake up with a scream.
A quick look soon proved
That their raft hadn't moved:
It had all been a horrible dream.

And thus our tale ends.
The pair remained friends,
Though they never again went to sea.
Sundry notes they compared
Of events they had shared,
As they wandered back home for some tea.

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