A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
(An inadequate tribute to that mighty genius The Great McGonagall, which also seems to be inadvertently channelling Ogden Nash, Hilaire Belloc and Spike Milligan, often all at the same time …)
Listen well to this tragical tale, all those young and those old and those between,
Who would learn of the fate of the finest stuffed frog that in this whole wide world has ever been seen,
Who was grievously sent his Maker to meet while still in the first flush of youth
After a most unfortunate encounter with the wolf on the hearth, red in both claw and tooth.
Splendid young Mitchell was full in his prime, most plump and fluffy and green but
Dread Nano the Dog saw not his colour because he was no more than a mutt
And therefore was he full colour blind you see. As we should all on this earth be,
Which is another poem I must pen at some time, for of such guidance we are sorely in need.
Little Mitchell the Frog did live a most splendid life in a toy emporium and thought
The world was indeed a marvellous place where people went hither and thither and bought
Young creatures like him to delight their offspring who would pamper and fondle and tuck
Them up at night. But alas and oh woe, Mitchell was bought for a dog, which did most mightily suck.
Because dogs are base creatures with no care for propriety
Who attend to their intimate personal needs in full glare of society
Which is what marks us out from the beasts I may say
For you never will see a banker cleaning his attributes in full light of day.
So poor Little Mitchell, with his hopes of a quiet life most mournfully dashed
Did first lose an eye to the beast as the wretched hound gnashed
At his head. Fast followed an ear*, which was just as well for then he
Only half heard Nano’s Ma scream “Oh please show him some mer-cee …
That cost me a packet, you ungrateful mutt. How do you expect
Me to feed my family and still keep you in toys, or else face neglect
Charges from the animal police for not keeping you amused and
Helping you to achieve your full potential or something equally grand?”
But Nano had found the seam up the back of the poor froggie’s head
And was fully engaged in dragging out his brains until he was dead.
And twas good that he was, for the heartless beast next hauled out the stuffing
That served for his guts and spread them o’er the shagpile as if they were nuffing.
And so ended the life of poor Little Mitchell who was made for enjoyment
But most tragically was not designed to withstand, not to any extent,
The full-on attentions of a pet with a propensity or indeed bent
For destruction of anything into which it could sink its teeth, not being a gent.
There he lay, all bereft of his substance and spread on the parquet**
Like a latter-day martyr and not feeling any too larky
His poor little being extinguished before it had started
And his mortal remains off to the wheelie bin unceremoniously carted.
The moral of this tragical tale is very simple but I’ll take a few words
To expound it in full because I know that you all have the IQs of birds
And need it spelled out in tortuous detail and much mangled scansion.
For poetic appreciation is totally missing from both hovel and mansion.
Good people of England of whatever degree
When you purchase a dog toy, make quite sure that it be
Fit for purpose. To prolong the toy’s life may I suggest you secrete
Within all that stuffing some ferro-concrete.
(Photo credits: Many thanks to Petit Hiboux on Flickr … it was her photographs of the tragic aftermath of Mitchell’s titanic struggle with Nano that inspired this poetic gem.)
* I KNOW frogs don’t have sticky-out, chewable ears. Haven’t you heard of ‘poetic licence’?
** I also know that’s not a parquet floor. But ‘quarry tile’ doesn’t rhyme with ‘larky’.
(George Simmers’ guest post will now be appearing tomorrow, due to a scheduling mix-up/rapidly encroaching senility/delete whichever you think is the least likely. Apologies to everyone waiting to read it.)