Treasure Island

John Thorkild Ellison

(17/04/51 / Edinburgh)

A Ballad of Aberdeen (Mild Green Vipers)


The mild green vipers of Aberdeen
Are often heard but seldom seen.
They hiss like a kettle when it boils
And crush small rodents in their coils,

They slither through the summer grasses
Invisible to whoever passes,
Few mortal folk have ever seen
The mild green vipers of Aberdeen,

But many hear their wicked hiss
And shake in terror because of this.
You'll never guess where they have been
Unless you ask the Scottish Queen.

She'll smile and tell you very slowly
In the name of all that is Pure and Holy
That nothing lives that's so obscene
As the mild green vipers of Aberdeen.

Long, long ago, it says in fable
King Arthur's Knights of the old Round Table
Sent them to Scotland as a jest
To put the Haggises to rest.

So now you know from the Scottish Queen
About those vipers mild and green.
Do not presume that you are clever
Or you won't see them - never ever!

Submitted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Edited: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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Comments about this poem (A Ballad of Aberdeen (Mild Green Vipers) by John Thorkild Ellison )

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  • Martin O'Neill (3/26/2012 1:30:00 PM)

    Marvellous! I love the dry conspiratorial humour of this. I shall have to ask my Scottish workmates if they have ever seen them! (Report) Reply

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