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(1880 - 1951 / Kirkcudbright / Scotland)

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Albert's Return

You've `eard `ow young Albert Ramsbottom
At the zoo up at Blackpool one year
With a stick with an `orse's `ead `andle
Gave a lion a poke in the ear?

The name of the lion was Wallace,
The poke in the ear made `im wild
And before you could say "Bob's yer uncle"
E'd upped and `e'd swallowed the child.

`E were sorry the moment `e done it;
With children `e'd always been chums,
And besides, `e'd no teeth in his muzzle,
And `e couldn't chew Albert on't gums.

`E could feel the lad movin' inside `im
As `e lay on `is bed of dried ferns;
And it might `ave been little lad's birthday-
E wished `im such `appy returns.

But Albert kept kickin' and fightin'-
And Wallace got up, feelin' bad.
Decided 'twere time that `e started
To stage a comeback for the lad.

Then puttin' `ead down in one corner,
On `is front paws `e started to walk;
And `e coughed, and `e sneezed, and `e gargled
`Till Albert shot out - like a cork!

Now Wallace felt better directly
And `is figure once more became lean.
But the only difference with Albert Was,
`is face and `is `ands were quite clean.

Meanwhile Mr. and Mrs. Ramsbottom
`Ad gone back to their tea, feelin' blue.
Ma said, "I feel down in the mouth, like.
" Pa said, "Aye, I bet Albert does, too."

Said Mother, "It just goes to show yer
That the future is never revealed;
If I'd thowt we was goin' to lose `im,
I'd `ave not `ad `is boots soled and `eeled."

"Let's look on the bright side," said Father,
"Wot can't be `elped must be endured;
Each cloud `as a silvery lining,
And we did `ave young Albert insured."

A knock on the door came that moment
As Father these kind words did speak.
`Twas the man from Prudential - `e'd come for
Their tuppence per person per week.

When Father saw `oo `ad been knockin',
`E laughed, and `e kept laughin` so -
The man said "`Ere, wot's there to laugh at?"
Pa said "You'll laugh and all when you know!"

"Excuse `im for laughing," said Mother,
"But really, things `appen so strange -
Our Albert's been et by a lion;
You've got to pay us for a change!"

Said the young man from the Prudential:
"Now, come, come, let's understand this-
You don't mean to say that you've lost `im?"
Pa said "Oh, no, we know where `e is!"

When the young man `ad `eard all the details,
A purse from `is pocket he drew
And `e paid them with interest and bonus
The sum of nine pounds, four and two.

Pa `ad scarce got `is `and on the money
When a face at the window they see-
And Mother cried "Eee, look, it's Albert!"
And Father said "Aye, it would be."

Albert came in all excited,
And started `is story to give;
And Pa said "I'll never trust lions
Again, not as long as I live."

The young man from the Prudential
To pick up the money began
But Father said "`ere, wait a moment,
Don't be in a `urry, young man."

Then giving young Albert a shilling,
`E said "`Ere, pop off back to the zoo;
Get your stick with the `orse's `ead `andle-
Go and see wot the tigers can do!"

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: father, money, mother, sorry, trust, future, change, children, child, lost, tiger

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