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Elayne Ogbeta

Rookie (31st December / Preston)

Pickney Red


Once lived a little black gal
And in de town dem said
Dat she wore a bright red cloak
So dem call her ‘Pickney Red.'

‘To grandma yu must gwan'
Her mudder sweetly said.
‘And tek dis wicker basket
Mi dear, dear, Pickney Red.'

So off she skipped quite happily
Without nu fear nor dread
Tru' de dark, dark woods
De basket nuff, nuff spread.

But poor Red never realized
Dat way up on ahead,
Lived a nasty, dutty wolf
And him name was Mr Fred.

‘What's yu name missy? '
Asked de cunning Mr Fred.
‘Why sir, yu nu know?
Dem called mi ‘Pickney Red.'

‘And where yu di gwan
With dat basket full of bread? '
‘Mi gwan to see mi grandmudder
Who lives far, up a-head

‘Yu wi get there quick, quick, quick
If yu tek dat route instead.'
‘Oh tank yu sir, so kindly'
And off skipped ‘Pickney Red.'

De Wolf him very swift
And found grandmudder in bed
He gobbled her up in one
And put her cap pon him head.

Red bang pan Grandma's door
‘Come in, mi Pickney Ned? '
‘No Grandma ah mi, ah mi,
Yu darling Pickney Red.'

‘Oh, Ah yu.' crocked de wolf-
‘Have yu brought mi hard-dough bread? '
‘Oh yes Grandma, dem freshly baked.
But yu voice! ' Gasped, Pickney Red.

‘Mi have a little cold, so what?
Dat's why mi still in bed.
What yu staring at child? '
‘Oh Grandma it's yu head! '

‘And what big ears yu have, '
‘De better to hear, Pickney Jed.'
‘No Grandma ah mi, ah mi,
Yu darling Pickney Red.'

‘And what big eyes yu have.'
‘De better to see, Pickney Ed.'
‘No Grandma, ah mi, ah mi,
Yu darling Pickney Red.'

‘And what big teeth yu have.'
‘De better to eat yu Red.'
‘Yu nat, yu nat, mi Grandma? '
And out de door she fled.

A woodsman heard one bawl
Towards de noise him sped
And when him see de ugly wolf
Gobble down Pickney Red.

He took his saw and jook him.
And there de wolf bled, bled.
And not so very long afterwards
De ginnall wolf was dead.

Den out dropped grandmudder
And out dropped Pickney Red
Dey thanked de woodsman kindly
Dat de ginnall wolf was dead!

Submitted: Friday, August 10, 2012
Edited: Saturday, August 11, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

The second fairy tale poem (Red Riding Hoot) retold in patois!

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