David Lewis Paget
Snakes Alive! - Poem by David Lewis Paget
He sat out back in his deck chair
Half asleep, and reading a book,
His wife was bustling round the place
She had the dinner to cook,
But then she heard a disturbance
And the old man gave a shout,
‘Hey Martha, come out and help me
Or my lights are going out! '
She put her head round the kitchen door,
"For God's sake, what's it now?
I've got a roast in the oven,
And it's huge, like half a cow.'
The old man's voice sounded desperate,
And it soon began to break,
‘You'd better call me an ambulance,
I've been bitten by a snake! '
She ran outside to where he sat
And scanned, look round about,
‘I can't see any old snake out here,
It was just a dream, no doubt.'
‘I tell you woman it bit me,
Just came at me like a train,
I think it was a Black Mamba,
Bit my leg, and God, the pain! '
‘It couldn't be a Black Mamba, Fred,
We don't get them round here,
Just calm yourself and I'll go inside
And I'll bring you out a beer.'
‘I tell you I need an ambulance,
Call one, don't mess about! '
‘I don't think we can afford one, dear,
It's probably only gout.'
The old man's face was twisted in pain
He seemed quite lost for words,
He had a head full of adjectives
But they got mixed up with verbs,
‘I need some antivenom, Martha,
Go and make the call.'
‘Are you sure it wasn't the kitten, Fred,
It's playful, after all! '
‘I don't think the kitten is six feet long
Or slithers without its legs,
The kitten is just a ginger Tom,
Do I really have to beg?
Just call me the bloody ambulance
My leg is going numb,
I've only got twenty minutes,
After that, well, I'll be done.'
‘You're always making a fuss, you are
About every little thing,
I'll make a call to your brother,
He can come and take you in.'
‘He lives on the other side of town,
It will take him far too long,
Do you really want to be rid of me?
God! - where did I go wrong? '
He felt his tongue beginning to swell
Until he could barely talk,
‘I thaid it wath a bloody great thnake,
It thlid, it didn't walk.'
‘Well, why are you talking funny, Fred,
I thought I'd hidden the Red,
Have you been tippling on out here? '
Fred's eyes were up in his head.
Fred was deep in convulsions when
The ambulance turned in,
Then followed the undertaker with
A box to put him in,
‘If only he'd told me what to do,
His head was like a sieve,
And you know Fred, ' she shook her head,
‘So argumentative! '
16 February 2013
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