Deep in the cool shade of a chestnut tree
it was the work of minutes to forget
what we were looking for. Apparently
there was a spare ball in the bag which let
the game continue. Anyway, we set
to, on the serious business of trying
to establish who was better at lying.
Gordon (he was at private school) went first -
"One night we were having a midnight feast,
the whole of Wilkie dorm, and Brocklehurst
was lookout. It was great, but when we least
expected it, he said - there's a huge beast
stomping around in the cloisters. I've seen
a picture of one. It's a wolverine.
"We didn't believe him of course, until
we heard it howling, baying at the moon.
And then it leapt onto the window-sill.
Somebody said - 'Where's the air gun?', but soon
we saw that it was friendly. Hugh Muldoon
gave it some lemonade and a biscuit.
I wanted to stroke it but wouldn't risk it.
"It came every Wednesday after that.
We called it Robertson. I don't know who
came up with the name. Lord Mount Ararat
was my suggestion. Suddenly, it grew
great scaly wings, like dinosaurs', and flew
twice round the room, picking up Andrew Benn.
We never saw either of them again".
Me next - "There's these guys diggin up the road
an me an Roddy's watchin them. Wan said -
'Ah'm furra slash', an pits his drill doon. Goad,
ye should huv seen his tadger. It wis red
an blue wi yella stripes, an at the head
there's this wart the size o a gobstopper
an Ah says tae Roddy - 'Jeez whit a whopper'".
Gordon expected more, but I'd run dry.
To this day, I think mine the purer tale,
shorter, I grant you. Private schools apply
thick bullshit to the prepubescent male.
The batsman swung his willow like a flail,
connected, with that glorious summer sound.
It landed by the one we hadn't found.