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Al Read
 
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THE HUNTSMAN
by
Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)

Give me the life of a huntsman,
It wants a lot of beating...
I know, I've served my apprenticeship
With that famous hunter, " Keating."

Tally Ho, Tally Ho, Tantivy,
We shout as we ride pell mell,
Which means, if you say it backwards,
Tivytan—that's a soldier's farewell!

I've hunted from the cradle
And from my baby chair,
When mother has gone to the pictures
And taken my supper there.

Hunting runs in our family,
Father hunted Ma,
They had a hunting accident...
I'm here, so there you are!

I once played at " Hunt the Slipper"
At a gentleman's house in Bristol,
I found a pair his wife had on,
Now he's hunting me with a pistol.

For a lady's beads I hunted,
Down her back, I saw one of them roll.
She said, "That'll do, I'm surprised at you,
Don't you know a bead from a mole."

I remember once hunting the fox,
To pinch his brush was my intention,
I wanted to whitewash the hen house and bathroom
And places too numerous to mention.

And I wanted a brush for shaving,
To soften the beard round my throttle.
It's horrible using a nail brush
When you've skin like a baby's bottle.

The scene was the Squire's grounds
At his hunting seat in Hants,
And from what I could see, you can take it from me,
He wanted a seat in his pants.

We stood by the old church tower,
The clock in the steeple struck none,
'Twas early closing day that day
The hands had knocked off at one.

At the hunt they were dressed to kill,
The M.H., he looked very flighty,
His coat, by the way, was cut out, so they say,
Of his wife's mother's flannelette nightie.

What a mess when we met at the meet,
The Master of Hounds, Sergeant Nicholls,
Was hacking away at the parson's nose,
Shouting, "After you with the pickles."

We each had to bring our own horse,
Some brought stallions, some chestnuts and cobs.
When I asked my wife, Flo, for a horse, she said "No,
I'm drying my thingummybobs."

One lady was dressed up in style,
Her figure was one in a million,
I thought as I looked at her future, behind,
What a chance for someone to ride pillion.

"They're off!" someone cried, but we were'nt
Excepting one lady, Miss Bullers;
Her horse seemed to buck, and she came unstuck
And showed her Grand National colours.

Tantivy, Tally Ho, Excelsior!
To start the hunt was the plan...
As we couldn't keep up with the fox,
We scrapped all the horses and ran.

Being a bit of a sportsman,
I gave the poor devil a star...
Live and Let Live " is my motto,
Having a bookmaker's heart.

Then off we went at full gallop,
After the fox, good and hard,
Where caravans had rested
And gee-gees had left their card.

"Stick to the Scent." someone shouted,
We did, from the very start.
We couldn't help it, riding behind
A Corporation cart.

We trailed the fox for hours,
To have his blood I made a vow.
Then it sprang up a tree, put its tongue out at me,
Crossed its fingers and said, 'Catch me now.'

After coaxing it down with some chocolate,
I tried to get near to stroke it,
It made a noise like some fruit, which mean...
'Put that in your pipe and smoke it!'

Then it suddenly dashed through my legs,
Shot me into an empty cow shed,
Where I lay in some mud, while the cows chewed the cud...
Not a bit like a strawberry bed.

But, once a sportsman, "always,"
I was soon up again on the track,
After walking a bit, I shook hands with myself
As I met myself on the way back.

I looked around for the 'pack'
And found myself in Thames Ditton,
Then I heard a child's voice shout, "Mother,
There's a gentleman chasing our kitten."

There's a moral to this story
As my tale to you has shown,
If you want a brush, you must be like the fox
And grow a brush of your own.
 
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