THE CONSTABLE AND
THE RARE BUTTERFLY
by
Bernard Wrigley
Billy Bennett
 Harold Brown was thirty three and worked in Barclays Bank
You could tell by his pin-striped bowler and his matching tie and hank
He soon would be a manager, so he watched his Qs and P
The sort of bloke a mother likes her daughter to bring to tea.

Last night, he's coming home from work and crossing near some rubble
When a stabbing pain shot through his guts and creased him over double
He clutched his stomach as he hit the pavement with a crunch
And only wished he hadn't had that curry for his lunch.

As the pain went lower, Harold knew what he must do 
He'd to use the ground beneath him as he did when on the loo 
So he whips down his trousers, his long john trolleybags too 
And he moves his legs apart a bit, so's he wouldn't splash his shoe

He squatted down, clenched his teeth, and gave a mighty jerk
He hoped no-one was looking, or he'd feel a proper berk
But as relief came flooding down he heard a pair of feet
And there was PC Bloodstone - our Harold's on his beat.

Before the copper reached him, Harold thought in double time
He whipped his bowler off his head to cover up his crime
He tried to hold his trousers up, he whistled as he sat
And he hoped he wouldn't ask him what he kept beneath his hat

'Good evening, lad' the copper says, and he looked where Harold sat
'What makes you squat upon the floor whilst clutching at your hat?'
'Oh, it's funny you should ask' says Harold, sweating on his feet
'I'm a butterfly collector and I've caught a special treat'

'That's interesting' the copper says, 'I've done a bit myself
And I've even put them in a book and pressed them on the shelf'.
What sort is it?... A brown admiral? Now is that like the red?'
'Er, no, more like the rear' says Harold, wishing he were dead 

'Trouble is...' our Harold says, I haven't brought my net -
I've left it in our house, you see' but t'policeman says 'Don't fret!
You get the net, I'll hold the hat.' Says Harold, 'You're a gent
I'll be back inside a minute.' and no sooner said, he went. 

For three long hours the copper held the hat - his fingers got quite numb
And since he'd squatted all the time, he'd heelmarks on his bum
But as he pondered whether or not to get back on his beat
He recognized the shuffle of the chief inspector's feet!

'Good evening lad' the gaffer says, 'have your tootsies given out?'
'Oh, yes sir... no sir' Bloodstone says 'You see, I'm helping out.
The bloke who owns this bowler went to go and get his net
'Cause he left a butterfly under it ... but he hasn't come back yet'

'How long has he been gone?' 'About two minutes' said the lad
And though he smiled up pleasantly, the inspector seemed quite mad
He stooped to have a listen, making sure no-one was coming
'Can you hear it, sir?' the PC says. 'Er, yes... I think it's humming.'

'Now this is daft, we're wasting time standing round like this
I'll have to make a grab for it, and it's hard cheese if we miss
You lift the hat up quickly when I've counted up to four
I'll soon have this one cracked - I've handled stiffer ones before'

The tension mounted as the copper counted one, two, three, then four
The inspector dived and landed in a heap upon the floor
His hands had gone discoloured - he knew it was all a cod
'Did you catch it?' says the PC. 'No...but I've frightened the little sod!' 
The end