Gordon Kerr-Smith
Alfred and the Cakes
Illustrations by D. Ferguson
In days long gone by, in Old England, 
Before t' Norman Conquest and that, 
The Saxons and Danes were t' joint owners, 
But fought at the drop of an 'at.

All t' North were in t' 'ands of the Norsemen; 
They was red'eads, ferocious and bold, 
And kept tryin' to kick out the Saxons, 
To move further South out of t' cold.

The Saxons was dark, short and swarthy, 
And 'ad took over t' South Coast Resorts, 
Where they ran boardin' 'ouses and chip shops, 
Protected by stout Saxon forts.

The Danes started fightin' wi' t' Saxons, 
And were tryin' to pinch tourist trade, 
'cos in t' North, Danes only 'ad Blackpool, 
Which were useless, as t' Tower weren't yet made.

So, year in, year out, there was scrappin'.
And all t' tourists was stoppin' away,
They was sick of the fightin'- could get that at 'ome
They just wanted Bingo to play.

King Alfred was t' leader of Saxons,
When the Danes looked as though they would win.
'Is troops was all proper despondent,
And just about set to give in.

The latest attack 'ad 'em reelin', 
For t' Danes 'ad a manner most 'arsh, 
So poor Alfred's forces was scattered, 
And 'e 'id in a cottage on t' marsh.

For weeks Alfred 'ad to stay 'idden.
Wi' no plans for counter-attack,
Till one day t'ould dear who owned t'cottage
Said, 'Watch cakes, lad, till I get back.'

She' made a rich mix for some sponge cakes, 
Wi' flour, bakin' powder and marge. 
Then, poppin' 'em into the oven. 
Went shoppin' and left Alf in charge.

The instructions she left was explicit:-
At five minutes, turn the 'eat down. 
And take all t' cakes out of the oven 
The moment they turn golden-brown.

But Alf were engrossed with 'is problems, 
And t' cakes went right out of 'is 'ead. 
By t' time Granny came back from shoppin' 
'Er sponge cakes was rock cakes instead. 

Not knowin' that t' lad was a monarch, 
She boxed Alfred's ears for neglect; 
But just then a brainwave 'it Alfred 
'Owt' cakes, Danes defeat might effect.

'E took Gran into 'is con-fi-dence, 
And to 'is bold plan she agreed. 
And so they bought tons of self-raisin', 
To bake with all possible speed.

When thousands of rock cakes was ready, 
Wi' concrete to strengthen the blend, 
Alf sent 'em to t' Danes Quartermaster, 
Marked, 'One each, all round. From a Friend'.

The Danes was all tired of camp cookin', 
They was fed up wi' fortneet-owld stew, 
So they welcomed this change to their diet, 
And at t' NAAFI van formed a long queue.

Extricatin' 'is 'ook, Albert set t' Navy free. 
Captain thanked 'im, then dropped out of view 
With a right smart salute, and as t' sub sank in t'sea 
They heard clang as 'e pulled the 'atch to.

But Ma, who was scarcely impressed, was by now 
In a state of extreme agitation. 
'If this Naval delay means we've extra to pay, 
Then I'll send t' ruddy bill to the Nation!' 
The end