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Further Adventures
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ALBERT AND THE PANCAKES
by
Col Gray

I'll tell you a tale of young Albert,
Ramsbottom, that is, if you 've doubt
Him as had fondness for lions,
And knew 'em both inside and out.

It happened one Monday that Albert,
Got summoned to attend on his Gran,
And she'd promised, as it were Shrove Tuesday,
As she'd get down her old frying pan.

Well Albert when told of this summons
Went quite white and stood very still
Till Pa grabbed his collar and shook 'im,
Said Ma," Stop! yer makin' 'im ill.

And ill's what I'll be said young Albert,
If I have to eat pancakes wi' Gran
Her cookin's the worst what I've tasted
For she's no good at all wi' a pan.

Now 'is Grandma were built like a docker
Wi' muscles and biceps of steel
When t'charra from Colne had flat tyre
She lifted it up and changed t'wheel.

At cleanin' and shinin' Ma Ramsbottom
Were really a marvellous old soul,
Her house it fair shone , and she even,
Polished her step and her coal.

At scrubbin' Gran used all her muscles,
As young Albert knew to his cost
And he dreaded the zinc bath in't kitchen,
He were scrubbed right red raw when she washed.

At Albert's cheek Pa'd got excited
But Albert expectin' the clout
Ducked right down behind t'kitchen dresser
So t'plates just went flyin' about.

Ma said wi' er face stern as ever
Right's right Dad you've got to admit,
At cookin' yer Ma ain't a good'n,
She just opens a tin and that's it.

Her pastry's that heavy they reckon
It even sinks seagulls in't sea
When courtin' I'd dread t'invitation
To visit your house for some tea."

At that Albert's father looked sheepish
"She's not the best cook I'll agree
We had so many dinners from t'chip shop
We could swim before we'd seen t'sea."

However he stated concilatory like
Young Albert 'll still have to go
And eat pancakes up like a good'n.
And Ma agreed that it were so.

So at ten o'clock on Tuesday morning
With a face all dejected and glum,
Young Albert set off for his Gran's house,
Quite dreading the repasts to come.

He arrived at a quarter to t'hour
Though he'd stood up on't bus all the way
And thought up no end of excuses,
So that he would not have to stay.

When he got there his Grandma, however,
Stood beamin' at door, eyes alight,
Arms folded across t'ample bosom
So big as she blocked out the light.

2Now then lad!" She boomed at young Albert
I've got a right treat for thee
Were havin' some chips for us dinner
Young Albert's face lit up with glee.

And t'pancakes I'm savin' till teatime
Young Albert's face dropped down like lead,
I'm makin some gigantic bigguns
Young Albert thought soon he'd be dead.

His Gran gave 'im t'money for t'chip shop
He ran down the road not a care;
But while he were waitin' for hot ones
His mind filled again with despair.

How would he chew through his pancake?
His mind were like tortured on't rack,
For he knew if he choked on a morsel
His Gran wouldn't half slap his back.

The chips with some scraps they were champion
And Gran gave him a taste of her fish
Then she turned to the oven and took out
A wizened and well blackened dish.

I've made a rice pudd'n said Grandma
It's first one I've made for some time
It's crisp, just like yer Dad liked it.
It's been in since a quarter to nine.

His Gran took a spoon to the puddin',
Which soon bent the handle in two,
She'd just loosened a bit in the middle
On which she made poor Albert chew.

He smiled at his Gran as he chewed it
It tasted of carbon, not nice;
But when Albert tried hard to down it
His teeth stuck fast clamped, like a vice.

It took them an hour just to part 'em
His Gran used a skewer and a knife
And Albert's wild eyes if you'd seen 'em
Showed he were in fear for his life.

His Gran were quite kind when she'd finished,
She let him help polish her coal
And then came the most scaring moment
As Gran got some eggs and a bowl.

The bowl Albert swore were the biggest
That ever had passed by his eyes'
Gran said it had come up from Denby
Where it had been used to make pies.
The mixture were stirred with some effort
Albert peered at the froth over t'rim
Then he slipped on some surplus albumen
And right across t'bowl had to swim.

Gran wiped him all down wi' a dishcloth
And promised, a scrub after their teas
The thought of this here turned young Albert
Quite white and weak at the knees.

Gran sent him outside while she frizzled
In a pan that were half a yard wide
The pancakes she'd promised young Albert
Who trying his best now to hide.

At last came the call from the kitchen
And Albert faced death like a man
While Gran stood there proud as a peacock
Surveying the stuff in the pan.

Now down on his plate dropped a pancake
It were nigh on inch thick and dark brown
It took such an effort to cut it
While his Gran looked on down with a frown.

You'll get no more tea till you've eat it,
His Gran said regarding his plate,
When a knock on the door drew his Grandma
To see who were callin' so late.

Young Albert then, quick as a devil,
Took pancake and shoved it down t'shorts
And a spare one he shoved up his jumper
For he feared Gran would make him eat orts.

Her face quite lit up when she came back
To see that both pancakes had gone
So she kindly gave Albert a penny
Sayin', "Careful now, don't spend all yon!"

Albert somehow got out of the kitchen
And said "Bye!" to his Gran then and there
Though on t' bus all puffed up wi' pancakes
They wanted to charge 'im full fare.

There is a good end to this story
Albert went home with good news
The pancakes he'd taken to t'cobbler
Who'd used 'em to resole his shoes.

Indeed Grandma kept making pancakes
For Albert come wind and come weather,
While he sold them to t'cobbler who swore that
They lasted much longer than leather.
 
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