Public Information

Written by
Peter Hart

Recited by Cyril Fletcher
as part of a series of televised road safety films, in the 1960s.

This is the tale of Elsie Bossing
Who would not use a proper crossing.
Each time she crossed a busy road
Danger was added to her load.
Without a glance she stepped right out
Accompanied by an angry shout.
Drivers, who, with reddened faces
Told her to cross at proper places.
'I don't need pelicans' she cried
Or zebras to reach the other side.
Oh very well... but in my view
They're better of in a blinkin' zoo.
One luckless day she went too far,
And stepped in front of a sports car.
Poor Elsie's rear, the bumper caught
And lo! She turned a somersault.
Eventually landing like a sack
Her language blue, her bottom black.
"You soppy guy" she upped and cried
"You've fair churned up my whole inside,
You drivers think you own the road
Why don't you read the Highway Code"
Though Elsie suffered slight contusion
The driver's thoughts were in confusion.
Was it he or she who was to blame
He prepared to hang his head in shame.
Then further up the road was seen
Two beacons with zebra stripes, between.
And then he knew who was at fault
It was the one who's rear he'd caught.
"Madam," he cried, "I'm very sorry'
You're luck this car was not a lorry.
If you had walked a few yards more
Your safety would have been made sure.
There are pelicans, zebras, subways too
Traffic lights, foot-bridges, all for you.
If they're not provided, don't dismay
Cross where you can see either way.
It's better to cross at the proper spot
Than finish up flat, upon your bot."
Elsie stood and thought awhile,
Then her face broke in a smile.
"You're right young man, I have been silly
By crossing the highway, willy-nilly.
From now on I'll take more care when crossing
Or my name's not Elsie Botting.
My outlook will be much more cheerier
And less painful for my posterier.
Now life for Elsie's no longer a bind,
She crosses all roads with safety in mind.
With care and respect at the proper place
Crossing the road with a smile on her face.
The moral of this tale is quite clear
To cross safely, without fear
From John-O-Groats down to Lands-End
Follow Elsie's reformed trend.

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