THE BALLAD OF
CHARLIE AND BERT
by
Stan Brown
It were weeks since we'd last seen the milk man,
An' months since the meters were read.
The 'earse wouldn't venture down our street,
Not even t' pick up the dead.

The coal man would just shrug 'is shoulders.
"There's no way I'm goin' down there.
You'll 'ave t' set fire to your tables,
An' maybe your old rockin' chairs."

Now the reason for all this commotion,
Were a dog that its owners called Bert
It prowled up an' down on the pavement,
Jus' lookin' for strangers to 'urt.

Its coat were as wiry as Brillo,
Its eyes they were evil an' dark.
An' it chewed on the steps of the 'ouses,
In an effort t' keep it teeth sharp.

The postman just wouldn't come near us,
Not after 'is do wi' the dog.
'Is pants were just 'angin' in tatters,
An' 'e didn't quite make it t' bog.

"It's like bein' marooned," said me mother.
"There's no one'll visit us like.
The last one t' come was yer Uncle,
An' it chewed all the tyres of 'is bike."

But Bert 'adn't reckoned on Charlie,
The bloke who cleaned t'windows on t' street.
'E said 'ow 'e'd teach Bert a lesson,
For chewin' 'is mop so t' speak.

All weekend 'e spent in the bike shed,
Knockin' away with 'is 'ammer.
At a load of old buckets an' braces,
That 'e fastened wi' bolts an' a spanner.

'E polished the lot t' perfection,
Then pulled the suit over 'is 'ead.
"By eck," said 'is wife when she saw 'im,
"You're jus' like Ned Kelly," she said.

As the Sun crept up over the chimneys,
Charlie stood, at the end of the street.
An' Bert loudly growled from 'is doorstep,
While scrapin' the claws on 'is feet.

For a moment they eyed up each other,
An' the neighbours jus' stood there inert.
Then Charlie, 'e hoisted 'is ladders,
An' clanked as 'e walked towards Bert

Bert were on 'im in a instant,
Teeth, fur an' claws in a blur.
But Charlie just carried on walkin'
Then climbed up an' cleaned number four.

Bert 'ad gone into a frenzy,
An' gripped Charlies leg in 'is mouth.
But Charlie just carried on workin',
An' started t' scrim the next 'ouse.

One more attack an' it ended,
when Berts teeth fell out on the street.
An' the neighbours all cheered loud at Charlie,
As they lifted 'im 'igh off 'is feet.

Now Bert jus' sits quiet on the doorstep,
If a stranger walks by, 'e jus' looks.
Berts bitin' days are now over,
But I've 'eard 'e can give a bad suck.
The end