THE SWORD IN THE STONE
by
Stan Brown
Just up the street, near the cemetery gates,
There's a shop that sells owt yer could want.
Well, that's if yer needed a left 'anded leg,
Or a pole for shovin' yer punt.

It's called The Emporium Bric a Brac Shop,
That's a right fancy word meanin' junk.
The shelves were all packed wi' specimen jars,
Stuffed budgies an' great wooden trunks.

Now they didn't sell much, well they sold nowt at all,
'cos everyone sort o' walked past.
There wasn't much need for an old box o' Spam,
Or a vest from the war before t' last.

Then, las' Thursday it were, this young lad, 'e walked in,
'Is there owt that yer've got for a tanner?
It's mams birthday,' 'e sez. 'I need t' get 'er a prez.'
'Yer can 'ave out that yer want.' The bloke stammered

'E'd been there fifty odd year, an' 'e remembered right clear,
Sellin' summat t' Mrs McGraw.
She'd 'ad it on tick, a flag on a stick,
So she could wave it at th'end o' the war.

So, t' lad looked around at the bottles an' jars,
An' found one that said 'Pickled Frogs Legs.'
The bloke jumped to 'is feet. 'It's from Napoleons retreat,
She might like it on a butty,' 'e said.

The lad put 'em back down, an' bloke give 'im this skull,
'That's Dick Turpins when they cut off 'is 'ead'.
'It looks a bit small?' Said the lad right enthralled,
'It's when 'e were a lad.' The bloke said.

So t' lad looked some more, at mummified 'ands,
Stuffed parrots an' two 'eaded cats.
Old ancient scrolls, an' tweezers for boils.
Dried bed bugs an' moth eaten caps.

'There's more out the back', said the bloke t' the lad,
'C'mon an' I'll show yer the way.
There's gotta be summat yer'd like for yer mam,'
The lad shrugged, an' jus' said, 'o.k.'

Well, t' back yard were filled wi' much o' the same,
Like 'andles, that were missin' a mop.
Dolls wi' no 'eads, an' a few rusty beds,
When 'is eyes sort o' spotted this rock.

Now, stuck out the top, were the grip off a sword,
'It's stuck!' Said the bloke with a shout.
'It were in a job lot, me great grand dad 'ad got,
An' I can't get the bugger back out.'

The lad 'e jus' shrugged, an' 'e give it a tug,
Rolled 'is sleeves up an' tugged it some more.
Then' e gritted 'is teeth, an' planted 'is feet,
Right firmly, an' very secure.

'It's stuck!' Said the bloke, 'stop actin' the goat,'
Then 'e swore, an' called 'im some names.
But t' bloke soon shut up, when a thunderclap struck,
An' the rock sort o' burst into flames.

Well, there were all sorts o' fireworks an' sparks that shot out,
Goin' Bang! Flash Wallop! Kerpew!
Then this woman shot out o' this puddle.
'Bloody Nora!' t' bloke said, 'who are you?'

'I'm the Lady O' T' Lake.' She said with a sigh,
Like the bloke should o' known all along.
Then she dipped in 'er frock, an' whipped out a scroll,
That were tied with an old leather thong.

Then she started t' read some sort o' decree,
All verily's, foresooths an' gadzads.
'I don't wanna seem thick, but can yer slow down a bit?
What yer tryin t' say?' said the lad.

'Yer the King,' t' woman said, pattin' 'is 'ead,
'E said, 'the King?' She sez, 'aye,' 'e sez, 'me?'
She sez, 'aye,' 'e sez, 'why?' An' t' woman just sighed,
''Cos you've set Excalibur free.'

'Yer can eat owt yer like, maybe lightly boiled pike,
Roast pheasants, an' croissants of course.'
'E said. 'I'll stay as I am, an' live wi' me mam,
I like me chip butties an' sauce.'

She said. 'Well 'ow about clothes, like socks wi' no 'oles,
New sweat shirts t' look realy cool?'
'E said. 'I like me old jeans, if yer know what I mean,
An' I'd look daft with a crown on at school.'

'Oh do as yer please!' She said in a huff,
Then rummaged about in 'er bag.
'Just what I need, me cigs are all damp.'
Then she said t' the bloke. 'Got a fag?'

Well, she quietened right down when she'd 'ad a quick drag,
An told t' lad. 'I'm sorry t' shout.
But I've sat in that lake for 'undreds o' years,
Jus' waitin' for t' sword t' come out.'

'Don't worry,' 'e sez, 'I've got me mams prez,
It's summat right useful,' 'e told 'er.
Then 'e sez t' the bloke. 'Will yer wrap up the sword?
She keeps sayin' 'ow she needs a new poker.'
The end