Andrew Vasey

'Twas in the year of '42,
The war wasn't going well.
Churchill sent a message out -
"Let's give those Jerries hell!"

A clever fellow heard the call,
But how was he to heed it?
Barnes Wallis was the chappie's name -
The man his country needed.

He thought about the problem,
And came up with a cure -
To destroy the German industry
Making weapons by the Ruhr.

But how to do it? - That's the thing,
Until he saw it clear;
To bust the dams would seem to be
A doubly good idea.

Firstly it would put a halt
To German power production;
Second, it would kill and cause
A real morale reduction.

While skimming stones across a pond
He had a bit of luck -
One pebble bounced so very well
It disembowelled a duck.

"A great idea," he told himself,
With modest self-aplomb.
"I'm going home this minute,
To invent a bouncing bomb!"

Guy Gibson was the topmost man
To fly a bomber craft.
He tried the bouncing bomb idea:
"It works, all right!" he laughed.

At last the day the mission flew
Was ultimately reached.
Said Barnes, "We'll kill ten thousand
When the Ruhr dams are breached."

"Not ten thousand, maybe two,"
Guy wasn't certain yet.
"I say it's ten," Barnes Wallis said -
"Would you care to take a bet?"

They put a fiver on it,
Then Gibson and his crews
Went skywards in their bombers
To pay the Huns their dues.

The aircraft limped back home again,
Their numbers sadly less.
But dams were blown asunder
So they did have some success.

The figures came through later -
About two thousand dead.
"I think you'll find I've won the bet,"
To Wallis, Gibson said.

Barnes Wallis took it manfully;
He gave a cheque to Guy,
Who took it to a local bank
To cash it by and by.

The cashier took the cheque in hand
And sadly shook his head.
"There's nothing in this bank account
To pay this out," he said.

Guy said, "Well, I'm jiggered,
He's cheated me, by heck.
He first invented the bouncing bomb,
And then the bouncing cheque!"

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