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THE MIDNIGHT COWBOYS
( A Fire Brigade Tale.)
by
Ernie Shankster

Now listen to the tale I bring,
Of a misty night in early Spring,
When moonlight pale and ghostly lit the land.
Of the viaduct's foaming ridge
A hundred yards beyond the bridge,
Where four heroes stood with ropes and lines in hand.
NOW!
The bells had gone down,an hour before,
And the watchroom man stood by his door;
'It's the Staines canal, he said,with apparent glee;
And trying not to grin he said, 'Some cows have fallen in;
Best of luck, lads,sooner you than me'.
WELL!
There was one cow in the water,
Just this side of the bridge,
And a dozen more were teetering on the brink;
Then a second, and a third, then the whole bloody herd
Followed the first one in the drink.
NOW!
To avoid complete disaster,
We had to move much faster,
Someone bellowed 'Come on lads, it's not too late '.
Take some hose up to the bridge,
Stop 'em getting to the ridge
Or the viaduct will surely seal their fate.
SO!
A length of hose was fetched,
And beneath the bridge was stretched,
We made it fast to the bridge supports each side.
And we vowed a solemn vow
That not a single cow
Would pass the bridge no matter how she tried.
THEN!
Each man of that gallant crew,
Quickly fashioned a lasso,
And we prayed the flound'ring herd would not break through.
They struck the barrier hard and fast,
But not a single cow went past;
And there, on the moonlit towpath, we set to.
OH!
A tossing sea of heads and horns
And water churned to mud;
Wild white eyes and mournful cries;
A seething bovine flood
BUT!
We knew precisely what to do,
Each one of us took his lasso,
And we roped and pulled those cows up on the grid.
Then we heard a joyful shout,
' Let's head 'em up and move 'em out'.
And y'know, that's exactly what we did.

POSTSCRIPT
And they called us the Midnight Cowboys;
Our Station,the Old Corral;
And our desperate fight,
On that moonlit night?
Why... 'Roundup at the old Staines Canal.

 
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