ALBERT AND THE WHOPPER
by Gordon Kerr-Smith Gordon Kerr-Smith From Central Beach, Blackpool, one warm sunny day, The Ramsbottoms went in a boat, That they'd hired for two hours, to fish in the bay, Wi' a rod, and a reel, hooks and float. Father bent to the oars; Ma were sat in the stern, And young Albert up front, as look-out, Eyes sparklin' at t'thought of what what might be caught, And dreamin' of cod and sea-trout. After quite a long while they'd gone close on a mile From the shore, and the sea were quite flat. Pa looked over the side, and allowin' for t' tide, Said 'We've coom far enough, so that's that!' Pa took in the oars, and assembled the rod In an 'ighly professional manner... Albert's rod were 'is stick wi' it's 'orses 'ead 'andle And sea line which cost 'em a tanner. The 'ooks was well baited and dropped in the sea, And they waited for t' fish to start bitin'. Ma brought out 'er knittin' to 'elp pass the time, Cos she didn't find fishin' excitin'. But fish didn't rush to get caught by the ton As Albert 'ad 'oped at the start. After hour and an 'alf they'd not 'ooked even one, And Father was getting' real narked. Pa took down 'is rod and chucked into t' sea All t' beer cans 'e 'd bin suppin' from, Then 'e got out the oars for to start rowin' back To t' distant boat shed on the prom. So, with sad 'eavy 'eart, Albert drew up 'is line, 'e were proper disgusted wi't' score. Then all of a sudden 'e felt a great tug, And 'e couldn't pull in any more! 'is sea-line weren't long, but were made good and strong So there weren't any fear it would break, But for all that 'e pulled and tugged for as long, No headway at all could 'e make. 'It's a whopper!' cried Albert. 'A whale at the least! The biggest that's ever been known!' Then, dimly in t' water they spied the huge beast ... Pa said - 'Nay lad, let's leave well alone!' But the boy were determined 'e wouldn't be beat By no whale, no matter how large. After all the to-do wi' yon lion at the zoo 'ed show t' monster just who were in charge. So 'e 'eaved on the line and 'is stick took the strain, Til, sudden-like, line went all slack, And the monster rose up from the depths alongside, As Albert fell flat on 'is back! Then out of an 'ole on the monster's wide back Popped a captain, all covered with braid, Which weighed down the sleeves of 'is Royal Navy mack, And, with plum in 'is mouth, like, 'e said; 'I say, there, young fellow, don't pull quite so hard! We'd be grateful if you'd set us free. We're out on manoeuvres, and ever so late, And we much get a move on, you see!' 'Ee by gum, I am sorry,' said Albert, quite pale, 'For catching your nice submarine.' Father couldn't say nowt, 'e were struck dumb for once, And Mother were lookin' quite green. Extricatin' 'is 'ook, Albert set t' Navy free. Captain thanked 'im, then dropped out of view With a right smart salute, and as t' sub sank in t'sea They heard clang as 'e pulled the 'atch to. But Ma, who was scarcely impressed, was by now In a state of extreme agitation. 'If this Naval delay means we've extra to pay, Then I'll send t' ruddy bill to the Nation!'
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