by Gordon Kerr-Smith pic1 Illustrations by D. Ferguson Raising children's a difficult problem. They all have their own little ways, And frequently try their poor parents By goin' through a "difficult" phase. In bringin' up Albert, the Ramsbottoms found, 'E were really no different from t' rest. Pa often remarked Albert got 'im right narked, And Ma's patience was put to the test. Like most other lads, Albert 'ad little fads Which left 'is poor parents despairing, But worst one of all that they can recall Were when little lad started swearing! They never discovered what started 'im off, But if to a party 'e went, You could near guarantee that, before 'alf past three, For bad language, 'ome 'e'd be sent! pic2 'Is Ma were ashamed to see 'im disclaimed, And tried all roads to cure 'is obsession, Till Pa said 'e knew just the right thing to do To teach young Albert a lesson. "There'll be no more parties for you," Father said, In a manner decisive and stern - "Till you don't swear no more, you're not goin' through that door; So 'appen in this way you'll learn!" For many a week Albert scarcely dared speak, And though many parties took place, 'Is parents said - "No - 'e just couldn't go, And it wouldn't 'elp pullin' a face!" After several weeks more there came through t' front door A highly ornate invitation For t' lad to attend at the 'ome of a friend On some highly important occasion. Albert pleaded to go, and promised be'aviour Of which Ma and Pa would be proud. 'E'd not say one word they wouldn't like 'eard If goin' this time were allowed. At length Pa relented, and said 'e consented - But gave lad this terrible warning - That if, at this do, 'e used words that were blue, 'E'd be red raw the followin' morning! Came the day of the party, and Albert set off In 'is best suit and gaberdine Mack, With 'is face scrubbed and shining, 'e looked a right toff....... After just 'alf an hour 'e was back! Pa's face went all purple, and without one word 'E took off 'is brown leather belt, And Albert got 'iding, - 'is cries could be 'eard In t' next street as each blow 'e felt. pic3 When Pa stopped, exhausted, 'e just 'ad to ask Just what Albert 'ad said, ... and with sorrow, And tears rollin' down, the poor child replied - "Nowt, Dad! - Bloody party's tomorrow!"
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