by Mary Druce DAD'S BIKE You couldn't help but like Dad's bike. It had provided acceleration for him, his father and his grandfather before him. Until young Michael Broke the cycle. divider A 21ST CENTURY FISHERMAN'S TALE I sat upon the pier and, to my glee, A fishing boat was coming home from sea. What luscious harvest from the ocean deep, I wondered, had these sea-dogs been to reap? Fish cakes, perhaps, or cod in butter sauce? (I'd pay the chaps the going rate, of course.....) As they approached, I felt compelled to linger, Thinking how I'd enjoy a nice fish finger. Perhaps the ever-gracious hand of God Had led them to a shoal of battered cod? But soon I realised, to my dismay, These guys had had an unsuccessful day. 'A bloody waste of time,' declared the skipper, Holding aloft a solitary kipper. 'What's more,' he muttered, pulling alongside, 'You can't get breaded haddock at low tide.' divider GUY FAWKES Guy Fawkes (the name had plagued him all his life) Worked in a firework factory down the road. Through pyrotechnics he had met his wife; From squibs and Catherine wheels his lifeblood flowed. They energised him; made him come alive! A passion deep within his soul they fired. But in July, when Guy turned sixty-five He lit the blue touch paper, and retired. divider THE THREE BEARS by Mary Druce You've heard the tale of Goldilocks Since you were in short pants and socks, And so, dear friends, I will not bore You with a tale you've heard before. Except to say that when the bears Returned, and padded up the stairs, Their glance was hardly more than cursory When Baby Bear shrieked from the nursery; For Mummy Bear (whose name was Ruth) Knew he embroidered on the truth, And Daddy Bear (whose name was Ben) Had smacked him time and time again And poked him sharply in the ribs To stop his cub from telling fibs. 'No, honest, Dad, this time I'm not. Someone's been sleeping in my cot. A little girl. And she's still there.' 'Well, bugger me!' said Daddy Bear. divider