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Auntie Brenda's Pheasant

Once I got a birthday present
From my Auntie Brenda's pheasant
Eagerly I tore the wrapping
And barely stopped myself from crapping
For there within the pile of shredding
Kicking Elvis Presley's head in
Was a troop of ballerinas
All called Anne or Sue or Tina.

Gracefully they danced the conga
In one line which grew much longer
'Til it stretched to Timbuktu
Then tragically it split in two
And then in four and then in eight
Dividing at a startling rate
Until the infinite divisions
Formed a cloud upon my vision.

Then from this fog without a doubt
Sprang a million Brussels sprouts
And all of them they had one leg
And said they wanted me to beg
The Emperor Sprout's benevolent brother
To issue them each with another;
Only he was so empowered
To hand out limbs to such a crowd.

But I said "No, you foolish veggies,
If you look behind those hedges
You will find a million legs
Requiring sprouts like toast needs eggs."
And then I fled to avoid the rush
As every sprout leapt o'er a bush,
And to save my precious bacon
When they found out they'd been taken.

So I ran, I ran, I ran,
I ran into a strawberry flan.
I bounced against its textured sponge
Which splattered me with cream and gunge
And as I wiped it from my eye
A poultry healer I did spy
Who asked me if I'd seen a drake
Who'd gone down with a stomach ache.

I said I had not seen this fowl
And at this he began to howl
"If you don't find this sickly mallard
I shall sing a woeful ballad
One which will dismay you so
That for my patient you will go."
I said, "I shall do no such thing."
The poultry man began to sing.

But as he hit the opening bar
He got knocked down by a car
Which from the door there did alight
A wretched looking Israelite
Whose beard was made from curtain tassels
That once hung in Windsor Castle.
Awkwardly he held a plaice
Which he slapped across my face.

"Congratulations," he proclaimed,
"You're the winner of the game
You entered in a shop of ties.
I must present you with your prize."
He handed me a bunch of grapes
Of rich and rare assorted shapes.
I picked one which bore great resemblance
To the fourth of Zeppelin's emblems.

The skin then split, the flesh it parted,
From it shoals of mullet darted
Fleeing from a mad old woman
Who the devil she did summon.
Before me stood the Prince of Darkness
Gnawing on a mongoose carcass.
He said "This tastes a little coarse,
Do you have some tartare sauce?"

I put my hand inside my jacket
And produced a little packet
Of the relish he required
That I'd nicked when feeling tired
In the Burger King in Wapping
After doing lots of shopping
For some trousers and a dress
And toilet rolls - but I digress.

So Satan took the condiment
And on it he did compliment
And said it made his meal right tasty
And that he'd been much too hasty
To condemn so many souls
To watching endless games of bowls
In a poky little cell
'Cos that's what happens down in hell.

He raised his hand and thus decreed
That all these sinners should be freed
And mankind should not face temptation
And risk eternal damnation,
But one man called Egbert Moles
Said that he liked watching bowls
And why should his joy be denied
By Satan changing to divine.

Then God said "It's OK young man,
Come up to heaven. Here you can
Watch bowls all night and every day,
It's all the same here anyway.
Since Satan's ceased to be a cad
I'll have a go at being bad.
I'll drink and smoke and shag the chicks
And over use the asterisk."*

(*A crime of which many writers are guilty.)

And with that God gave me a beer
Then kicked me firmly in the rear.
I landed face first in a middin
Which an auctioneer was bidding
For the highest price he could
From a crowd of planks of wood
Who seemed to be a bit dismayed
As in the steaming heap I laid.

Five pounds, ten pounds, twenty, fifty,
The planks of wood were getting nifty.
One hundred, two hundred, three hundred, four,
They all were jumping on the floor.
A thousand pounds and rising fast,
The auctioneer he was aghast.
The bidding passed a million pounds
And showed no sign of slowing down.

Finally the hammer fell
Upon the dung heap and its smell
For a billion squillion quid
Which a pine wood plank had bid.
It stepped up forth and with a grin it
Claimed the heap and all within it,
Then I knew this plank of wealth
Had only gone and bought myself.

Bound in chains I was dragged away
To labour in the docking bay
Of an interstellar cruiser
That my plank bought down the boozer.
All day long I parked the shuttles
Of important high-brow Yuttles,
These were creatures from Uranus
That the planks of wood deemed famous.

By night I had to serve the wine
As plank and Yuttle wined and dined
And as they engaged in conversation
I listened with great consternation
To their devious cunning plot
To raid the Earth of all it's got.
Their final goal was, I did find,
The genocide of all mankind.

To put an end to their alliance
I announced with great defiance
That I had an aunt in Crewe
Who could chop planks right in two
And she could brew a deadly potion
Which smelled a bit like sun tan lotion
And made extra-terrestrial beings
Mutate into bathroom ceilings.

Planks and Yuttles turned and stared
At this audacious slave who'd dared
To cause them this impediment
With such a most unlikely aunt.
Thankfully they bought my story,
I think they found it rather gory,
Back to space they fled in terror
From their most unfortunate error.

They left me lying on a hill top
Where the sheep danced to some hip hop
Music that the shepherd
Played upon a descant leopard.
Then a Spanish chef approached
And grabbed the shepherd by the throat.
He said "This music scares my kettle,
Can you play some heavy metal?"

Obligingly the shepherd shook
His lengthy curly handled crook
And on the spotted cat he played
Motorhead's Ace Of Spades.
The sheep went wild and shook their heads
And tore their fleecy coats to shreds
'Til all the hill top was knee deep
In wool and frantic naked sheep.

I tried to walk but slipped and stumbled
In the mass of wool I tumbled,
Down the hill side I did roll
Until I hit a sack of coal.
The Spanish chef then caught me up
And said I looked a bit fed up
So he would cook some aubergines
That we could eat with ruptured spleens.

From the skies he hailed a pigeon
Which he told to fetch his kitchen.
I said "You should not really go
To all this trouble for me, you know."
But then the faithful bird returned
And said "Your kitchen has been burned
By your careless daughter Florence,
But you can claim on the insurance."

The Spanish chef began to cry,
The pigeon pecked him in the thigh,
"As I was flying back this way
I stopped off at a Take-Away.
They had no aubergine and spleens
And so I nipped behind the scenes
And slipped their kitchen 'eath my wing
And that is what to you I bring."

It dropped the kitchen on the ground.
We stepped inside and there we found
The biggest pile of oregano
Made entirely from Meccano.
Amazed, I stared without a word
Upon this splendid model herb
Of gears and levers, cogs and wheels,
The ideal seasoning for a meal.

And as I gazed in wonderment
The chef performed a sacrament.
He blessed the oregano pile
And prayed it never be defiled.
The oregano then responded,
"Chef and herb have now been bonded,
You must enter my machinery
And become part of my scenery."

Clockwork leaves then opened wide,
The Spanish chef then stepped inside.
The opening closed with just a squelch
And then the herb discharged a belch.
Once more it spoke, this time to me
"I hope that you can also see
That we two must be joined together,
I shall have you, come whatever."

"No," I said, "I'll never follow
That poor chef that you've just swallowed.
Surely it is most absurd,
A chef being eaten by a herb!"
I turned towards the kitchen door
And found that it was there no more.
I looked around and was most shocked
To notice every exit blocked.

And then the pile began to crawl,
I backed away into the wall.
Closer still, inexorably
My nemesis crept up to me,
Robot arms thrust out at speed
And grasped me by the wrists and feet.
Then suddenly I did remember -
I don't have an Auntie Brenda.

Mike Stools (b. 1962)