This week’s edition to our Olympia Extracts is a wonderful book of poetry, Poems For The Young And Young At Heart by Heather Ellis.
OLD FARMER JACK
There was an old farmer called Misery Jack
who lived on a farm at the end of a track.
It was a small farm with one cow and one hen,
and an old pig called Wally he kept in a pen.
The farmhouse was ancient and could have been homely,
but Jack never bothered because he was lonely.
He had the odd egg and some milk from his cow,
he seemed to keep going, but no one knew how.
One day he was busy just sweeping his floor
when he heard a strange scratching noise outside the door.
When he opened the door, what a very sad sight,
a scruffy old dog who was cowering in fright.
Well, Jack squatted down and gave him a pat
and said, “Poor old chap, we can’t leave you like that.”
After a while he coaxed the dog in with a couple of biscuits he found in a tin.
Jack said to the dog, “I don’t know where you’ve been,
but it’s certainly time that you had a good clean.”
He fetched the tin bath which he kept on a shelf,
the one that he used when washing himself.
He was not quite sure if he had any soap,
then remembered he had a piece hanging on rope.
He warmed up some water and swished the soap round,
then the dog approached slowly when he heard the sound.
Jack picked up the dog and lowered him in,
and said, “Oh goodness gracious, you’re so very thin.”
He rubbed him all over from left and to right,
well, the water turned black, and the dog he turned white.
“My goodness,” said Jack, “that is a surprise,
a lovely white coat and two great big brown eyes.”
Well, Misery Jack was so happy that day,
he had found a good friend who was going to stay.
Well, Jack thought it time that the poor dog was fed,
so he mixed up potatoes with rabbit and bread.
The dog was so hungry, no scrap did he miss,
then jumped up and gave Jack a great big wet kiss.
Well, now they are happy both living together
and go out for long walks in all sorts of weather.
They often return with a rabbit or two,
and Jack always cooks up a nice tasty stew.
He cooks it all up in a big metal pot,
with plenty of veggies so there is a lot.
The dog and the farmer are happy for sure,
and he’s never called Misery Jack any more.
Sloths are quite the strangest creatures,
with great long arms and flattish features.
They do exactly as they please,
just hang around all day in trees.
There’s nothing much at all to do,
but once a week they have to poo.
A week may seem too long by far,
but that is just the way they are.
So down they come with some elation
and squat in quiet contemplation.
It’s very tiring that is plain,
for then they all climb back again.
They swing around from here to there,
presumably without a care.
They have no habits too alarming,
but when they smile they are quite charming.
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