It started with the elephant, as things so often do
He’d called around to see if we could spare an egg or two
Because of course, your elephant, as everybody knows
Will never go out shopping ‘til he’s painted all his toes
And polished up the ivory, and waxed his hairy legs
But anyway, we didn’t mind, ‘cos we had lots of eggs
So off he went, back down the path and through our garden gate
With two nice free-range mediums upon a paper plate
But when he reached the pavement, well, I’m very sad to say
An aardvark on a skateboard snatched his eggs and rode away.
Now please don’t think me prejudiced, I’ve quite an open mind
But aardvarks are, it must be said, all crimin’lly inclined
So shouting, “Stop that aardvark!” we gave chase, the way you do
Determined that he shouldn’t reach the safety of the zoo
We chased him through the market place and down a twisty lane
Then half way into Mothercare and half way out again
We lunged at him in unison, which never helps a bit
As anyone who’s tried to catch an aardvark will admit
A wheel came off his skateboard, so he picked it up and ran
Creating fear and petulance as only aardvarks can
But when he threw the board aside to make his burden lighter
And bolted into Morrisons, I knew we had the blighter
‘Cos now that it’s not Safeway and they’ve changed it all inside
There’s only one way out of there, and nowhere you can hide
So, moving surreptitiously to take him unawares
We cornered him between the Pringles and the prickly pears.
Well, after it was over and we’d got our breath and legs back
The elephant was overcome, so glad to have his eggs back
He took a piece of paper as he shed a grateful tear
He wiped his eyes and blew his trunk, and then he said, “Oh dear!
There’s writing on this paper. I can just make out a title.
Your name’s there in the corner. Was it something really vital?”
Indeed it was, and this is what my story’s all about
He’d turned my homework into mush. I’m hoping you won’t shout.
The ink had run incurably, no way could I retrieve it,
And that’s what really happened, Teacher.
Surely you’ll believe it?
Will Hames, November 2008