22nd Jan, 2021

A Christmas poem from a Redditch Standard reader

Correspondent 24th Dec, 2017

“WITH Christmas just around the corner please find a poem I wrote many years ago about my Great Aunts who lived in two cottages up the old Brockhill Lane in Redditch.”

THE story I’m about to tell is founded basically on truth,

Events of many years ago, the memories of my youth,

I had two Great Aunts in those days and is always seeemed to me,

That in their cottage garden was a real menagerie.

Just how these many creatures gained a home in Brockhill Lane,

Became a family legend that was told time and time again.

It all began one Saturday, a glorious day in June

At a fete at Bentley Manor that was held that afternoon,

The house itself was beautiful, the gardens very big

And Uncle Tom soon found himself bowling for a pig,

With Aunts Nell and Elsie cheering Uncle Tom was spurred to win,

He became the owner of a piglet, and a box to put it in.

That pig was carried proudly home, and often on the walk

Uncle Tom would mention Christmas and a dinner of prime pork.

“It’s only little now,” he said, “but it can be fattened for the kill”

“Well you can do it,” said Aunt Nell, “for I’m sure I never will.”

That pig became a pampered pet, with its own small cosy sty,

Where it lived for years in Luxury and watched the world go by.

My Aunt Nell was famed for making wine, elderberry, parsnip too.

And every year at Christmas she would give a bottle to

A friend who was a farmer’s wife. One cold December day

Aunt Nellie’s generosity the friend decided to repay,

A goose, hand-reared for Christmas was left at Auntie’s gate

With neck outstretched and hissing it prepared to meet its fate.

Well, Auntie Nell and elsie, and both their husbands too,

Scratcheed their heads and wondered what on earth they were to do,

“Even if anyone can kill it, you know it won’t be eaten,”

Said Uncle Tom with a sigh, he knew when he was beaten.

That goose turned out to be a gander, he patrolled the garden plot,

Contented, though bad tempered, he was happy with his lot.

One year on and Uncle Roll thought he’d found a way

To make my aunties happy when he came home from work one day.

And announced he’d won a raffle prize, a Christmas bird no less,

But Uncle Roll looked sheepish and felt he should confess,

That the turkey outside in the shed was very much alive,

And you must have guessed that from then on the bird began to thrive.

The turkey too its special place beside the gander and the pig,

They settled down together for the garden was quite big,

They cuddled up each Christmas, cosy in the hay

And never had to worry about their fate on Christmas Day.

While gander, pig and turkey were warm, well fed and fussed,

My aunties ordered butcher’s meat, delivered, killed and trussed!

LM Wadlow, Redditch

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