A few years ago my Bestfriend Andrea and I used to break up the monotony of our day jobs by hopping on Google Chat and writing little poems, taking a line each and saving the haphazard results for later amusement.
I rediscovered one of the better ones the other day, stuffed in a clearfile folder of assorted 'paperwork', and thought it deserved reproducing. It is an inspirational poem which you can read it to yourself or, in fact, to your children (leaving out lines 58 and 78).
Andrea is a published novelist and well-followed fashion blogger and I, as you know, am a Serious Journalist, so you would expect the resulting poem to be an epic love story, a heartwrenching portrayal of emotion overcoming adversity, a Beowulf for our times...
You would be right.
Bill the Duck
Andrea and Ally, August 2007
In a cottage, on a hill,
Lived a duck whose name was Bill.
Bill was small and had a limp -
His friends all called him Gimpy Shrimp.
He always got picked last for teams,
Which crushed his sporting hopes and dreams.
You see, Bill had a secret wish;
To swim just like the fastest fish,
To represent his ducky nation
In the worldwide swimming competaytion!
But however hard he tried,
He lost... and then at night, he cried.
How could he fulfill his dream?
His soul let out a tortured scream.
And then Bill had an inspiration
Of how to reach his destination:
"Huzzah!" he cried. "I have a plan!
I'll visit John!" And off he ran.
Now John lived several miles away.
'Cause Bill was slow, he took all day.
Finally he reached the pond,
And there stood John, all tall and blond.
Bill's heart skipped a beat and started to glow,
John saw Bill and thought, 'Hel-lo!'
They clasped each other with great glee.
John said to Bill, quite roguishly,
"So Bill, what brings you here today?"
"I want to SWIM." Said John, "Okay...
And where do I fit in this scheme?"
"You train me to achieve my dream!"
"Of course!" cried John. "Let's start at once!"
And so the master taught the dunce.
They started with some basic stretches -
Bill so unfit they brought on retches -
And then they tried some harder things,
Which tired out Bill's little wings.
They carried on for several weeks
The distance shrank between their beaks...
We never said John was a duck!
He is, which is a stroke of luck.
Their romance grew, as did Bill's muscles
And the tension in their 'friendly tussles'.
Soon Bill was buff and set to go
To the championships, with his Romeo.
John was all puffed up full of pride -
And many other things beside.
He drove Bill to the swimming pool.
The day was hot, but Bill was cool.
"Thank you, John," he said, elated,
"When I win I'll feel so vindicated!"
John smiled and blinked away a tear
As the starting time for the race drew near.
"Good luck, my l-" he stopped and smiled,
Tension was high, emotions wild!
Bill pulled on his sparkly Speedo
And raced off like a small torpedo
The gun went off, the swimmers dived,
Through the water wee Bill knived.
He quickly passed the other ducks,
Who quacked out shits and damns and fucks
And then, just metres from the finish,
Bill felt his strength at once diminish!
Then a beloved voice rang out,
"Don't give up, ducky!" John did shout.
Inspired by John's impassioned plea,
Bill motored on to victory!
He was, of course, placed number one.
Bill lived the dream! His tale is done.
But wait! There's still his love for John!
Oh yes, you're right, the tale goes on.
Duck civil unions are still new,
But down the aisle Bill and John flew -
They had become the ultimate team,
Those lucky ducks who dared to dream.
The moral of this tale is clear:
Ducks like to take it in the rear.