THE GROWN-UP GRUFFALO:
(Why should the children have all the best stories ….?
Deep in the Urban Jungle there lived a Quiet Person.
He was short and fat and wore a hat
Because he was bald, and embarrassed by that
He didn't say much, he was quiet as a mouse
And he lived in his house with Karen, his spouse.
Who wore the trousers.
If he went out at night, he'd be trembling with fright
If he went in a pub - there might be a fight
And Karen might say "Stand up for yourself"
All he wanted to do was to quietly squeak "Help!"
But then one dark night, his much adored spouse
Said "There's nothing for tea, no food in the house"
"Would you mind my love?", in her voice like a whip
"Just to pop round the corner for some fish and some chips?"
So that was that - so he put on his hat
( Because he was bald, and embarrassed by that )
He crept out of his house, as quiet as a mouse
As brave as a lion - or a big girl's blouse
And as he crept along, as quiet as a mouse
He had to creep by the public house
But outside the pub stood a swaying drunk
Who said "Do you want a fight, you fat little punk"
"No I don't think I do, 'cos I'm meeting a friend"
"He's not a person you would want to offend"
"He's seven feet tall, and his eyes are yellow"
"With a deep deep voice, they call him Gruff Fellow"
"He's eighteen stone with titanium bones
He can tear off your head with his hands alone
He's a horrible hairy green-skinned hunk
And his favourite victims are piss-heads and drunks"
So the terrified drunk did a whimpering bunk
Vowing to spend the rest of his life as a monk
And the fat little man watched the drunk as he ran
Thinking "I can get the chips and the fish, yes I can"
But his steps became weary, his progress was slow
He had gone as far as he felt he could go
When there stood in his path, a large PCSO
Festooned with equipment from his head to his toe
He loomed, and he boomed " Evening all!"
"What have we 'ere, can I help you at all?"
"Yes, I do hope you can, for I'm on a mission"
"My wife wants a plate, with some chips and some fish on"
"Be careful my lad, of wasting police time"
"We aren't bloody nursemaids, our job's fighting crime"
" But hang on, you're the one with the terrible friend"
"Yes he eats coppers for supper, and he isn't pretend!"
"He has sharp rotting teeth and jaggedy nails
And his favourite dessert is peoples' entrails
He's scar-faced and scary, and horribly hairy
And he mostly likes munching the constabulary"
"Well I'd better go, said the PCSO"
"I'm not even a proper policeman you know"
So our fat little man trotted off down the street
In search of his other half's fatty fish treat.
At the front of the queue, he looked up at
The counter above ( he was short, not just fat)
The large frying lady, while dunking the fish
Barked at him rudely, "what is it you wish"
He mildly remarked, "I think you might know "
"My deep-voiced friend, some call Gruff Fellow"
"Oh my God! "squeaked the greasy one,"I didn't know that"
"I'll put in more chips, and some nice crispy scraps"
He set off home to his wife, when a man with a knife
Said " Hand 'em over mate - it's your chips or your life"
"No I don't think I will, 'cos I'm meeting a friend"
"He's not a person you'd want to offend"
He's got solid steel fists and armoured skin
And deep bass voice and a horrible grin
He's got eczema leprosy acne and hives
And his favourite victims are people with knives
Aghast and appalled shrieked the spiv with the shiv
"I don't want no chips but I do want to live"
And the fat little man watched the spiv as he ran
"I will take these fish and chips home, if I can"
Next he met a lady with a very short skirt
With rings on her fingers-and elsewhere-must have hurt!
She said "Darling oh sweetheart, I'd like you to come,
With me to my room, and there give me one"
It'll cost just the price of two fish and chip suppers
Please take pity on me, 'cos I'm skint, on my uppers
"No, I don't think I will, 'cos I'm meeting a friend
And he's not a person you'd want to offend"
"He's got strong moral views and I think you would choose
Not to hear his bass roar, when he's been on the booze
He's called Jack the Kipper, 'cos he fillets your parts
And his favourite victims are long-legged tarts
She ran as fast as her five-inch heels would permit
Fishnet stockings, and silicone wobbly bits
But relieved as he was, he thought "how would I feel,
If this ghastly Gruff Fellow turned out to be real?
Now the quickest way home was across the park
A scary place in the gloom and the dark
But to appease his beloved and hungry dear wife
He decided it might be worth risking his life
And his luck held out - there was no-one about,
No muggers or lurkers or dark-hooded louts
When all of a sudden he was frozen in fright
Behind him there blazed a security light
And there huge and looming, was a sight that appalled,
Fearsomely tall on a crumbling old wall
As he knelt he felt that he should take off his hat,
(Even thought he was bald, and embarrassed by that),
"The Gruff Fellow!" he whispered, " Who I said was my friend"
"And now he has found me, and this is the end"
So he stood up straight, awaiting his fate
And said " My dear fellow, at least share my chips"
Said a voice from behind, that didn't sound kind
"And the fish if you please, if you really don't mind"
"So I've got a husband that's frightened by shadows"
"A cowering cowardly simpering saddo"
"Oh no "said another voice, "He really is not"
"And we know the sort of friend he has got"
The drunk and the tart and the PCSO
And the man with the knife, said " We want you to know"
"Your husband's a hero, your ways you must mend"
"And he's got a friend, you won't want to offend"
So Karen became a sweet loving wife
And as long as they lived, for the rest of their life
And allowed him indoors, to always, wear his hat
(Because he was bald, and embarrassed by that)
© nigel hallworth 2019. ( with grateful thanks (and apologies!) to Julia Donaldson.