The Grown-up Gruffalo

                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.