Sunday, September 25, 2016

The day of the Degu Flood

Now degu’s are a bit like mice
With fluffy tails. They’re rather nice,
But there is little that they do
But eat and poo and chew and chew
And chew and chew and chew and chew.
All degus are extremely small,
You’d think they’d do no harm at all,
But they don’t like to be ignored.
Degu’s are dangerous when bored!

Now Granny’s house, I’m telling you
Is really much too big for two.
And so she rents one of the ends
To people who become her friends.
This time they had a couple who
Were rather young and just come new.
The girl, was small and very neat,
And boy was bigger. Both were sweet.
They’d got together and thought “Let’s
Have lots and lots and lots of pets.”
They had a fish tank, very big,
A rabbit and an guinea pig,
Three terrapins that snapped in rage,
And three small degus in a cage.

The flat was new and bright and clean
They had a posh new wash machine.
It looked good, but it caused them trouble,
It caused them trouble on the double.
That posh machine had flooded twice
And, though the fixing man was nice,
They’d both tired of the flooding scene
And cursed that “posh” washing machine.

Back to the degus. They were bored
And feeling they had been ignored.
For they’d been stuck inside their cage
For what, to them, seemed age on age.
They’d run around, jumped on the floor.
They’d chewed the hinges on the door,
They’d ran around the little passages
They scratched and gave each other massages.
Then said “There’s nothing we can do.
It’s boring here. I’m telling you.”

But then one gave a joyous shout
“I’ve found a way of getting out!
Just push hard on this little door,
Climb out and then we can explore.”
They ran around in every space
They found in our young tenant's place
They chewed the aerial of the telly
They sniffed the shoes, got in a welly,
And then one degu shouted “Cripes!
Just look at these enormous pipes.
They smell good and they look fantastic
And taste of most delicious plastic.
Come here and join me! Yes please do.
We’ll all have a terrific chew.”
(The pipes the degus had just seen
Brought water to the wash machine
Because they bent, Gran had to settle
For plastic pipes, not pipes of metal.)

The degus chewed for hour on hour,
Then one said “Look I’ve made a shower!
There’s lots of water rushing out
I’ve made a lovely water spout.”
They bathed in it, and washed their hair
And splished and splashed it everywhere,
And hit the water with their tail
And looked round for a boat to sail.
One chewed some more. There was a call
“Look folks, I’ve made a water fall!”
That was the end of degu’s play,
The water washed them right away,
The pressure was so very strong
It pushed the degus right along,
And now they did not feel so bold.
They climbed up from the water cold,
And shivered upon little shelves
And felt most sorry for themselves.
And sadly watched the flooded scene
Damp floor and leaks round the machine.

The girl then came in through the door
And saw the water on the floor.
Then rushed to Granny, face in pain
“It’s leaking on the floor again!”
And Granny shouts to husband, Nick,
“Another flood! Please help us quick.
Bring towels and curtains, bring a sheet,
Bring wellies to put on your feet,
Bring sandbags, spades and bring a broom
To sweep it from the second room.
(The second room was lower down
So anything in there might drown!)
They mopped up water more and more
But still they saw it on the floor.
And soon it was extremely plain
That what they mopped came back again!
They turned the taps and switched the switches,
But clearly there were major glitches
For very fast and more and more
The water flooded on the floor.


The Girl who then was all alone.
Rang partner on the the telephone.
“Oh please come home, the phone man’s here.
The degu’s gone. Oh dear Oh dear,
And there is water on the floor,
And it keeps coming, more and more.
Degus are lost, there’s not a squeak,
And nobody can mend the leak.”

Then “Stop! I need you helping ME,
Tell them it’s an emergency!”

Then silence. Then her voice NOT sunny.
“Stop laughing NOW. IT is NOT funny!”

Then Nick pulled out the wash machine
And shouted “Look what I have seen!
Three degus hiding in the cracks
With water running down their backs.
The degu’s did it I will bet.”
The girl then really got upset.
“Look at their tiny paws and feet
Degus are far too, much too sweet.”

The phone man who had come that day
Had tried to look the other way.
He kept on working on his own
And fiddled with the telephone.
Then Granny shouted to him “Hey you
Look tall enough to reach that degu!
Come over here, stand on this seat
And Nick will hang on to your feet,”
And so he came, and reached, and got ‘em.
Two by the neck, one by the bottom..
He put them through the cage’s door.

They ran straight out, just like before,
And then we chased them round the floor
And got them in the cage at last,
And tied the door up very fast.

By now the answer was quite plain.
Nick turned the tap off at the main.
And people mopped, and by and by
The kitchen floor was almost dry.
And luckily, since it was summer,
They fairly quickly found a plumber.
He fixed a new pipe that would fit.

We kept the one the degu’s bit,
And up on top and down beneath,
There’s six inch marks of degu’s teeth.

The degu’s cage has a new door
They’re back inside – same as before.
But now they never get ignored.
Degus are dangerous when bored.

Nick Mellersh. November 2006

Friday, September 9, 2016

Poem of the week back again for autumn: What are poems for?


You ask me “What's are poems for?”
I say, “To open up a door,
And show things never seen before.
Show words that sing and dance and run
And make us laugh and give us fun.
And light our life like some new sun.
And calm us on the way to sleep
And show us life runs rich and deep
And bring us comfort when we weep.
And play with words like they were toys
And light up love for girls and boys.
And guard the hopes time would destroy
And fill our lives with depth and joy.”

                                                                                          Nick Mellersh
I found this looking through my old poems and liked it. Now summer is almost over I'm starting up "(Almost) a Poem a Week"  again and it seemed a good way to start.  I hope you like it.  Please tell me if you do, writing a blog is a lonely business!

PS: Daughter Lucy is having a sculpture exhibition this weekend see http://ipadpainting-jeanie.blogspot.co.uk/

Our big news is that Illustrated Fluteplaying e-book edition is taking off.  More news later.  There's a good movie of Jeanie Mellersh and Robin Soldan talking about the history of the book and future plans that you can watch here: http://njeanius.uk/flute-book.html