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Cautionary Tales

A Cautionary Tale-Desmond Dove's Demise

I have always enjoyed the cautionary tales made famous by writers such as Hilaire Belloc and Ogden Nash. Cautionary tales were designed for the admonition of children and were quite popular more than a hundred years ago. Belloc's Matilda (who told lies and got burned) and Nash's Isabella (who didn't care) have always resonated for me. It was the writing of these authors that spurred me to write some cautionary tales of my own. The poem I'm sharing today is about a boy called Desmond.

A child that only a mother could love
Was an apt description for Desmond Dove 
With a rough tough head and hair so wooly
-Desmond was a fearsome bully

Every day around the school
Desmond’s reign was oh so cruel
In line, Des knocked heads together
And then announced –Boy, aren’t I clever!

He stole food from little kids
Then bopped them with their lunchbox lids
He always pulled on Polly’s hair
And told the teachers- I don’t care!

He teased Elyse and made her cry
And squirted mustard in Scott’s eye
He put paint in Hannah’s shoe
And filled Nigel’s pockets up with glue

He throttled Jason, kicked Sheree
He got a stick and whacked Sam’s knee
He stood on Mandy’s chair and broke it
He wrote a rude word –then he spoke it!

But, then he taunted Big Denise…..

-And now poor Desmond rests in peace.

Alan j Wright


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