A Fight in the Night
Two days before Owl had spoken to Ned,
In the Red Lion pub, Gnu – the hothead –
Was sat on his own in the corner of the bar,
Proclaiming that his dog was an absolute star.
The king of manure was a rude sort of fellow –
His customers would never describe him as mellow.
He was also a boaster, a braggart and a cad,
He was obnoxious and surly and really quite bad.
Now Gnu thought his dog was a ferocious creature,
And he knew this was so because he’d been its teacher.
It was taught how to snarl and to growl and to bite,
But most of all Gnu had taught it to fight.
“My dog is a fighter!” Gnu loudly declared,
“And he’s never backed down or even been scared.
He’s the best dog in the world!” he proudly announced,
“He evil and nasty and cannot be trounced!”
Giraffe heaved a sigh as the dreadful Gnu prattled
About how his fierce dog could never be rattled,
So he stood up and said, “Your dog sounds so course,
But I’ve got one at home that can easily beat yours.”
“What rubbish! What rot!” Gnu said with a scowl,
“There’s not a dog in the world that can make my beast cowl.
And though I’ve never seen yours, you long-necked twit,
If you bring it round here my dog will devour it!”
“You’re on,” said Giraffe, “you’ve just made a bet!
I suggest that you find a reliable vet.
My dog’s like no other,” he said with a glare,
“It’s a long-nosed, long-tailed, short-legged terrier.”
“A what?” said Gnu. “I’ve never heard of such a beast –
But no matter, it’ll give mine a well-deserved feast.”
“Don’t be so sure,” Giraffe said with intent,
“Mine was bred on an exotic continent.”
“Well, I called my dog Killer,” said Gnu, and he laughed
Straight into the face of Mr Giraffe.
“It’s a masculine name – not like your dogs’, I fancy.”
“That’s true,” said Giraffe, “because I call mine Nancy.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” said Gnu turning blue,
“And make sure you bring that whatever with you.
We’ll meet here tomorrow – same time and same place
“And I’ll take great pleasure wiping that smile from your face.”
The next night at eight the weather was clear,
And Mr Gnu’s dog was something to fear.
It was snarling and snapping and ready to bite
The other dog it had had been brought here to fight.
But Giraffe’s dog was nowhere to found.
“So, where is this beast of yours?” Mr Gnu frowned.
“I can’t bring her inside,” Mr Giraffe said,
“If I did that everyone here would be dead.”
“She’s far too ferocious and quite unpredictable,
She once even ate a full-sized snooker table.
I must think of the safety of those here at the bar,
So she’s locked in my van – she wouldn’t fit in my car.”
“Let’s waste no more time and get this thing done,”
Said Gnu, “I won’t be happy until my dog has won.”
Mr Giraffe smiled and stood up from his chair
And walked to the door without even a care.
Outside the pub it was sombre and dark –
The van was stood in the corner of the gloomy car park.
“Let’s do it!” said Gnu. “Release your dog from that vehicle.”
(Which in the gloom of the car park was the colour of treacle).
“I can’t let her loose! I can’t set her free!”
Said Giraffe. “She’s far too ferocious, you see.
Put Killer in the van and we’ll see who’s the winner,
But I warn you – Nancy’s not had her dinner.”
Gnu thought about this and then said, “It’s a deal,
But it’s your dog that’s going to end up as a meal.”
“Right then,” said Giraffe, opening the door just a crack,
“Be quick! Throw that dog of yours into the back!”
The door slammed shut as Killer went in
And what followed next was an almighty din.
Barking and growling and a deafening riot
Was followed by a CRUNCH! Then everything went quiet.
Giraffe opened the door of the van just a bit
So the winner of the fight could make its exit.
“It’s Killer,” cried Gnu. “That means your dog’s dead!”
But then he noticed that Killer was missing his head.
“Oh no!” cried Gnu, feeling terribly deflated.
“Oh yes!” said Giraffe. “Your dog is decimated!”
With a choking cry Gnu looked down at Killer’s lead
And sobbed, “Your dog – what was the breed?”
“Nancy is a long-nosed, long-tailed, short-legged terrier,”
Said Giraffe, his voice sounding merrier and merrier.
“She’s from Africa, from somewhere near the Nile,
But the natives call her – I think – a crocodile!”
Next week: A Rhino on the Lino