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A Day on the Marsh

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

(Or never trust a stranger if he lets you buy the Ale)

There I sat quietly drinking my ale

When this fellow Wells started spinning the tale

Of his wildfowling trips and glorious fun

To be had on the Marsh with a gun.

“There’s no other sport like it”, he said with a grin,

An argument followed and , alas, I joined in,

A few whiskies later I was due to take part

In a duck shoot on Saturday (one o’clock start!)

Next day I was dashing around like a twit

Buying a gun and the rest of the kit.

Came Saturday morning, it was raining like hell,

The weatherman forecast a slight fog as well.

So on went my “Long Johns” and a brand new string vest,

Pullovers and mufflers to wrap up my chest,

Thigh boots, sou’wester and waterproof cape

All followed swiftly to protect my shape.

Then over the marshes we started to trek

Rain, already finding a way down my neck.

The rest of the party, enjoying the fun

Were discussing the merits of some special gun,

When I found to my sorrow that some tufts of grasses

Were concealing hidden crevasses

For carelessly thrusting my foot out in haste,

I landed in water as high as my waist,

To be pulled out by Wells who with a sarcastic laugh

Said, “a thigh boot when full holds a gallon and half.”

Fed up, wet and weary with no chance to change

I was told we were close to an R.A.F. range.

This set me weaving around like a snipe

(Well who wants to be pranged by an RAF type).

And so we tailed on shedding tears, sweat and blood

With our feet so frequently stuck in the mud.

When hours later we got clear of that bog

The whole district by now was enveloped in fog,

So we crawled home, discussing the day

We’d plenty of time, thick fog all the way,

I sat in the back bemoaning my lot

Out all afternoon and not fired a shot.

So if you know anyone thinks wildfowling fun

I have, for sale, one very cheap gun.

C.B. December 1964

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