Poetry Corner - THE LEMMING!

Just one answer to "Why do you do it?"
(To be narrated as written, i.e. in a broad Northern accent)

"I were sat in t' bar all warm and snug
When this bloke must have thought, well here's a right mug
"Does t' fancy going cavin', it's grand don't tha know?"
So me being drunk said "Aye, I'll have a go".

We were stood in layby all frozen to t' bone
When I suddenly realised we weren't all alone
There were more daft buggers, and one were a lass
Well I couldn't let this opportunity pass.

She were tuckin' it all in this jacket so tight
Gave me summat to dream about all t' next night
I had to show willing, and so here goes
It' s take a deep breath and off wi' t' clothes.

I'd borrowed this wet suit, a tatty old thing
It were just bits of rubber all tied up wi' string
I psyched me sen up and feelin' all brave
I pulled on me wellies and strode off for t' cave

We walked through some fields, then over a stile
We just kept on goin' for mile after mile
Then t' beer took it's toll, me heads goin' round
Then all of a sudden, this hole in t' ground.

"Ayup, there's water going down th' hole
It's all full of froth like a wahin' up bowl"
"It's only some cow shit, washed off t' farmers land
Just get thee head under, ee, isn't it grand!"

"I'll teach thee t' technique, I'll make it quite clear
Just breath in through t' right nostril and out through t' left ear
Now take it quite calm, don't panic, that's right
Hey, before tha sets off, will tha switch on tha light!"

"Just swim till tha's through it and don't turn around
We'll be in right behind thee, provides thee ain't drowned
And then we shall show thee a marvellous sight
A real cave passage, least two feet in height!"

Quite soon We could stand up, well stoop like hunchback
"Walk sideways, not for'ards, or th' head tha might crack
On t' stalactite hangin' from t' roof as it grows
Don't break it, it's th' only one in here tha knows"

"Tha goes through that tube on tha belly lay flat"
So into this mud I fell with a splat
Progression is for'ards, but try as I might
How can you progress when you're covered in shite?

I thrutched and I squirmed and I slithered and slid
And sometimes I didn't know just what I did
But through it I got and fell out with a slap
With every orifice caked in t' crap.

As we trudged down a streamway, we suddenly hear
This roaring like thunder becoming quite clear
There were gallons of water all pourin' down t' shaft
"I'm not goin' down there, does t' think that I'm daft?"

He lowered this ladder right over th' edge
Then a harness he strapped round me meat and two veg
He fixed on a rope and said "That's tha lifeline
If tha should slip now, thawon't fall, tha'll be fine".

Well onto this ladder I carefully got
Then off slipped one hand, then me foot, than all t' lot
The rope became tight, "Are t' all right there?", he calls
"How can I be right when I'm strung up by t' balls!"

I coughed and I spluttered, but made it all right
And at least all that water had washed off all t' shite
"Tha's swallowed so much", the big pillock stated
"At least now tha won't be so damned dehydrated."

We stood in this sump pool, me nuts they were froze
When all of a sudden a warm feelin' arose
"Ee, that's a relief", said the silly old bat
I said "Ee, I'm glad I didn't sup none o' that!"

Soon we were all out, and it didn't half blow
And then came the rain and the sleet and the snow
The wind it were blowin' right up t' Khyber Pass
And we knew it were cold by t' nipples on t' lass.

We jumped in the car then we raced down the lane
And I swore that I'd never go cavin' again
In the bar in the pub, a big fire we saw
So we all sat around it and started to thaw.

We talked about how bad the weather had been
And we talked about some of the things we had seen
Like all t' water and t' mud of which I'd had enough
There were just one exception, that were t' lass in the buff!

We were gettin' quite warm now, of that I were glad
On reflection the day didn't seem quite so bad
I'd made some new friends and we'd all done quite well
And when I get home, aye, some tales I can tell.

Then several pints later I heard someone say
They were goin' cavin' t' very next day
Well he asked me the question, his face all aglow
And me being drunk said "Aye, I'll have a go".


Pete Bennett