“The Crocodile”

Continuing with the childhood theme from the last post…this was my favorite poem as a kid (by Lewis Carroll):

How doth the little crocodile

Improve his shining tail,

And pour the waters of the Nile

On every golden scale!

.

How cheerfully he seems to grin,

How neatly spreads his claws,

And welcomes little fishes in

With gently smiling jaws!

.

A little dark, isn’t it?

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8 Comments

Filed under Literature

8 responses to ““The Crocodile”

  1. bluebuilding

    here is a nice song :-))

    “Five little mice came out to play
    Gathering crumbs along the way
    Out came pussycat sleek and fat
    Four little mice go scampering back..” and so on

  2. Thanks for the recent comments on “Transformedia”…coming from one who ‘sees’ as well as you do, they are fondly appreciated. You must be Irish. Such a tendency for the melancholy……the need to rectify and understand the past and the yearning for a future brighter than our imaginations assure us will be dour and bleak. Ah, never,never in today. Too painful, too – REAL.
    Up the long ladder
    Down a short rope
    To hell with King Billy
    An’ God bless the Pope.
    If this does not do
    We’ll rip them in two
    and send them to Hell
    Wrapped in red,white, and blue

    Your history lesson for today

  3. Peculiar. I am Irish (by heritage, not birth). I didn’t know it was such a dead giveaway, hehe. I love my history lesson, by the way…thank you so much for sharing that.

  4. Do you know the story behind this little verse ?

  5. I can’t say that I do. I would love to learn the story behind it.

  6. A group of Irish rebels were intent on attacking the castle, and had constructed long, rickety ladders to scale the walls at night and take over, killing or jailing the subjects of King William who hid cowardly inside. The English had systematically taken all the Irishmen’s lands and livestock, burned their homes, impressed the young men into service and raped their women. Priests who were forced to live inside the castle to prevent saying of the mass, were co-conspirators, and had woven ropes for the insurrectionists escape, using rags, old clothing and whatsoever as they could find, including discarded pieces of flag, dyed in the colors of red, white and blue.
    The appointed night arrived, black and moonless, as was part of the bold plan. It was also a night of English drinking and revelry as the oppressors celebrated some holiday or other which was of completely no consequence to the Irishmen, who had gathered silent and ready at the base of the castle wall.
    The agreed upon moment arrived and up the long ladders crept the Irish, intent on revenge and righting of the English wrongs. They fell upon the drunken godless ones with quiet fury, sending to hell as many as they could before an alarm was sounded and the battle broke out.
    Outnumbered, the Irishmen ran to the walls, taking up the priests’ handiwork so as to escape over the precipice into the forests’ safety.
    Alas, the priests did not know the height of the walls and had woven the ropes too short. The men fleeing, in haste and fear overloaded the flimsy ropes as well and those that weren’t injured by the drop at the ropes’ end had their skulls bashed in when the cords gave way, or were killed by British arrow and spear, unable to escape on splintered legs or with broken backs.
    Many got away, carrying with them pieces of rope made from English flags and to this day you will hear the rhyme.
    Up the long ladder,
    Down the short rope,
    To hell with King Billy and God bless the Pope.
    If that does not do,
    we halve them in two
    and send them to hell
    wrapped in red, white, and blue.

  7. Wait…the English were drinking while the Irish were soberly concocting a plan?

    That’s a completely depressing story. I had such high hopes up until you said, “Alas, the priests did not know…”. Ah, well. It’s not the first miscalculation the Irish have ever made.

    Thanks for sharing that history. Fascinating stuff. :)

  8. Seems one of the Irish downfalls, besides drink, is poor judgement. And the pommes have always been too lucky for the good of the rest of the world.
    Sods. They stole the cinchona and rubber seeds from the Amazon and the potato from Peru then the Lace and laughter from the people of my land – built the Raj to rape India brought ruin to the World through the empire of slavery…..need I go on ???

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