”Alexander the Great” by Julie Cahill

Alexander the Great
We had a tortoise, years ago
His name was Alexander
who started off so very small
until he chose to wander
He wandered from his tiny pond
waving to the tadpole
He wandered through the bonfire, cold
was coated then in charcoal
He wandered past the washing line
and through my mother’s washbowl
then dried himself in sunshine
upon a grassy high knoll
from where he spotted everything
and lolloped toward our greens
He ate our peas and cabbages and the yucky runner beans
that couldn’t run away at all
creating an enormous stink
contradictory to their status
prepostrous, don’t you think?
They were shreaded thinner and then devoured
Loud belches filled the air
We didn’t want to scold our pet, we didn’t want to stare
But such was his ungainly greed
to protect him I told lies
a greed which gave him bucky teeth
and crossed my guilty eyes
He gobbled all our carrots, sprouts and all alike
So Mum said in her sternest voice
to ride off on his bike
In other words she shoved him with great effort, through the gate
so off our Alex wandered
to face his greedy fate
Dipping toes and then his nose
in streams till he expanded
He drank so much he almost popped
which sounds all cacky-handed
His shell kept Alex quite intact
he looked just like a monster
the neighbours they all screamed, in fact
as though watching a blockbuster
Alex thundered through the land
the streams and garden beds
He blundered off along the streets
and turned the people’s heads
He ate the grocer’s shops, complete
He drank the rivers dry
Until the RSPCA
stepped in and said ‘goodbye’
to freedom, that is, and our pet was taken to the zoo
But plans are made and plans go wrong as often as they do
They’d brought a crane and loaded Alexander on a truck
They couldn’t get him off again – well and truely stuck
But as he grew he outgrew the truck
and wandered off unaided
So if you find a giant tortoise
you’ll know you’ve been invaded

2 thoughts on “”Alexander the Great” by Julie Cahill

  1. Love it Julie – narrative poems are my favourite kind. You paint a lovely picture. I have a feeling that your Alexander is related to a cat (of sensational appetite) I used to have. Thanks for the fun!

  2. Thanks so much, Jeanne. Love the pic. Hilarious. Xx

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