I have told this story before – but I thought it may be fun to try and ‘Shakespearise’ it by using iambic pentameter, rhyming couplets – plus a little imagination!
‘Mewling and Puking’
Young Woman: (enters)
How now old woman, why look you so sad?
Old Woman: (sitting daydreaming)
Come hither my friend. You make my heart glad!
A far distant memory I recall,
From bygone days, when I was small.
Peering through dim eyes so far back in time
I see my mother with her hand in mine.
Young Woman: (laughing)
Forsooth for you ‘twas some time ago!
I’m surprised you still find the memory so!
Old Woman: (glares at young woman but ignores comment)
I see Ma with her bike pushing me to school
And me trying desperately to stay cool.
I remember the fear I felt inside,
But refused to cry out because of pride.
Young Woman: (cheerily)
Your mind tosses merrily in the wind (rhymes with find)
Keep digging deeper to see what you find!
How say you now? What more can you see?
So please you to spend this hour merrily!
Old Woman: (thinking)
I spy a rotund man, who’s grumpy and old,
Clad in jumper of yellow, with countenance cold.
His grey hair ‘tis sparse, his red face ‘tis grim,
Fear hits my belly as my eyes fall upon him!
I peep from my hiding place on the stair,
Perchance he won’t see me sitting there!
Transported back to an age long ago
I still feel the shame and blush that ‘tis so.
Young Woman: (excited)
Why comes he a’ knocking at your door?
What brings on your fear? Oh pray tell me more!
What did this gentleman to cause your plight?
My heart is beating with all of its might!’
I was but small and to show I was brave
I took on a challenge to honour my name!
What was this challenge? Oh, tell me I pray!
‘Twas to knock on his door – and to then run away!
How many knocks did they charge you to do?
I cannot recall but ‘twere quite a few!
MAN: (enters shouting)
‘Bring that treacherous child at once to me!’
Old Woman: (in fear)
His voice rang out loud, showing no mercy!
So draggéd was I up to the front door
My cries ringing out and fear at my core!
‘This wench will be punishéd,’ he cried,
‘Cut off her hands and gouge out her eyes!
Never again my door will she knock!
Away with her now, put her head on the block!
She deserves to be punishéd today!’
He turned in glee, ‘Do it quickly I pray!’
‘Alack and alas don’t treat her so bad.’
Ma’s eyes brimming over – her face so sad.
She raised her hand to hit me – but instead
Clouted the little man about his head!
He fell to the ground cursing Ma for her sin,
While she battered his head with a rolling pin!
‘How dare you to harm my defenceless child!
Away with you now or you’ll be defiled!
‘Twas a harmless prank played out with mirth!
Take your sour temper home, along with your girth!’
He rose to his feet, rubbing his backside,
Leaving foul words unspoken – along with his pride!
She then turned her wild eyes upon me –
I knew at that moment ’twas time to flee!
‘Forgive me Mother,’ I cried, ‘for my sin!’
‘Twas then I experienced the rolling pin!