The cat must be fed

 A little ditty inspired by one of my Nanny’s (grandmother’s) many tales of war-time Coventry.

Some cried, some prayed,
Some whistled and shouted,
Till all sound did fade
Behind a call no one doubted.
Oh the air-raid-siren was feared above all,
It curdled the blood, that ominous call.

“Run! Run!” Run all,
And find yourselves shelter.
But one remained calm
Amid the helter-skelter.
Tis not my job to keep evil at bay,
the cat must be fed,
thought Eileen O’ Shea.

Feline fancy now delighted
Eileen made haste;
The demon: now sighted.
Her friends, they all paced,
This was no false alarm:
The gift from the Nazis
would only bring harm.

Eileen joined the rest and gazed upwards in awe.
Certain doom was coming
And that, everyone saw.

She thought then with cunning,
It may not be a bomb,
there’s no point in running,
it looks more like a man.
But this was Their plan.

It seemed to float gracefully;
It pierced the air.
Men prayed to God gratefully;
They were in His care.

The explosive drew nearer,
It made no fuss,
Looking so innocent
As a clever foe does.

Coventry: nigh on eruption,
All hearts skipped a beat
As if they were rehearsing
For a death they couldn’t cheat.

Timed stopped as German engineering kissed English soil
But now Their own creation, Their reputation, would spoil;
The bomb only sat there, like a hideous boil.

And so it was
With tactless finality,
The panic dissolved
At the return of rationality.

Amid the weary scatterings,
Eileen pushed past and said,
“Cheer up all you lot,
at least no one’s dead!”

– Niall Robert Hurley

Image “Cat Belgium” by Chau kar Man.  Sourced from Flickr under the Creative Commons license.

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