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Marvin the Mole and the Queen’s Jubilee
We are celebrating a very special person who has been in her job for 60 years. That person is, of course, Her Majesty the Queen. Here in the UK, there is an extended Bank Holiday around June 4th, 2012, to mark the occasion. Lots of people will be having street parties.
Gerald Watts has written a charming poem that we are presenting as our tribute to Her Majesty.
Marvin the Mole likes to explore, and he pops up out of the ground all over the place. Unfortunately he is not usually a welcomed warmly by the people who see him. How will the Queen react when he unexpectedly visits her garden party?
If you like this poem as much as we do, you can buy the book, with loads of lovely illustrations, from our friends at Wicked Uncle.
Read with due reverence by Elizabeth. Poem by Gerald Watts.
MARVIN THE MOLE AND THE QUEEN’S JUBILEE
This is the story of Marvin the Mole
Who would not do as he was told
And caused a scene of devastation
At a royal celebration.
Marvin was a handsome mole,
His velvet coat as black as coal,
His nose a cherry-blossom pink,
His eyes, although inclined to blink,
Were bright as beads. As for his paws,
Used for tunnelling of course,
All four were short and curved and strong,
Ideal for moving earth along,
Or for pushing stones aside
So he could burrow down and hide.
But Marvin, though small and almost blind,
Was not the shy, retiring kind.
He was determined to have fun,
To see the sky, to feel the sun
On his back and the wind in his face.
He would not believe the only place
That moles were safe was underground
Away from where the slightest sound
Brought long-nosed dogs with digging paws,
Birds with beaks and cats with claws.
His Mum and Dad, time and again,
Took the trouble to explain.
‘Down here it may be cramped and rough
But on the surface life is tough,
Especially for moles. Believe us, son,
We’re not against you having fun
But you are too curious and bold,
So you must do as you are told.’
For quite a while Marvin was good,
Playing only where a young mole should,
But one day, tunnelling along
With no thought of doing wrong,
He heard the most delightful noise,
The shouts and cheers of girls and boys.
He asked himself ‘What can it be?
I’ll just go take a look and see.’
So up he went, broke through the turf,
Emerging in a shower of earth.
It was school sports day afternoon,
The fifty metre egg and spoon,
The children racing for the line
When up popped Marvin in lane nine.
Oh, what a sight! What a surprise!
The rushing feet, the staring eyes!
Marvin panicked, dived for cover.
Two children crashed into each other.
Another tried to dodge and slipped
As one by one the runners tripped,
Got tangled up in arms and legs,
Discarded spoons and scrambled eggs.
The teacher glared into the hole.
‘One day I’m going to get that mole!’
All next week Marvin stayed home,
Minding no business but his own,
Until on Saturday afternoon
He heard a most uplifting tune.
An organ played, hymns were sung
And all the steeple bells were rung.
Corks were popping, people laughing.
‘That sounds fantastic,’ said young Marvin,
‘I’ve never heard such joyful laughter,
Such cries of ‘Happy Ever After’.
I won’t cause trouble like last week.
I’ll just go up and take a peek.’
The handsome groom and blushing bride
Stood arm in arm. On either side
Stretched row on row of their relations
Gathered for the celebrations,
Dressed up in fancy frocks and hats,
Silk scarves, lace gloves and smart cravats.
The photographer had just said ‘Please
Everyone, keep still. Big smiles. Say cheese.’
When all of a sudden Marvin appeared,
As scruffy as a pirate’s beard,
Sending grass and bits of dirt
Spattering their well-ironed shirts.
The ladies shrieked to see the messes
Made upon their lovely dresses.
The photographer stamped upon the hole.
‘One day I’m going to get that mole!’
A fortnight passed. Marvin felt sad.
Perhaps being adventurous was bad.
But, young and full of life, he soon grew bored.
‘It’s time,’ he said, ‘that I explored
Over the hill.’ So off he went,
Digging to his heart’s content
Until, at last, all tired and hot,
He found the perfect picnic spot.
‘Here is nice. The ground is soft
And no strange noises from above.
Surely nothing can go wrong?
I’ll just look round. I won’t be long.’
A silent crowd surveyed the scene:
A golfer on the eighteenth green.
This putt to win the Player’s Cup.
This putt to lift the trophy up.
The golfer eyed the line, stood tall,
Breathed deep and gently tapped the ball.
It set off straight towards the hole
When suddenly a pink-nosed mole
Emerged from deep beneath the ground
And sent the ball the wrong way round.
The golfer knelt and thumped the hole.
‘One day I’m going to get that mole.’
This time Marvin had learnt his lesson.
He asked his Mum and Dad’s permission
And only went to quiet places:
No stamping feet, no angry faces.
But all that changed a few weeks later
When our restless little excavator
Dug beneath a flower bed
To breathe the scent and rest his head.
He made a den and settled in.
He gave his fingernails a trim.
He ate his lunch and took a nap,
Snoozing in peace, not knowing that
He slept beneath a big marquee
Where the Queen was due for tea.
The tinkle of spoons, the chink of cups,
The chatter of guests woke Marvin up.
The Prime Minister took the microphone,
Announcing in a solemn tone:
‘We salute Her Royal Majesty
On this her Diamond Jubilee.’
Marvin heard. His heart beat faster.
This might mean triumph or disaster.
Surely he could see the Queen
And sneak away without being seen?
Slowly, feeling very nervous,
Marvin came up to the surface.
A waiter with a tray of cakes
Who normally made no mistakes
Stumbled as the ground gave way.
Unfortunately this sent the tray
Spinning wildly through the air.
The cakes and buns flew everywhere.
The guests looked round, alarmed, surprised
To see a pair of blinking eyes.
The golfer was the first to speak,
Wiping icing from his cheek,
‘The mole! It’s time for my revenge.’
‘Oh, let me help you, my good friend,’
Said the photographer with glee.
The teacher shouted, ‘Yes, and me!’
One jumped, one leapt, the other pounced.
‘You dare to come here unannounced.
Making trouble. Messing up the tent.
It’s time you got your punishment.’
With that they grabbed the little mole
And shoved him in a serving bowl.
Marvin was scared. He was afraid.
O, how he wished that he had stayed
At home near to his Mum and Dad.
He felt alone. He felt so sad.
Big tears rolled down his little cheeks
Leaving damp and muddy streaks.
The Queen stepped forward gracefully.
‘What’s all the fuss? Now, let me see.’
She lifted up the serving bowl.
She saw the wretched, guilty mole.
‘In all my reign of sixty years
I’ve never seen such heartfelt tears.
Though living cautiously is fine,
Being curious is no crime.
Despite the damage to my garden,
I grant this mole a royal pardon.’
A Royal Footman dressed in black
Wiped him down and took him back,
Back to his worried Mum and Dad
Who hugged and kissed their little lad.
Marvin hugged them tight and said
Perhaps he’d like to go to bed,
And promised he’d take extra care
When playing in the open air.
Copyright Gerald Watts 2011.