IF I HAD MY WISH

I can find no trace of the poem / ditty printed below.   I am not the author, and I am unable to find out who is / was.   Many years ago, when I was probably around the age of 6 or 7  (i.e. in the 1940s – yes, that’s right, during WWII ),  I learnt this poem by heart and delivered it to an audience at a Yorkshire chapel concert – presumably to demonstrate  my skills in memorised recitation.  Well  …  it certainly wasn’t to showcase a budding poet!   Although I don’t recall being sensitive at the time about the cannibalistic sentiments expressed,  I do now see the poem as somewhat ‘non-PC’ and quite unsuitable for directing a child to commit such verses to heart and then expound them in public.  

. . .   and Yes,  I have never forgotten these verses, the dramatic emphases within the poems structure, or the subtle cadence of its rhythms (!!!).   So . . .  make of it what you will, but  I would certainly be interested if anyone can throw light on its origins and/or its creator!  . . .

. . .  I remember being instructed to “pause before delivering the last line … and then say it quickly and loudly – with emphasis!”  . . .  What artistry !!! 

If I had my wish
I would be a small fish
And swim where nobody could catch me.
I never would look
At a worm on a hook,
Or some naughty boy then might snatch me.

I’d frolic and play
With the fishes all day,
And not go to school at nine-thirty.
I’d not give a bean
If my neck wasn’t clean,
Or if BOTH my ears should get dirty.

And when I had died,
I should like to be fried,
With the bones taken out of my tummy,
And served, if you please,
With some lovely green peas,
… and then eaten up by my mummy!

Anthropomorphic Feelings

rupert-and-trepur

Anthropomorphic Feelings

I sometimes think and wonder
How do other creatures feel
When they meet a rather common human trait?
Do they moan and feel like us
Do they ponder, think, discuss,
Or is it that they can’t articulate?

#   #   #

Can a caterpillar cry
Does it ever feel regret
In its small world does it feel as we do feel;
Can it laugh when it is glad
Does it cry when it is sad
Does it ever feel it’s getting a raw deal?

And what about a cat,
Does it worry when it’s fat,
Does it tell itself to change its attitude?
Does it think “Well. Fancy that,
I’d rather like that rat,
But I really must cut out the fancy food?”

And take the little wasp
When it’s supping from your glass
Does it ever think “Well, that’s enough for me,
I’d better get back home,
For I’ve left the wife alone.
I don’t want her propositioned by a bee?”

When a spider gets leg cramp
Does it leap up and foot stamp,
All eight feet drumming till the sharp pain goes?
You can’t tell an arachnid
To be placid, (is that hackneyed?),
Or to stretch its legs and wiggle all its toes.

Does an anchovy not wonder
When it’s swimming in the sea
Why so many of its mates just disappear?
Or why every little fish
Should end up in a dish
And swigged down with a glass of frothy  beer?

Does a mayfly feel quite old
When it gets to twelve o’clock
Knowing well it’s reached the end of its short span?
Does it ever feel regret
Does it not feel ready yet
To end up in that final garbage can?

Does a badger when it hibernates
Need to get up for the loo,
Or does it just imagine digging holes?
‘Cos I bet it can’t be troubled
And is just a bit befuddled
While dreaming of those tasty juicy moles. 

When a greenfly knows it’s pregnant
Does it dare to tell its mum?
Is it frightened to be seen with that big tum?
Does it go into retreat
Does it hide its little feet
And just sit tight until its time has come?

And what about mosquitoes
When they take a bite or two
From any passer-by, and without question?
Do they ever stop and think
Now what did this chap drink
That’s giving me this awful indigestion?

Does a rabbit ever worry
When it’s losing all its hair?
Does moulting make it think it’s going bald?
Perhaps it dreads the thought,
Gets upset and overwrought,
Completely overwhelmed and quite appalled.

#   #   #

So when I’m beset with sorrows,
Feeling there’ll be no tomorrows,
I’ll just think of how these creatures get along.
When feeling a bit off
With a headache or a cough
I’ll  know it’s to creation I belong.

anthropomorphic-pig

From the cover of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ …Published in Penguin Books, 1951

bar152

If I Had My Wish

I can find no trace of this poem / ditty anywhere.   I am not the author, and I am unable to find out who is / was.   Many years ago, when I was probably around the age of 6 or 7  (i.e. in the 1940s – yes, that’s right, during WWII ),  I learnt this poem by heart and delivered it to an audience at a Yorkshire chapel concert – presumably to demonstrate  my skills in memorised recitation.  Well  …  it certainly wasn’t to showcase a budding poet!   Although I don’t recall being sensitive at the time about the cannibalistic sentiments expressed,  I do now see the poem as somewhat ‘non-PC’ and quite unsuitable for directing a child to commit such verses to heart and then expound them in public.  

. . .   and Yes,  I have never forgotten these verses, the dramatic emphases within the poems structure, or the subtle cadence of its rhythms (!!!).   So . . .  make of it what you will, but  I would certainly be interested if anyone can throw light on its origins and/or its creator!  . . .

. . .  I remember being instructed to “pause before delivering the last line … and then say it quickly and loudly – with emphasis!”  . . .  What artistry !!! 

fish 

If I had my wish
I would be a small fish
And swim where nobody could catch me.
I never would look
At a worm on a hook,
Or some naughty boy then might snatch me.

kid-in-mud

I’d frolic and play
With the fishes all day,
And not go to school at nine-thirty.
I’d not give a bean
If my neck wasn’t clean,
Or if BOTH my ears should get dirty.

frying-fish

And when I had died,
I should like to be fried,
With the bones taken out of my tummy,
And served, if you please,
With some lovely green peas,
… and then eaten up by my mummy!

ma-eats-fishpeas


 

On my unsuccessful search to discover the author of these verses, one source I discovered, of all things ( well, poetry anyway) fishy, can be found at: …

.fishy verse

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