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A Tale of Two Widows

Maggie was a widow wife
Who lived a good and frugal life,
She had just one besetting sin
It was an evening glass of gin.

Indulgence in this nightly tot
The only extravagance she sought.
Bombay the only brand she bought
Her budget stretched, more than it ought.

One stormy Sunday night it’s true
Her purse depleted, the bottle too
Maggie thought about a week,
Which, gin less, would be rather bleak.

Then on her door there came a knock
Which shook the doorframe with the shock.
“Who is this, oh what the hell,
I wish they’d use the bloody bell”

Ashamed by this, her fall from grace
She set a smile upon her face
And throwing wide her landing door
Nearly fainted on the floor.

Nearly, nearly, but not quite
Despite the louring ugly sight
That stood outside upon the mat
With greasy hair and belly fat.

A stranger and a horrid vision
A subject fit for man’s derision
Clad in rags and muddy shoes
With Nicky tams about his trews

Her mother’s blood’s in Maggies veins
“Be kind to beggars and to weans,
To the old, infirm and to the needy
Share what you have, don’t be greedy”

“Come in” she said, “Your soaking wet,
Though you’re the ugliest man I’ve ever met.
There’s a dish of soup and a crust or two
And a cup of tea. Will that do for you?”

“Aye missus,” he said “that’s enough for me
Can I use your loo and have a pee.”
Later, fed and dried and cosy
Our man was feeling rather dozy.

Opening up one bleary bloodshot eye
On her sideboard he did spy
Her nearly empty bottle of Bombay;
“Just one glass and I’m on my way”

With heavy heart she pours it out
Her last for days, without a doubt.
He swigs it down and stands erect,
“My thanks will be more than you expect”

With this he bowed and left the house
To Maggie and the parson’s mouse
An empty bottle, what could be harder?
To the mouse, an empty larder.

When clearing up the morning after
“Oh Maggie, who could be dafter”
She took the bottle that once held gin
To throw it in the recycling bin.

But Maggie stop! Do not be so swift
Does it not feel quite hard to lift?
And peering through the glass she thought
There was at least just one more tot.

The weeks have passed and so the year
In Maggie’s gin bottle it does appear
The biblical widow, she had her cruse
So our Maggie, she has her booze.

The moral to this story, if moral there be
Is not to make judgements on what you first see
Who know the rewards that charity brings;
Is the Lord at your door when next the bell rings?

LJCS 13/2/14

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