Cecil the Saint
Well it's that time of year when slight spasms of patriotism spring forth from the rusty breast:- April 23.
Hack, hoping for scoop in the village,
Overheard blacksmith tellin’ by forge,
Of a beast bent on rapin’ and pillage,
‘Yeah, he sorted that dragon, by George!’
So, ‘George Slays Dragon,’ read headlines,
Which couldn’t be further from t’ truth,
Our Cecil were cowrin’ and timid,
He daren’t even swat flies as a youth.
Reporting were poor in Middle Ages,
Readers needed a large pinch of salt,
A groat for a month were t’hack’s wages,
So they Disney write much like Sir Walt.
As an ‘erdsman he'd lost every donkey,
And all of his tiles slid and crashed,
Daub and wattle, slapped on all wonky,
Made a tradesman that wasn’t a splash!
Poor chap even failed at home cooking,
What was it that he could do best?
At odds with careers he went looking,
In the general direction, Southwest.
Late morning he heard in the distance
Clear cries of a lass in distress,
He asked if she needed assistance,
Which she might, by the look of her dress.
She pointed, hand shaking and levelled,
Her damp, gorgeous eyes open wide,
Our hero felt scruffy, dishevelled,
Then sensed beast’s hot breath by his side.
He turned, gasped, then sprinted like blazes
Til a loud, ‘How pathetic!’, which she,
Interspersed with more impolite phrases,
Made him realise just what he could be.
Aye, the sixty yard dash at Olympics
Would suit him right down to the ground,
And be far easier than daubin’ at sticks,
He were chuffed, his new job were found.
But the sweet damsel’s voice he were hearing,
Made him think that he’d best reassess,
Yon dragon’s but small, not worth fearing,
And he could do with a girl’s soft caress.
And since he were hiding in t’ thicket
Where smith sweated in hot but-and-ben,
Those fine weapons he forged were the ticket
To transform this event, there and then.
Olympic training could come later,
First things were a sword and a lance,
This blacksmith, a true dragon hater,
Were right man to grant our lad his chance.
Big smith had just finished a carthorse,
Which looked more like a mangy old cat,
And since history must run-out its course,
Soon our lad, on that nag, proudly sat.
With lance under arm and sword in his belt,
As the smith hid his chuckle quite well,
Brave lad trotted forth to where dragon knelt
As it sniffed at the pale rider’s smell.
Our hero were unused to charging at foe,
Strolling limply were more like the pace,
Fair maid almost choked at Cecil’s best go
And the smirk on the bold dragon’s face.
Lad did his best but slid off to one side
And fell with his lance in the mud,
The smith in his hide, he very near cried
As our hero still failed to draw blood.
Sashaying chic the beast homed on lad,
Who wrestled to free his stuck lance,
The blacksmith’s crude laugh upset him a tad,
Same as damsel’s, when she peeked a glance.
This myth doesn’t note that the dragoness made
Up a deal so the lad came out top,
and fair maiden fancied this dashing young blade
Who could well be the pick of the crop.
Rumours were rife of a fight tooth and claw
That saved damsels, from what dragons do,
Wedded bliss can’t go far with a dragon-in-law,
Who’s well known for expressing her view.
He used all his skill so he’d not reveal
That his first name was not George, nor Stanley,
But parchment of birth gave the name that was real
And you can’t say that 'Cecil' sounds manly!
With all the furore after he beat the beast,
From the reward he very near fainted,
Instead of an honorary degree gala feast,
The poor sod got bloody well sainted!
But Cecil, the Saint, knew short-lived success,
As the tabloids print things their own way,
Next headline he read in the "Anglo-Express":
“April 23rd – ain’t George’s day!”