Naughty John and the Fire
Naughty John struck a match or two,
Carelessly tossing them away,
Nothing much happened then,
But slowly throughout that day
One match smouldered in the litter,
That lay about the shed,
A tiny fire burst forth
When the family went to bed
Fire lept about in the litter,
Then the rabbit's bale of straw,
A cobwebbed bristled paintbrush,
Some wood shavings on the floor
A soaked rag of turpentine
some half-empty mildewed tins
Of dried-up paint and creosote,
Flames then danced inside the bins.
No longer creeping slowly,
It became a raging fire
It crackled as it spread
higher still, then higher.
The petrol in the big red can,
Exploded with a boom,
The calm night was shattered,
as smoke rose in a plume.
A massive ball of burning,
quickly sped across the grass,
Scalding the white lawn daisies black,
Scorching the pond to glass,
The fire was now out of control.
But luckily, far across the town,
The fire station bells rang out,
Sleepy firemen scrambled down.
Still unaware inside their house,
The smoke began entering in
It crept first under the cellar door
As Milo the dog snored sleeping
Terrified, he leapt the gate,
Whined, then he loudly barked
While in through open first-floor windows,
floated hundreds of hot, fiery sparks.
Up jumped little Jackie,
Who then awakened her brother John,
They both grabbed their slippers
as they put their dressing gowns on.
Father ran to telephone for help,
And fell headlong down the stairs
Mum rushed to collect baby Jill,
And Jill's favourite teddy bears
Back they ran up to the landing,
This time father fell up the stairs.
He tried to phone for help again,
As mother said her prayers,
she gathered all her children close,
Dad thought about knotting sheets,
They heard the crack crack crack of flames
as the rafters creaked with heat.
Sparks and sparkles stung their eyes,
It was then that they heard the bells,
Flames jumped higher and Jackie said,
"I really don't feel very well."
In the window at the top of the stairs
There appeared a welcoming sight,
A fireman in a shiny helmet said,
"I've got a ladder here, alright?"
The ladder was tall and steady.
Each of them clambered down the wall,
Jackie struggle awkwardly,
She almost seemed to fall.
John swallowed many gulps of smoke,
But wouldn’t cough just in case
The big ladder jerked and jolted,
throwing him off and into space.
Everyone praised Milo
For raising the alarm
His barking made sure the family
Didn't come to any harm
"The insurance should hopefully pay,"
Father said "I would love a cup of tea,"
"But how did this fire get started?"
"Now that's what puzzles me."
The fireman said "You're quite lucky "
"It started in your garden shed."
"Do you know anything?" Dad quizzed John
John shrugged as he shook his head.