Roald Dahl

The Porcupine

Each Saturday I shout “Hurray!”  
For that’s my pocket-money day.
(Although it’s clearly understood
I only get it when I’m good.)
This week my parents had been told 
That I had been as good as gold, 
So after breakfast 50p
My generous father gave to me.
Like lightning down the road I ran 
Until I reached the sweet-shop man, 
And bought the chocolates of my dreams,  
A great big bag of raspberry creams. 
There is a secret place I know 
Where I quite often like to go, 
Beyond the woods behind some rocks, 
A super place for guzzling chocs.
When I arrived, I quickly found 
A comfy looking little mound, 
Quite clean and round and earthy-brown  
Just right, I thought, for sitting down. 
Here I will sit all morning long 
And eat until my chocs are gone.
I sat. I screamed. I jumped a foot! 
Would you believe that I had put 
That tender little rump of mine 
Upon a giant porcupine!
My backside seemed to catch on fire! 
A hundred red-hot bits of wire 
A hundred prickles sticking in 
And puncturing my precious skin!
I ran for home, I shouted, “Mum,  
“Behold the prickles in my bum!” 
My mum who always keeps her head,  
Bent down to look and then she said,

“I personally am not about 
“To try to pull those prickles out. 
 “I think a job like this requires 
“The services of Mr. Meyers”.
I shouted, “Not the dentist! No! 
“Oh mum! Why don’t you have a go?” 
 I begged her twice, I begged her thrice,  
But grown-ups never take advice.
She said “A dentist’s very strong. 
“He pulls things out the whole day long.” 
She drove me quickly into town, 
And then they turned me upside down  
Upon the awful dentist’s chair, 
While two strong nurses held me there. 

Enter the dreaded Mr. Meyers 
Waving a massive pair of pliers. 
“This is,” he cried with obvious glee, 
“A new experience for me.
“Quite honestly I can’t pretend, 
“I’ve ever pulled things from this end”  
He started pulling one by one 
and yelling, “My, oh my, what fun!”
I shouted, “Help!” I shouted, “Ow” 
He said, “It’s nearly over now. 
For heaven’s sake don’t squirm about!  
Here goes, the last one’s coming out!” 
The dentist pulled and out it came,
And then I heard the man exclaim, 
“Let us now talk about the fees. 
That will be 50 guineas please!”
My mother is a gutsy bird 
And never one to mince a word. 
She cried, “by gosh that’s jolly steep!”  
He answered, “No, its very cheap.
“My dear woman don’t you see 
“That if it hadn’t been for me, 
“This child could go another year 
“With prickles sticking in her rear.”
So that was that. Oh, what a day! 
And what a fuss! But by the way, 
 I think I know why porcupines 
Surround themselves with prickly spines.
 It is to stop some silly clown 
From squashing them by sitting down.  
Don’t copy me, don’t be a twit, 
Be sure you LOOK before you SIT!