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Jamie and Rocco in Ross-on-Wye

One morning daddy gently wakes the boys

And asks them please to not make too much noise.

Their darling mummy’s still asleep,

And so they have to softly creep,

An early rise is something that annoys.

 

Today they’re off to visit Ross-on-Wye,

And if you have to ask the reason why,

“It’s Uncle Neil and Aunty Ruth,”

Says Jamie, of the missing tooth,

“It’s time we gave where they reside a try.”

 

They pack the car with what they think they’ll need.

The packing list already was agreed.

A toy or two, a change of clothes

A handkerchief to wipe their nose,

And sandwiches in case they want a feed.

 

They jump into the car and soon they’re off,

With Rocco sitting proudly, like a toff.

They’re cruising at a steady rate

In daddy’s brand new Saab estate,

But then - oh no! - the engine starts to cough.

 

If only Jamie Monkey could be there.

He’s visiting his friends in Aberdare.

He went to engineering zoo

So always knows just what to do.

There’s little doubt he’d make a quick repair.

 

They safely stop and raise the bonnet high.

Dad looks for inspiration in the sky.

But Rocco’s learnt a thing or two,

He whacks the engine with his shoe.

It starts! So off once more for Ross-on-Wye

 

“Amazing Rocco, what a little star.”

Says daddy from the front seat of the car.

“You’ve fixed it and, what’s even more,

It’s running better than before.

We’ll soon be there, it isn’t very far.”

 

Next morning, Uncle Neil said “Please feel free

To go exploring all the sites to see.

Or, if you want to do the town,

Your Aunty Ruth can show you round.

Whatever, just be back in time for tea.”

 

They put their heads together for a time,

Then Jamie said, “We’re going for a climb.

We’ll reach the top, have lunch and then

Come down a different route again.

It should be fun, the weather looks sublime.”

 

But round those parts the changes come so fast,

And sadly that good weather didn’t last.

Before they even reached the top

They felt the rain begin to plop,

And soon the breeze became an icy blast.

 

Wee Rocco hadn’t ever climbed before.

Not only cold and wet, his feet were sore.

Poor Jamie wore a worried frown,

He couldn’t see, the cloud came down,

And not a clue to guide them anymore.

 

Conditions now were getting really bad.

They had to stop; to go on would be mad.

So Jamie called, “Quick! To these rocks!”

And Rocco crawled in like a fox.

But was there any respite to be had?

 

Amidst the rocks, an overhanging shelf,

With barely room for Rocco and himself.

The scanty shelter that it gave

Concealed the entrance to a cave,

And who’s inside, but little Megan elf.

 

“Well, hello Jamie, whatcha doing here?”

Familiar Welshness filling him with cheer.

“You’ve found our most top secret mine,

The gold from here is extra fine.

Your friend looks scared, there’s nothing here to fear.”

 

“He’s Rocco, my wee brother, don’t you know?

Hey Rocco, this is Megan. Say ‘hello!’

He’s cold and frightened from the storm,

But in this cave it’s nice and warm.

We’ve lost our way and don’t know where to go.”

 

Now Megan smiled, “We’ve got a secret trail,

A tunnel that will shield you from the hail,

Beneath the ground the whole way down

Emerging in the heart of town,

And we’ve installed a little elfin rail.”

 

The journey to the town was such a treat,

And Rocco could sit back and save his feet.

The railway curved and swept with grace,

But picked up quite a startling pace.

When elves build things they’re always rather neat.

 

Now Megan had one final thing to say.

“This mine is secret, that’s how it must stay.

Your first adventure, Rocco dear,

But you can’t tell, is that quite clear?

I’m sure you’ll have lots more another day.”

And so, as planned, they’re home in time for tea,

And Uncle Neil is pleased as pleased can be.

“We thought we’d lost you on the hill,

Or at the least you’d catch a chill,

But here you are, both well for all to see.”

 

Despite the storm they’re both so dry and clean.

When others ask them where on earth they’ve been,

They say, “You know, just here and there.

We didn’t really get a scare.”

That’s what they say, but we know what they mean.

 

December 2011
 
 
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