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Poetry Pleases: Dick The Saddler

David Shaw's poem recalls a harsh punishment once meted out to Scottish children.

Tell me, Dick the saddler
purveyor of pain,
what was your reason,
what was your gain?

Was it the money,
or a secret delight,
at the thought of the children
who stood there in fright,

awaiting the pain
your piece of leather delivered?
Unhappy children,
who stood there and shivered,

at the thought that Authority,
at times without cause,
delivered its justice
with your Lochgelly *tawse.

(c) David Shaw

* tawse, a leather strap with two tails used in Scottish schools.
Made in Lochgelly, by Dick, a local saddler.


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