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Feather's Miscellany: Funeral Scones

His wife confessed herself well beaten;
For no way could her cooking staunch
The flow of food into that awesome paunch.

Percy Peake was a man with an insatiable appetite, as John Waddington-Feather’s poem reveals.

There was a man called Percy Peake,
Who lived in Keighworth; every week
He’d scoff vast quantities of scones
His wife had made; full twenty stones
He weighed – and Elsie baked and baked
To satisfy his appetite,
Baking, baking half the night.
He’d come from work and straightway take
Slices of her currant cake;
Then handfuls of her tasty bites,
Which he gobbled fit to burst,
Till by the end so much he’d eaten
His wife confessed herself well beaten;
For no way could her cooking staunch
The flow of food into that awesome paunch.

Larger he grew until the time
When death’s dread timepiece loud did chime,
When Percy three score years and ten
Long passed, dire illness struck again,
And his great gut began to shrink
And leave him bedfast on the brink
Of Death, which beckoned hourly, scythe
In hand and at the ready – tithe
Demanding in the form of Percy’s life,
While hard below baked Percy’s wife;
For as poor Percy lay in bed,
Downstairs his dear wife baked some bread
And with it Percy’s favourite scones,
A golden tray already done
And on the kitchen table standing,
As Percy crawled along the landing

For he’d inhaled the rich aroma,
That brought him from his dying coma,
And left his bed to struggle down
To make the kitchen on his own;
Once there he reached to take a scone –
But ere his hand could grab just one
It caught a slap when Elsie turned
And caught him in the act - he’d burned
His boats and didn’t get a crumb.
“Percy, just leave those scones alone!”
She snapped. “Not one of them’s for thee.
I’ve made ‘em special for thy funeral tea!”

John Waddington-Feather ©

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