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Feather's Miscellany: A Timely Tail

John Waddington-Feather's poem really does concern a timely tail.

Old Billy Brown was milking a cow
On his farm near a field full of hay;
When a hiker strolled by and stopped for a chat,
Just passing a quiet time of day.

They chatted a while about this and that,
Till the hiker asked what was the time;
Still sat on his stool Billy lifted the tail
Of his cow saying: “Quarter to nine.”

Amazed, the young hiker looked on as he milked,
Then asked once again the right time;
“Just nine o’clock,” the old farmer replied,
After lifting the tail yet again.

Perplexed, the young hiker pushed back his cap
And asked Billy how he could tell
What was the time by reaching across
And lifting the milking cow’s tail.

“Quite simple,” said Bill, and he gave a sly smile,
“If I move the tail just a tock,
An’ my milch cow stands still an’ doesn’t perform,
I can see the old village clock.”
John Waddington-Feather ©


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