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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 2. March 16, 1938

Cautionary Tale — For Grown-Up Children

Cautionary Tale

For Grown-Up Children

Oh, weep for Ferdinand with me!
He rests beneath a cypress tree,
The earth a pillow for his head—
In other words, my friends—he's dead!

Oh, loudly let the cymbals blow,
And gaily strike the piccolo!
Why? Look, and you will understand—
It is the Fresher, Ferdinand!
See, flawless clothes his looks enhance,
And green and yellow underpants!
Now, Ferdy's adolescent mind
Was most aggressively refined;
He thought that every little snork
Was dropped down chimneys by a stork;
He thought—most ignorant of males—
That Marie Slopes wrote Bed-time Tales;
He thought—no more will I narrate,
Such folk make me expectorate!
The students in the Common Room
Filled Ferdy with religious gloom,
And he resolved that he would be
A model of propriety.
Now, Ferdinand at school had been
A forward in the fourth fifteen.
And he had vowed, that when he came
To 'Varsity, he'd play the game.
He entered into it with zest,
But could not fail to be impressed
By certain words the players used
When they were tackled, kicked or bruised.
They often murmured "Dash" and "Strewth,"
And other phrases more uncouth.
Which understood would only be
By students of biology!
Instead of shouting: "Pass the ball!"
Young Ferdy to his mate would call:
"Pray, Sir, a benefit, 'tis clear,
You'd gain by handing me the sphere!"
But one day—friends, if you have tears
To shed, prepare yourselves, my dears—
Our Ferdinand, as side support
Was pushing as a forward ought,
When someone swore, a bit irate,
And Ferdy dared to remonstrate?
They turned him on his heaving turn.
And—trod upon him in the scrum!

Shall I relate how doctors came
At the conclusion of the game;
How, wading gently through the blood.
They sifted Ferdy from the mud;
How people, gazing at the spot.
Observed—well, no, I'd better not!
I'd harm susceptibilities
By giving details such as these.
Suffice to say, that, in my mind,
Poor Ferdinand was most refined!