ALPHONSE THE MANGO FOX
(A poem for children)
Let’s go Margot. The Alphonsos are in. Time to
scunge the very best bins for the leftover skins
and succulent stones, sweeter than bones
and ice-cream cones, or a lick of Sipsmith Gin.
Let’s take along Foncey, he’s old enough now
to savour more than the fat of the sow.
Let him try mangoes and learn to swill,
all on the trot ’til he’s had his fill.
Okay, Margot. Son, here’s how it’s writ.
We stay cool in the street and quit when we quit.
We’ll teach you the best way to tumble a bin
and here’s further instructions before we begin.
Forget Mr Shah, well known for his stores
of the fruit of his youth so craved and adored.
His sweet tooth is such, he sucks skin and core dry,
leaving scarcely a morsel to pleasure the eye.
The old mutt inside 9 we always ignore though
he may sniff us out when he wakes from a snore.
He has no taste for mangoes, likewise for wine,
and when he’s aroused barely musters a whine.
Down the road on her own lives Maud Mary Mellish
who makes salads and slaw and sweet mango relish.
For these she needs mangoes that slice to perfection,
which means we can gorge on her fruits of rejection.
The man in 11 we don’t quite know his name,
though we hear he’s a roadie of fortune and fame.
When he’s back from a gig the mangoes run rife
for no one carouses like his glam model wife.
The Tom at 16 is sly, mean and vicious
and runs under the name of Aloysius.
Leave him to me. I’ll spancel his snout
and let him know smartly what we’re all about.
At number 19 they make mango ragu
that always strikes me as an odd kind of brew.
When it comes to the slops, no accounting for taste,
we often rue things that are eaten in haste.
Across at the Close there’s a couple verbose
who dispose of their mangoes in a manner jocose.
Who knows why they soak them in whiskey and jam?
A bonne bouche for foxes who are fond of a dram?
From there I’ve come heady I have to admit,
‘cos I tried them out once and they gave me a hit.
I danced down the street with my tail in a twist
’til Margot ran over and made me desist.
Wherever you are, there’s a route to escape
if your Mother growls ‘Go!’ you scoot with the crêpe.
If she whispers ‘Hello’ be alert and lie low –
someone upstairs thinks he’s sussed us below.
And keep a keen ear for Rozy the Rat,
she’ll snatch every treat from under your hat.
She slips up behind with barely a flutter
and, before you know it, is off with the butter.
Now bones and cream scones are all very fine
but tonight we shall dine on the mango divine.
Believe me, of all the abundance arrayed,
only Alphonsos in heaven are made.