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This is one of my earliest poems, which I'm including in my first collection of humorous poetry, 'The Cullybackey Counterfeiters...and other Barmy Ballads from Ireland' (with illustrations by my daughter, Aisling).

In Ireland, all dogs must be licenced and it's against the law not to do so.

Barking Mad

Cimg2232by Robert E. Wilson18 Mar 2016

The tale that I shall now relay’s
A simple one, in essence,
It’s said that each dog has its day,
But not all have a licence.

My tale begins with local copper
Murphy – Frank, to some;
Our neighbourhood’s crime stopper,
That’s where I’m starting from.

Now, some days Frank’s work is routine -
Complaints he often logs,
You know the sort of thing I mean,
Graffiti, noise – and dogs.

Well, residents in Chestnut Groves
Had gone a little crazy,
And were complaining in their droves
About a dog called Daisy.

‘Barking, thieving, chasing cars’ -
Complaints ran on for pages,
‘Pursuing cats through beds of flowers’ -
She’d been a pest for ages.

The dog belonged to John McGurk
Who, though approaching fifty
Had never done a full day’s work -
Bone idle, if not shifty.

Well, PC Murphy knew wee John –
Frank’s beat went down his road,
One day John’s there, the next he’s gone,
No proper fixed abode.

So Murphy went to find the lad
And have a conversation
Not for the first time, I should add,
About the situation.

Eventually the constable
Saw wee John and his dog,
And said, ‘You must be sensible,
All these complaints I log..

..Will lead to many good folk here,
Especially those with gardens
Taking action, John, I fear,
And phoning up the wardens!

‘So, John, you must control your dog,
And let me tell you straight,
If she ends up inside the pound,
The owner’s cost is great.

And, finally, I want to say
That you will need to go
And buy a licence right away –
Six times I’ve told you so.’

‘Now, back off, cop,’ came John’s reply,
‘You know my situation –
We’re stony broke, and that’s no lie,
Both me and my Alsatian.’

Then Murphy said, ‘Stop answering
Me back, and don’t be funny,
If necessary, sell a thing
To help you raise the money.’

And, bring to me that licence soon –
No further hesitation;
I want it on my desk at noon
Next Thursday, at the station.’

Now, PC Murphy didn’t think
That wee McGurk would listen,
‘Twas much more likely, with a wink
He’d say, ‘Me dog’s gone missin’!’

So, picture Murphy’s great surprise –
As noon on Thursday beckoned,
McGurk appeared before his eyes,
‘Twas not what he had reckoned!
Without a word, wee John produced
A paper from his pocket
Which PC Murphy soon deduced
Was more than just a docket.

Frank said, ‘Now give that form to me,
I didn’t think you’d make it.’
Still, Murphy read it carefully
In case he’d tried to fake it.

But no, it seemed that all was fine –
On close examination,
The licence looked quite genuine
For Daisy the Alsatian.

Then wee McGurk said, ‘You were right,
And I’d no choice as well,
So I decided late last night
To think what I could sell.’

‘And you were able,’ Murphy sighed,
‘To find a thing to flog?’
‘Oh, that was simple,’ John replied,
‘I went and sold the dog!’

© Robert E. Wilson.