A century, all but a year,
In time gone long ago,
An ancestor went hunting game,
With a trusted friend in tow.
‘Twas polar bears the quarry,
Up on the arctic rim,
When days seemed of an endless length -
The nights were pretty slim.
Mist and fog closed quickly in,
Across the frozen waste,
Then through the gloom a Polar lurched,
It seemed in hungry haste.
Firmly, my grand dad gripped his gun
And rammed the powder tight.
(In dazzling speed, the trusty friend
Now disappeared in flight.)
Swift did he reach for his shot bag
For the bear had closer grown;
Alack! The trusted one retained the shot
So there he stood alone.
With sweat now grouped in tiny beads,
Upon his pale fore head,
Where, in this freezing latitude,
All froze like lumps of lead.
Now being one of keen resource,
Indeed, of great repute,
Thought he, ’By gad, for missing shot
This will make good substitute’.
So breaking the icicles off his brow,
He rammed them right away,
For well he knew he hadn’t
A second to delay.
As the bear was now approaching,
With tooth filled mouth so wide
That afterwards the old boy said:
“Yer could see all its inside’.
He pulled the rifle’s trigger,
As it came with paws upraised;
And to hear what happened then Sirs,
I think you’ll be amazed.
In the heat of the explosion
The ice melted all as one
And poured as a stream of water
From the muzzle of his gun.
But: Coming again in contact
With the zero atmosphere,
It froze into a mass once more,
Resembling a pointed spear.
This spear froze ever firmer,
As on its way it sped,
Then by my sires unerring aim,
Entered the Polar’s head.
But: the warmer region that it now reposed,
Melted it once again:
Eventually, the bear it died
Of water on the brain.
Dunstan Verse Summary