The Groom’s Story

TEN miles in twenty minutes ! ‘E done it Sir, that’s true,

The big bay ‘orse in the further stall, the one woes next to you,

I’ve seen some better ‘orses ; I’ve seldom seen a wuss,

But ‘e ‘olds the bloomin’ record, and that’s good enough for us.

We knew as it was in ‘im—’e ‘s thoroughbred three part,

We bought ‘im for to race ‘im, but we found’ e ‘ad no ‘cart,

For ‘e was sad and thoughtful, and amazin’ dignified,

It seemed a kind o’ liberty, to drive ‘im, or to ride.

For ‘e never seemed a thinkin’ of wot e ‘ad to do,

But ‘is thoughts was set on ‘igher things, admirin’ of the view,

‘E looked a puffect picture, and a picture ‘e would stay,

‘E wouldn’t even switch ‘is tail, to drive the flies away.

And yet we knew ‘ twas in ‘ inn, we knew that ‘e could Hy,

But wot we couldn’t get at, was ‘ow to make ‘im try :

We’d almost give things up, until at last, one day,

We got the last yard out of ‘im, in a most amazin’ way ;

‘Twas all along o’ Master, which Master ‘as the name,

Of a regular true blue Sportsman, and always acts the same :

But we all ‘as weaker moments, and Master ‘e ‘s ‘ad one,

And ‘e went and bought a motor car, when motor cars begun.

I seed it in the stable yard—it fairly turned me sick,

A greasy wheezy engine, as can never buck nor kick,

You ‘ ve a screw to drive it for’ard, and a screw to make it stop,

For ’twas foaled in a smithy stove, and bred in a blacksmith’s

shop.

It didn’t want no stable, it didn’t ast no groom,

It didn’t need no nothin’,but a bit o’ standin’ room :

Just fill it up with parrafin, and it would go all day,

Which the same should be agin’ the law, it I could ‘ave my say.

Well, Master took ‘is motor car, and motor’d ‘ere and there,

A frightenin ‘ the ‘osses, and pisenin’ the air,

‘E wore a bloomin’ yottin’ cap, but Lor’, wot did ‘e know,

Except that if you turned a screw, the thing would stop or go ?

And then one day it wouldn’t go,—’e screwed and screwed

again,

But somethin ‘ jammed, and there ‘e stuck in the mud of a country

lane,

It ‘ urt ‘is pride most cruel, but wot was ‘e to do?

So at last ‘e bade me fetch a ‘oss, to pull the motor through.

This was the ‘oss we fetched ‘im, and when we reached the car,

We braced ‘im tight and proper, to the middle of the bar,

And buckled up the traces, and lashed them to each side,

While ‘e ‘eld ‘is ‘cad most ‘aught}’, and looked most dignified.

Not bad tempered mind you, but kind o’ pained and vexed,

And ‘e seemed to say, ” well bli’ me, wot will they ask me

next ?

I’ve put up with some liberties, but this caps all by far—

To be assistant engine to a crockt up motor car !

Well, Master ‘e was in the car, a fiddlin’ with the gear,

The ‘oss was meditatin’ and I was standin ‘ near,

When Master ‘e touched’ somethin’, wot it was we’ll never

know,

But it sorter spurred the boiler up, an’ made the engines go . .

“‘Old ‘ard Old gal, ” says Master, an’ ” gently then “, says I,

But an engine won ‘ t heed coaxin’, an’ it ain’t no use to try,

So first ‘e pulled a lever, an’ then ‘e turned a screw,

An’ the thing kept crawlin’ for’ard, spite of all that ‘e could do.

At first it went quite slowly, an’ the ‘oss went also slow,

But ‘e ‘ad to buck up faster, when the wheels commenced to go

For the car kept crowdin’ on ‘im, and buttin’ ‘im along,

An’ in less than ‘arf a minute, Sir, that ‘orse was goin’ strong

At first ‘e walked quite dignified, then commenced to trot,

An’ then ‘e tried a canter when the pace became too ‘ot ;

‘E looked ‘is very ‘aughtiest, as if ‘e didn’t mind,

An’ all the time the motor car was pushin’ ‘im be ‘ ind.

Now Master lost ‘is ‘ed, when ‘e found ‘e couldn’t stop,

An”e pulled a valve or somethin’ an’ somethin’ else went pop,

An’ somethin’ else went fizziwig, an’ in a flash, or less,

That bloomin’ car was goin’, like a limited express.

Master ‘eld the steerin’ gear, an’ kept the road all right,

An’ away they banged an’ clattered—bli’ me, it was a sight :

‘E seemed the finest draught ‘oss, as ever lived, by far,

An’ all the country jugginses thought ’twas ‘im as pulled the

tar.

‘E was stretchin’ like a grey’ound, a goin’ all ‘e knew,

But it bumped an’ shoved be’ind ‘im for all that ‘e could do ;

It butted ‘im, an’ boosted ‘im, an’ spanked ‘im on a’ead,

Till ‘e broke the ten-mile record, the same as I ‘ave said.

Ten miles in twenty minutes ! ‘e done it Sir, that’s true,

The only time we ever found wot that there ‘oss could do ;

Some say it wasn’t ‘ardly fair, an’ the papers made a fuss,

But ‘e broke the ten-mile record, an’ that’s good enough for us.

You see that ‘orse’s tail Sir,—You don ‘t?—no more do we,

Which really ain’t surprisin’, for ‘e as no tail to see ;

That engine wore it off ‘im, before Master made it stop,

An’ all the road was litter’d like a bloomin’ barber’s shop.

An’ Master ?—well it cured ‘im—’E alter’d from that day,

An’ came back to ‘is ‘osses, in the good old fashioned way :

An’ if you wants to get the sack, the quickest way by far,

Is to ‘int, as ‘ow you think, ‘E orter buy a motor car,