Mad Mackie’s Elevenses

‘I shall want chocolate biscuits served with hot white coffee.’
(I have been out half the morning harrowing snakes
with ‘adoring combs’. (That’s what the French maid calls them.
(The upstairs maid (‘adoring’ should be ‘Darwin’.
(I’m speaking parenthetically because
it’s Thursday up on Pluto which as a child I did adore.
Since it’s no planet now, adieu, no more.))))
‘The badger’s back. I see it in the garden.’
‘No, milord,’ the butler sighs. ‘A mole.’
I’m out of my depth. I debit depth perception.
I credit Cyril (the butler) with a win.
We are painting politicians’ faces on clay pigeons
for a garden party I have plans to give.
‘If that’s not the badger, that mole’s the badger’s twin.’

Mad Mackie’s Manor

‘There are a badger, milord, and red squirrels, at the door.’
‘Well, let them in!’ I yell. The butler sighs.
‘You don’t get it, milord. They is wanting letting out.
Your castle is not the keep it was no more.’
I go to correct his grammar. The squirrels dash
the penultimate Ming vase on the flagstone floor.
I help the butler sweep up, handling broom
and crystal dustpan more than handily.
I think the badger likes me, but the squirrels
have convinced him all he wants from here is out.
There’s no pleasing some, so I cry, ‘Fetch the shotgun!’
I send the butler to the village for fresh shells.
The mammals go out with him. All ends well.