He’s Big, He’s Bad, He’s Very, Very, Bad

I wrote this four or five years ago, but having name-checked nursery rhymes, folk songs, folklore and the like over the past few weeks, now seemed like a good time to post it.

The BBW

or He’s big, he’s bad, he’s very, very, bad

That Big Bad Wolf – it now appears

We’ve had it wrong for all these years.

You know the way the story goes

He dresses up in grandma’s clothes

After he’s had her for his lunch

(they make much play of how he’d crunch

Her up and then he’d gulp her down,

Then put on sleeping cap and gown,

Get into bed, pretend to sleep,

I’m sure he never counted sheep!)

Then in comes young Red Riding Hood,

Who travels blithely through the wood,

So innocent – without a care,

Apparently, she’s not aware

It’s full of perils – hungry wolves

Who dress up in old women’s clothes

To name but one – there’s more, no doubt.

But any one would catch her out.

She’s pretty thick, it must be said,

She sees a big bad wolf in bed

Instead of being cross and furious

She stands there looking vaguely curious

Says ‘What big eyes you’ve got today.’

Is that all she can think to say?

Big eyes? Big eyes? Well, what about

The pointed ears, the great long snout,

Did she not have the slightest thought

This might not be the one who ought

To welcome her to Primrose cottage,

That frail old woman in her dotage?

And what about – ah yes, the teeth.

You knew we’d get around to teeth

Before too long – I think you’d say

About the pearlies on display

It would not take much of a guess

To know that they weren’t NHS.

And so back to that gormless youth

Who stands there staring at the wolf

With no great wonder or surprise

Except to say he had BIG EYES!

And now I wonder more and more

If she had seen her gran before.

Now, if it was left up to me

I’d let the wolf have her for tea.

Just eat her up and finish there.

Although that just might be unfair

Perhaps the girl had poor eyesight,

That’s why she never quite took flight.

I hear it now, a low voice quavers,

‘She should have gone to Specsavers!’

But let’s just leave all that for now,

I hinted some way back just how

This story has become perverted,

The happenings have been inverted.

The emphasis on Riding Hood

When actually I think it should

Be focused more upon the roles

The wolf was playing with the clothes.

We’ve never paid it much attention,

Because it only gets a mention

As a ploy to fool the brat.

I think there’s more to it than that.

The clues were there, before our eyes

It isn’t much of a surprise.

The women’s clothes, the wolf, the bed,

The things that story left unsaid.

The true events I’ll tell you now,

A charming little tale of how

A handsome wolf had searched worldwide

For love (or something on the side).

A simple tale in many ways

It tells how he had passed his days.

He’d been with several little pigs,

And tried some other casual gigs,

But nothing seemed to satisfy

He needed something else to try.

He heard how in the Big Wild Wood

The father of Red Riding Hood

A widowed man, still lithe and strong,

Was also searching for someone.

(The woodland folk had seen his chopper

And word was it was quite a whopper!)

His mind made up, he hatched a plan

To win this handsome, big strong man.

You know the rest, or at least some,

A perfumed letter asking him to come.

A rendezvous deep in the woods,

Where he could view some tempting goods

He might find pleasing. The next day

The wolf, now nervous, in bed lay.

He wondered should he have done more,

But then a knock upon the door.

He held his breath, the door swung wide,

The woodman slowly came inside.

Cue clapping hands and smiles and laughter –

They both lived happily ever after!

Launch of ‘The Happy Bus’ by Louisa Campbell

Last night I was lucky enough to attend a great evening of performance poetry at The Java Bean cafe in Tunbridge Wells, for the launch of the new pamphlet by Louisa Campbell, a member of my local writing group.

Supported by published poets Ira Lightman and John McCullough, both of whom gave great performances, Louisa’s was easily the standout set for me.

A natural performer, she read a selection of poems from The Happy Bus, Published by Picaroon Poetry, which is a collection she describes as ‘charting the journey through anxiety and depression and on to peace and joy’.

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This is not to suggest that her poetry is all dark, for that is certainly not the case. Each one bristles with hope and determination, and frequently humour – for Louisa does humour very well – and had the audience frequently chortling (we chortle a lot in Tunbridge Wells. We also chunter about stuff, but there was none of that last night).

And, let’s face it, how often do you get to see a poet declaiming a couple of their poems in a wolf onesie?, or getting an audience in Tunbridge Wells to yell out a chorus of ‘Bugger!’?

Below, an extract from the pamphlet:

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To get your copy, click on either of the links below.

Amazon UK

Lulu