Where They Hung The Monkey

I think it was West Hartlepool
Or possibly Sunderland.
It was somewhere along the North-east coast,
I’m given to understand

It was where they hung the monkey,
The one that came to be
Cast up on the sandy shoreline there
After a storm at sea.

It thought itself most fortunate
To see the land again
For all the sailors on its ship
Had drowned in the watery main.

It was a sailor’s happy pet
And used to his gentle ways
So when it saw some men ashore
It gave its Maker praise.

And ran to them with happy cries,
Glad of their company
But all the men of Hartlepool
Thought it quite uncanny.

None of them had ever seen
Such a thing as a monkey,
For all they knew it could have been
A dressed-up courtroom flunkey.

They scratched their heads in puzzlememt,
Some said it was a Frenchman,
But others disagreed and thought
It was the Devil’s henchman.

The arguments went on and on
And no-one could agree
Until an ancient fisherman said:
“Now everyone listen to me,

It’s plain this creature is a Frenchie
By Boney sent to spy
Upon the men of Hartlepool,
So, come let’s swing him high”.

The monkey then was marched to gaol,
It thought it was a game
And danced and skipped between its gaolers
As to the town they came.

And when they put around its neck
The rope that hung from the tree
It chattered with excitement
Recalling frolics on the sea.

When it was roughly pushed, to jerk
And dangle from the rope,
To change its view of all mankind,
There was not time, we hope.

by Pete Crowther

Comments (2)

ohh the shame of it all! word of advice peter - dont mention this incident if you visit hartlepool. grand poem! al
A fun poem with depth...