A Pasty on Mr Kipling’s ‘If’

If you can eat your bread, when all about you
Are toasting theirs, (and flaming burn it too!).
If you can eat your crust yourself, when all men flout it,
Please making allowance for their flouting too.
If you can grate, and not get tired of grating,
Or whip a pie up. Don’t be scared of pies.
For being tasted won’t enlarge your waistline.
And don’t forget the pud, whatever size.

If you can cream, and spread your cream like plaster;
If you can drink, and not give port the blame;
If you love sweets, like trifle, strewn with caster,
And eat those two compotes without great shame;
If you can pare an apple till it’s broken,
And twist a bagel in a gooseberry fool,
And wash the dishes as a little token;
Blend soup, and mop the mess. Now that IS cool.

If you can pass on sheep; eat cabbage thinnings,
And whisk and catch a turn of candyfloss,
And booze, and not let slip about your winnings,
And lettuce leaves you choose are never cos;
If you can force your rhubarb in a bin, you
Can serve it out of time, all pale and long,
And serve cold scones (that are not on the menu),
Except for Will’s. They have blackcurrant on.

If you eat stalks with crowdie, topped with tiramisu,
Or fork cheese string, nor chew vanilla fudge;
If neither foes, nor loving friends need burp you;
If sauerkraut’s a stew, and not a sludge;
If you can cook a banquet in a minute
For sixty guests, now that would be some fun!
You’ll prove your worth. (You’ll need a can of spinach).
And – which is more- you’ll be a (very big) Man, my son.

© Ruth Twyman Lockyer June 2011

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