And Murphy Raised His Head
There's a saying said when things go wrong, and go wrong more and more,
It's said the most by fatalists - they call it 'Murphy's Law'.
When something can go wrong, they say, it usually damn well does,
And bad luck strikes again and again to make a terrible fuss.
Now that is just what happened when Paddy Mick Magrew
trained his Irish Hunter for the Annual Dublin Show.
His horse was full of muscle and its coat was brilliant white,
so much than when he took it out it blinded all in sight.
Now Paddy was quite happy on the morning of the Show,
Up early he did start the day when to Dublin he would go.
He'd stowed his gear, and loaded horse, and added this and that.
But when he went to drive away, the truck, it had a flat.
So off came horse in bridle; he put it in the stalls
and muttering unrepeatables donned dark blue overalls,
he fixed the tyre; it took an hour, the truck lay bare once more
for the ruddy jack and wheel brace were at the bottom on the floor.
But never mind, the job was done, his 'time to spare' was gone,
So headstall put upon the steed, the horse was loaded on,
And on they went to Dublin, the winner in his truck,
While Paddy prayed deeply to God to keep at bay bad luck.
They made good time in travel, parked where the gateman said,
And loading off the winner Murphy reared his head.
"Now where's dat ruddy bridle?" Paddy hissed in rising ire,
He'd took it off the horse at home and hung it on the wire.
And there it was, he pictured still, it hanging bright and clean,
the headstall donned in its quick place to go he'd been so keen.
"But never mind," he told himself to keep his anger waned.
His horse would go without the bit so well it had been trained.
So in his fancy riding clothing of tweeds and bowler hat,
He saddled up his Hunter, adjusted this and that.
But when the girth was tightened his eyes bulged with disdain
for the girth was fraying badly: Murphy's head had reared again.
"Oh bugger off, ya spiteful cur," he swore through tightened jaw,
"Ta trophy's mine regardless. Your luck won't make me sore.
I have the winner in me hand regardless of your curse,
Our luck's been bad I must admit, but it can't get any worse!"
And so he mounted Irish Mist and trotted to the ring,
A brilliant grey with straining girth and a bitless bridle thing,
With ropes attached as bridle reins Paddy showed his Hack
albeit now a-specked with mud from the rain-soaked entrance track.
But even so as he trotted round the Judge donned dark sun-glasses
to view the dazzling brilliance; the odd apparel in his classes.
And 'Canter on!', he said quite loud to end the trotting laps,
then deftly watched the showy steeds for obedience or mishaps.
While shape was in contention, and beauty topped the bill,
Manners were important too, and so was rider skill.
And into canter Paddy put the pride of Belfast Stud,
While sitting neat upon his back avoiding slop and mud.
But then he heard the creaking, saw a flash of Murphy's smile
as the girth did twang its final thread, he groaned and looked reviled.
But Paddy as a rider was skilful, smart and quick,
He shinnied from the saddle onto his horse's neck,
Then kicking free the useless gear, he slid down to its back,
And cantered on regardless of the absence of his tack.
To end this tale a mile short, the Judge was in a spot,
He'd seen it all in brilliant style, he'd judged at walk and trot,
he'd seen the horses canter and he saw the shedded saddle;
was awed at Paddy's perfect seat as he'd deftly stayed astraddle.
He lined the horses in a row and viewed them quietly
But couldn't place the blinding grey, 'cose the gear was wrong, you see. And sitting there, our Paddy frowned at the absence of his tack,
heard old Murphy snickering, felt him perched behind his back.
But never mind, old Paddy, of winning he'd been right,
The trophy for Debaucherie was sewn up good and tight.
And giving thanks to Judge and all, he modestly said, "Caw,
I could'na won dis bloody ting wit'out help from Murphy's Law."
Copyright; Helen Iles
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