The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Filey Brigg

Listen to the poem read by JH Rice ...
There are stories aplenty of dragons
That tell of their hideous ways
And of the bold knights who sought vengeance
And fought with their eyes all ablaze.

Their battles were brutal and fearsome
With clashing of steel upon scale
And a terrible tearing of talons
Through glittering coats of chain mail.

But this story’s just a bit different
It’s still got a dragon, of course,
But here there’s no sword-wielding hero
To come charging along on his horse.

No … this is the dragon of Filey
Who hid in a ditch by the shore:
He snacked on whatever was passing
Which he caught with a flick of his claw.

His favourite was sheepses and lambsies
(They came with a ready-made floss)
But when he began to eat sailors
It made all the townsfolk quite cross.

But how do you battle a dragon
When all of the knights have retired?
It’s really quite a conundrum:
A bit of quick thinking’s required

Then up came the brave Mrs Parkin
Who claimed that she’d thought of a plan
She said she’d dispose of the dragon -
If someone could lend her a pan.

There’s no doubt that some people tittered
(There’s always a few that will scoff)
Well, what was the point of her cooking
When the dragon lay deep in his trough?

But soon she began to get busy,
She stirred up a sort of a cake
With oatmeal and sugar and treacle,
The finest she ever would make

And then she went down to the shoreline -
She stood with the cake in her hands
And wafted the cakey aroma
Across the soft sheen of the sands

She heard an ominous rumble
The kind that a dragon would make
When he’s been peacefully sleeping
Then rudely awakened … by cake.

Imagine the scene, dearest reader,
Of a lady alone by the sea
With a dragon who’s slowly approaching
I’m sure you’d be tempted to flee!

But not so our brave Mrs Parkin!
Who showed not a fragment of fear
She stood in a valiant posture
As the terrible lizard drew near.

His eyes were like clusters of diamonds
His wings were the dark of the night
His breath was the swell of the ocean
His scales were the glow of firelight

The dragon was suitably cautious
He’d never had cake until then -
He sniffed at a bit of a morsel …
Before dragging it back to his den.

There came a horrible slurping
As the dragon tore into the treat
And once she knew he was eating
Our hero prepared her retreat.

“He loved it!” announced Mrs Parkin
(Once she’d recovered from shock),
“And I’m perfectly sure that the treacle
Has fastened his jaws like a lock”

Alas and alack for the dragon
The words that she’d said had come true
The cake (known henceforth as Parkin)
Had fastened his mouth up like glue

And that was the end of the creature
It never returned to that shore
So if you’re plagued by a dragon -
Remember to glue up his jaw.

Now, if you’re ever in Yorkshire
And you’re offered some Parkin to eat
You’ll remember the strangest of stories
Of cake … and a dragon’s defeat.

About the Writer

J H Rice

J H Rice writes poems. Sometimes he does this on purpose but a lot of the time poetry just seems happen to him. He used to worry about this but, since meeting lots of other poets, he has realised that it's perfectly normal. A lot of poems happen to him when he's walking his dog, Rosie.