Burnt Offerings

Do you remember
That day in December
The village hall burnt down?
Not the last December,
You’ve got to remember,
But twelve years ago, or around.
The village hall ladies
Had taken their babies
To a ‘bouncing baby’ quiz,
Not a quiz for the babies,
It was meant for the ladies,
To answer on that and on this.
Then a sister or brother,
Well, one or the other,
Went out to the kitchen for tea,
Then along came the other,
Yes, that was the brother,
And found them some matches you see.
They were boiling some water
When in came a daughter
But nobody knew she was there
And that’s when the daughter
Tipped over the water
All over her arms which were bare.
The children were screaming
And the mothers, well meaning,
Rushed to the scene of the crime
But not knowing the meaning
Of all of the screaming
They didn’t get in there in time.
The tea cloths, now drying,
Were dislodged with the crying
And dropped to the open flame

And what with the crying

The mopping and drying
The kitchen was never the same
The flames and the smoke
Then made everyone choke
And a fire crew was called to the hall
They heard a child choke
Way deep in the smoke
But by then she had burns and a scald
So now every December
I’ll always remember
The fire at the baby day quiz
Yes, I’ll always remember
That day in December
That left me looking like this.

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