Rambler's Top100

Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat

Skimbleshanks the railway cat,
The cat of the railway train.

Theres a whisper down the line,
At eleven thirty nine,
When the night mails ready to depart.
Saying Skimble, where is Skimble?,
Has he gone to hunt the thimble,
We must find him or the train cant start.

All the guards and all the porters,
And the station masters daughters,
Would be searching high and low.
Saying Skimble, where is Skimble?  
For unless hes very nimble,
Then the night mail just cant go

At eleven forty two
With the signal overdue,
And the passengers all frantic to a man.
Thats when I would appear,
And Id saunter to the rear,
Id been busy in the luggage van.

Then he gave one flash of his glass green eyes,
And the signal went all clear.
Theyd be off at last for the Northern part,
Of the Northern hemisphere.  

You could say that by and large,
It was me who was in charge,
Of the sleeping car express.
From the driver and the guards,
To the bagmen playing cards,
I would supervise them all, more or less.

Down the corridor he paces,
And examines all the faces,
Of the travellers in the first and the third.
He establishes control
By a regular patrol,
And hed know at once if anything occurred.

He would watch you
Without winking,
And he saw what you
Were thinking,
And its certain that he didnt approve,
Of hilarity and riot
So the folks were very quiet,
When Skimble was about and on the move.

You could play no pranks
With Skimbleshanks.
Hes a cat that cannot be ignored.
So nothing went wrong on the Northern mail,
When Skimbleshanks was aboard.

It was very pleasant when
Theyd found their little den,
With their name written up on the door.
And the berth was very neat,
With a newly folded sheet,
And not a speck of dust on the floor.

There was every sort of light,
You could make it dark or bright,
And a button you could turn to make a breeze.
And a funny little basin,
Youre supposed to wash your face in,
And a crank to shut the window should you sneeze.

Then the guard looked in politely,
And would ask you very brightly,
Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?
But I was just behind him,
And was ready to remind him,
For Skimble wont let anything go wrong.

When they crept into their cosy berths,
And pulled up the counterpane.
They could all reflect it was very nice,
To know that they wouldnt be bothered by mice.
They could leave all that to the railway cat.
The cat of the railway train.

In the watches of the night,
I was always fresh and bright.
Every now and then Id have a cup of tea,
With perhaps a drop of scotch,
While I was keeping on the watch,
Only stopping here and there to catch a flea.

They were fast asleep at Crewe,
And so they never knew,
That I was walking up and down the station.
They were sleeping all the while,
I was busy at Carlisle,
Where I met the station master with elation.

They might see me at Dumfries,
If I summoned the police,
If there was anything they ought to know about.
When they got to Gallowgate,
There they did not have to wait,
For Skimbleshanks would help them to get out.

And he gives you a wave,
Of his long brown tail,
Which says Ill see you again
Youll meet without fail,
On the midnight mail,
The cat of the railway train.  

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