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This poem is taken from PN Review 158, Volume 30 Number 6, July - August 2004.

Two Poems Caroline Bird

A Seasonal Surprise for Miss Pringle

It was Christmas eve, and the Wibbles were singing carols to their pig,
but Miss Pringle was slicing pumpernickel, thinking fondly
of her seven lovely daughters, each so rum-faced and rosy,
cheerful and chirpy, who were waiting inside the cardboard cake, ready to spring
out with whoops and festive frolics, upon some unsuspecting reveller,
but they'd been there since November, and were losing oxygen.

Miss Pringle anointed the tiger prawns with truffle oil,
topped off the turkey with an olive swirl, and was none the wiser,
while, from beneath the tree, came the sound of a tiny mouse,
a very tiny mouse, stirring softly, or rather convulsing, spasmodically,
in his tiny mouse-trap. Then, all at once, the doorbell tinkled,
and a hoard of lively do-gooders burst into the room, babbling warmly

and bearing gifts of scones and vegetable filo tartlets. What a vivacious bunch!
There was Catherine Crumb, the baker, Bertie Barrel, the bar-tender,
Sherman Sherbet, the confectioner, and Gertrude Gimble,

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