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    Countdown to Launch: The Gobbleman by Babs Stevenson

    By Emily 4 years agoNo Comments
    Home  /  Latest  /  Countdown to Launch: The Gobbleman by Babs Stevenson

    Countdown to Launch gives you one of our favourite submissions every week. Babs’ story can be found in the FREAK Circus bumper Kindle edition. Available October 1st.

    Today we are feeling a bit dark in the FREAK Circus lair, so we bring you The Gobbleman. Babs’ poem is half nursery rhythm, half folk legend, and all creepy.

    The Gobbleman


    Babs Stevenson

    ‘Don’t disturb the songbird in her nest.
    Don’t touch the eggs among the yews,
    And don’t make fun of other boys,
    Whose parents can’t afford new shoes.
    Don’t poke your tongue,
    Don’t chase the duck,
    Don’t pick the flowers,
    Or bring home muck.
    Take care, my son, when out at play,
    To keep the Gobbleman ghoul away.’

    ‘Stop telling tales, I’m six years old,
    I know what is and isn’t true.
    There’s no such thing as a gobbledyman,
    You can’t tell me what not to do.’
    ‘He’ll come at night,
    When you’re in bed
    He’ll suck your breath
    And leave you dead.’
    ‘O Mother, I am not afraid
    Of ghosts and goblins you have made.’

    He stole the apples, chased the hens
    Threw stones at babes and acted wild
    Refused to eat his greens at dinner,
    Til his mother worried about her child.
    Peeking in his room
    She saw a sight
    Two devilish eyes
    Were burning bright.
    Stretched across her son’s pale face,
    The Gobbleman kissed a cold embrace.

    ‘Get thee gone,’ she waved her fist.
    The fiend backed off and bared its teeth,
    She pulled the cover from the bed,
    Her son was lying cold beneath.
    When dad came home
    Mum wept with sorrow
    ‘The Gobbleman has taken
    Our son’s tomorrow.’
    ‘Wife, don’t you take me for a fool
    You’ve smothered our son and blame a ghoul.’

    Babs Stevenson is a veterinary surgeon and writer living in Orkney, where she is a member of the Stromness Writing Group. She writes short stories, some poetry and short sketches. Babs has had some short stories published in anthologies and some sketches performed. Her first novel will be published in February 2016.
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