Some squeaks inside a cupboard late last night
Informed me there was something not quite right:
One of these glory-holes in passage, right up high,
That takes tall stools to reach, or in to spy. 

This morning I took courage in both hands
And also lots of junk, one understands!
What I found there you do not want to know –
Some things were put there thirty years ago! 

There was a hole in ceiling, and so that’s
What gave the entree to the rotten rats,
Who had evacuated with great speed
Directly they’d observed I’d taken heed. 

What I removed you scarcely would believe –
That such small space so much stuff can receive;
The junk was spread across the passage floor,
And still there came out ever more and more. 

Most of those contents then got promptly binned,
A pity, but then with neglect we’ve sinned;
One shouldn’t think that doors and walls suffice
To keep out all the wretched rats and mice. 

I also found, with sorrow and with woe,
That this was where the roaches like to go,
They scuttled off with most reproachful looks
Into all types of crannies, and some nooks. 

So if you’ve also stuck some stuff away
In hopes it may be useful one fine day,
Be sure to check it fairly frequently
Lest such sad scenes you also chance to see!


One of the things to come out of the depths of this cupboard was a magazine dated 1943, full of fascinating wartime stuff. Some of the ads are a hoot. Although women were in uniform (acknowledged by the cover) the content is still very much slanted towards ‘master of the house’ and the ‘little woman’ who must not ‘wear the pants’ – even if she is, both literally and figuratively!

‘Guarding the Flock’ below really brings one close to the mood of the times. 


© June 2012 Colonialist (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in History, Nonsense verse, Personal Journal, Really Awful Rhyme and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Tokeloshe says:

    Love those old magazines, fortunately we can scan them 😉


  2. Ruth2Day says:

    those old magazines are a treat to read. And although I’d not be happy with being “the little woman”, I think I would have enjoyed living in those simple times 🙂


  3. Oh my gosh.That magazine cover is a hoot!


  4. Gobetween says:

    It happens to all of us who like to hoard. Time flies and pests rejoice. Love the old magazine.


  5. Yuck! Rats and roaches… But the magazine looks awesome, love the hand knitted top on the front cover.


  6. SidevieW says:

    Goodness, my home is less than 20 years old, so there are no such treasures lurking somewhere.

    How the world changes, and those women who ran the home and the jobs were certainly never going back to being submissive little mice again


  7. Oh, no Col, I hate rats and roaches! I always anjoy old magazines and papers!


  8. optie says:

    Interesting post Col – hope the rats and roaches will relocate. I love looking at old newspapers and magazines. We have quite a collection that my FIL saved and keep meaning to go through them. It is very interesting to read about what people thought and did all those years ago.


    • colonialist says:

      I hope they relocate a goodly distance away!
      Yes, stepping back into a different era is fascinating. Of course, it is a bit scary to recall that one was part of it. That is, if one has that many figures on the odometer, as I do!


  9. Marco says:

    My comments got wiped? Oh crud!


  10. marcoville says:

    I think the mice and rats were keeping an eye on you – not so sure about about the roaches – if they hissed you could contact that guy who eats them and he can have a midnight snack 🙂 Ah THOSE magazines, love the cover!


  11. melouisef says:

    Wow! May 1945…
    that’s something.


  12. adinparadise says:

    Oh my goodness, I remember “Odo-ro-no.” How scary is that? Quite a find those magazines were. Almost worth the rats and roaches. 😉


    • colonialist says:

      Ah, at last I can respond and follow links. EDIT: Spoke too soon. Yours doesn’t work. I get to WP main page.
      Pity I missed the rats – I was SO looking forward to meeting them.

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