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Hogswatch Day In The Watch House


From: Daibhid Chiennedelh
Newsgroups: alt.fan.pratchett
Date: 15 Dec 2002 01:08:49 GMT
Subject: [I] Hogswatch Day in the Watch House

This just came to me, reading the original. Hope it doesn't put too much of a damper on people, but I think it's always worth thinking about this stuff at this time of year...

Hogswatch Day in the Watch House

(based on Christmas Day in the Work House, by George R Sims)

It is Hogswatch Day in the Watch House,
And the sergeant's desks are strung,
With strings of paper sausages,
And the meal's nearly begun.
For with well washed hands and faces,
(Well, Corporal Nobbs excepted),
The Watchmen are all waiting,
For the dinner they expected.

And those nobles of the city,
Who weren't asked to the palace,
Are smiling politely at Vimes,
With polite, undisguised malice.
As Carrot bustles to and fro,
A cheerful, friendly host,
Announcing to the Watch and guests,
The pig is nearly roast.

Vimes smiles back at the nobles,
As Carrot doles out pork,
But every time one of them speaks,
His hands close round his fork,
And when one says "a prosperous year, all told",
Wirh a noble's horsey bray,
The fork is unthinkingly moving,
And Vimes looks ready to slay.

"A prosperous year?" he echoes.
"For this city?" demands Vimes.
"Have you looked beyond your manors?,
"Have you read the A-M Times?"
The nobles look bewildered,
The Watch all look concerned,
(Save Nobby, who pinches Fred's tatties,
While the Sarge's face is upturned).

"I know Carrot chose to invite you,
"'He believes in this goodwill to all,
"But you just turned up 'cos your unwelcome,
"At Lord V's or the UU Ball,
"The pettiest of petty nobles,
"The heads of the most minor Guilds,
"Looking down on the people below you,
"It's with you the gutters should be filled!

"A bunch of slumlords and embezzlers,
"The sort of crooks Watchmen can't catch,
"But I'm damned if I'll spend Hogswatch with you,
"For all the sheep's eyeballs in Klatch!"
And in front of the afronted nobles,
To the door headed Commander Vimes,
Saying "Hogswatch is our busy season,
"I have to be out stopping crimes.

"Commited by *dwellers* in slum flats,
"By those who your usury bled.
"(I don't want a rest, thank you, Carrot,
"'Till I've said what I need to be said),
"I've heard the phrase 'criminal classes'
"Used by many a noble lord,
"And it means those who can't commit the crimes
"That only the rich can afford."

"Those whose crimes are of necessity,
"Who are grateful for a cell,
"Since we have to look after our prisoners,
"And we try to do it well.
"Are you blind to the life of these people?
"Do their troubles not reach you ears?
"Ankh-Morpork runs like clockwork,
"Some folk get caught in the gears."

With that the Commander shrinsk down,
And he slumps out of the door,
He's followed by Nobby and Colon,
And half a dozen more.
Angua sighs at the drama,
"Yeah, Comrade!" shouts Reg,
Carrot looks sadly at the nobles,
Like Hogfather judging from his sledge.

As the last of the Watchmen exit,
The nobles sit alone,
Avoid each other's gazes,
Then quietly slope off home.
The Hogswatch feast lies cooling,
With a distinctive lack of cheer,
Till Carrot gives it to hospices,
Like he does every year.

Dave


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