Pearson’s Magazine (UK), May 1907
Don’t call him much of a dog, sir? Don’t like his looks much? No?
Well, he ain’t a perfeshional beauty. He’s all against pride and show.
But though in his veins there doesn’t run a drop of thoroughbred blood,
He won us our annual match one year versus Chickenham-infra-Mud.
We men of Pigbury-super-Splosh were a sporting sort of crowd,
And our skill at cricket was a thing of which we all were especial proud.
Bowlers? My word, I believe you, sir! And we batted above a bit:
We’d run up a total of thirty sometimes. Yes, and not think much of it!
Well, Joe (that’s Joe) would sit and look on from the start to the end of a match.
I’ve seen that dog, sir, howl with rage when a feller missed a catch.
And when young Giles ran Higgins out when we wanted one to tie,
He waited for Giles inside the tent, and took a bit out of his thigh.
Well, this match what I’m going to tell you about. The enemy won the toss,
And in less than an hour two of their cracks had knocked up five without loss.
But old Farmer Brown was our umpire. ’E knew what he stood there for!
They was both of them l-b-w before they could make any more.
Then wickets began to fall quite fast, for Farmer Brown was in form,
Till their hitter went in, and things began once more to get precious warm.
But lunch-time came, with the score at twelve, and brought us a moment’s rest;
For you know what luncheon is, sir—a trap and a snare for the best.
We took that hitter, and did him proud. We filled up his mug with beer:
And we didn’t begrudge him his drop of gin, for all that it’s rather dear.
And by the time that play was resumed he was fast asleep on a seat,
And we went and we wrote “Retired Hurt” to his name on the scoring-sheet.
Well, the game wore on, and they came and went, and each of them did his share,
Till the last man came, and he hit a ball a long way up in the air;
Johnson and Pratt they ran for the catch, and missed it clean, but lor!
That didn’t matter to Farmer Brown. He gave him out leg-before.
Twenty-one was their total score and we thought we could manage that;
But cricket’s a game where it’s precious hard to see just where you’re at.
They’d brought an umpire with them, sir, a nasty, swindling lout,
And right from the start this chap began giving all our best men out!
Higgins, and Giles, and Johnson, too, they melted away like snow.
I thought we’d have had to have sent for the vet., I did, to attend to Joe.
Your ’eart would have bled, sir; yes, sir, bled, if youd bin a-standing by,
An’ ’ad seen the fury and anguish, mixed, in that pore dumb creature’s eye.
The last man in was a nervous chap, and he wore a feeble grin,
When we sent him out to do his best. We wanted seven to win.
Well, he shut his eyes, and he took a swipe, and we thought the skies ’ud fall,
For blowed if that ’ere young nervous chap didn’t go and hit the ball!
It rose in the air, and we shouted “Run!” and a fieldsman started in chase:
But as he was running we thought we saw a curious look on his face;
And then he stopped, and we wondered why, for the feller looked quite scared.
And there was old Joe on top of the ball with his teeth all white and bared!
Well, they ran and ran, and the fieldsmen yelled, but that didn’t disturb old Joe.
He sat on the ball as much as to say, “Am I downhearted? No!”
And, just as they’d finished the seventh run, he rose and he winked at us,
And he trotted away with a sort of blush, like he didn’t want no fuss.
Oh, he ain’t a Serciety beauty with a lovely silky coat:
One of his ears is torn a bit. There’s a scar or two on his throat:
No, he ain’t the sort of dog, maybe, as ’ud win a prize at a show,
But for tact and sense there isn’t one as is in the race with Joe!