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Jill | all galleries >> The McClellan Street Cats - Dedicated to Kaye, Taryn, Audrey and of course the Cats > Skimbleshanks
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Skimbleshanks
02-JUL-2006

Skimbleshanks

Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat, the Cat of the Railway Train
There's a whisper down the line at eleven thirty-nine
When the Night Mail's ready to depart
Saying, "Skimble, where is Skimble?
Has he gone to hunt the thimble?
We must find him or the train can't start"

All the guards and all the porters
And the station master's daughters
Would be searching high and low
Saying "Skimble where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble
Then the night mail just can't go."

At eleven forty-two with the signal overdue
And the passengers all frantic to a man
That's when I would appear and I'd saunter to the rear
I'd been busy in the luggage van!


Then he gave one flash of his glass-green eyes
And the signal went "All Clear!"
They'd be off at last to the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere!



Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat
The Cat of the Railway Train
You might say that by and large it was me who was in charge
Of the Sleeping Car Express
From the driver and the guards to the bagmen playing cards
I would supervise them all more or less



Down the corridor he paces and examines all the faces
Of the travellers in the first and the third
He established control by a regular patrol
And he'd know at once if anything occurred


He would watch you without winking and he saw what you were thinking
And it's certain that he didn't approve
Of hilarity and riot so that folk were very quiet
When Skimble was about and on the move



You could play no pranks with Skimbleshanks!
He's a cat that couldn't be ignored
So nothing went wrong on the Northern Mail
When Skimbleshanks was aboard



It was very pleasant when they'd found their little den
With their name written up on the door
And the berth was very neat with a newly folded sheet
And not a speck of dust upon the floor


There was every sort of light
You could make it dark or bright
And a button you could turn to make a breeze
And a funny little basin you're supposed to wash your face in
And a crank to shut the window should you sneeze

Then the guard looked in politely and would ask you very brightly,
"Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?"
But I was just behind him and was ready to remind him
For Skimble won't let anything go wrong

When they crept into their cosy berth and pulled up the counterpane
They all could reflect that it was very nice
To know that they wouldn't be bothered by mice
They can leave all that to the Railway Cat
The Cat of the Railway Train

Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat
The Cat of the Railway Train
In the watches of the night I was always fresh and bright
Every now and then I'd have a cup of tea
With perhaps a drop of scotch while I was keeping on the watch
Only stopping here and there to catch a flea

They were fast asleep at Crewe and so they never knew
That I was walking up and down the station
They were sleeping all the while I was busy at Carlisle
Where I met the station master with elation

They might see me at Dumfries if I summoned the police
If there was anything they ought to know about

When they got to Gallowgate there they did not have to wait
For Skimbleshanks would help them to get out!

And he gives a wave of his long brown tail
Which says "I'll see you again!
You'll meet without fail on the Midnight Mail
The Cat of the Railway Train!"

Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel
1/125s f/5.0 at 75.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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zia 18-May-2007 11:12
well actually that cat looks more like mr. mistoffelees... skimble is an orange cat... :oP nice pic though :o)
Jazno08-Mar-2007 20:43
The poem is perfectly fitting for this charactorious cat. Masterful work.
Victoria03-Jul-2006 20:17
Absolutely beautiful!!
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