Haveago Henry went fishing.
The golden fish he caught spoke to him.
“I’m an ordinary fish,” it said,
“and I won’t taste nice,
so throw me back and I promise
you won’t regret it. If you eat me
you’ll get stomach-ache
and I won’t bring you wealth.
Oh, and by the way, your wife
is having an affair with the miller,
it’s been going on for years and years,
and the last two children
(haven’t you noticed?) are his,
the same cross eyes and
the same big nose”.
Henry threw the fish back in the river
and the fish thought ha!
that’s cooked his goose
and the miller’s too,
between the two of them
they ate my wife and children,
so serve them right.
Haveago Henry went storming off
straight to the mill and knocked
the miller down, leaving him
with fewer teeth and a face
which gave rise to the phrase ‘gob-smacked’.
Then he rushed home
and grabbed his two youngest children
and said to his wife:
“I know all about you and Jack Sprat.
Look at these two, I know
whose they are.” His wife
set about him with the rolling pin
and said “Take a good look, you oaf,
who else could be their father but you,
those close-set eyes and that long nose,
here, look in the mirror while
I hold them up next to you.”
Haveago Henry was so furious
he went straight back to the river,
but the talking goldfish,
crafty as ever, had swum downstream
and lost himself far far away
in the deep deep blue of the sea.
This poem refers to the homage to Hans Andersen.