'Twas the night before Christmas and all down the pier,
All the ragworm were wriggling on my dangling gear.
And then from the waves, in their tide-turning crash,
I reeled in a small fish that did splish, splosh and splash.
'Twas a five-bearded rockling, its whiskers aquiver
As I held it aloft, and its body did shiver.
It looked at me glumly, its eyes big and round;
With its gills it implored me, though it gave no sound.
I said to my fishy, "You'd look good on my toast!"
Said small Rocky to me, "But I live on the coast!
Won't you please reconsider? I hate fishmongers boards!
Can't you buy some sardines from that shop, Brian Fords*?"
"But Fishy," says I. "You're my Christmas Eve catch!
I'll never reel in a more lovelier match".
Says Rocky to me, "You could catch cod or pollacks;
Stop talking to me, this is all big fat bollocks!
I'm going to die if you don't chuck me back.
If you eat me, I'll give you a gastric attack!"
And so we both said our goodbyes on that pier,
I said "Goodbye, Fishy, 'tis a time of good cheer".
I held him a second, and then let him slip,
But the beggar was stuck on my latex gloves' grip!
I shook my hand gently, but he wouldn't go,
So I frantically waved my arm to and fro!
And wriggling, he plummeted to the depths down below,
Screaming and panting, a glittering show!
And after that moment, I know not where
My Rocky has gone, or how he will fare.
But I do know this, that one day, somehow,
I'll catch one with six beards - I'm starting right now!
And so to each one, merry fisherpeeps all,
A right jolly Fishmas, catcheth big fish and small.
*Author's Note: Brian Fords, the farmer's budget supermarket, no longer exists, sadly. All the farmers and their wives now have to spend their massive monthly shop money in the Evil Giant that is Tesco. They moan about it, but they do shop there. I don't mind it, as they had my Favouritest Alcohol on sale last time I went in.