Christmas Gifts

We all give gifts at Christmas time, but do spend too much?
The season is not all about the cost of things and such,
We surely can give presents, that do not cost at all
If we just think about what we give, when we just make a call,
And visit to some lonely soul whose friends have all passed on,
To have a chat and cup of tea, to show they’re not forgotten,
And make a vow to carry on and go that extra mile,
To bind the bonds of friendship which will leave them with a smile,
And any one that we have hurt, to say sorry and do mean it,
And repair the split, that caused the rift in our relationship,
These acts when feely given, are worth more that bars of gold,
For they display the ethics passed down from days of old.
So give to folks these priceless gifts, not purchased from a store,
They far out last any articles; of that I am so sure.

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Christmas Time

Advent candles, Christmas cards, angel atop the tree,
Turkey, Sprouts and stuffing a feast, for you and me,
Christmas pud and brandy sauce, and a drink or two at least,
All go towards the yuletide joy, that fills our hearts with peace,
Sleigh bells jingle, church bells ring, carols that we sing,
Baubles hung on Christmas trees, presents that we bring,
The baby in the manger, over the stable is a star,
The wise men as they travel to the manger from afar,
Sheppard’s watch the eastern star, surrounded by their sheep,
And angels watching over all, as a vigil they do keep,
This is the time of love and joy, of family and of friends,
To look back on the year that’s past, and perhaps to make amends,
© Ted Morgan Dec 2019

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THe Repair Shop

one of my favourite programmes on the BBC is The Repair
Shop this is my ode to that show

The Repair Shop

There is a programme on the BBC, where we bring our treasured things,
And experts in their chosen fields, mend the things we bring,
The memories that these things evoke, endow the possessors with such joy,
Most things are very are old and loved, a battered chair, a broken toy,
A pot that’s shattered too, all remnants of a loved one’s life,
Passed on to future family, form part of our life’s glue,
We don’t expect miracles but that is sometimes what we get,
Whilst skilful artisans make our objects just like new,
“Thank you” seems hardly words enough, to express our heartfelt joy,
When are revealed the objects, we remembered as a girl or boy,
Grand ma’s, Grandads, Uncles, Aunts, Mothers, Fathers too,
Remembered with such love and Joy, through objects that we knew.

© Ted Morgan Dec.2019

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christmas poem 2019

Symbols of advent are all around, cards in shops, joyous sounds,
People are crowding in markets and stores,
Buying the presents which tradition ensures,
Whilst on the streets of the city, the homeless are there,
Some drugged or drunk or just in despair,
One never knows the stories they tell,
Of breakup or heartache and illness as well,
We just walk on, our eyes do not see,
How troubled and lonely these people can be,
A few people at Christmas, disturbed by their plight,
Do offer a meal and a bed for the night,
Emulating the story passed down through the ages,
The baby, the stable, the visit of Sages,
Let’s hope that the homeless, find ease from their plight,
And New Year brings secure homes for the night.

© Ted Morgan Dec 2019

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Crompton Cat Story Three

Crompton in the Farmyard

Crompton woke from his slumber, rolled over on his bed opened one eye .He then realised he was still living with his owners sister Nicola and the” two monsters” His owner Pippa was still looking after her sick aunt. I will just creep down to the kitchen to see what goodies there are for breakfast. He said sleepily .
The children saw him enter the room and were after him like a shot “let me feed him mummy” shouted one, “No it my turn you did it yesterday” was the insistent voice of the other. “Don’t start falling out this early in the day” said their mum,
In the meantime Crompton sat under the table away from the commotion and waited for his food to be served. “Ah! Cornflakes and milk that looks good he thought and proceeded to lap it up. When he had finished he strolled off into the garden through the open kitchen door.
He saw a movement in the far corner of the garden and what looked like a ginger tail. He was across the lawn and into the bushes after the intruder into what was now”his” garden. He saw a ginger cat leap up onto the fence and disappear, he followed and when on top of the fence saw that his intruder was running towards a large building with straw bales poking out of it. He jumped down and entered the world of the farm yard. Just as he landed he saw seven large white birds with yellow bills and making lots of noise heading in his direction, one small bird I can handle .but seven large geese who were acting in a non-too friendly way was another matter. He started to run towards the barn with the straw in it and ran straight through the door, jumped up onto the topmost bale and stared at his pursuers. Who gathered in a gaggling mass pleased that they had rid their yard of a black cat.
Crompton looked round and saw that only half of the barn was filled with straw, He then looked up into the far corner to a large box placed high up under the rafters he saw two large brown eyes staring down on him. Where have I seen eyes that big before? He mused then he remembered it’s the great flying mouse thief! That must be his house up there, all it seemed to do was stare at him and the eyes never blinked at all, it made Crompton feel quite uneasy, this farm place was so full of unusual things and animals that he longed to be back in his house in the town. I must get away from here its creepy, he jumped down and to his delight the geese had moved away to the far side of the yard and did not see him creep out of the building. He went round the corner of the barn and walked into a large room where he saw a girl with her back towards him sitting by the side of a large animal the like of which he had never seen before. It was massive and had two horns growing out of its head, large brown eyes and a tail that was swishing from side to side. The girl was reaching under the animal and he could hear a swishing of liquid into a large pail the funny thing was that he could smell milk. The Girl suddenly turned round and spotted him. “Well who have we here?” she said “I have not seen you around here before, have you come for some milk? Or have you just come to say hello to my cow Daisy? “Crompton had heard the word before but had no idea that the large creature was called a cow or that it in some way produced milk. She put a small bowl on the floor and the next minute she seemed to pull something under the cow and a stream of milk shot into it. Crompton slowly walked forward and tasted the milk. It’s warm but it did taste so nice, far better that the ice cold milk that was usually served to him. The girl bent down and started to stroke him, what bliss, beautiful warm milk and a stroke. Crompton was enjoying this treatment but it was soon to end as in through the door ran a black and white sheepdog. He took one look at the dog and started to run “Oh look Rovers come to see you “said the girl, but Crompton was away as fast as his legs could carry him. He jumped up onto a window sill and was out into a large field. All around the field were sheep which to Crompton looked like large woolly dogs and also they were making a funny bleating sound. What have I let myself in for here he thought I just want to get back over the fence away from this strange and frightening place full of animals that he had never seen before, and if the truth be known did not want to see again .He started to make his way towards the hedge which would take him back home but he could see that the sheep were all running towards him. It was then he spotted the two dogs driving them towards him. OH Heck more Dogs! The terror was rising in him, this place is
non too cat friendly and if he did escape he would make sure that it was the last time that he entered the farmyard again. He felt trapped, if he outran the sheep he would run straight into the dogs. Oh why did I come into this dredful place? He ran towards an upturned wooden box and crept inside it to protect him from the ever advancing sheep which crowded round. He felt trapped. The sheep then parted and the dogs were at the far end of the field rounding up the stray sheep when an avenue of escape presented itself. Out of the box Crompton jumped and ran as fast as his legs could carry him through a small hole in the hedge and then jumped onto a small wall.
Oh! No there looking at him surrounded by hordes of small versions of this massive animal Crompton felt that he had escaped one bad experience with the sheep dogs only to end up looking straight into the eyes of the biggest pink beast he had ever seen. Poor Crompton he had never seen a pig before. The grunt lings was what Crompton named them and he was sure that he did not want to make friends with them or their oversized mother.
He ran along the low wall and found himself in the cobbled farmyard that he had chased the ginger cat across, what seemed an age ago. Down he jumped but he had failed to see the geese which spotted him running toward the fence that surrounded his garden. He just made it before the geese caught up with him. He jumped onto of the fence and disappeared into his own garden. That was a nightmare he thought I am not going anywhere near that dredful place again. Why do they have such large and strange creatures all in one place he thought? It took him several minutes to regain his breath and composure, after all he was supposed to be the coolest cat in his own area. He slowly walked across the lawn and into the house.
“I suppose you have been sunbathing in a nice warm spot” said Nichola If only you know the half of it thought Crompton and then walked across to his bed for a nice long rest. I wish my owner would hurry up and pick me up this place is the scariest place in the world he mused as he fell asleep.

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crompton Cat story 2

Crompton Goes on Holiday

The phone rang and disturbed Crompton the cat as he dozed in front of a nice warm fire. Life was pretty good at the moment, his belly was full and his owner Pippa was ignoring the advice that she got from that subversive vet, to put him on a diet to lose weight
“Oh Dear Aunty Edith” he heard “I will come down and look after you”. Just a minute he thought, what’s going to happen to me?
Later on in the day he found himself put in a wire cage and loaded into the back of the car. Oh NO! Not to that Cattery with all those common cats, was Crompton’s immediate reaction, but as he was to find out, it was in his opinion even worse than that. The car sped through the town and then into the countryside. Half an hour later it slowed and turned into a narrow lane with a cottage at the end of it. He then saw the black car parked outside and his worst fears were confirmed, he was at his owner’s sister, Nicola’s house and it was where in Crompton’s eyes the monsters lived. Nicola’s two young children rushed up and looked though the car windows whooping with delight.
“Oh look Crompton’s come to stay with us” they shouted in unison. All Crompton could do was look at his owner Pippa. Why have you done this to me? Oh Why? You know that I will get no peace at all, the cage came out of the car and he was transported along with the two chattering children into the house.
“Let me stroke him “the two children chorused in unison, Crompton felt trapped .Oh how long was this to go on ? He thought, I’ll have to run away.
Pippa said to him “Good bye Crompton, be a good cat for Nicola” and she was off out of the room, he heard the car engine start and she was away on her errand of mercy.
Thankfully Nicola told her children to stop playing with him, and he at last had some peace to explore his new temporary home. It smelt so strange and all the furniture was different. His bed however had been placed next to the radiator which was something he did approve of, as he liked to be nice and warm.
His peace did not last long as the children, who he heard were call Holly and Shula descended on him. Out came the pram and to his disgust they Started to dress him in a dolls frock, and bonnet. Oh! The disgrace of it, a fine handsome Tom cat dressed in a frock! Thank goodness none of the cats at home could see him, he would never live it down. Next he was placed in a pram and covered with a blanket, he hated it, but it was quite nice and warm which he did not mind. The children started a big argument as to who was going to push him in the pram. The pram bounced up and down and was eventually pushed into the large garden that surrounded the house.
Crompton was overcome by the variety of new smells that were all around him, he was not used to the countryside and next to the house was a large farmyard with all sorts of sounds and smells. Holly and Shula were arguing so much and making such a noise that their mum Nicola came out grabbed hold of Crompton took the dress and bonnet off him and let him run and hide behind the big couch in the sitting room. He heard Nicola say to the children “let Crompton have some peace, don’t forget that he is in a new home and needs to get used to it, without you two messing about with him” A friend at last thought Crompton. He hid behind the couch and drifted off into a short cat nap. When he woke the room was quiet and he could not even hear the children’s voices.
Crompton then started to explore his surroundings; the kitchen has some interesting smells, especially from the oven when the evening meal was cooking, he liked that, I hope that I will be able to have some of that was his thought. Seeing the kitchen window open he jumped onto the kitchen top and looked out onto the garden which was an expanse of grass with large flower beds surrounding it. His attention was drawn to a rather strange creature which appeared to be moving about in a large pile of leaves. What on earth is that? he thought it’s too big to be a mouse and I have never ever seen such a strange creature before,
He jumped out of the window and then began to stork his prey, the nearer he got to this strange creature the more confused he became. The face and ears seem like a large mouse but what on earth are those weird things which are all over its back? Just as he was going to jump on it, the creature sensed his presence and as quick as lightening rolled itself into a tight ball. Where has its head gone? What has happened to it? Crompton put his paw out to touch it,he immediately felt a sharp pain. His paw was speared by the many spines that covered the creature. Ouch! That hurt, and he was off back to the house determined never ever again to have anything to do with that most unusual creature, it’s the strangest large mouse he had ever seen. Poor Crompton he had never seen a hedgehog before.
After a couple of days he had got used to the house and to a certain extent the children. The initial excitement of his arrival had passed and most of the time they left him to his own devices.
His confrontation with the hedgehog had shown him that his new home had a lot of new experiences that he had never before encountered. He had heard lots of new sounds, and also every time he had ventured into the garden, his nose smelt all sorts of new smells, most of which came from the farmyard. He decided that he must fully explore his own garden before venturing into that part of his new territory.
One thing which also puzzled him was a strange hooting which he heard after it went dark. He was determined to find out what it was, but so far Crompton had not ventured out during the hours of darkness. He had found out that if he sat at the door during the daytime when the window was closed Nicola would open it and let him out. I’ll have a look outside tonight he thought, mice come out at night. Maybe I could show my new companions how good I am at stalking and catching mice.
Night time came, Crompton stationed himself at the kitchen door. Nicola said. “Do you want to go out Crompton? Don’t go and get lost” and the door was opened and Crompton with his tail erect sauntered out into the night. He headed straight for a large Camellia bush and lay down. The moonlight bathed the garden in its soft light and with his eyes open wide he surveyed the garden for any movements. He heard the weird hoot sound but it seemed far away, I wish I knew what that was, thought Crompton.
His attention was then focused on a slight movement on the far side of the lawn. Was it a mouse? , keep your head down, body flat and don’t move a muscle. The field mouse was moving slowly across the lawn towards him. I’ll have him soon, he thought. Just as he was getting ready to spring, his heart beating fast in anticipation of a tasty meal.
To his great surprise he heard a swoosh, and a large shape appeared before his eyes, in a second his mouse had vanished.
Looking up towards the moon he saw a large bird with HIS mouse hanging from its claws flying towards the top of an old Elm tree. As it landed he then heard a loud hoot. So that is the noise made by a flying mouse thief.
Poor Crompton he had no idea that his flying mouse thief was called an Owl!
After the theft of his tasty meal he decided that he would stand a better chance of filling his belly with a meal from his temporary owners. He then walked across the lawn and went into the house through the open door. Looking expectantly towards Nicola who was just starting to put the evening meal out. Right he thought go on brush against her legs start purring loudly and look your handsome best, this is the way to guarantee a good meal tonight after the flying mouse thief had taken his tasty meal. It worked well and he settled down to a nice portion of chicken and gravy. With his belly full and feeling sleepy he settled down in his bed. A last thought before he fell asleep was, I must go and explore the farmyard tomorrow.
© Ted Morgan

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crompton cat stories

Crompton Cats Big Fright

Crompton walked down the road tail held high and purring gently. The sun shone on his black back and he felt very pleased with himself. His owner Pippa had given him a pile of biscuits for his breakfast and then he went to a house across the road where he was presented with a saucer of milk and a piece of chicken.
Pippa had no idea that this was a regular occurrence and could not understand why when she took him to the vets he had always put on weight.
“I have had him on the diet that you recommended” she told the vet “it’s a complete mystery to me why he always seems to have gained weight”
He hated going to the vet and it was his way of silent protest at what he considered his right to a good and substantial meal as befits a cat of his stature. To have his owners good nature subverted by this white coated individual who placed such scandalous ideas in her head was beyond his comprehension,
Now what is on the agenda today he thought, I might try and catch one of those squirrels that have taken residence in the large oak tree in that Major Millers garden. I heard him saying the other day when I was out doing my rounds of the gardens, that they were “A dammed nuisance”. It should be worth a bowl of scraps from his dinner if I could rid him of a couple, thought Crompton.
But just then his thoughts were interrupted by him catching sight of a large dog charging towards him. All thoughts of food disappeared from his mind and he started to run. Through Mrs Jackson’s hedge, across the lawn heading for the Birch tree in the corner. Claws out and up he went liked greased lightning. Somewhat out of breath by his rapid travel, he gazed down at the large dog that barked excitedly at Crompton high in the branches.
You‘ll have to get up early in the morning to catch me thought Crompton, how long will that stupid dog keep that noisy racket going Just at that moment out came Mrs. Jackson welding a large brush “Stop that noise at once” she shouted and proceeded to chase the unfortunate dog out of her garden.
Crompton watched the proceeding from the safety of his high perch with some satisfaction,” ought to be a law against letting dogs out or their own” he thought, “cats on the other hand were a different matter, we did not go around barking and causing a nuisance. We might upset one or two people when we bring presents to our owners, such as the odd mouse or bird. Humans were such strange creatures, they know that we can be very quiet and stalk our prey, so if we show them how good we are, why do they get upset? Must be a defect in their makeup, poor things. Still they give us warm houses to live in, and food so they do have some good points.
All thoughts of a foray into Major Miller’s garden to catch a squirrel had vanished from his mind as he slowly climbed down from the tree. Dogs are a menace they should all be kept locked up, they have no right cause such chaos to the neighbourhood.
Just at that moment he spotted a magpie hopping across the lawn intent on eating the scraps of bread that had been scattered about.” What a prize” he though as he slowly started stalking his prey.
Down on your belly, slowly does it, sidle under the overhanging branches of a large bush. Nearly there and I will have you” he thought. A loud squawk and a flash of plumage meant that he had been spotted. The magpie soared up to the treetops. I’ll have you one day he thought, Still you can’t win them all and with that thought he slowly sauntered his way across the lawn.
He glanced into the next garden and saw that a pond had been constructed with a large rockery at the back of it. Must have a look there and he wandered to the side of the pond. He immediately saw that it was filled with large Koi Carp. His mouth began to water at the prospect of a big juicy fish.
Putting his head down near the water he studied his prey. He lay motionless for a considerable length of time, his head partly hidden from the fish by a clump of reeds that the owner had planted at the edge of the pond.
Nearer and nearer the fish swam to where he was hidden, he adjusted his stance so the he could scoop the fish out with his paw. Just as he got ready to attack a large and what
Popping up in front of his nose were two large eyes and the ugliest face he had ever seen. It’s the Monster of the Pond, those eyes bored into him, his heart stated to pound, it let out a bloodcurdling croak and launched itself out of the water.
Crompton was away like the wind running fast and with a heart that was beating so fast with fright that he thought it was going to burst. My goodness that was the most frightening thing that had ever happened to him.
Then it dawned on him, that it was only a very large frog!
I hope that none of the other cats in the neighbourhood saw that, to be scared by a large frog, he would be the laughing stock of the neighbourhood. Gone would be his reputation as the coolest cat on the estate, no female cat would come near him without bursting into fits of laughter.
These were his thoughts as he padded away up the street towards his own house.
He turned into the gate to go up the drive, when he saw the car, oh no visitors!
Nicola his owner’s sister and her two young children had arrived.
I will try and sneak in and go upstairs under one of the beds he thought.
He jumped up onto the window ledge and was just going through the window when shrieks of joy were heard.
“Oh look Crompton has come to see you” said his owner to the two young Girls that were with her. Oh, No! Not those two, they will not leave me alone, and how can I escape?
He was too late, was picked up by his owner and taken towards the two monsters who were clapping their hands with joy at his appearance.
They both shouted let me stroke him and Crompton tried hard to wriggle from the grip of his owner, but the hands descended and he was engulfed in small hands stroking and patting him.
He managed to wriggle free and shot towards the stairs closely followed by the two little girls shouting and screaming, “Crompton come here” Not on your life thought Crompton as he rapidly ascended the stairs and shot under his owner Pippa’s big low divan bed . I should be safe now it’s too low for them to crawl under.The two children ran into every bedroom in the house looking for him but failed to detect him in his hiding place behind a pair of winter boots that had found their way under the bed. The sounds of the children diminished as they descended the stairs. Peace at last thought Crompton as he curled up and went to sleep. Dreaming of a large dish of fish, and the banishing of all frogs from the land! It had been an eventful day and one that he would not forget.
©Ted Morgan

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