This Old Goat

Paul Gauguin - Old man with walking stick. Picture courtesy of
Paul Gauguin – Old man with walking stick. Picture courtesy of

The old man, Fred is his name
and he does like to play the game
The one where he exaggerates his age
telling people stories from his life’s page

He’ll tell stories of wars fought
and of being captured and deals bought
Of countless battles he did see
but some people don’t believe

Harmless stories his does tell
with them he won’t go to hell
Sweet and kindly is this old goat
that some call him a wily old stoat

He’ll say his limp is an old injury
sustained whilst helping a missionary
In the far east he was shot
where he said the jungle was very hot

He even shows the scar he did receive
but some snigger and don’t believe
Because old though he is, he did not fight
he was a cook in the army, no enemy in sight

Or so they think for his stories differ
never one the same, he gets shiftier
They all smile at what he says
at all the words with what he plays

If they looked deeper though, questioned him right
listened closely to his stories of fight
They may see that something he hides
that not all he says are complete lies

A master storyteller he did become
and with his words he has fun
But things he must keep only to himself
some through choice, others he can’t tell

So this old goat is tolerated by all
friends and family, even the traders on the stalls
Walking through the streets with his battered old stick
his sharp green eyes never miss a trick

And no-one will know his sacrifice…

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