The Tale of the Terrible T

is a moral tale in verse. My mother remembers hearing him laugh aloud as he wrote it. As a drama student in Hull in 1982, I directed a stage version of the story. It has 410 verses, here are the first three:

In days long by, when hags rode high
And ogres champed and chewed;
When the vile Unbird was horribly heard
And terrible griefs were grued;

When werewolves walked and Saracens stalked
And all was curse and killing,
And dead men woke and spectres spoke
And Barkis was unwilling;

Loathed by men, in a secret glen,
In woodland wierd and wild,
Lived an Oolithum da, an Oolithum ma
And a dear little Oolithum child.

Other Rum Doodles

Since its first publication, the words Rum Doodle have been taken by fans of the book for a variety of purposes: the Rumdoodle sleeping bag, Rumdoodle cllimbing company, Rumdoodle the rock band!

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