Journey to Enlightenment

Wednesday, January 14, 2004



I heard this on the radio on the way to work and I swear, if it doesn't touch something inside... well....
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The Ballad of Mrs Malone by, Eleanor Farjeon.

Mrs Malone lived hard by a wood, all on her lonesome as nobody should
With her crust on the plate and her crust on the coal
And none but herself to converse with, poor soul.

With shawl and a hood she got sticks out adoor, and with bit of old sacking she slept on the floor, and nobody, nobody asked how she fared
Or knew how she managed, for nobody cared..
Why make a bother about an old crone.
Wherefore should they bother, with Mrs Malone.

One Monday in Winter with snow on the ground, so thick that a footstep fell without sound.
She heard a faint frostbitten tap at the pane, and went to the window to listen again.
There sat a cock-sparrow, bedraggled and weak, with half opened eyelid and frost on its beak.
She threw up the sash and she took the bird in, and mumbled and fumbled it under her chin.
“You’re all of a smother, you’re all overblown. I’ve room for another,” said Mrs Malone.

Come Tuesday while eating her dry morning slice, with the Sparrow a’ picking, “Aint company nice.”
She heard on the doorstep, a curious scratch, and there was a cat, with its claw on the latch.
It was hungry and thirsty and thin as a lath. It mewed and it moaned on the slippery path.
She threw the door open and warmed up some pap and huddled and cuddled it into her old lap.
“There, there little brother, you poor skin and bone. There’s room for another," said Mrs Malone

Come Wednesday when all of them crouched on the mat , with a crumb for the Sparrow, a sip for the cat; there was wailing and whining outside in the wood, and there sat a Vixen with 6 of her brood.
She was haggard and ragged and worn to a shred, and her half dozen babies were only half fed.
But Mrs Malone, crying, “My, aint they sweet,” happed them and lapped them and gave them to eat.
“You warm yourself Mother, you’re cold as a stone. There’s room for another,” said Mrs Malone.

Come Thursday a Donkey stepped in off the road, with sores on its withers from bearing a load.
Come Friday when icicles pierced the white air; down from the mountain lumbered a Bear.
For each she had something if little to give,
“Lord knows, the poor critters must all of them live.”
She gave them her sacking, her hood and her shawl; her loaf and her teapot, she gave them her all.
“What with one and with t’other, my family has grown, and there’s room for another,” said Mrs Malone.

Come Saturday evening when time was to sup.
Mrs Malone had forgot to sit up.
The Cat said meow and the Sparrow said, peep. The Vixen was sleeping. The Bear let her sleep.

On the back of the Donkey they bore her away
Through trees and up mountains beyond night and day.
Till come Sunday morning they brought her in State, through the last cloud-bank, as far as the Gate.

“Who is it?” asked Peter, you have with you there?”
and Donkey, Sparrow, Cat Vixen and Bear – exclaimed, “Do you tell us up here that she is unknown? It’s our Mother God bless her, Mrs Malone – who’s havings were few and who’s holdings were small and who’s heart was so big there was room for us all.

Then Mrs Malone all a sudden awoke. She rubbed her two eyeballs and anxiously spoke.
“Where am I to goodness and what do I see ? ..My dears let’s turn back, this is no place for me.”
But Peter said, “Mother, Go in to the Throne.
There’s room for another…… Mrs. Malone.

Blessings
Richard

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Ross-On-Wye, Herefordshire, United Kingdom
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