The Crisis in Little Borning

There is a snip slip gossip
in Little Borning’s High.
A crisis about a library book—
it’s lost, oh my, oh my.

“It belongs to Mary Poppleworth,”
the congregation chimes.
“She said she lost it yesterday.”
They repeat it many times.

A frantic Mary rushed around,
retraced her steps in lines.
“I know I had it yesterday—
it’s just misplaced,” she whines.

“I had it at the cake shop,
when my purse I couldn’t find,
and then it disappeared,
in the turmoil of my mind.”

Up and down the High Street
A knot of old grey heads
chews this crisis over
and tears Mary P. to shreds.

“It’s because she owes the money”—
the street committee agree,
with the constant repetition
of this triviality.

“It’s not misplaced, it’s missing
and she must change her plea.
Confiscate her library card,”
the chorus chants with glee.

The knives are all sharpened
for dissection of Mary P.
they cluster at the corner
and pronounce her—guilty.

Authenticate the evidence
gathered by the drones—
and stop the vulture conquest
of poor old Mary’s bones.

The gossip leapt from lip to lip
and so it grew and grew
with robotic reminders
to let this rumour brew.

On the vocal notice board
the book had priority,
and Mary’s financial status
was discussed eternally.

The rain drove them off the street
but didn’t stop the babble.
The accumulated chit chat
organized the rabble.

The telephones were mustered
with a strategy to ring.
The missing book crisis
was the constant blethering.

Meanwhile, Mary Poppleworth,
now nailed by addled brains,
had to magnify her search
and clear her character stains.

She found the book behind the door
and grabbed it by the spine.
Rushed out to redeem herself,
but missed her own deadline.

The burble mongers gone away,
nobody was around.
“I found the book,” she pleaded
but echoed her own sound.

This gigantic nothing
has Little Borning tied.
The busybody decision
which is now denied.

It’s not the missing library book
of poor old Mary P.,
but the drivel of failed minds,
engulfed by tyranny.

They do not care the book is found.
They need to prattle on.
They like to rally on the street,
and repeat the marathon.

A rumour in Little Borning
is given as a token—
because in this small village
no intellectual word is spoken !