'Otter’ Lyrics by Members of Wimborne Community Theatre

STOUR LITANY

This is the way the otter goes,
Falls and pools and flooded meadows,
Flowing in secret
As the river flows

Durweston Bridge, Blandford Bridge,
Keynstone Mill, the Tarrant
Oakbed, Winterborne, White Mill Bridge
Chaw Meadow, Eye Mead,
Netherwood Mead, Julian’s Bridge,
Founder Hole, Cudburgh Pole,
Barrow Pool Shallow – oh!

This is the way the otter goes,
Falls and pools and flooded meadows,
Flowing in secret
As the river flows

Dead Pool, Paper Mill Field,
Bridge Mill, Lake Gates,
Town Mill, Dubbles Bridge,
Brimming Meadow

This is the way the otter goes,
Falls and pools and flooded meadows,
Flowing in secret
As the river flows

Dawson’s Hole, Canford Bridge,
Big Leaze Hole, Hatch Hole,
Trunk Hole, Longham Bridge,
Ensbury Bridge, Leaden Stour,

New Bridge, Iford Bridge,
Tuckton Bridge, Claypool,
Christchurch Harbour!

by Adrian Williams


ONCE A GIRL GLIMPSED

Once a girl glimpsed an otter
On the reedy bank downstream
From Julian’s Bridge.
It slipped in to her memory,
Out of sight, out of mind,
Slept dryly, shyly, like a fond toy.
Soft and lost, seventy years passed,
Woke when someone said…
Otter…

by Gill Horitz


VOICE OF WOMAN

We lived by a stream
and you could hear them splash.

I followed one home
to the bridge at Pottern.

I saw it with its babies,
one two, three, four.

I thought it was a rat
but it was bigger than that!

I looked it in the eye
and it looked me back.

by Gill Horitz


DOTTY AND BETTY AND HILDA AND ME

Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me
We’re running through Wimborne fast as we can
Though the air is cold and the sky’s all grey
We’re off to catch an otter today!

Our hair’s gone tumbling down our backs,
Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me,
We’ve hitched our skirts around our knees
And we don’t even care if anyone sees!

Otter!  Otter!  We’re coming, you rotter!
Over Julian’s Bridge and down through the woods.
Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me,
You won’t escape us.  Just wait and see!

We can hear the hounds not so far ahead
Howling like ghoulies to frazzle his fur!
Hot on the tail of the snub-nosed beastie with
Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me

We’re chasing, chasing down the Stour!
After the huntsmen haloua, hooray!
Blowing their horns like it’s judgement day!
“Hurry!” says Hilda, jumping over the bushes, to

Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me
“Wait!” whispers Dottly, struggling after
And our beating hearts are full of laughter!

As we follow the river that twists like an eel
Across the water meadows, past Cowgrove.
Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me
Hurrying, hurrying, hurrying to see

The men all stooped on the lee by the river
Their berry red waistcoats signalling STOP!
And we do and we stretch up like cranes to see
Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me.

Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me,
Hear them beat their sticks fit to wake the dead
And we look around and we pick up stones
To bang out ourselves ‘till we ache in our bones!

Bang, crash bang, and “LOOK they’ve caught him!”
Dotty and Betty and Hilda and me,
See Abram Warren fish him high up in the air
And sling him around like a ride at the fair!

by Tony Horitz


LETTER

Dearest Emma,
Not long after my last letter to you I was on sniper duty in No Man’s Land, hiding in the rubble of a canal bridge.  It was the evening of a quiet day – I hadn’t clocked up even one Hun – when I saw an otter swimming in the canal with its head above water.  I thought of all the otters on the estate, lording it without me to keep them under control – cheeky pests – so I shot at it.  But do you know, I missed.  After all the vermin I’ve shot, how dare this French one get away?  So I shot it again.  I don’t know if I hit it, but the second shot was all Fritz needed to find his game.  The surgeon tidied up my right leg by amputating what was left.  Now I’ve got gas gangrene in the wound in the other one.  Well. At least I won’t get caught in my own gin traps again!  The lads tease me, say I’ve copped a blighty so I can go shooting at home.  Don’t worry, dear, I’m just glad to be out of this war.

Your loving husband,
Tommy

by Adrian Williams


PRAYER

Oh Lord, who made heaven and earth,
The seas and the dry land,
The birds that fly in the air
And the creatures that walk upon the earth.

Have mercy upon us poor men,
Whom thou didst make in thine own likeness.
For we have sinned against thy creation.

In thy great wisdom, Lord,
Thou gavest each its rightful place.
Angels and arch-angels in heaven
And here on earth, thou gavest dominion over
All other creatures.

To be masters and custodians of all the animals
And the plants of the field.
Lord, mercifully teach us the goodness of thy ways
Lest, like the otter, stomach full of eel, its slippery prey,
Then itself becoming prey to the hunter’s spear,
We should suffer the vengeance of the kingdoms
And dominions in heaven above us.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ
Who liveth and reigneth
With God the Father,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
Forever and ever, Amen

by Adrian Williams


 NAMES I REMEMBER

I’ve forgotten your name
But I remember the otter’s,
Which brings the river with him
Back into my mind.  And woods, too,
Brings woods and the spent hours
Beneath Julian’s Bridge back into my mind.
Hours spent waiting to catch a glimpse of it,
Catching a breath of air!

Names I remember, otter, water, river,
Dissolve in the blood stream, losing their sense.

I remember a girl
On a wooden bridge
Who saw an otter
On a reedy bank downstream
When she was ten,
She saw it dive out of sight
Out of mind

Names I remember, otter, water, river,
Dissolve in the blood stream, losing their sense.

In red chalybeate waters
In the crux of an oak
Roots make a couch
Where the swimmer
Plots a secret route.
The river soothes its fear
At the sight of the girl
On the wooden bridge.

Names I remember, otter, water, river,
Dissolve in the blood stream, losing their sense.

by Gill Horitz


 NO SIGHTING

Walking, watching, waiting, crouching, listening,
Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years,
Still no sighting,
No sighting but concentric circles on the water.

by Tuppy Hill


MINK GANGSTERS

We are the mink!
We really stink!
Looking for strife
Watch out for your life

Sneaking, Scratching, Snapping, Smashing
Brutal, Biting, Bullying, Bloodied
Feasting, Fighting, Fractious, Frenzied

We eat anything
We kill everything
Eel, rabbit, vole
Fish by the shoal!

We’re piranha-like
Stalking day and night
Now we’ve got the knack
Don’t end up on your back
We’re saving our skins
So forgive us our sins.

The one that we fear
We sense is near
Strong, wet and brown
The otter’s in town.

by Della Edwards, Tuppy Hill, Barbara & Jeff Hart


© All songs are copyright of Wimborne Community Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

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