The Devil in the Boiler
All through the winter, especially at night,
Just as the darkness replaces the light,
Something quite creepy can often be heard,
Unlike any known thing, no wolf and no bird.
A growl, and a rumble, a crack and a bang,
Then a slurp and a gurgle, a burp and a clang.
The grating and groaning, so eerie and gross -
Believe me, you've never heard anything close.
As Ellie gets ready to fall fast asleep,
From out of her blanket she nervously peeps.
The moon through the window gives off such a glow
That all in her bedroom is strangely on show.
Now, Ellie's no baby, I'm sure you agree,
Practically grown-up (well, older than me),
But even she can't stand the noise in her head,
It gives her the willies, right there in her bed.
Each croak and each groan, each grumbling thump,
Would cause sleepy Ellie to wake with a jump.
And through lack of sleeping she truly despaired,
No wonder she always seemed terribly scared:
This bright girl has worked out the cause of the racket
(It took her a while, though ' near two months to crack it).
She knows now the monster which parties and revels:
These noises can only be made by the Devil!
'Yes ' it's me, girlie!' the Devil he cried,
Appearing from behind the door to the side.
'I'm fiendishly fond of creating a din
And if anyone stops me I'll punch their face in!'
Now, even our Ellie was taken off guard
When the Devil appeared acting thuggish and hard,
Cos though Devils find evil deeds appetising,
Their love of loud noise is a bit more surprising.
The Devil he grinned his huge, evil grin,
And Ellie knew then the danger she was in,
She suddenly realised, with such a sad sigh,
She didn't like Devils and was too young to die.
'What do you want with me, Devil?' she squealed,
While holding in front her pillow for a shield.
The Devil's loud laugh, it was ever so chilling,
And Ellie could see all his back teeth had fillings.
The Devil was nasty, she knew in a trice,
But, mid-laugh, he stopped and began acting nice.
'Now don't be scared, girlie, you be a good gal,
It's me, little Satan, you're number one pal!
'I'm not really evil - I'm sure you can see '
We're going to have so much fun, you and me.
Everything's perfect, I've got it all planned:
We two together can form a pop band!'
At this, Ellie gasped, for she'd never have guessed
What the nasty old Devil would dare to suggest.
The Devil continued, 'While all the world slumbers,
We two can belt out some popular numbers.'
Now, Ellie had come across Devils before '
She knew that they trick you with lies until you're
Almost certain they're telling the truth, and that's how
They can get you; you relax, then suddenly - POW!
Before you can know it, you're under a spell,
Embarked on a hot, rocky road down to Hell.
But not Ellie! She wanted to live till old age,
So war, with the Devil, she started to wage.
Firstly, she tucked her toes inside the bed
(To a Devil, a favourite chew, it is said).
Then she picked up a teddy by only one ear
And slung it at Satan, with hope and with fear.
'What d'ya do THAT for?' The Devil was shocked.
He knew that with teddies her bed was well-stocked.
'You know that's not going to help you, my dear.'
But she noticed he wasn't about to come near.
Deciding to launch a raggy-doll next,
Ellie leaned back, her muscles all flexed.
And with all of her strength, she flung the doll round
Knocking a picture and clock to the ground.
That cocky old Devil he stuck out his chin,
Believing the war he was destined to win.
'You'll have to do better than that,' Satan said.
'You missed me by miles. Try again. Go ahead!'
So this time, our Ellie, she took careful aim
With a big fluffy rabbit (Reggie by name).
And this time the flight path was perfectly true,
And straight at the Devil that poor rabbit flew.
Satan was stunned. He caught such a blow
To the chin which he'd foolishly stuck out on show.
He yelped like a puppy, and then was dumb-struck.
In pain and surprise, and too late, he ducked.
Encouraged by this, Ellie was delighted,
And all sorts of teddies were expertly flighted
Towards that old Devil, so huge and immense;
Against fluffy toys he'd no means of defence.
A panda called Po-Po, a doggy named Dick
And tigerish Tim were ejected, quick.
Then Goldilocks, followed by three heavy bears,
Was called into action and flew through the air.
As the teddies rained down on the enemy's head
He couldn't close in towards Ellie's bed.
Enjoying herself, now she knew she could win,
Ellie was laughing, and started to sing:
'La-la-la-la, the Devil's a slug,
He has such a fat, smelly, ugly mug!
With warts on his fingers and slime in his toes,
He will have bad breath wherever he goes!'
The Devil, of course, didn't like this one bit,
It made him so angry, he wanted to spit.
He banged on the table and stamped on the floor,
He rattled the windows and slammed shut the door.
'Stop it right now!' he said with a moan,
His temper was short, his fuse had blown.
'I'm the Devil!' he cried, 'And I rule the world!'
But Ellie cared not, as a pussy she hurled.
And then something happened she didn't expect.
She looked down to see what she could throw next.
Where once was an army, all fur and hair,
Now there was nothing, not one single bear!
With a gulp and a whimper, Ellie looked up
At the Devil, who'd noticed her little cockup.
'Now you're a goner!' he said with delight.
'You're going to get such a terrible fright!'
'Please, Mr Devil, please leave me alone!
I want to get old and become fully grown.
What have I done to deserve this attack?
The worry is more than I really can hack!'
'Oh, nothing personal, I hope you don't mind.
It's just you're the only girl that I can find.
My house is your boiler, just over there,
My front door's right next to your desk and chair.'
(Of course, Ellie gasped ' she'd never have guessed
That her neighbour was such a troublesome pest).
'And now,' said the Devil, his mouth open wide,
'Now you have nothing and nowhere to hide!'
He started, so slowly, to walk towards Ellie,
And she felt the butterflies swirl in her belly.
He had such a hot, angry look in his eye
That Ellie thought she must surely die!
Now, our girl's next act was completely unplanned:
Up on the bed, feeling tall, she did stand.
On tiptoe, and stretching, with a fingertip-twitch,
Ellie could just about reach the light-switch.
There was a big crash and a groan filled the room.
Now there was light where once there was gloom.
Ellie looked round, and she knew she had won:
That noisy old Devil was history, he'd gone!
No-one can ever tell what will occur,
Not Ellie, nor anyone older than her.
Who'd have believed she'd defeat Satan's might
Simply by reaching to switch on the light?
Gareth A. Williams 2006