The Terrible And Tragic Tale Of Brian The Snail

While clearing out some old papers and files I’ve carried around with me since I left University, I came across this poem that my friend Dominic Taylor wrote for me. It’s based on a true story, an event that occurred to me in early 1991. I thought the poem had been lost forever, so I was ecstatic when I found it.

The Terrible And Tragic Tale Of Brian The Snail

(after William McGonagall)

‘Twas in the year of nineteen hundred and ninety one
When, alack, a poor snail was undone.
Brian, for such was the name of this monoped,
Being in danger for shelter had fled.
Not being possessed of much great speed
This was for Brian no easy deed.
And so, not surprisingly, try as he might
He would have been unsuccessful in his flight,
Had he not with sharp eyes aspied
A place where with impunity he might hide.
“And where was this sanctuary?” I hear you beg;
It was in the turn up of Ian’s trouser leg.
The cause of his trouble may now be heard
Brian was menaced by a terrifying bird
Who, feeling peckish, was desiring of lunch.
(He always ate snails because they made a nice crunch).
To return to tale, and I do think we should,
Our hero the snail was not quite out of the woods.
For though Ian lumbers at a rather slow pace
For Brian to catch him it was still a hard race.
So the plucky mollusc sped across the ground
Always spurred on by the terrible sound
Of the bird screeching and screaming and flapping its wings
And threatening poor Brian with terrible things.
The snail was fast but the bird was still faster,
And Brian thought the day would end in disaster.
Then just as he was praying for Ian to wait
He was miraculously saved by interceding fate;
As luck would have it, on a stone Ian tripped,
And into his turn up Brian Snail slipped.
However, when he thought he was safe; in sight was his doom
As Ian mounted the stairs and entered his room;
For exhausted by his exertions down the lad sat
And Brian was crushed with a horrible “splat!”
The moral of this story should be easy to guess:
If you jump in Ian’s trousers you’ll end up a mess.

Dominic Taylor, Spring 1991


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