• THE WRONG SHERIFF

    A Tale of the West - by David Beaumont

     

     

    After years of abuse at the hands of an evil gang, the townsfolk rejoiced

    at their new all conquering sheriff.

    But their joy soon became horror...

     

     

    Audio: Listen

     

    Read: Mobile Laptop

     

  • Put your headphones on and sit back...

     

    The Wrong Sheriff - read by Robert Atiko

     

     

  • The Wrong Sheriff

    A Tale of the West - by David Beaumont

     

    Most fair-minded folk

    just want to live life
    In a way we agree

    avoids trouble & strife
    But there are some among us

    who consume every day

    In holy pursuit

    of clout, muscle & sway

     

    Yes - this is a tale

    of people & power
    About those with the hunger

    that tends to devour

    And those who do feed it

    – yes, us my dear friends,

    So shuffle up close

    and let it commence...

     

     

    Back in the spring

    of ninety-seven,
    Good folks sniffed

    a scent of heaven...
    The Tory Gang

    were booted out,
    Clutching stuffed brown envelopes

    - and the odd case of gout.

     

    Blair was the man

    who rode into town,

    Silver tongue spinning

    - he blasted them down

    On a gleaming white stallion

    saddled in red,

    The people's New Hero

    put the bad guys to bed

     

    The townsfolk rejoiced

    at the great Tony Blair –

    "A man we can trust

    to make this town fair!"

    Look at his smile!

    and shining, bright eyes!

    Sincere as they come!

    He's one of the guys!”

     

    The Silver Star

    was pinned to his chest
    And he cried to the people -

    “I’ll do what is best!"

    Tony is here!

    “Hip Hip Hooray!”
    True hope restored! -

    what a glorious day!

     

     

    And it did seem that day

    that a new dawn had come

    “Things Can Only Get Better” -

    The song that they sung...

     

     

    But was there some detail

    that passed us all by?
    Did his smile freeze discreetly -

    in the blink of an eye?

    Was the handshake too eager

    to be truly sincere?

    And what were those welts

    on his white stallion's rear?

     

    It's hard to recall

    except simply to say...
    We saw what we wanted:

    a hero - that day.

     

     

    But as folks waited

    for wrongs to be righted,
    Came murmured reports

    that Tony was sighted
    On the edge of town

    consorting with bad guys
    But he smiled a bright smile and said

    "Honestly - it's all lies

     

    You know me -

    I'm Tony Blair!

    And yes I do,

    I really do care.”
    The townsfolk grinned back

    for this was their man

    Who’d vanquished the Tories

    and laid the New Plan

     

    Yet Tony's face

    began to change,
    One eye stared longer,

    looking oddly deranged
    His smile - once so natural,

    now stretched like elastic

    Across teeth whose enamel

    bore the cheap glint of plastic

     

    Those eyes, yes they shone -

    with a light much too bright!

    And some folks did wonder

    if they had done right.

    Then, there were rumours

    of a nature more strange:
    A ranch hand spied Tony

    riding out on the range

     

    At midnight astride

    his white stallion, buck-naked

    Except for great spurs,

    which drew blood at each kick

    ‘Til he reached the Great Cactus

    towering eighty feet high

    A great hand hailing Caesar

    as it split the night sky

     

    Under the spotlight moon

    he took its salute

    Stiff backed and righteous

    in his Emperor's suit.

    With a lash of his whip

    he wheeled the horse round

    Kicking all the way back

    as the blood trickled down

     

     

    Soon after this

    his grip on town tightened,
    Taking total control -

    the people grew frightened

    "What is happening to him?”

    they each asked - and “Why

    Is he doing these things? -

    Just who is this guy?

     

    This ‘hero’ of ours,

    this ‘Tony Blair’,
    Who we truly believed

    would make this town fair?”

     

     

    So, late one night,

    they concocted a plan
    To uncover for sure

    the heart of this man.

    They crept up the main street,

    broke into the gaol,

    Forced open his desk

    and searched through his mail.

     

    And there, on one ominous,

    vellum page
    Was the sight that would shatter

    this brave New Age

    In curlicued letters

    and ink of vivid blue
    His name inscribed

    yet spelled out anew...


    For now was an 'R'

    where should be an 'N'...!
    They drew back in horror -

    “Can he be -

    one of ‘THEM’?!!”

     

    Yet, worse was to come -

    to truly devastate

    In the back of his closet,

    a gilt-framed portrait

    Of old Ma’ Tory

    "With love to T. Blair

    My one and my only

    Son and true heir."!

     

    The darkest silence

    and deepest gloom

    Now descended on

    that desperate room

    They racked their minds

    for signs they'd missed.

    For they’d brought the Wrong Sheriff

    into their midst!

     

    They'd danced with the Devil

    without hearing the tune

    And a price they would pay

    and knew they'd pay soon

    Then the saddler recalled,

    much too late, a small clue:

    “His saddle was red -

    but his spurs were blue!”

     

     

    How should folks take

    the betrayal of hope?

    Faith & trust shattered;

    they reached for a rope
    In the cold light of dawn

    they searched for their man

    But were already pawns

    in a much grander plan:..

     

     

    The Sheriff was ready

    and placed around town
    A gang of paid guns

    who now looked down
    From the rooftops,

    their Winchesters cocked and aimed

    At the folks on the main street,

    whose shouts now proclaimed

     

    Their mistrust of the man

    who gave flesh to their fears

    With that light in his eyes

    and fingers in his ears.
    He stood, legs apart,

    on the roof of the bank
    And in a voice quite superior,

    said; "One day you'll thank

     

    Me for knowing I am right

    and knowing you are wrong

    For a war we must fight

    to keep this town strong.

    Forget all our problems

    and think on this theme
    A town to the east

    needs a change of regime.

     

    We'll help them my friends

    then I promise you this

    We’ll fix all our troubles

    and our lives will be bliss.”

     

     

    As it turned out,

    the land to the east
    Was the stamping ground

    of a sought after beast

    Which roamed in huge numbers:

    the buffalo...

    The undeclared star

    of the coming show

     

    For Blair's closest friend

    was a powerful man;

    The Greatest Trader of Hide

    in all of the land

    And as fate would have it;

    the Greatest Trader of Gun

    So war was the way

    for Great Trade to be done

     

    The ‘campaign’ was in fact

    a one-sided attack;

    Bullet against arrow

    cannon against axe
    Whole settlements slaughtered

    with military distinction

    The buffalo hunted

    entirely to extinction

     

    Across the Great Plain

    flesh decayed in the heat

    (The Great Trader took hides

    but discarded the meat)

    And though the stench drifted

    all the way to the West,

    The Sheriff insisted

    it was all for the best

     

     

    And money was made

    in fat wads by the trade
    In gun and in hide

    and oh how they paid
    But the townsfolk saw none

    of this dubious revenue

    - It was channeled through

    a well-shaded avenue;

     

    A tree-lined street

    on a beach-lined coast

    Where the Sheriff retired

    to make speech and to toast

    With his friend the Great Trader

    of Hide and of Gun

    The part they had played in

    “How the West Won”

     

     

    So our townsfolk eventually

    learned a bit more

    About who they appoint

    to mind the store

    One thing they agreed

    is perfectly plain

    Most so-called ‘leaders’

    end up much the same

     

    Yes it's true that the power

    simply goes to their head

    But what of that hunger

    to get there instead?

    Is it not true

    that for men such as these

    The craving for office

    is like a disease?


    A consuming yen

    to be above other folk?
    An unhealthy love

    for the lash and the yoke?

    So the townsfolk concluded -

    and we’d best believe it
    Never give power

    to the folks who crave it!

     

    And, when choosing a Sheriff
    Don't fall for a grin
    - For now you can see
    What a mess you'll get in!

     

     

    The Wrong Sheriff © David Beaumont 2007

     

  • The Wrong Sheriff

     

    A Tale of the West - by David Beaumont

     

    Most fair-minded folk just want to live life
    In a way we agree avoids trouble & strife
    But there are some among us who consume every day

    In holy pursuit of clout, muscle & sway

     

    Yes - this is a tale of people & power
    About those with the hunger that tends to devour

    And those who do feed it – yes, us my dear friends,

    So shuffle up close and let it commence...

     

     

    Back in the spring of ninety-seven,
    Good folks sniffed a scent of heaven...
    The Tory Gang were booted out,
    Clutching stuffed brown envelopes - and the odd case of gout.

     

    Blair was the man who rode into town,

    Silver tongue spinning - he blasted them down

    On a gleaming white stallion saddled in red,

    The people's New Hero put the bad guys to bed

     

    The townsfolk rejoiced at the great Tony Blair

    – "A man we can trust to make this town fair!"

    “Look at his smile! and shining, bright eyes!

    Sincere as they come! He's one of the guys!”

     

    The Silver Star was pinned to his chest
    And he cried to the people - “I’ll do what is best!"

    Tony is here! “Hip Hip Hooray!”
    True hope restored! - what a glorious day!

     

     

    And it did seem that day that a new dawn had come

    “Things Can Only Get Better” - The song that they sung...

     

     

    But was there some detail that passed us all by?
    Did his smile freeze discreetly; in the blink of an eye?

    Was the handshake too eager to be truly sincere?

    And what were those welts on his white stallion's rear?

     

    It's hard to recall except simply to say...
    We saw what we wanted: a hero - that day.

     

     

    But as folks waited, for wrongs to be righted,
    Came murmured reports that Tony was sighted
    On the edge of town consorting with bad guys
    But he smiled a bright smile and said, "Honestly - it's all lies.

     

    You know me - I'm Tony Blair!

    And yes I do, I really do care.”
    The townsfolk grinned back for this was their man

    Who’d vanquished the Tories and laid the New Plan

     

    Yet Tony's face began to change,
    One eye stared longer, looking oddly deranged
    His smile - once so natural, now stretched like elastic

    Across teeth whose enamel bore the cheap glint of plastic

     

    Those eyes, yes they shone - with a light much too bright!

    And some folks did wonder if they had done right.

    Then, there were rumours of a nature more strange:
    A ranch hand spied Tony riding out on the range

     

    At midnight astride his white stallion, buck-naked

    Except for great spurs, which drew blood at each kick

    ‘Til he reached the Great Cactus towering eighty feet high

    A great hand hailing Caesar as it split the night sky

     

    By the full moon's pale glow he took its salute

    Stiff backed and righteous in his Emperor's suit.

    With a lash of his whip he wheeled the horse round

    Kicking all the way back as the blood trickled down

     

     

    Soon after this his grip on town tightened,
    Taking total control - the people grew frightened

    "What is happening to him?” they each asked - and “Why

    Is he doing these things? - Just who is this guy?

     

    This ‘hero’ of ours, this ‘Tony Blair’,
    Who we truly believed would make this town fair?”

     

     

    So, late one night, they concocted a plan
    To uncover for sure the heart of this man.

    They crept up the main street, broke into the gaol,

    Forced open his desk and searched through his mail.

     

    And there, on one ominous, vellum page
    Was the sight that would shatter this brave New Age

    In curlicued letters and ink of vivid blue
    His name inscribed yet spelled out anew...


    For now was an 'R' where should be an 'N'...!
    They drew back in horror - “Can he be - one of ‘THEM’?!!”

     

    Yet, worse was to come - to truly devastate

    In the back of his closet, a gilt-framed portrait

    Of old Ma’ Tory "With love to T. Blair

    My one and my only Son and true heir."!

     

    The darkest silence and deepest gloom

    Now descended on that desperate room

    They racked their minds for signs they'd missed.

    For they’d brought the Wrong Sheriff into their midst!

     

    They'd danced with the Devil without hearing the tune

    And a price they would pay and knew they'd pay soon

    Then the saddler recalled, much too late, a small clue:

    “His saddle was red - but his spurs were blue!”

     

     

    How should folks take the betrayal of hope?

    Faith & trust shattered; they reached for a rope
    In the cold light of dawn they searched for their man

    But were already pawns in a much grander plan:..

     

     

    The Sheriff was ready and placed around town
    A gang of paid guns who now looked down
    From the rooftops, their Winchesters cocked and aimed

    At the folks on the main street, whose shouts now proclaimed

     

    Their mistrust of the man who gave flesh to their fears

    With that light in his eyes and fingers in his ears.
    He stood, legs apart, on the roof of the bank
    And in a voice quite superior, said; "One day you'll thank

     

    Me for knowing I am right and knowing you are wrong

    For a war we must fight to keep this town strong.

    Forget all our problems and think on this theme
    A town to the East needs a change of regime.

     

    We'll help them my friends then I promise you this

    We’ll fix all our troubles and our lives will be bliss.”

     

     

    As it turned out, the land to the East
    Was the stamping ground of a sought after beast

    Which roamed in huge numbers: the buffalo...

    The undeclared star of the coming show

     

    For Blair's closest friend was a powerful man;

    The Greatest Trader of Hide in all of the land

    And as fate would have it; the Greatest Trader of Gun

    So war was the way for Great Trade to be done

     

    The ‘campaign’ was in fact a one-sided attack;

    Bullet against arrow cannon against axe
    Whole settlements slaughtered with military distinction

    The buffalo hunted entirely to extinction

     

    Across the Great Plain flesh decayed in the heat

    (The Great Trader took hides but discarded the meat)

    And though the stench drifted all the way to the West,

    The Sheriff insisted it was all for the best

     

     

    And money was made in fat wads by the trade
    In gun and in hide and oh how they paid
    But the townsfolk saw none of this dubious revenue

    - It was channeled through a well-shaded avenue;

     

    A tree-lined street on a beach-lined coast

    Where the Sheriff retired to make speech and to toast

    With his friend the Great Trader of Hide and of Gun

    The part they had played in “How the West Won”

     

     

    So our townsfolk eventually learned a bit more

    About who they appoint to mind the store

    One thing they agreed is perfectly plain

    Most so-called ‘leaders’ end up much the same

     

    Yes it's true that the power simply goes to their head

    But what of that hunger to get there instead?

    Is it not true that for men such as these

    The craving for office is like a disease?


    A consuming yen to be above other folk?
    An unhealthy love for the lash and the yoke?

    So the townsfolk concluded - and we’d best believe it
    Never give power to the folks who crave it!

     

    And, when choosing a Sheriff
    Don't fall for a grin
    - For now you can see
    What a mess you'll get in!

     

     

    The Wrong Sheriff © David Beaumont 2007