The C.O. and the Adjutant were sitting by the sea.
The troops, just finished bathing, were having blonks for tea.
"I really think we feed them well," the C.O., smirking, said.
" On blonks. Sir ? " said the Adjutant, and shook a doubting head.
" What's wrong with blonks ? " the C.O. asked, now feeling very cross.
" They're full of precious vitamins ; I'm really at a loss
To know what you are cav'ling at. My boy, you must beware
Of criticising everything your seniors may declare
To be of lasting benefit to those that they command."
The Adjutant just shook his head. Then, turning in the sand,
Addressed his senior officer in terms so full of woe
And looked so very woe begone the C.O. rose to go.
"Hold, Sir," said the Adjutant, "till I complete my tale.
I've told how blonks affect me, how every time they fail
To satisfy my hunger-and, what is worse than that,
Bring on such violent hiccups I feel completely flat."
The C.O.'s eyes were blazing. He scrambled from his seat,
And thus addressed his Adjutant, now jumping to his feet.
" From saying any more, Sir, I bid you to refrain.
You've said enough already - I hope I make that plain.
So kindly call the R.S.M. and get your markers out."
The Adjutant saluted, and smartly turned about.
And presently the Companies were marching on their way,
Contented now, and cheerful, for they'd enjoyed their day,
When suddenly the Colonel, while riding at their head,
Began to hiccup badly-I blush for what he said-
Especially when the rank and file, who followed in his train,
Almost as if in unison, took up the dread refrain.
From front to rear, from flank to flank, those wretched hiccups ran,
Upsetting ranks, upsetting files, upsetting every man.
At last they reached the barrack square, tired out, and much distressed.
The Companies were soon in line, the ranks as quickly dressed.
And then, before dismissing them, the C.O., gasping, said,
" In view of this calamity we'll spend next day in bed."
That night, when all, exhausted, were sleeping like the dead,
The Adjutant lay chortling and chuckling in his bed.
" Blonks, my foot! Blanks, Ho, Ho !"""Blonks, Ha, Ha ! " laughed he,
"Not blonks! but just a something I slipped into their tea."