M.G.S. Magazine - July 1955

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MGS Magazine 1955
Articles written by pupils

There was a young fellow called Hobbs,
Who cried one day through his sobs,
"I can chop sticks and wood,
And at gardening I'm good,
But no one will give me odd jobs."


Sir Koke 0. Knught was walking down a back-street and reading his morning newspaper, with his bowler hat precariously balanced on top of his hairless dome. Suddenly a gust of wind blew down the street and in the same second his bowler hat became a flying saucer, as it was blown up and down like a cork on a stormy ocean.

Sir Koke 0. Knught could in no way be called an athlete, for he was fat, and round, and small, with bandy legs, and size twelve boots. With a grunt he put away his newspaper, and began to give chase to the hat. A schoolboy, on his way to school, ran after the hat also, at the promise of an ice-cream, but when it was blown round a corner, and across the road, he gave up the chase. The hat was blown out on to the promenade and Sir Koke 0. Knught nearly caught it as it settled in a seat, but just as he made that last despairing dive, the bowler was blown away again. By now he was puffing and grunting like an old traction engine. The hat was blown on the pier and its owner had to pay one shilling admission.

The hat settled at the far end of the pier on the top of a building. Sir Koke 0. Knught borrowed a ladder that was leaning against a wall and climbed up. Just as he won the roof, the hat was blown, to his great dismay, into the sea. He climbed down the ladder, red in the face, and dismally looked down at his beautiful bowler floating on the waves. Suddenly to his great delight, a fishing line was hauled in by one of the many fishermen on the pier and attached to the hook was Sir Koke 0. Knught's hat. He thanked the fisherman, replaced on his head his hat which was none the worse for being wet and dusty, and he walked off.



When rhymes go wrong and sentences are queer,
When B comes after A and then gets stuck,
When still I suck my pen, and suck and suck,
And time goes flying, far too quick, I fear......
When commas, stops and colons seem to jeer
And chuckle, "Well, I think you've had it, duck!
All poetry is tripe but this is muck
For you're no poet, that is all too clear"......

When lions hibernate in Autumn days
And leaves fall down to earth with dreadful bump,
And grizzly bears in lairs sit in a doze
Sucking their mighty paws down to the stump…...

Why, then, I turn to Dad, and with a fearful grin,
He gave me this and says, "Do hand it in."



I was surprised, on entering the room, to see the cat sitting solemnly by a small hole in the skirting-board. I picked up a book and sat down in a chair. The cat never moved. I sat silently, waiting to see what would happen.

A few minutes later a small, white head pushed its way through the hole and looked around cautiously. The cat never moved. In a twinkling of an eye the mouse was sitting on the rug staring coolly at its would-be captor. The mouse scurried across the room the cat on its trail. A flash of white darted up the table leg followed instantly by a bundle of ginger fur. The next minute the mouse sat on the rug a few yards away from Toots who was swathed in a green table cloth.

Puss put forward a paw, the mouse moved back. Puss moved to the right, the mouse moved to the left. Toots, seeing this was a quick and easy method of getting nowhere, moved back a step, sat down and surveyed her quarry who was sitting on a buffet at the other side of the room. There was a sudden rush and the buffet was turned upside down with our gallant hunter trapped underneath. Once more the mouse had scored.

The mouse then made the mistake which proved to be its downfall. It sat upright in a corner. I thought it looked cute; puss apparently thought it looked tasty, for I could tell by the look on her face that this was to be it. It was to be "kill-this-mouse-or-perish-in-the-attempt." There was a stealthy move forward, a rush, a squeak and it was all over. Puss sat down in a corner a few minutes later and licked her lips, watching proudly as if to say, "I did that," while I tidied up the room.



Whether it be in May, when the surface of the pond is white with the flowers of the water-crowfoot, or midsummer when the water is hidden by a green quilt of duckweed, or in the autumn when the water looks black and deep, and golden leaves float on it like little boats, a pond is always an attraction. I know of no better place than near a pond for watching birds, not only those which like to live and nest in ponds but all those other birds, which at some time or other during the day come to a pond to drink or bathe. It is surprising the extent of bird traffic to and from a pond.

In March we see another kind of traffic, a procession of frogs on their way to the ponds to spawn; and, later, a procession of boys and girls, each with a jam-jar, on their way to collect the spawn which in due course becomes tadpoles but, in the restricted world of jam-jars, seldom, if ever, reaches the frog stage.

As you watch near the pond, the first bird you will see emerging from he weeds will be a moorhen. Wherever there is a pond there is sure to be a moorhen. When you came along, that moorhen gave a warning croak you may not have noticed it-and then disappeared as discreetly as possible into the reeds. As it comes out again, after a reasonably safe pause, it utters another call, the all-clear; that is a signal to its babies who took cover, to come out again and join mother.

If the pond is a large one, you will see another favourite water-bird the coot-half as large again as the moorhen, dressed in black, with a large white patch on its forehead. You may see a dabchick, too; a little brown bird, smaller than a moorhen. It is the smallest of the water birds and an expert diver, always seeming to be either popping up from under water, like a cork, in unexpected places, or about to disappear in a dive.

Bees come to the sun-warmed edge of the pond to gather water, and dragon flies hawk to and fro above the surface; as they dive low to seize an insect, their hard wings rattle against the reeds.

In the pond itself is a world of its own, peopled by strange creatures, some rather ugly, some pretty, all doing something to preserve an even balance of things.

Let us look into the water. That leaf-like object hanging head downwards is a water-scorpion waiting for something worth eating to come along. A scorpion does not believe in running after its dinner when it can get it by standing, or rather hanging, still. That insect rowing itself about on its back is, as you will guess, a water-boatman. It is using its two long, feathered legs as oars, and very successfully, too. It is the pond's own single sculling skiff, a boat and boatman all in one. That tiny tube reaching from the mud to the surface of the water belongs to the red-tailed maggot which is lying submerged in the mud, and eating it. In time it changes this mode of life for a more active one, from our point of view, a much pleasanter one. It becomes a fly, feeding on honey from the flowers. Nature, for its protection, has fashioned it like a bee and we call it a drone-fly because it is very much like the male hive or honey-bee which is known as a drone; but the fact that it has only one pair of wings instead of two gives the show away. If you see an insect feeding on the michaelmas daisies in the late summer, which looks more like a bee than a fly, then you know that you have met a drone-fly that was once a rat-tailed maggot, for you are not likely to see a drone hive bee there because they never come out of the hive to search amongst the flowers for honey-they can get all they want at home, and do so.

That hefty beetle is the giant water-beetle, a good flier which likes to change ponds now and then. Sometimes on their travels these beetles, attracted by a bright light, will blunder through an open window, causing excitement amongst those in the room. My aunt's kitchen window faces the lily pond in the garden, and on summer's nights one frequently comes in, to land clumsily on its back on the kitchen table.

Now let us look at the pond snails: they feed on decaying vegetable matter and thus help to keep the pond clean. Two of these snails you will easily remember, for the design of their shells gives you a clue to their names. One is fashioned like a trumpet, the other like a ram's horn, and so they are named Trumpet and Ramshorn. That yellowish-grey shell with green and black specks belongs to the prettily named Wandering Snail, so called because it travels about and may be found some distance from a pond. And now the old water-rat wants to come out and nibble a reed for his tea, so I'm going to have mine!

J. A. AMBLER (3 Alpha).

OG, AG, IG, UG and the Egg.

Towards the beginning of the Bronze Age there lived in the area now known as Yorkshire, a tribe of Ancient Britons called the Ogites, whose tribal territory was known as Ogton.... The chief of his tribe was named Og, his wife was Ag and they had twin sons Ig and Ug.

One day Ig and Ug were about their favourite pastime of hunting for archeopteryx eggs. After a while, having somewhat tired of this, they came back to the entrance of their cave where Ag, their mother, was busy washing their spare bearskins and hanging them out to dry on a rhubarb tree. The boys, who were about ten, began to throw one of the archeopteryx eggs from one to the other, in much the same way as modern children throw a ball. All went well for a time until Ug dropped a catch and the broken archeopteryx egg landed neatly in father Og's brand new bronze helmet.

Both Ig and Ug were horrified at this, as they knew what the consequences would be if Og came back and found his helmet in such a mess. Just then they saw Ag coming out of the cave with some more skins over her arm and so they did the only thing they could think of. They hid the helmet. Ig, having nowhere else to put it, thrust it into the heart of the smouldering peat fire, in front of the cave, on which was simmering a cauldron of dinosaur soup. When the coast was clear again they poked it out with a stick and hid it, egg and all, in a dark corner of the cave to cool.

Unfortunately for them, a moment later Og arrived home from a brontosaurus hunt and at once began to look for his most prized possession. He soon found it, however, and carried it proudly into the open to put on. No sooner had he done so than he let out a howl of agony, threw the hot helmet as far away as he could, and proceeded to execute a war dance round the fire. As the shock of it wore off, he slowly became aware of a strange and pleasant taste. It was a morsel of the fried egg that had slithered down his face and into his mouth.

Now Og was, for an Ancient Briton, very intelligent, and soon discovered the source of the heavenly sensation that was making his mouth water. He saw the rest of the fried egg on the ground at his feet, snatched it up, and promptly began to devour it before the horrified eyes of his family who thought he had gone mad, and wondered whatever to do with him if this were so. However, Og managed to persuade them that he was perfectly sane and got them to sample the new food for which the whole tribe soon developed a craze.

It is not to be wondered at that a neighbouring tribe, the Muggites from Muggfield, which was the next cave to Ogton, were astonished when one day they met the elders of the Ogite tribe out bird nesting in the neutral territory of Curseheaton and Curseburton. They soon found out the whole story which to them sounded uncivilised, to say the least. They reported the Ogites who were then summoned to appear before the Council of Druids at Stonehenge.

There, Og, Ag, Ig and Ug were all sentenced to die on Midsummer Day at the first ray of the sun but, as a last request, Og begged that the Druids would all sample a portion of the new dish. Needless to say, after that they were all acquitted and installed as Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Mistletoe and were decorated with the Boadicea Cross-or whatever was its equivalent.

After this it became an every day sight to see even the Archdruid himself up in a groundnut tree busily searching- for archeopteryx eggs, or digging earnestly for those of the pterodactyl, to have with his brontosaurus chops.

Eventually the archeapteryx died out, but to this day fried egg is a favourite dish even if, in 1955, frying pans are used instead of bronze helmets.

After reading Lamb's "Dissertation on Roast Pig."


At this late hour when sunlight fades and dies,
And singing hosts of birds are quiet once more,
The world grows peaceful and the sounds of yore
Are lulled to sleep by gently rustling sighs

Of branches moving in a wood nearby;
Where, here and there, a squirrel guards his store
Of food, against the time when white frosts hoar
Are on the ground. And now come moths and flies

That hover silent round, while the clear moon
Doth show her smiling face above the clouds.
The nightingale doth lure us with a song,
His post so high the watchful owl takes soon,

To peer at mice who come and play in crowds
Ere dawns the day to which bright beams belong.



Bird watching is not a common pastime, but if a person takes it up there must be no half measures about it.

Many enthusiasts spend their holidays crouching in a "hide," up to the ankles in mud, peering through a pair of field glasses at rather ragged specimens which they fondly think are rare.

Jim and Harry are going on an expedition (into the unknown). They have never actually been before but they have read a lot of books on the subject and they are keen.

After setting off for the fenland they realize that they have left their cameras at home and so they stagger back under the load of two heavy sacks to get them. Eventually they get to the train and somehow manage to arrive safe and sound at the camping ground.

Both their tempers are slightly better now and they decide to put up their tent. They have not actually put one up before, but they are keen and that is what counts.

After getting his arms and legs fastened together by guyropes and the tent itself over the top of him like a nightshirt, Jim gives up. Harry, after further struggling, reluctantly agrees, despondently cuts himself free, and they hunt for lodgings. Luck's with them again and they find some.

Next day they decided to go to the fens and build a "hide." Harry's advice to any would-be-hide-builders is "Don't." They stretched a green cloth between two branches, pasted it with mud, and crouched behind it. The only trouble was they had forgotten to leave any holes to look out of. That started the argument. Not being really experienced builders they had picked a dead tree. The result—it broke, depositing their cameras and field-glasses in a six inch layer of mud. It was during the fishing for the field glasses that Jim caught it. "Fascination," the mud seemed to fascinate him, he fingered it, threw it (at Harry), he stamped it, and finally fell in it and rolled in it.

So far they had not had the chance to view a single feathered friend and they set out next day with two firm resolutions: not to build a hide, but to see some birds.

They spent all next day crawling along streams and photographing any bird they saw (irrespective of kind). That would have been all right, but at the end of a long day's toil they discovered that they had forgotten to change the mud encrusted films from the day before.

Jim still had this fascination for mud, gurgling happily whenever he saw any. He would play with it for hours. He wanted Harry to play, too, but Harry didn't think throwing mud at the back of his neck the right way to tell him. He responded with a sod and another chaotic battle was entered in the annals of their history.

Rain started that night and it poured down the rest of the holidays, but during this time they did their first bit of real bird watching out of their dingy bedroom window, watching the sparrows on the lawn.

Let Jim and Harry have last word. "If you are thinking of a bird watching holiday, do it in your own back garden."

B. SHAW (5a).


Pat O'Sullivan was leaning over the bar in his little roadside cafe when a shady character came in and asked for a cup of coffee. When Pat had given him his cup of coffee he drank it straight off and while Pat's back was turned he walked off without paying. Pat was angry but when he went to the door there was no sign of the man.

When Pat was clearing away the cup and saucer, he found a scrap of paper. He opened it and found it was a sort of map.

That night he matched it with the maps in an atlas until he found one the same. It was a map of the Amazon Basin in South America. On the little he had found it said there was an old Inca shrine there, with treasure. Pat started dreaming. He would charter a plane, fly to South America, hunt for the treasure, fly back home in wealth and splendour. He would buy a country villa, an hotel, a new stream-lined car, and many other things. Meanwhile, he had been rolling the map into a spill and lighting his pipe with it.



Frops are a small, edible vegetable grown in Flopton, a small town southwest of Great Flop. In early winter (to keep them fresh), the Frops are plucked from the Frop plant and are then carried to the fast-flowing Whett river and floated down to the Frippery.

When the Frops arrive, they are washed clean and sent into a Campflott in the floor, which cuts the Frops into Fripps which are passed into boxes on the ground floor, to be sold.

The main produce of this factory is, of course, Fripps, mass produced to combine with Chish (vitamin Z), to make Chish and Fripps.

The most important job in the Frippery is that of the Fripper. As the Frops pass, he digs a pitchfork into the lot and throws them into the Campflott. I asked the Frops if they liked this treatment, and they replied: "Yes, its fun. You see, we Frops are put into the Campflott and tickled until we laugh our heads off-Flollops-then we just burst our sides with laughter forming Fripps."

The whole of the factory depends on supplies of Frops to keep up production. The record stands at one thousand sillions of Fripps daily.

As I went towards the manager's office I nearly fell into the Campflott but continued on my way, though shocked, to the office. I asked the manager, Mr. Flipping, if he ever examined the Campflott. He answered that he did, but it was too dangerous to go near. "After all," he remarked, "we don't want a product of Flipping Fripps."