pit ponies

Old George like all others
 given half a chance
 knew tha had two
 bits o’ snap*
 one for them
 one for thee sen
 so he’d nuzzle inside
 your donkey jacket.

 Times on entry to pit
 down drift* leading others
 he’d stop
                  swing his head
 to              and            fro


 a         moment    or    two

 turn and gallop up and out ‘pit.

 Take thee 3/4 of a bloody shift
 to get bastard back 
                                  down there.

 When tha were leading
 guarantee some wily bugger’d
 stand on thee toes
 if tha got behind ‘um
 he’d hit you so hard
 tha’s winded three days.

 That ‘un got nowt
 Out my donkey jacket.
 Pullin’ them tubs
 were noa joke. One
 after a week pullin’  doubles*
 just up and died.

 Old George were best.
 He were me mate.

 .              :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 * snap is dialect for ‘food’
 *drift. A drift mine enters ground at an angle not vertically.
 *doubles. Sometimes pit ponies had to haul more than one tub of coal.

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