The Walrus and the Carpenter prepared an oyster-feast.
How well they lunched! They slurped and munched, they ravened like a beast.
The trick was how to disinter the oyster from its shell
While living still; it needed skill, and certain tools as well.
The Carpenter had brought his kit; they had no time to waste.
A chisel-twist, a turn of wrist, and lemon-juice to taste.
The oysters seemed devoid of wit, the merest fleshy swirl,
Yet each concealed within its shield an embryonic pearl.
From time to time, the Walrus heard a shrimp-like voice, but dafter:
“O Father, spare us! Or prepare us for the life hereafter.”
A moral qualm within him stirred: “Do oysters have a soul?”
“Beyond a doubt!” His friend reached out, and swallowed several whole.
“But do they suffer? Can they think? Do oysters, when they’re gone,
Know Heaven or Hell?” A silence fell; the Carpenter chomped on.
They’d brought some cooling wine to drink, a magnum of the Rhenish.
They quaffed the lot, but failed to spot some oysters that were greenish.
They stuffed themselves, quite unashamed, the weather fine and sunny,
Till, stomach clasped, the Walrus gasped: “I’m feeling rather funny.”
The Carpenter threw up, and blamed his fragile constitution.
No more was said; they both dropped dead from maritime pollution.
Winner of Flash 500 Humour Verse Category First Quarter 2015.