EXERCISE DASH

By Anonymous (with Apologies to St. Nicholas)
The Connecting File; The Regimental Journal of The Royal Canadian Regiment, Spring and Summer 1954

Twas ten minutes to P hour when all through the kite
Not a jumper was happy for they were in flight.
Their equipment was rigged to their harness with care
In hopes when they landed it still would be there.
They pictured themselves lying in hospital beds
While visions of streamers danced in their heads.
The aircrew were happy, but I was being sick
And I suddenly realized I deserved a great kick.
When from the stick-leader there arose a great clatter
I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.
Away to the door I was pushed like a flash
I slipped on some junk and fell with a splash.
The look on the face of the navigator
Was a sight to behold as I slid out the door.
I closed my eyes tightly lest it should appear
That the sky was below me, the world gone queer.
With a bloody great jerk my chute opened quick
I knew in a moment I'd land with my stick.
More rapid than eagles my comrades they came
And the stick leader shouted and called them by name.
Hey Stevens, hey Wilson, hey Johnson and Dixon
Out Collins, out Connor, out Downing and Nixon.
O'er the top of the trees, o'er the top of the wall
Now slip away, slip away, slip away all.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle fill the sky.
So out of the aircraft the jumpers exited.
With a weapon valise and a ruck sack well fitted.
And then in a twinkle I performed point two
And checked my canopy; but I wasn't through.
So I drew in my head and was turning around
When towards me that Kelly came with a bound.
He was dressed as for battle from his head to his foot
In all of his pockets C-rations he'd put.
A pack with grenades he had strapped to his chest
He didn't much want them but the CO knew best.
His eyes were all glazed, his brow was all wrinkled
His cheeks were like ashes, his face was all wrinkled.
He threw out his arms and spread his legs wide
He crashed into my lines while I damn near died.
The tip of his boot caught me square in the teeth
And the stars they encircled my head like a wreath.
He now had a broad grin, did that horrible Kelly
And he laughed while I shook like a bowlful of jelly.
He bounced off my lines and then glided away
I sighed a great sigh; I didn't want him to stay.
A glance of my eye and a twist of my head
Soon gave me to know I had something to dread.
The ground was uprushing: I went straight to my work
I took body position and hit with a jerk.
I made four points of contact, the fifth was my nose
I crawled from my harness and up to my feet arose.
I heard the stick leader to his team give a whistle
And away they all flew like the down on the thistle.
But I pulled out a pen as they ran out of sight
I now wanted a posting; for a transfer I'd write.

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