Origami Heaven

Cloud 9 - Cartoons and poetry

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


Rather them than me
Sitting on the harbour wall

looking out to sea

watching a sailor with a face

as rough as the bark of a tree

cleaning his deck with a broom.


‘Hello!’ I called.

‘Hello, Young Man!’ he said.

‘Are you sailing soon?’ I asked.

‘Soon enough,’ he said.

So I got down off my wall

and walked across to see

what he was brushing off his deck

into the muddy sea.


‘What are you carrying?’ I asked.

‘Many things,’ he said.

‘I’ve a twenty ton cargo

of eels and escargot

to sell to the French.’

‘I quite like eels,’ I offered.

‘Oh do you?’ he replied.

‘Just one at a time,’ I said.

‘There are times,’ he said, ‘and places.’

‘Yes,’ I agreed, ‘ but not in bed!’


At this he gave a chuckle

and handed me a broom.

So I went on deck and

helped him sweep it clean

and whistled my new tune

that sounded like the waves

slapping against the hull below.


When I got hungry

I went home,

and the sailor went to sea.

The French, no doubt, enjoyed their snails.

Rather them than me.