Horrible word, isn’t it? In fact, I don’t think it’s a word. It has no place in the English language. Yet no classic novel is safe from writers determined to tell us what happened before the novel started, what the characters were like before they became interesting. Every classic novel must have its prequel. Same with great films. Some nincompoop is sure to come along and pump prequels on to our screens. Prequels are fashionable. Prequels are all the rage.

As everyone knows, I’m a slave to fashion. So I felt obliged to compose a prequel to a classic story, and here it is. (It actually started as an exercise in a creative writing class, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bothered.)

Through the dark of the town flew a pilfering owl,

His eyes on the glitter of wealth,

With beak and with talons he gathered up gallons

Of coins, and he did it with stealth;

But he hadn’t flown far when an owl-sized guitar

Attracted his notice, and so,

With his swag in a sack, he launched an attack

On the music shop’s window below.


The shatter of glass alerted a mass

Of police, interrupting their tea,

So they swore they’d loose Hell on the feathery felon

And thereby obliged him to flee.

With his bagful of loot and a guitar to boot

He made at full speed for the port,

Where he thought he could hide ‘til the turn of the tide

Might allow for escape on a boat.


He soon found a place with copious space

In a box by the side of the quay,

But he quickly espied it was pre-occupied

By a feline felonious as he.

An alley survivor, she’d pilfered a fiver,

And something the owl found funny:

She admitted the truth – she had a sweet tooth

So she’d nicked a big jar full of honey.


There were cops on their tails but they’d left no clear trails

And the honour twixt thieves soon entwined them:

They’d work as a team with mutual esteem

And ensure that the police couldn’t find them.

Their resources they pooled, the authorities fooled,

In a pea-green boat they’d be free,

And needing to prowl no longer, the owl

And the pussy-cat went to sea.



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