When Desmond was born, the midwife had fumbled,
She said she was sorry, but somehow she stumbled
Exactly as Desmond came slithering out,
He slipped through her hands, she had no time to shout!
He bungee jumped on his umbilical cord,
As chaos ensued on the hospital ward.

This fall was a portent for Desmond’s young life,
Until he was three it was nothing but strife.
Baths were disastrous – he practically drowned,
Floundering and kicking and flapping around.
And when he tried crawling, he skidded and slid,
He couldn’t stay upright, whatever he did.

Some eminent doctors examined his hearing
And found lots of wax that they thought needed clearing.
Perhaps it affected the lad’s inner ear?
They hoped that in time it would just disappear.
But meanwhile young Desmond kept falling from heights,
Giving his mother some terrible frights.

From beds he had tumbled and broken his arm,
Just lying down lengthways could cause the boy harm.
So stairs were all gated in case he should roam,
And furniture edges all covered in foam.
His cot was designed like a small prison cell,
The bars close together in case the lad fell.

Now toddlers are programmed to run and explore,
But Desmond would trip as he walked through the door.
A scooter was sadly quite out of the question,
‘Avoid things with wheels’ was his teacher’s suggestion.
So roller skates, skateboards and bikes were off limits,
He’d crash and fall off in a matter of minutes.

The problem of balance was clearly compounded
By not holding on, a trait that confounded
His parents and teachers and friends and relations:
“Hang on!” and “Be careful!” their loud exhortations.
If only the boy had a prehensile tail
To grip onto every available rail.

The poor lad was clumsy, the facts bore it out,
Whatever the sport he would always wipe out.
Each game that he played was a clear demonstration
That Desmond could only excel at prostration.
The only two pastimes where Desmond could shine
Were football and swimming, where diving was fine.

One year they went skiing to try him on snow.
Strapped flat on a sledge they attempted to tow
Young Desmond up quite a small nursery slope,
But after five minutes they’d given up hope.
Attached to a tether his speed had increased,
Till hitting a mogul he shot off the piste.

As soon as the hospital discharged the lad,
A trip up to Lapland was planned by his dad.
A treat to make up for the skiing disaster,
(Which needless to say he would never have mastered).
So off to the Arctic the two of them flew,
And there Desmond’s wish to see Santa came true.

A huge golden sleigh stood with reindeer grazing,
Which Desmond ran up to, this trip was amazing!
But Desmond fell down as he climbed in the sleigh,
Which upset the reindeer who bolted away.
Poor Desmond flew out as they lurched round a bend,
Straight into a pine tree, and that was the end.

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