Treasure Island

Sukumar Ray

(30 October 1887 - 10 September 1923 / Calcutta / India)

Old Tickler


Go East or West, go North or south, by land sea or air,
But before you go, make sure the old Tickler isn’t there.
Tickler is a terror, and I’ll tell you what he’s after –
He’ll have you stuffing tickle chops until you choke with laughter.

It’s hard to tell where he lives, and harder to restricthim,
He’s always round the corner looking for a victim.
His method is quite simple ; he’ll grab you by your sleeve
And tell you anecdotes which he insists you must believe.

He thinks they’re very funny, while others find themgrim,
(They have to keep on laughing though, so as tohumour him).
One wouldn’t mind the stories if they were all one hadto bear,
He also uses tickle – feathers, which is most unfair,

And so he goes on cackling, “Oh, but don’t you think its funny –
Aunt Kitty selling pigeons’ eggs and figs and clovesand honey
The eggs are long and conical, the cloves are all convoluted
The figs have arabesques on them nicely executed,
From dawn till dusk Aunt Kitty sings a string of motley airs
All mew and barks and brays and neighs (Aunt Kitty calls them Prayers).”
Saying so, he brings his hand behind your back topinch you,
At which you have to laugh unless you want that heshould lynch you

[Original: 'Katukutu Buro' (Bengali), Translated by: Satyajit Ray (the able son of Sukumar Roy)]

Submitted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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