(Apologies for late arrival of the end of Michael’s story, part 2 ‘got lost in the machine’. Ed)
‘No, don’t tell me’ (Part 2 of the Secret)
‘No, don’t tell me, I do not want to know.
You see it is a secret and so…
Keep it to yourself. I don’t need to know.
It’s not supposed to pass to me.
Tittle, tattle, don’t talk free’.
Those were the fateful words,
That I had said to my friend.
I warned him that he should trust no one,
And not to say a word,
‘Loose talk costs lives’
He worked in engineering
At the local aircraft factory.
So you see he had to know the secrets
Of what was being built, to do his job.
Whilst I as a humble accountant
Who costed it out, knew little.
It seemed he had a pathological urge
To tell any secrets he knew
But it took stupidity and courage
To even tell a few
One day, as was likely to ever be
His free speech came to an end
Arrested by the local police
He was put before the Bench.
The Magistrates said he had an important job,
And was an intelligent man.
So why must he always tell his tales?
He must know loose talk’s a crime.
They fined him the sum of two hundred pounds
And said if he did it again,
He would go to prison despite his skills
And lose his job in the end.
What could I say, he was a fool to himself.
But many other lives were at risk,
From his loose and verbose tongue.
But at last he seemed to now understand,
What he had done wrong.
He said, no more would he talk so loose
He’d thought it had given his status a boost.
Ah, I thought, the reason he talked so free
It made him feel important, you see.
But in reality he already was vital to our War
And had no need to have stars on his door.
After, as we met in the dark of our usual nightly bus, I said,
Remember, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know!
For background see ‘The Secret’ by Michael Healy
The Secret Factory (Part 3 of the Secret)
There was a large area of grass
Where a football used to pass
As the works team played a game
With a team of men the same
But now the war was here
Not enough men would appear
To keep the games being played
So wooden sheds had now been built
On the grass between the buildings
Inside they housed the work for war
Where planes were made by the score.
A highly secret aeroplane was growing in this Factory
Keeping this secret was quite essential,
And that secret …?
Its body was made of wood, a wooden wonder.
Light, fast and very manoeuverable,
Flying higher than most; the enemy had nothing like it.
Armed with four canon, four machine guns and bombs
It had a sting, just like a large Mosquito
Indeed, what a good name for it – the Mosquito
Fighter; bomber; photo reconnaissance; immensely versatile too.
No wonder it was such a vital secret, guarded through and through.
It was a Wednesday morning just before eleven,
Work was briefly set aside for the first tea break since seven.
The wail of the sirens suddenly rose to a high pitched warning scream.
‘To the Shelters quick’ the order went out and many a cuppa was spilled.
The guns guarding the factory began to blaze forth
A lone plane dived over our buildings, it came from the North
The guns stopped as he flew away. We wondered why he came.
Two weeks went passed with no further disturbance
When the sirens went howling again.
This time, from the noise above, more planes were coming to us
And then the bombs began to drop with a cacophony of crashing sound. Twenty minutes and it was all over. Thank God.
The sirens soon sounded the steady ‘All Clear’,
and we crawled from our bunkers to see the dust, the damage, the injured and fear.
The wooden sheds had all but gone and the buildings were all badly damaged.
The machines that we used lay broken and twisted. Even my pencil was snapped
It took us three weeks to restart production, with the help of one of our Shadow Factories.
Did the enemy know what we were making here?
Or was it just bad luck on our part that they came near?
One thing for sure after all this mayhem,
No one would ever loose talk again!