CROQUET:  The Learner's Lament

Peter Lines wrote on 13 December 1999:

Not long ago I ambled down to learn a game called Croquet,
and had my addled brain bemused by terms like bisque and roquet.
They told me clearly what to do, (I couldn't think at all.)
They said, "Now come along, my dear, and try and hit that ball."

I aimed it here; it went elsewhere, I couldn't understand.
"Well, pick that up," I next was told. I took the ball in hand.
"Oh, put it down, you silly girl, and roll up to the hoop!"
So, down upon the lawn I lay and wallowed like a sloop.

"Get up!" they screamed, "and rush these balls, and try and do a split."
I tore out madly on the lawn and nearly broke my hip.
I did my very best to try and 'take-off' when they said.
I leapt up madly in the air, and landed on my head.

"Now peel that ball," I next was told. I got a knife and tried,
but couldn't do it owing to the thickness of its hide.
"Don't crush that ball," they cautioned me. I looked at them in scorn;
the woman who could squeeze that thing has never yet been born.

"Now come along, and see if you can make a hoop or two."
With sticks and tape and bits of wire I did what I could do.
They still weren't happy, and they cried, "You silly nincompoop!
It's not the kind for under frocks." (Did I fall in the soup?)

"For Heaven's sake," they tore their hair, "Please, do just one thing right!"
So, I made a break and rocked them all, then passed out cold from fright.
I really thought I never would find out what it's about.
And the climax of it all occurred when they tersely said, "Peg out!"

(by Kylie Scotter in 1957 for the Manly Croquet Club Christmas party. 
Kylie (who started playing in 1945) is still going strong at 88 years of age!
A great lady of the game.)