The Post Box, Danny Johnson and Mr Bridgen were all real people and the story is true - with only small amounts of exaggeration :-)
The post box sat proudly Glossy and red At the end of our street On the edge of the grass Opposite Old Mr Bridgen’s side garden. Old Mr Bridgen kept watch over both – his garden and the post box From his kitchen window. On constant alert For way-ward children and stray balls - The latter of which, When landing upon his prized vegetables Would be whisked away Never to be returned - to their miscreant owners. The post box that proudly sat, At the end of our street, Red, glossy and neat, Appeared somewhat bossy As it also marked the corner of our territory. A red sentinel – there to be sat upon And claimed, ‘King of the Castle’. Also used as a ‘base’ for untamed games - Ting-Tang Tommy and ‘Rounders’. Until, on this particular day One of our number, Namely - 'Danny Johnson' Hit the ball high into the air. While we all stood and stared open mouthed, Praying it would not descend Into Old Mr Bridgen’s side garden. But the post box that sat - proudly, Red, glossy and tall Bore witness to the ball landing Among Old Mr Bridgen’s prize cabbages. What to do now? Not ready for the game to end, We renamed post box - ‘Red Base’. For ‘The Mission’ (should some brave soul choose to accept it) Was to retrieve ‘the errant ball’ Without being detected by curtain-twitching, ball-stealing, Old Mr Bridgen. The plan quite simple really - to post a lookout, Who could see clearly into Old Mr Bridgen’s kitchen window. While the rescuer hiding behind the newly named post-box, Waited for the signal that the coast was clear. The post box – newly named Red Base That sat proudly all glossy and red At the end of our street On the edge of the grass Acted as a vantage point for the rescuer of the ball. Old Mr Bridgen however, Having kept watch over - both his garden and the post box, Had observed Danny Johnson Sky rocket the ball up, up, into the air And predicted exactly where - it would land amongst his prized cabbages. And unbeknownst to us Old Mr Bridgen had picked up his stick And gone to wait patiently Behind the kitchen door that lead into his side garden. The post box that sat proudly, Glossy and red At the end of our street On the edge of the grass Would act as a shield, once the mission started. Danny Johnson - press-ganged into submission Had accepted ‘The Mission’ to rescue the ball (after all, he was the one who hit it in there) And was prepared to risk all to impress his friends, save face And be the hero of the hour. Old Mr Bridgen however, Still sour at his ball-smashed cabbages, Stood behind his door waiting for sufficient time to elapse, So he might perhaps, catch Danny Johnson - with hands as red as the post box. The post box that sat proudly, Glossy and red At the end of our street On the edge of the grass Was an innocent pillar in this game. Old Mr Bridgen, with his usual perfection- Timed his entrance into the garden, Arriving just as Danny Johnson – Tasked with the collection of the ball Searched tentatively among the cabbages. Warnings were shouted by the ‘Look-Out’ "Watch out!" But too late – And Danny Johnson was unceremoniously routed By roars, from the stick-waving-now-chasing Old Mr Bridgen. Over the carrots and through the turnips Until he – Danny Johnson that is – not Old Mr Bridgen Leapt over the fence and ran back to Red Base – AKA the post box with nothing to show for his exploits. Old Mr Bridgen however - keeper of the garden and the post box held aloft his prize - a green tennis ball And waved it triumphantly Before placing it carefully Alongside all the other balls in his collection. Trophies displayed as a warning To wayward children and miscreant youths, Who dared to play games in the street by the post box. Despite this, The post box that sat proudly All glossy and red At the end of our street On the edge of the grass Opposite Old Mr Bridgen’s side garden Became a totem to our survival. Round the red pillar, Fueled by adrenaline, we danced and celebrated (despite the loss of the ball) For the salvation of our hero – Danny Johnson, Who sat on top of the post box laughing At the increasingly red-faced Old Mr Bridgen. Old Mr Bridgen who - still waving his stick, Threatened to call the police And report our mistreatment of post office equipment. And so we scattered to the four winds, To live to fight another day While the post box remained Glossy and red At the end of our street On the edge of the grass A monument to our adventure.