First Prize in the Cute-cumber Category

Brookfield Lane Allotment Association (BLAA) had its Annual Show on Saturday, August 18th. and very successful it was too: well-attended by the enthusiastic plot holders and by family and friends. Cups (including one for best newcomers – congratulations, Plot 6B) were presented by the mayor and after the auction of produce and the raffle, a tasty menu of meal choices was on offer to round off proceedings. Thanks to the Committee for an excellent afternoon. Here’s a poem inspired by the afternoon’s competition.

First Prize in the Cute-cumber Category

I can’t let this pass without comment in rhyme

Fly flags. Hang out bunting. Let’s hear church bells chime.

My big day had come. I’d been waiting for years.

I’m feeling emotional, almost in tears.

For Saturday last was the day of the Show.

We hopefuls turned up with our produce in tow.

30 p for each entry, so serious stuff,

and winning first prizes would be really tough.

Whether single sweet pea or trios of veg.,

how would we find that competitive edge?


The morning past quickly selecting our crops,

the pick of the bunch. There’d be no room for flops:

a monster tomato; 3 beetroot; 3 beans;

a white, frilly squash; and maybe some greens;

one pot of marmalade; one pot of bramble;

one rhubarb and ginger (a bit of a gamble).

and one final entry, last but not least,

an arrow straight cucumber, fit for a feast.

On the stroke of midday, the judging began,

Would the afternoon go according to plan?


3 o’clock soon came round. We scurried back in,

eager to see who had managed to win.

Laid out on the tables, the results were displayed.

Had any of my entries made the grade?

Yes, here I’d a third prize, there I’d a second.

That was lots more success than I’d reckoned.

The sponges and scones I sauntered right past

and headed for where the cucurbits amassed

and I swear that this all logic defies,

there was my cucumber sporting first prize.


“Yippee!”, I shouted, though just in my head.

(Showing you’ve triumphed is very ill-bred).

It wasn’t the longest. It wasn’t its size.

It wasn’t its girth that won it first prize,

but somehow it embodied perfection:

most rectilinear in the cucumber section.

Its skin satin smooth, a beautiful green,

a tiny bit shiny which gave it a sheen.

I’m over the moon. I’m chuffed as can be.

Maybe next year, “Best in Show” might be me!




  1. Aileen O'Riordan · August 26

    This really made me smile. Love the idea of you sauntering btw.


  2. viv.betts · August 26

    very clever Phil……congratulations on your wonderful cucumber win!


  3. Margaret Holbrook · August 26

    Heartiest congratulations!


  4. teacherspet1 · August 26

    Congratulation on your well polished straight cumber, well M

    Sent from my iPad



  5. michaelpoyser · August 26

    Love it dad, and well done on the first prize!


  6. mph26 · September 3

    Nice one, Phil! Amused me when I returned from holiday earlier today and sorted my inbox.Mark.Mark P. Henderson   Writer, editor, folktale collector, storyteller.      Author of Folktales of the Peak District,       Cruel and Unusual Punnishments,       and other works.   Secretary, “Write from the Heart”. 07397 164551


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s