What’s this? A worm inside my room,
Coiled on the bedroom floor,
A nuisance for the housemaid’s broom,
A toy for Marmite’s claw;
If I should, deus ex machina, throw
My wriggling friend outside,
Not knowing where he wants to go,
Then have I not applied
Excessive, anthropomorphic force,
An oafish bore’s response,
That may, or may not, in its course
Ignore a blindworm’s wants?
This slithering thing, now in my palm,
Knows nought of this, it’s true:
He seeks damp grass to keep from harm:
And he shall find it, too!
Marmite is the latest kitten in my house, sister of Marmalade. Deus ex machina is a a Latin phrase from the Greek — literally ‘god from the machine’, an unexpected event arriving in the nick of time to save a situation. It comes from a kind of crane in ancient Greek theatre from which actors, usually playing gods, were lowered on stage to bring the proceedings to a satisfactory, if unbelievable, conclusion.