I’ve been out on Dartmoor walking – on one my favourite pursuits. We passed near Snaily House, a ruined farmhouse near the East Dart. Our walks’ leader told us that the last inhabitants of the house were two spinsters who liked nothing better than eating bottled, salted slugs and a few garden vegetables. Legend has it that after their deaths bottles of the odious concoction were found in the pantry.

Something about this story both fascinated and repelled me….and this poem came out of it.


Their were two jolly sisters who lived on the moor,

In a creaky old farmhouse with a squeaky old door.

One was called Kitty, the other was Win,

They kept a pink spotty pig and a dog with a chin.


They were happy and cheery,

And never got weary.

Each to the other was

My deary deary.


Winnie word leggings and a dusty old smock,

Kitty liked waistcoats and a glittering frock.

They both wore their hair sweeping down to their knees,

And splashed in the leat to wash out the fleas.


While Winnie was homely and liked sweeping the floor,

Kitty rambled all day on the wide open moor.

On dark winters’ nights they huddled together,

And twined pretty garlands of wild moorland heather.


They were happy and cheery,

Though sometimes got weary.

But each to the other was still

Deary, deary.


Kitty was titchy and Winnie was big,

And both loved cavorting and dancing the jig.

They made up the music by jingling spoons,

Tears welled in their eyes, so sweet were their tunes.


Whenever the sisters heard a knock on the door,

They considered it such a terrible bore

That they hid in the pantry with the slugs and the flour,

And sang silly songs while they wasted an hour.


They were happy and cheery,

But often got weary.

They wondered how long they’d be still

Deary, deary.


Time passed like the leats  that bubbled away,

While day followed night and night followed day.

Spotty pig died and the dog caught a chill,

And Kitty and Winnie became very ill.


So they lay down so snuggly on the four-poster bed,

And whispered fond words that had never been said.

Then they glugged down a potion of squashed slugs and snails,

And died holding hands with the slightest of wails.


Now they’re happy and cheery.

They never get weary,

And each to the other is

My darling deary.

About rhymebydesign

Mother, grandmother, mainstream poet and short story writer. Started off in life as a teacher, but then moved out of the classroom in to educational administration. Curious about what makes people tick, including my own tickings! I enjoy long walks, thought provoking books, theatre and leading a simple life. I offer a customised poetry writing service for any occasion you might like to mark. Contact me at for a quick quote.

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