NaPoWriMo day 8

Today’s prompt was to rewrite a famous poem so I’m rewriting Rudyard Kipling’s If- cadet style! But first I would like to apologise to Mr Kipling (no pun intended… I think) for butchering his poem.

If –

If you can keep your beret when all about you

Are losing theirs and trying to steal yours,

If you can trust yourself when all adult instructors doubt you,

But make allowances for their wrongness too;

If you can wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and not lose morale,

Or being bitched about, don’t deal with bitches,

Or being called a biff, don’t give way to being called a biff,

And yet don’t look too well turned out, nor be too keen:


If you can dream – and not be woken by snoring;

If you can think – and appear not to think;

If you can meet with promotion and bollocking

And act the same afterwards;

If you can bear to hear the facts you’ve been taught

Be twisted by idiots who haven’t read the manual,

Or watch your perfectly polished boots, stamped on,

And stoop to bull them with a worn-out cloth;


If you can make one heap of your ‘borrowed’ kit

And risk it all by leaving your locker unlocked,

And lose them, and start ‘borrowing’ anew 

And never breathe a word about your loss (because you’ll get bollocked);

If you can force your ankles and feet and knees

To serve you long after they’ve dislocated and blistered,

And so hold on when you have no morale left in you

Except the Will which says: ‘NAAFI!’


If you can bollock a squad and still keep your popularity,

Or walk with Officers – nor annoy the NCOs,

If neither CSMs nor det. mates can hurt you,

If all others want to be in your section, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With the most confident ice-breaker that can be delivered,

Yours is the Detachment and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a cadet, my child!


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