Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting my Father will know he is a legend. Now I know most people say that about their Dad but mine is truely exceptional in every way possible. He was the one who sparked my interest in writing and more specifically, poetry. He wrote me many poems about many topics when I was young. They were always light hearted and always always made me laugh. Still to this day he is one of only around five people in the whole world (TV and movie comics included) that can make me genuinely laugh out loud. I have decided to share one of his most infamous poems with the world as I feel it my duty and most definitely, will make the world, an ever so slightly, better place.
So, I've always eaten fish and meat. This is not to upset the vegetarians or the vegans by any means. I don't want any beef here. This topic of discussion started with my Father in jest, however, now has lodged firmly in my mind. It point of his has also stuck with all my friends that this has been mentioned it to over the course of around 20 years. Even a good friend of a friend, whom I know I hadn't mentioned this to myself, once said she'd heard about 'the thing about leaving the prawns' from our circle. Music to my ears! Once you have read this, you will never look at a seafood based meal in the same manner.
The premise of the poem: Never. Leave. A. Prawn.
Or any other single shellfish for that matter on your plate. They have had their all taken away from them. Caught up from their little lives and cannot be left on your plate because we selfish humans are 'full'. My Father would always explain to me as a child in his serious yet comical manner, that cows can be divided up and be shared for different purpose. Steaks, stock, mince. The list is endless. The same also applies to a chicken for example. Different parts have different uses. Even large fish, their heads me be used for stock etc. You get the point. Prawns however, are a different and potentially solemn story. As I love seafood it became such a regular fixture as I together placed my knife and fork, my Father would exclaim with a look of comedic dismay, 'You haven't left any prawns have you?!'
My Dad being the genius he is, decided to best way to lament small molluscs and shellfish was to write a touching poem in their honour. Ladies and Gentleman, please, spare a thought for these tiny creatures and their unwilling sacrifice. Don't let their death be in vein. Whether it's a fish pie, sandwich, pasta or pizza. Please check for them. Have a heart human race.
'Ode to a Prawn'
Think of me when next you see my body lain prostrate.
I gave of my whole life to simply decorate your plate.
No other creature large or small could dare be asked to give its all.
To be a garnish for a plate - what a fate.
By Julian French
Thank you Dad.