“Can I borrow your ladders a couple of days?”

Asked the bloke from across the road.

His house got burgled: my ladders got nicked –

At least, that’s what I was told.

He also borrowed my workbench;

It came back with a leg that was wonky.

So, far from providing a worktop that’s sturdy,

It wobbles about like a plonky!

He was painting; he borrowed my dust-sheets:

They came back all shredded and tattered.

And as for my brushes (he had them as well)

They’re all dog-eared and stiffened and matted.

He “borrowed” some wood and some screws and some nails;

He mended both back and front fences.

Everyone said, “What a good job you’ve done!”

Unaware that I paid the expenses.

He borrowed my saw (quite a new one)

And returned it (now there’s a relief) –

Until  I examined it closely -

He’d extracted two-thirds of its teeth!

My screwdriver’s bent, my chisel is blunt

(You’d think that by now I would learn)

My electric drill whimpers and whines for a while

But it’s given up trying to turn.

He borrowed my pasting table -

At a car-boot he wanted to sell.

He sold all his nick-nacks and rusty old tools –

And then sold my table as well!

His house is all mended and tidy

Mine’s going to wrack and to ruin

While he’s got my tools (and my ladders!)

D-I-Y is not something I’m doing.

His house wins acclaim from the neighbours;

Mine causes them much discontent,

But I can’t help but think the reverse would be true

If I’d borrowed as much as I’d lent!

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