When Ug was courting Mrs Ug he swore he’d skimp and save
to acquire a smart apartment, off-plan in Gorham’s Cave
where the sea views were terrific and the mussel-beds profuse,
and fish-traps were provided for everyone to use.
There was firewood by the armful for a very modest fee
And to use communal middens was absolutely free;
A management committee would keep residents in line.
They’d be happy, hunt and gather, and the sun would always shine.
But plans of a Neanderthal, like ours, could sometimes fail.
The developers went bankrupt and the cave was up for sale,
thus the hopes of our young couple were blown away like dust…
Ug’s father felt benevolent and urged: ’Come live with us. You must!
You can help me knapping arrowheads, and she can help your mother
dig for roots and gather sea-food. It won’t be any bother.’
Their marriage was traditional – he bashed her on the head
and dragged her, screaming, by the hair to the Ug family’s bed.
For two sweet moons peace reigned within the Cave of Stalactites,
though drops dripping from the ceiling caused the couple restless nights.
But Ug’s new bride soon tired of sharing board and sharing bed,
she wanted something better, something tres tres chic instead,
She knew there must be more to Life than daily gath’ring grub,
(her brand-new bridal digging stick was worn down to a stub).
A girl should have ambition and should rise above her station.
But to do so she would need a much, much smarter habitation.
So she slyly started nagging when the couple were alone,
telling Ug they’d both be happier in a shelter of their own.
Poor Ug gave in – he had to – he had promised her the earth,
so he scanned the petroglyphic ads to find another berth,
but the rentals were exorbitant and way beyond his reach;
he couldn’t even rent a rough bush shelter on the beach.
Ug quit his flint-stone toiling and he started to explore,
higher stretches of the mountain where he’d never been before.
His daily search was arduous, but at last Ug found a ledge
with a well-protected overhang where, standing at the edge,
the world spread out below him stretched far as he could see,
Ug smiled and whispered to himself: ‘This is the place for me’
Bricks hadn’t been invented yet, nor was there any mortar
Ug knew he needed something to keep out the wind and water.
He found square rocks and flattish stones, then cobbled them together;
and crammed moss into any gaps as proof against the weather.
He viewed with undiminished pride the work that he had done;
walked slowly down the rocky slope – then broke into a run.
His wife would be delighted with a place to call her own;
but when he told her, all she did was pull a face and groan.
The daily trek down to the sea, and then back up again
would be bad enough in sunshine, but even worse in rain.
The mountain top was far too high for anyone to go
Especially someone like herself who suffered vertigo.
The only climbs she wanted was up the social scale…
Poor Ug capitulated – put up a sign: ‘FOR SALE’
Thus this prehistoric ancestor of Taylor, Woodrow, Butcher
Set the pattern for Gibraltar’s Ug-ly high-rise future.