Evidence points to the unknown author being the Mess Deck MAA on the CGC Barataria or one of her sister ships…
From a shallow hole in the after deck
comes a smell that's thick an ripe,
Of grease and sweat and unwashed neck
the creature known as the SNIPE.
He lives below in his stagnant cave
far from the light of day,
Far from the smell of wind and wave
in slime and slow decay.
But deck hands say when the light is draped
in the black you may hear him prowl,
As he comes topside like a ghost escaped
the paintwork to befoul.
He scratched his back on the paintwork
leaving a greasy smear,
And his smell goes out on the midnight air
polluting the atmosphere.
He smirches the deck with his greasy track
and smudges the stanchions too,
And he leaves a trail of gooey black
to be cleaned by the topside crew.
Now this is the reason that all men know
who follow the bos'n pipe,
That the vilest of beast lives down below
and is affectionately called "THE SNIPE".
Submitted by Billy Piner, CWO4, USCG Retired