‘So what did you speak of?’ I asked. Later that day.
‘To my brother’s daughter, the future kingdom’s keeper?’
‘Yes.’ I blushed.
‘Do not answer me with such down-castness boy.
‘Did we speak of you?’
You must ask.
And yes, we did so.’
‘Then what did you say?’ Tell me! I should have said.
Ah! He answered, this time from above my shoulder, on Gilfrey.
Holding his hands in prayerful-countenance
‘I told her I needed an apprentice
and sought to ask that of you.
So no time as like thus then, I do ask you so
And with no time to think:
‘Yes!’ Then I asked myself the same question…
We had not known each other more than a day,
was this right?
But yes, this would work out.
‘Then I must teach you as we travel.
I will not be made out
a fool when we arrive!’
That was how we started.
Head off to his Elven-Court, behind that gorgeous fem,
it seemed like the beginning of a grand adventure.
And well it might.
Though we travelled in good spirits,
and Mithril had began the couplets and
the charmings that were to be my lessons,
I was forever looking for my lady’s passing.
Yet no-matter how often he would speak of them
as oh so slow of their speed,
never once did we more than catch sight of
even their lagging tales.
Well then I must be content
with my learning, my tutor
and the well-natured horse.
–I will say now, to avoid needless pain, that that horse and I
would much gain in our comradeship.
She is the rock between my legs
and I am passing pleased to say, my friend–
Our travelling was not long really.
Perhaps a week or so upon the road, though it were
a fast legged journey to be sure and
held high in terms of learning.
Mithril always liked to hear my sides
of any story he’d told. He asked me often, ‘well,’
how would I tell him that one?
And what was the lesson to be learned?
It was not enough for him to entertain,
but more to bring forth some new level of understanding,
something caught-up by my brain.
And when we passed by those sites
such as those to attract that passing gaze
of the traveller along our road, it was Mithril who
would tell me of their significance
for our songs.
Much of what he’d tell me seemed
of an inappropriate stature, when turned against the immensity
with which he could pronounce it.
He had such a way about him, as if
he strummed b-flat and readied,
the whole orchestra around him.
But please, I would entice you, do not think of me
in such fettered ways. Am I a brat here within this piece
to tell you question after question of my master’s worth?
Well… perhaps… but I seem to have cultivated
a rather clever colour streak since ever I had met
that man whom called it upon himself to call favour
to all the ironic and absurd. As it applied to all other.
Still, he gave as good as he ever could receive.
There were three of these tales told.
We were travelling our road, and past we rode a bird’s nest.
Though we could not see within, the seasons said,
up there must be a bird or two, or five
learning to fly.
No matter, but the music filling the air,
this caused Mithril’s eyes upward
and he then turned to me and said, grasping the saddle
on which I sat, to call my attention back
to him. ‘There is a story
about anything, though,
a teller’s worth is not judged by
knowing, but by knowing wether it be told.’
He drew his breath in carefully,
‘there is one of Jacob, the man who swallowed
his own pipe and from then on
made such darling sound.
Of his brother
Heathrow, who had no
knowledge with which to teach him how
to speak again,
but wrote his own
that could prise the tears and long
from any maiden’s chest.
This, he could give his
darn afflicted kins-man.
And this he did. And Jacob turned
to play this tune well.
Then there was their other,
He who courted the Cedar-tree maiden
–so named for reasons, that will not
be told here; yet rest assured lacks sap–
though never getting too far with this
endeavour, William was after all
their gifted brother;
he had his way with
Now during one year’s Yule-tide feasting,
Jacob at the table, piped-up,
purely to enquire on the status of their turkey,
and Miss Cedar-tree, there for that one year
grossly misconstruing his saintly-pure intent
felt her heart-flutter at his spell.
Now everyone there saw what then happened
and there, William held himself
quietly furious at their side.
And as their romance carried on,
to its proposed end,
William struck his deal–to act!
Played upon his passing similarity
to his sibling’s likeness and snuck
into Jacob’s room one night.
There he confessed, confusing Jacob greatly,
that he–as his brother Heathrow
had given him wrong notes to sing
in his reeded-voice
a music of love to his soon-to-be-betrothed.
It was late, and Jacob was merry,
so without thought or contrary, he turned over
agreed. And he slept.
So next morning, William’s plan,
it went into event.
And Jacob early went, holding his music-
notes in his hand
and played to serenade
his gorgeous lover within his arms.
And she smiled for some time, despite his
yet was left with none,
but to scream when the rats come.
Oh! Climbing up her dress to see him!
Needless to say, this was the end
of their love affair.
But truly, with this song upon his lips
and a love-ruled heart, there was no mind of him to this
he had always felt a touch, attracted to them,
those of the little, whiskered folk.
Now he had no problem but to find engagement.
He strode with them across the country
and found within his grasp
a hundred-thousand jobs—of many description—
for those who did not share
his self-same passion. Called-out for his calling
asked for his aid. Jacob found many friends.
This is how he lived.
And that, is Jacob’s
Mithril looked away distant, eye-brows raised,
little-nod to say; ‘The end.’ Full-stop.
* * * * *
* * * * *