Humpty-Dum and Dumpty-Dee

They rode on noble steeds,

Tall and proud, heads raised.

The prince,

On a crisp spring morning,

Off to hunt,

Four knights in his wake,

Came with them six barking hounds

Sniffing fiercely,

Tugging at their chains.

Muskets in holsters,

Swords in sheaths,

The party ventured to the forest,

Tramping their way through thick undergrowth.

Shortly after two deer and a boar,

The day turned dark,

Abundant mist alight.

Through fog they wandered,

Right was left,

Left was right,

Front was back,

Back was front.

The hounds had run off,

Lost in the mist.

With the dogs, the horses had gone,

Kicked off their riders and bolted away.

As the men drew nearer,

Fogged images abruptly seemed clearer,

Two round bodies,

Attached to heads, scarcely distinct,

Oddities,

And no neck at all.

They sat stone still,

Perched on the ledge of a wall,

Eyes staring straight ahead

Into white nothingness.

Said the skeptical prince,

Wary of such strange characters

In the dark night mist,

“Good sirs, we are hopelessly lost.

If you would just point us to the castle,

We’d be much obliged.”

At “castle” the men’s strange eyes

Seemed to flicker,

The corners of mouths turned in small grins.

“The castle, you say? Well, oh my, oh me,

To go to the palace, who might you be?”

“The crown prince, my good men.”

The time was deemed too late for travel,

The weary party invited,

To the two men’s home,

Upon which all five promptly collapsed,

And fell into deep slumber.

The prince was unexpectedly aroused,

With an impatient moist coat,

Clinging to his face.

A hound had returned,

The knights were awake,

The sound of metal could be heard,

And two voices chanting,

“The prince!

How fortunate are we!

Sharpen the blades,

Ready the axe,

So he who has taken our sight,

May pay his debt with his son!”

Heavy footfalls came towards the room,

The knights had been stripped of their weapons,

The door bolted.

An open window was their only escape,

One by one,

The men squeezed through,

Until only the prince and the hound were left.

The door was clicking,

The bolt sliding,

Still the prince stayed.

He remained,

Remained until the dog nudged him out the window,

And the door swung wide open.

“They’ve gone,” cried an exasperated voice.

“Contrariwise,” said the other,

“They only just found out.”

A yelp,

Definitely the hound,

A metallic tang,

Definitely a blade.

Thought the saddened prince,

Definitely a dead dog.

Run, the five men did,

Escape they did not.

Fog swallowed them up,

Soon,

They were facing two round men

Sitting on a wall,

Staring straight ahead

Like statues,

Who grinned; insane.

A swing,

A late reaction,

A brown blur.

At the prince’s feet lay the hound,

Dead.

For real.

A push with the prince’s arm,

And Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Went tumbling into the gorge

Down below

With a shattering of porcelain.

Human?

Contrariwise.





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