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Once upon a troubled village,
Nestled near a forest’s roots,
The people all were poor and starving,
Ruled by greedy brutes.
A man named Brennan earned his wages
Working at the local inn.
His life droned on, without his knowing
What would soon begin.
The landlords and the heads of state,
Who often boasted of their places,
Called a meeting of the town
With dark and stony faces.
They said to all the starving peasants,
“It is time to leave this land.
The fires burning in the north
Are getting out of hand.
So pack your things and journey southward;
There’s a city past the woods.
Bring only items sorely needed.
No expensive goods.”
So all the people in the village,
Not sure who or what to blame,
Were forced to leave their dying land.
Their town without a name.
And Brennan, who had always been
A solitary, lonely man,
Decided, “I must leave this place
As quickly as I can.”
But Brennan thought that it was foolish,
Blindly flying to the south.
Instead, he took a secret road.
The winding Puma’s Mouth.
But Puma’s Mouth turned out to be
A treacherous and rocky road.
At least his food was gone quite quickly,
Lightening his load.
Just as Brennan thought he’d reached
The farthest point that he could go,
He saw above the withered trees
A violent orange glow.
Brennan heard the snapping twigs,
The roar of flames that swallow trees.
He tried to run, a tired stumble,
Wobbly at the knees.
He tried his best to flee the fire,
But poor Brennan tripped and fell.
He felt a warmth upon his back.
The raging tongues of hell.
He turned around to meet the flames,
To stare Death in his crusted Eye.
He turned and saw a giant snake
Was slowly passing by.
It’s body, like a maple trunk,
It’s head, a grinning, blackened spire.
It saw Brennan, close to dead,
And spat a flood of fire.
Brennan felt the tingling warmth,
And Brennan started counting sheep.
He saw the forest fall away,
And drifted into sleep.
And Brennan saw a peaceful village,
Nestled near a forest’s roots.
The people there were always smiling,
Blessed with no disputes.
And that is how a little village
All but disappeared one day.
The ancient woods, once green and brown,
A field of lifeless gray.