Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here's Another One

Here's another one. It's not necessarily a poem, but I call it Conversation and Prelude to an Unwritten Childrens' Book.

And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms,

the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency,

shall be as when God overthrew

Sodom and Gomorrah.

It shall never be inhabited,

neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation:

neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there;

neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there;

and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures;

and owls shall dwell there,

and satyrs shall dance there.

And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their

desolate houses,

and dragons in their pleasant palaces:

and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

Isaiah 13: 19-22

I don’t like the sound of that one bit, Chylus.


The bit with the dragons and all.

Why do there have to be owls, Chylus? We shrews don’t like owls, much.

I wish you’d all stop whining. There’s a human in this after all and he’s the one who ends up-

Chylus, stop! You can’t tell them everything, not on the first page. The story hasn’t even started yet!

Well, they’re going to figure it out anyway. . .

I just don’t understand. What’s Isaiah doing in a children’s book?

Is that the name of the dragon?

No, the owl. You know they eat shrews.

They’re not the only ones who do.

There goes Chylus showing off again. He’ll ruin to book for everyone.

Shut up!

Is it true fire comes out of dragons’ noses?


I once told a joke to an owl and when he laughed a shrew came out of his nose.

I think I’m going to be sick.

You all can make jokes about owls! Filthy Holstein pheasants!

Shaddup, Pops, or Chylus here. . .

I told you to knock it off or you’re going to spoil the story!

I don’t take advice from earth-diggers like you, Runt!

If I were you I’d take less advice and more frequent baths!

That was nice.


Who was that?

Probably Chylus. Better make a headcount.

Isn’t anyone going to explain what’s going on?

Well, somebody burped and we’re short two shrews here.

Quick! Tell Chylus a joke!

What are you talking about? His nose isn’t big enough.

Not that. I mean about this Isaiah thing. . .

That was a crisis ago, Mabel. Mabel? Mabel!

Anyone seen Mabel?


Whew. Wet shrew.

What about Isaiah?

What about that dragon?

I promise if there are owls in this, I’ll quit the story I’ve got an owl-less contract.

That was with Doubleday, dear.

No, no dragons. The big stars are off making that medieval story. Only ones available for a story like this would be the pseudodragons, or maybe some griffins with flame-throwers hidden in their fur.

I think we’re getting a bit off the subject Mabel brought up.

Look. Chylus is throwing up.

Eats too much, the filthy vermin.

Now, about Mabel?

Her again?

Yeah, Frank. Chylus just brought her up again.

I hate people who have to monopolize the conversation with their own stupid stories.

Isn’t anyone going to explain who this Isaiah is and what he’s doing in our book?

Oh there you are, Mabel. Whew. Nothing personal, old girl, but you could use a wash and a brush.

What smells like wet shrew around here?

Shh! Chylus has got that weird look in his eye again!

Tell ME about ISAIAH or I’ll BITE your HEAD off, you silly FOP!

Calm down, Mabel. If you’d just listen to old Windle here, He’ll explain. He’s been trying to ever since you brought the question up. Windle, go ahead.




Oh. He’s dead.


Dibs, nothing. You got the last four we found. This one’s mine!

Last four, pinfeathers! Who hogged that whole skunk to himself down near the trestle bridge a week and a half ago?

You did! Can’t you tell by the smell?

Is that what that is? Thought maybe it was because the moon was full last night.

Maybe it’s John’s turn.

Which one?

Which turn, or which John?

Which John, of course.

Do either of them know anything about Isaiah?

Quiet, Mabel. Never argue with a flock of magpies.

Lookit here, John. Chylus called dibs, and it’s your turn.

Old Windle? Geez. I’d rather have something a little less, well, shrewish.

Not until you tell me about ISAIAH!

OK, Mabel. No need to shout.

The quote from Isaiah, taken of course from the King James, has been included in this edition of this story merely because it contains the phrase the author used for the title of the book, and also shows off the author’s erudition; in stark contrast to the fact he typically spends his free time shelling peanuts and reading old Dave Barry columns.

I never knew Isaiah read Dave Barry.

No, not him. The author.


The author. Of this book.

Him? Fat kid with no neck?


Heaven help us.

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