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CI

August 20, 2013

He woke and saw that he had moved,
no longer was he safe in bed—
around him grew, in tended groves,
enormous mushrooms glowing red.
How came I here? confused, he thought,
When minutes past I slept at home?
“You soon will find the answers sought,”
a voice replied—and tiny gnomes
collected underneath the boy
and bore him through the mushroom beds.
Behind them came a wooden toy,
upon its own two wooden legs—
and from its mouth came orders sharp,
directing gnomes to place their load
beneath a tent of canvas tarp,
before the flippers of a toad.
The gnomes retreated with a swish,
the wooden toy bowed deep and low,
the toad licked flies from off a dish,
the boy looked pink in mushroom’s glow.
“Oh Great Lord Toad,” the toy then said,
“I’ve brought the boy to you, as bid.”
“I said,” said Toad, “to bring his head.”
“You did,” said Toy, “and see, I did.”
The boy ignored them for some time
as they discussed inference verse
the letter of the law. “My crime,”
argued the toy, by now quite terse,
“is following an unclear call—
the fault is yours, not mine,” he yelled.
“The gall!” yelled Toad, “The utter gall!
to question me—I’ll have you quelled!
Why, Toy, I am your Great Lord King!
Now chop his head off, if you please—
or even if you don’t—now bring
his head to me, you Wood Disease!”
“No need for such cruel words, my Lord,”
said Toy, his voice in gravel tones,
yet down he reached to pull his sword.
But when he turned, the boy was gone.
The boy, far down the road, kicked gnomes
from off his path as he ran swift
and true until he reached his home—
far from the glowing mushroom beds,
and toy, and toad, and soon it seemed,
the more he thought and searched his head,
that it was something he had dreamed.

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