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calendar   Wednesday - March 02, 2011

The Knight, the dog in the canal and tulips

I had a whole page of really serious stuff all ready to be posted, then Christopher beats me to the site with his funny Si-Fi thing and the … gay unicorn?
So how the heck was I gonna post the really maddening thing I had ready, right after his very good post?

I thought of posting some eye candy but that wouldn’t do. Maybe after this. Don’t know. This is so many years old I can’t recall how far back except to say it pre-dates hippies by many years.  This was the beatnik era. It was written by a very bright and funny kid named Bill Hartley, of Hartford, Ct.
I referred to him as Wild Bill Hartley.  Wish I still had his other stuff. He wrote good poetry as well.  Many moves over many years and I’ve lost much over time. How this survived I’ll never know. But it always tickled my funny bone.

It has no title.  So I’ll just call it …

THE KNIGHT
By Wm (wild bill) Hartley

The young knight gazed intently at the animate speck in the distance.  His eyes were aching from the long vigil.  In those days there was no fine art or specific procedure for lookouts.

Blinking and rubbing his eyes, young Sir Lancelot allowed his eyes to wander over the countryside.  They drank in the sight of the canals carving patterns in the monotonous flat plains.  Presently they returned to him and he scooped them up and returned them to their respective sockets.  He breathed deeply of the fresh spring air, savoring the sweet smell of the tulips.  Lancelot LOVED tulips.  He had loved tulips for as long as he could remember.  His mind drifted back slowly through the years then stopped with a jar on the bank of his eleventh summer of being.

He was sitting slumped in a chair listening to the teachers steady drone punctuated by an occasional gasp from his mother.  Parts of the conversation drifted through into his private limbo.

“saw him actually fondling that tulip as though it were capable of returning emotion.”

“but he’s always been such a profound boy; perceptive beyond his years.”

“nevertheless, we can no longer allow him to influence the other children.  I’m afraid you’ll have to find another school for him.”

They don’t understand he thought; my love for tulips is not a childish whim.  It’s a thought out rational decision that no basis in something as unstable as emotion.  Tulips are beautiful but not vain; they emit a wonderful fragrance but not to the point of paining the nostrils.  Best of all, they’re inanimate, ready to receive love, and give beauty and fragrance in return, without any demands like some of the girls he’d seen at school.

Poor Olaf:  his parents must have been must have been guided by the divine when they tagged him with such a dullard name.  For over a month now he’s been following Karen Kringle around like a puppy, showering her with his prized possessions and keeping clean, and watching his manners when she was around. 

Lancelot hated Karen.  Things could never be the same between Olaf and himself again.

It sure must have been more of a strain then was at first apparent when Olaf’s dog was found belly up in the canal.  The poor dog was a victim of a series of unfortunate circumstances.  Given a thousand years probably the precise series of events would never recur.  To this day no one can reason why that dog was up in a tree, imitating a cat.  Had he been content to be what he was, he would in all probability still be running around chasing bitches and biting people.  Conversely, if Olaf’s father had thrown a slipper instead of a wooden shoe, the outcome might well have been altered.
The blow from the shoe set off a chain of events that would have been humorous had not the end result been so tragic.  The fall from the tree was a sight to behold, likened to a graceful dive from a bridge when the diver tried to abort at the last second.  Having regained consciousness during the last few feet of the fall, the dog seemed determined not to lost it again. Shaking his head from side to side he half loped ,
half staggered out of the yard …. across the road …… into the canal.

It looked for minute as though the chill of the water had revived him enough to remain afloat until someone could fish him out.

Then the barge hit him and he wasn’t seen for a week.

Old Sam Smith (hell of a name for a Dutchman) spotted the unfortunate form floating belly up in the canal.  For a moment he didn’t recognize the bloated form.  Then recognition flashed in his eyes.  Then his eyes flashed at each other.
(have you ever had the opportunity to observe a cross-eyed idiot with zaps of electricity flashing from one eye to another? ) I say another instead of the other because Messr. Smith was endowed with a third eye.  This in itself was not so odd, for in those days one out of every few hundred was sported a third visual receptacle.  Old wives said that they were sent by whoever the god in vogue at the time was, to keep an eye on the wicked world.  Only Mr. Smith’s eye was perpetually cross eyed by itself.  This probably has some significance.  Anyway, by this time the dog was beginning to drift further away; so Sam jumped up, banged his head with his cane. Sam only had one leg, retribution perhaps. The blow on the head brought the three dogs into one image.

Sam lost no time in securing a pole and hook, and cast the line out to the poor (no, I guess poor is a poor choice of words. After all, the animal was dead by then.
But to get back to old Sam, the hook caught the dog somewhere between the nose and the chest.
The dog promptly deflated and sank, leaving an epitaph in the form of a rancid odor.

end


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/02/2011 at 10:15 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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