“Tell me a story, mother
Put me sweet to sleep
Tell me a story, mother
That in memory I can keep.
“Tell me a nice tale, mother,”
Said the child and, sleepy, smiled
“Tell me something light and happy
With an ending soft and mild.”
The mother smiled and sat back
Clasped her hands round her knee
“I’ll tell you something then
That I once happened to see.
“There was a man, brave and tall
A woman pretty as can be
They lived in a pretty house
On a beach above the sea.
“One day they found a map
Of parchment yellow and old
That said below a certain rock
Lay a treasure of jewels and gold.
“The man and woman on a treasure hunt
Went brave and boldly forth
And dreamt of the treasure
Of the fortune it was worth.
“The rock was in a distant land
Of ravines and cliffs so high
That you have to tilt your head right back
If once you want to see the sky.
“There lived a monster, big and mean
And his wife meaner yet
Out hunting for meat and drink
Suddenly our man and wife they met.
“The man was big and strong
And brave as brave can be
Neither he nor his beauteous bride
Made any move to flee.
“He took his sword and she took her knife
And back at the monsters fought
For they would let no monster evil
Block them from the gold they sought.
“But the male monster reached out his hand
And off the hero’s head he tore
While the female with her claws ensured
The woman felt nothing more.
“They cooked the couple on a fire
Lit by the parchment old
So no man now knows where lies
All that mass of gold.
“They basted the man till his flesh
Fell tender off the bone
And they with relish ate
The lights and liver of the crone.
“It was a feast to remember,”
The mother monster told her child
Who fell smiling into sleep
Into dreams fun and wild.
Copyright B Purkayastha 2008/12