Friday, June 21, 2013

the peaceful village

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by roy dismas and konrad kraus

part one of two

once there was a peaceful village
with no murder, rape or pillage
everyone did honest labor
and was friendly to their neighbor

every door was opened wide
so that folks could come inside
all elders were respected
no crime was ever detected

they had no silver, jewels or gold
but through the valley a river rolled
bringing water to boundless crops
that folks could eat until they dropped

mom and dad got up at dawn
and polly put the kettle on
all day long they did their chores
so that they were never bored

grandmothers were round and wise
and made excellent blueberry pies
grandpa though his hair was grayed
enjoyed his pipe beneath the shade

little boys ran and spread the news
little girls minded their p's and q's
it was the way that it should be
for all of eternity

and then one day a shadow fell
across the world they knew so well
thunder rolled across the land
the distant horizon was fearfully scanned

nightmares visited young and old
strange tales around the fire were told
people kept their doors shut tight
and could hardly sleep at night

outside the village a monster lurked
skulking in the fog and murk
waiting for the silent hour
the unwary traveler to devour

no longer could the children play
even in the light of day
birds abandoned the cloudy skies
the villagers scanned with frightened eyes

laughter was replaced with fear
throughout the long and dreary year
the leafless trees felt winters chills
and the monster laughed behind the hills

things might have gone along this way
and the village perished, who can say?
but fate would not be so forlorn
because a hero had been born

johnny smith, a faceless sort
showed little sign, by all reports
of standing out among the crowd
not too quiet, not too loud

even johnny's mom and dad
little suspected that johnny had
the stuff of heroes in his being
none indeed were so farseeing

the night was dark, and wet and drear
the little household huddled in fear
mom and dad and johnny and sis
as the rain against the windows hissed

dad whittled at his favorite stick
you could hear mom's heartbeat tick
sis stared into space and wiggled her toes
then johnny from the table rose

his algebra homework he put down
and looked around with a puzzled frown
he listened to the rain and scratched his head
i think i'll go for a walk, he said

sis looked puzzled, dad looked sad
mom cried, johnny, are you mad
this is something you must not do
outside, certain death awaits you

aw gee ma, don't talk like that
said johnny, putting on his hat
my clouded brain needs a fresh air shock
i will just walk around the block

so without saying anything more
johnny walked over and opened the door
and disappeared into the wind and rain
would he ever be seen again?

part 2

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