The Neverending Limerick Story 5
Taken from the ongoing Word Games section of the Storyteller's
So to Strider they went with a query
Though of him they were just a tad leery
The best way to begin
Was to return to the inn;
A thought which to them was quite dreary.
So off to the inn they did go
to search for ol' Strider to show
the runes that were found
while running around
hoping that he might just know.
"Sure 'nough" Nob was all quite amazed,
"You sure we weren't just in a daze?
He seems kind of rough,
And right creepy enough
No matter how kindly he plays."
"Do you think we should take up his call?
Just to see if round here he'll haul.
Fair useful he'd be,
At least seems so to me,
'Cause we don't know these letters at all."
They entered the inn through the cellar
Where Barliman began to beller:
"I've found you! Now you're caught
Sneaking in--" "But we're not!
We're just lookin' for that Strider feller!"
He's upstairs, if you're wanting Strider
Not down in the cellar, you hider
Now get back upstairs
and mind your own cares
now see that young girl? he's beside her.
A-smoking with wreaths round his head
Just filling my mind full of dread
just look at his stare
you can tell he don't care
I'd rather see wolves in his stead
Hob Bob Nob, how they quivered to think
Of approaching, and now they did shrink
Away from the side
Of that Man's rangy hide
Wond'ring if he'd escaped from some clink!
But the message in runes, what of it?
Should they pass it along, was it fit
For the Man to decipher
This message, this cypher
That might be important a bit?
Approaching with runes to be read
In hope for some knowledge to spread
they walked up to Longshanks
to offer him their thanks
if he'd tell them just what it said.
He stared at it and looked at them long
searching if something was wrong
for plain folk know nothing
of this kind of writing
a story he'd heard in a song.
The song was about lonely shepherds
Who searched high and low for their herds
but they herded trees
not cattle or sheep
the story was full of such sad words.
Long he stared til Bob wandered away,
And til Nob started nodding asway,
Only Hob made it through
To the time when he drew
Breath to speak long at last, slightly wry.
"I can read of this writing, these runes,
They are lyrics of sad, ancient tune -
It asks whence the wives,
Missing now many lives,
Could've gone missing 'neath sun or moon."
As Aragorn told of the woes
Of Ents searching for their betrothed
A tear rolled down his cheek
as he started to speak
of how the Ents searched high and low.
The entwives of Fanghorn thus did leave
for soils to grow fruit and their wheat
They saw less and less
'til to their distress
They parted most permanently.
Ah, poor Ranger! No one there could know
How his own heart did yearn to and fro
For a lass not beside him,
And woe should betide him
If he aged much in moving too slow.
Sympathy for the Ents in his tear,
For the lack of espousal so dear,
Dripped on down his nose
And fell on the toes
Of Hob-hobbit who was standing near.
To the present the tale it had wound
'til both ents and entwives weren't found
Sam's cousin excepted
his story rejected
of ents in the North Farthing Downs
Tom Bombadil knew trees, it's true
but he never mentioned to you
that he knew of ents
so the story went
'til uncovered by those hobbits deux.
"Tom Bombadil!" cried Hob aloud,
"Right up through the lilies he plowed
When he saved us from Willow,
And soft as a pillow,
He sang, though I'd say he were proud.
For he told us of Ents naught at all,
Though a standin' there he were so tall
Mebbe we didn't hear 'im,
For we'd just been near 'em -
Those trees that had heeded his call.
Filled with leaves was my hair and my ears,
And bark down all my under-rears.
I s'pose he said som'thin'
'Bout Ents, I heard nothin'
But a bug down my earball that steered."
Merry and Pippin knew some
of ents and how they began dumb
til elves taught them speech
a talent they reached
and now they keep talking for fun.
Hob went to Merry to see
if truly these entwives could be
the ones that were missed
by ents in their mist-y
forest sans fauna, just trees.
Hob stood by the warm fire grate,
With his hat in his hand, shining pate
Hid under his hair,
And soon was aware
That the Master's own son didn't wait.
Merry looked up at Hob from the fire,
And wondered what made him perspire
Even more than stylin'
As the fire was dyin' -
More wood needed lest it retire.
"Hey, Hob," said Merry, "So what is
the deal?" Quote Hob "There's a quiz
That I want you to take,
For a lonely tree's sake,
If you'd answer regarding Ent-biz."
Now Merry was so curious
of this Entwife (if she truly was)
if Treebeard she knew
and dear Quickbeam, too
that he decided to see what was the fuss
So off with ol' Hob he did go
To get Pippin too and to show
if this was a dream
or some other scheme
which currently they didn't know.