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53
The Lay of Strider

Written for B2MEM 2015 in response to a prompt posted by MyBlueRose.


~~~

The Lay of Strider


I was a Ranger,
and to Bree was I newly come.
No one there knew where I was from.
Of my parts they could make no sum.

I was a cipher
to which no answer could be put.
I’d no horse, had come on foot.
Of evil Men was I in pursuit.

They did not like me.
To them I represented great danger.
No time had they for the stranger
who’d come to Bree in the guise of a Ranger.

They sensed me a puzzle,
for I would answer not their questions.
They gave me conflicting directions
and most uncomfortable suggestions.

I found the Men I sought
in the bar room at the Pony.
One tossed o’erhead a single stone he
had stolen last night from Estelconi.

Ah, but they knew me,
knew they truly must distract me.
One threw a knife hoping t’would impact me
whilst the others merely sought to trap me.

They sought to flee me.
In the bar they sowed confusion,
and with a confederate’s collusion
they tried to fool me with illusion.

They slipped out of the inn,
and in a storage shed lay hidden.
But still I came on them unbidden;
’twas their bodies’ stink undid them!

One still thought to flee,
and like a coney he raced all through town!
But afoot I chased him, and he found
that in the end I still ran him down.

A young girl squealed with glee,
and said, “He’s caught them like a spider!
I’ve never seen such a strider!”
Had I ridden I’d now be “Rider.”



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