The Thunking of Lars

This was a little mock-epic romp that came out of a gaming session. I fell in love with the “we’ll drink a toast to the drinks we’ve drunk” line and felt like playing with rhythms a bit. After three verses I’d pretty much beaten the joke to death and had all the fun I was going to have with it, so I never bothered to finish it.

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Come sit by me, lass, and I’ll sing of a brute
Who was nearly as brutish as you are cute;
And we’ll drink a toast to the drinks we’ve drunk
While I sing you the tale of how Lars was thunked.

Now, the island of Sterwen across the sea
Is a haven of villainous piracy,
A place where atrocities seem to convene
To brag of barbarities better unseen.
There is on this island a harbor and town,
A haven for monsters or murderers down
On their luck, or just losers, or lepers;
Slitthroats and scoundrels and dubious dabblers
In magical, mystical arts–mostly fraudulent?
The worried, the weak and the nastily indolent.

There was a young man, who came from those parts
Who came to be known as the spear-swinging Lars.
Though stately in stature, this quarrelsome youth
Was low in his manner, and mainly uncouth
To his betters and brothers and father and friends
Who begged him beware of the sorrowful ends
That befall the unmannerly. Nevertheless,
The slow-witted warrior wasn’t impressed.
His betters’ and brothers’ and father’s worst fears
Were realized one day in Lars’ seventeenth year:
His swift hand combined with his sharp-bladed knife
And ended by taking a foreigner’s life.

I met him that day, lass; now sit here by me
And I’ll sing of adventures as he tried to flee.
And we’ll drink a toast to the drinks we’ve drunk
While I sing you the tale of how Lars was thunked.

Now in those days I lived by the length of my sword
And I ate or I starved by my weapon’s reward,
And I’d been eating well when in Sterwen one night
The law saw me win the wrong side of a fight.
As quick as a crossbow I was bound behind bars
And was facing a magistrate–father of Lars
Who commuted my sentence, and this being done,
Made me swear to watch out for his ignorant son.


 

Copyright © 1989 by Leigh Grossman