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Wonderland VI: The Preacher's Tale

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Originally published: 14th December 2020

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

This poem was placed 5th in Brian Strand's "COMPLETELY YOUR CHOICE" (45) Poetry Contest.

With my thanks and apologies to Lewis Carroll and Geoffrey Chaucer.


- Readers, I hope you forgive me. I’m retracting some words I once said: I'd planned to stop writing after five of these tales But I’ve written a sixth tale instead.. Night The preacher was searching for Duchess Also known as 'The Tabard Inn Cat'. Scared by the storm she'd run out of the inn And knocked over his drink where he sat. That event brought an end to his chess game: The first he had played in a while. His worthy opponent who sipped water had said That his comforting words made her smile. The preacher had stood from the table. Looking scared and somewhat distraught. He felt for some reason there was trouble ahead And proclaimed that the cat should be caught. He'd opened the door of The Tabard And was met by the sound of the rain. A sailor pushed past him and into the bar As the preacher limped off down the lane. Later That Night The last person to see him still breathing Was sadly not sober at all. A 'top-hatted' man who was heading for home Thought he saw someone scaling a wall. He swore that he saw something smiling With eyes that stared back and looked weird. It was all very dark and his mind wasn't right Then the shadow he saw disappeared. The Morning After The preacher was found dead the next morning He had fallen it seemed from a height. Whispers and rumours were swirling around Like the wind from that wet stormy night: - "He had feelings for a woman who's taken.." - "Their love was just dead on the shelf!" - "He was burdened by guilt with his faith and all that" - "That cat was the devil itself!" Later That Week A sermon revealed at his service (That the whole town had turned out to see) That the preacher was an animal lover And had suffered with PTSD. You see he was once a brave soldier But lost hate when he lost his right leg. He left to preach love and bring all things together: ..He was truly an all-round good egg. WONDERLAND Wonderland: Prologue Wonderland I: The Hatter's Tale Wonderland II: The Watchmaker's Tale Wonderland III: The Hairdresser's Tale Wonderland IV: The Chef's Tale Wonderland V: The Sailor's Tale Wonderland VI: The Preacher's Tale Wonderland: Conclusion

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

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Date: 12/14/2020 1:50:00 PM
So humpty dumpty had a great fall so to speak. I enjoyed reading this one which has good flow, rhythm, and rhyme. Sara
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Gary Radice
Date: 12/14/2020 2:47:00 PM
2) I left open the idea of the Preacher possibly committing suicide on account of his PTSD or guilt..or maybe he slipped trying to reach the cat..or..maybe the cat caused his fall..or maybe he was pushed by someone? I wanted to beef up his character and story as his sermon was deemed long and boring in The Canterbury Tales.
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Gary Radice
Date: 12/14/2020 2:18:00 PM
1) Hi Sara. Thanks so much for your comments. He left the army (I like to think The King's Men) to help put people back together again. Through the Looking Glass Humpty is contemptuous and speaks rudely to people. I flipped him here and made him the opposite. Cheers - Gary.
Date: 12/14/2020 1:42:00 PM
Well done lad. This one died a happy man. Troubled but touched by God to do the right thing. I guess only the cat will know for sure what happened. The young chess mate will miss him for sure. What a wonderful story. It well deserves it's place amidst the rest. Thanks again for sharing with all of us on the soup. oldbuck
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Gary Radice
Date: 12/14/2020 2:24:00 PM
2) ..and yes the hairdresser (Alice) will miss the games of chess with him. :)
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Gary Radice
Date: 12/14/2020 2:07:00 PM
1) Thanks again Old buck. The last tale in The Canterbury Tales was that of The Parson - The Preacher here. (It was more like a sermon) Chaucer then offers a retraction of all his own work for some reason. Cynics believe Chaucer wasn't really apologizing, rather than plugging his work. I just had a laugh with this idea in the opening. Yes the preacher died having helped others and The Cheshire Cat? Possibly responsible for 2 deaths. :) Cheers - Gary