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Tales From Beyond The Enchanted Prong Hills

The Poetic Eels Of Lake Quimby


Page 5


"A pervert whose wife was called Trish
Once had a peculiar wish
He took off his jacket
And got out his packet
And asked her to smack it with fish."

Upon the utterance of the word fish, the paper burst into flames and leapt out of his hands. The flames continued to burn on the ground, its tongues extending into well-formed pseudopods upon which the fire stood somewhat uneasily at first but then began to walk freely. Impishly, it walked over to Mr. Wainscotting and stretched out two long fiery arms with which it grasped one of the pigs. With a mighty tug it heaved the squealing swine from its victim's body and engulfed it in its own body of fire. Then it staggered over to the punch bowl and leapt in. There was a brief splash, a sharp hiss and an acrid whiff of smoke and then there was nothing. No pig, no fire. Perhaps a slice of peach was slightly charred but otherwise the punch remained undamaged.
"Everybody get a poem and read it!" commanded Anglepoise.
The guests did as they were bid and for each limerick they read a fire demon was invoked which removed a pig in the same manner as the first. Eventually, Mr. Wainscotting was freed of all porky infestation.
Armagnac rushed into Anglepoise's arms and kissed him lavishly. Mr. Wainscotting rose to his feet and addressed his redeemer.
"It seems I've misjudged you, young Anglepoise," he said, "I always regarded all that business with the eels a bit of - harrumph - stuff and nonsense."
"I think many people also thought as such, Mr. Wainscotting," said Anglepoise, "But, no. Since my father died I have been working hard to rediscover the cure for spoon-handle pigs so that no one else would ever have to suffer the same humiliating fate. And since my brother has taken over my father's trade, he was particularly at risk and I could not bear to see him go the same way."
"Yes, quite," said Mr. Wainscotting, "Shoeburyness, you're a poltroon! Spoon handle engraving, indeed! I don't want to see you anywhere near my daughter ever again!"
"B-but . . ." burbled Shoeburyness.
"Quite right," said Flotsamblouse, "Now get out of here and never let us see your nasty cutlery again. In future we shall sail in proper boats with sails and oars and poop-decks, whatever they are."
Shoeburyness fled with his tail between his legs.
"So, tell me, Anglepoise," said Mr. Wainscotting, "How did you come to teach eels to write limericks."
"I had a visitation," said Anglepoise.
"A visitation?" inquired Flotsamblouse.
"Yes," said Anglepoise, "From the ghost of the man who originally discovered the cure. Saint Pingy!"
The crowd gasped. Many crossed themselves.
"You had a visitation from Saint Pingy?" exclaimed Dr. Nosebag.
"Yes, and now I know what he did and why we celebrate his day and wear loganberry cheesecake and wave half-scale inflatable Norman Wisdoms. It's all there in the very first limerick he ever extracted from an eel."
"Well, Anglepoise," said Mr. Wainscotting, "You have indeed done well for yourself. You are an asset to the community and have well deserved the hand of my daughter in marriage."
"Marriage?" gibbered Anglepoise, "I don't want to marry her. I just want to . . ."
"It's all right," interrupted Armagnac taking his hand, "I know. Come. You've earned this."

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The Poetic Eels Of Lake Quimby
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