The Little Wooden Box

Part 2

   Up a rugged mountain path
Which few men dare to tread
Beyond the rocks and ancient trees
A small cave lies ahead
Inside the cave there sits a man
A climber once, they say
And with him is a little box
He guards it night and day

He came across it years ago
One day, as he was climbing
You may have read about it in
A poem, long and rhyming
But though you sat with baited breath
For longer than a minute
Alas, I never shared with you
Exactly what was in it

It must have been annoying
When you made it to the end
To never know its contents
Must've drove you round the bend
But trust me, that's all over now
If you read this all you'll know
Exactly what is in the box
At last, so off we go

But first we must catch up a bit
For many years have passed
The climber was a young man
When I spoke about this last
The old man with the long beard
Had just perished in a blizzard
After murdering his brother
Who was, of course, a wizard

The old man then did decompose
And turn into a puddle
Beside the little wooden box
It really was a muddle
But what happened to the wizard's corpse
Was never quite explained
I didn't want to go there
'Cause I knew you'd have complained

The old man pushed the wizard
Down the mountain, as we know
And as he rolled he gathered
An impressive ball of snow
Then through the ice he disappeared
Into a deep ravine
And that is where his body stayed
Preserved, yet quite unseen

Of course, the climber never knew
The story of the wizard
Or how the old man gave his life
That cold day in the blizzard
He only saw the wooden box
Knew nothing of its past
If he'd known of what was yet to come
He'd have legged it, really fast

And now, just like the poor old man
The climber is alone
And sat there with the wooden box
His hair all overgrown
His dreams of exploration
Have all faded like a mist
And now he only dreams of that
Small box clutched in his fist

His finger nails are filled with filth
Upon his long thin fingers
Around him hangs a stench of dirt
The kind of smell that lingers
His back pack, filled with climbing gear
Lies abandoned and forgot
You couldn't say that he's ok
Trust me, he's really not

Upon the floor lie bones of rats
The climber's only dinner
And as there are not many rats
He's quickly growing thinner
His toilet is the same damp floor
He sits on hour by hour
Any normal person
Would at least have had a shower

But though he's clearly not the man
He was those years ago
It's fair to say his crazy mind
Is moving far from slow
It's just that all the normal things
Like nice clean pants and socks
Have somehow ceased to matter
Now he's focused on that box

He hasn't looked inside it
Since that first day on the mountain
And many days have passed since then
He hasn't bothered counting
But just the once was quite enough
To keep him here for good
He knows he'll never put it down
Although, perhaps, he should

But what's that noise? Did you hear that?
Our climber did, for sure
There hasn't been a noise like that
Since many years before
And now there's quite a racket
Lots of banging and some shouting
It seems to come from somewhere
Slightly further down the mountain

The climber clambers to him feet
The box clutched to his chest
And slowly leaves his stinky cave
And all its rancid mess
He goes outside and looks around
The noise is getting closer
And now he's in the daylight
He is looking even grosser

His face, which once was handsome
Is a wrinkled, sallow shell
His clothes are stiff with urine
And out here, my God they smell
The sunlight hits his trousers
And a cloud of rancid steam
Just bellows up around him
Like a really nasty dream

His sunken eyes are darting
Rounds his face like two crazed lizards
As up the mountain pathway
Comes a massive crowd of wizards
All bickering and shouting
They're as noisy as can be
The climber freaks out massively
And hides behind a tree

And soon they reach the clearing
Where they stop to catch their breath
"And this," says one big fat one
"Is where Wizard met his death."
The others scratch their bearded chins
And nod a lot and mumble
And scratch their bearded chins again
And shake their heads and grumble

"They never found his body though
Or so I heard," says one
"You heard that quite correctly,"
Says another, "You're not wrong.
Some say he lost his footing
But I've always had a hunch
That someone might've pushed him
Now then, who's got the lunch?"

The climber in the bushes
Rubs his eyes in disbelief
A picnic for some wizards?
What was this? Oh goodness grief.
He'd seen them in his story books
When he was very small
But did he think they might be real?
Of course not! Not at all

And now they're sat just feet away
All munching crisps and chicken
The climber, who is tired of rat
Gives his lips a thorough licking
At least two dozen wizards
Have just suddenly appeared
The climber might be quite insane
But he still knows that's quite weird

The fat one stands up proud and tall
The climber fears a riot
But he seems to be their leader
And the others all go quiet
With podgy fingers held aloft
He orders their attention
The climber waits with baited breath
In unbearable suspension

"My wizard friends, I brought you to
This mountain for a feast
But that's not the whole reason
For this journey, in the least
I bid you; fill your cups with wine
And feast on Cornish pasty
But soon you'll know why we are here
And things might turn quite nasty."

The wizards look a bit confused
They hadn't had a clue
They thought they'd climbed the mountain path
For something nice to do
But now their rotund leader
Had announced there could be grief
They really only wanted to drink beer
And eat corned beef

"My comrades, please, you must stay calm
But somewhere near this spot
There lies a little wooden box
That somehow time forgot
Inside this box lie powers
That you simply could not guess
So I've brought you here to find it
Oh I have done. Really. Yes."

And suddenly the wizards
Are all jumping up and down
"THE little wooden box, you say?
You mean... It's really found?"
They've heard so many stories
Of its powers in the past
It's made them quite excited
To be close to it at last

"Not so fast!" the fat one says
"Ten minutes more won't hurt
Before we hunt the little box
Let's not forget dessert!
Now go and find a mountain stream
And give your hands a rinse
Then come back to this clearing
And I'll give you all some quince."

The wizards go to wash their hands
The fat one stays behind
The climber gets the strangest hunch
This wizard's not too kind
He has these evil, piggy eyes
That glow an eerie red
And are those horns protruding
From his big fat wizard head?

And as he watches from the bush
The wizard's laugh grows louder
And from his robes he takes a vial
Of some strange brownish powder
"The box is mine! All mine!" says he
"Those others will not take it!
And if they do, I'll cast a spell
Upon the box, and break it."

The hidden climber shakes his fist
He's small, quite like a weevil
But he can not let his wooden box
Get used for something evil
What lies inside that little box
Is his and his alone
This horrid big fat wizard can just
Bloody well go home

But just before he can jump out
And make the wizard brick it
He spies something peculiar
From his spot inside the thicket
The wizard's putting powder
In the other wizard's drinks
He's up to something bad now
Our intrepid hero thinks

And sure enough, they're coming back
Their hands all clean and shiny
The evil wizard is so fat
He makes the rest look tiny
He sits them down, picks up his wine
(Of course, he has the most)
Then calmly, in a treacle voice
He says "Let's drink a toast."

The climber watches, horrified
As all the wizards drink
They clutch their chests and cough and moan
And to their knees they sink
Then all the wizards jerk a bit
Then cough and moan some more
Til finally they all lie dead
Unmoving on the floor

"Ha haa!" the evil fat one shouts
"My plan comes to fruition!
I knew somehow this day would come
With my wizard's intuition."
And joyfully, he does a dance
As agile as a lizard
Around the corpses of his friends
That dastardly old wizard

The climber, still ensconced in bush
Looks on with jaw ajar
He can't believe this fearsome chap
Would really go so far
He holds tight to the wooden box
He cannot let it go
As long as he stays hidden
He'll be safe, he thinks... But no

The wizard opens up his robes
And reaches deep inside
And takes a battered briefcase
Which it seems he'd had to hide
He works the combination
Til it opens with a click
Then he takes out something bleepy
And the climber feels quite sick

He knows that it's a track device
He's seen one once before
Not in real life like this, of course
Just watching 24
But can there be some small receptor
Hidden in the box?
He really bloody hopes not
He would rather have the pox

But just as he is thinking this
The box begins to bleep
The wizard spies the bush and is upon it
In a leap
He drags the climber from his spot
With strength just like an ox
And from his filthy, shaking hands
He takes the wooden box

"At last it's mine!" the wizard shrieks
"The box! It's mine at last!"
He has it in his chubby hands
And walks away quite fast
The climber stares in disbelief
What can he do? Oh no!
The wizard's got his little box
God damn it, see him go

The climber cries a little tear
It trickles down his cheek
Then rolls along across the ground
And runs into a creek
The creek flows down the mountainside
Through rocks and trees of green
Til it overflows and pours right in
To a certain deep ravine

Mr Wizard's icy corpse
Down there many years
Preserved in snow, has laid in wait
For the warmth of some sad tears
And with this tear, the spell is broke
He wakes up from his sleep
To stretch his arms, and get right up
And clamber from the deep

His robes are torn, he smells a bit
And he could use a shower
But one thing had not changed a bit
- His awe-inspiring power
He takes his wand from out a stream
And waves it in the air
And shouts "Go to my brother!"
Then flies off through the air

The climber, sobbing by the cave
Is suddenly surprised
When Mr. Wizard does appear
Before his very eyes
"Where is my brother, the old man?"
He bellows with a hack
"I left him in this cave right here
With a box that I want back!"

"The box is gone, you're brother's dead,
I'm all alone and crying
And if you're Mr. Wizard then
What's this about you dying?"
The climber looks so sorrowful
With snot caked in his hair
That Mr Wizard just can't help
But somehow vaguely care

"My brother threw me off a cliff
But here I am, arisen
And now I need that wooden box
You really have to listen
Some powers of darkness seek the box
You cannot let them win
We must set out to get it back
Before they make it sin!"

"A big fat wizard got the box
With glowing eyes and horn,"
The climber says, with shaking voice
And downcast eyes, forlorn
"Oh no! Oh no! We have to run
And stop him! Kill him! Clout him!"
And off he runs, dragging the man
Behind him down the mountain

They journey over hills and vales
And valleys and some quarries
And while they walk, the wizard tells
The climber lots of stories
It seems that things had never been
Exactly as they'd seemed
There was a lot more to it
Than the climber ever dreamed

To start with, Mr Wizard
Isn't evil! Not one bit
The old man had been paranoid
- A mad old rambling git
And jealous of his bro's success
He'd made him out to be
An evil wizard, but he's not
As you're about to see

Eventually they find their man
He's sleeping by a stream
They sneak up very quietly
As he is deep in dream
And from his pocket, take the box
It's fine, just slightly greasy
They can't believe, after all that
That it could be so easy

Then through his heart they plunge a stake
He burns and wails, then smoulders
As Mr. Wizard and his friend
Observe from nearby boulders
"He worked for Satan," Wiz explains
"Thank God above we caught him
And found the box and killed him off
And brutally did thwart him."

"So now what then?" The climber asks
"Who gets the box? Which one?"
"The box is mine," The Wizard says
"I have to take it, son.
I have to keep it safe from harm
It needs my special powers
Without them we just won't be safe
And this could go on for hours."

The climber sadly lets it go
"Okay, I understand."
And puts it carefully into
Mr Wizard's open hand
"But first, before I let it go,
And we're done with this rhyme
Won't you let me look inside?
Just one last final time?"

"Okay my son, you go ahead."
The Wizard says, quite kindly
And leaves the climber to it
As he stares ahead quite blindly
The climber then lifts up the lid
(By the way, his name is John)
Look inside...
It's... It's... GONE!"

To be continued...

The Little Wooden Box
Part  1 2 3 4    Next

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