The Little Wooden Box

Part 3

   The fiery sky glowed red and grey
Above the carnage hanging
And all around, the sounds of war
Were twanging, banging, clanging
The streets were strewn with broken bones
The buildings razed to rubble
The world lay wrecked and ruined
You could say there'd been some trouble
Most human life had been wiped out
Not many had survived
The ones that had were starved; in rags
They'd barely stayed alive
Their skin was pale, like silent ghosts
They moved through darkest places
Their sunken eyes like crazy holes
Dug into scary faces
Yet down a bunker, in the ground
Two men were quietly huddled
Alone but for a little box
The cause of all their troubles
The climber, John, of course was there
And Wizard sat beside him
Now day by day, and night by night
The two men stayed in hiding
For, up above now, evil reigned
The devil's army ruling
The few survivors now enslaved
Their lives both harsh and gruelling
But the army were not merely man
Like John and Mr Wizard
But soldiers sent from deepest Hell
Each one a giant lizard
Their giant tails could kill a man
With one small wag or wiggle
Their beady eyes and lizard tongue
Brought neither smile nor giggle
Their scaly skin, all green and hard
Protected them from wounding
There was nothing nice about the things
To which I am alluding
Sent straight from Hell, they came in droves
Barbaric and blood thirsty
They came on Wednesday and they'd
Taken over by late Thursday
Their fearsome roars and giant claws
No match for men nor wizards
And pretty soon the world was run
By huge satanic lizards
They knocked down houses, looted shops
And dined on dogs and babies
Strange evil foam poured from their mouths
Some form of lizard rabies
And so they maimed and killed and stomped
Crushed buildings, hills and trees
Whilst all the time infecting folks
With their foaming mouth disease
A butcher from Southend was first
His shop had been destroyed
But somehow death by injury
He'd managed to avoid
But as he hid up in a tree
Unseen by lizards roaming
His mouth had felt all funny
Then had started badly foaming
It foamed and foamed until a lake
Of foam lay on the ground
It had flooded half of Essex
By the time the man was found
A nasty way to die it was
Revolting and outrageous
And sadly for the people
It was horribly contagious
Soon women, men and children
Were all frothing at the mouth
From Essex soon disease had spread
As far away as Louth
The lizards foamed but did not die
But if humans neglected
To not stand in the foamy pools
At once they were infected
And those that were of nimble foot
Did not meet ends more savoury
The lizards either killed them
Or they forced them into slavery
With heavy chains and sunken cheeks
The slaves worked day and night
To serve the evil lizards
For they did not dare to fight
But in the sewers underground
Lurked more than just pollution
There John and Mr Wizard
Sat and planned a revolution
They knew their only hope of life
Lay not in their attack
But in the contents of the box
They had to get that back
They smoked cigars and knocked back rum
And plotted their uprising
That evil lizards roamed the earth
Was not, to them, surprising
They knew the contents of that box
And what it meant, verbatim
Now the world was in grave peril
Since it had been sold to Satan
But how were they to win it back?
Just one man and a wizard
Between them they were half the size
Of one satanic lizard
The contents of their box was gone
They did not know where to
So, filled with doubt, they sat about
Deciding what to do
Til suddenly, it came to John
In a flash of inspiration
"I've got it, Mr. Wizard.
Oh what cause for celebration!
I have a cunning plan, at last
Of how we can attack
The giant lizards and then get
The box's contents back!"
Excitedly, he whispered
Into Mr Wizard's ear
And Mr. Wizard's frowning face
Did slowly start to cheer
"My God, of course! That's quite some plan!
Now hurry, let's get started."
And he scuttled up above the ground
So fast you'd think he'd farted
Meanwhile in Hell, the devil sat
Inside his cave of evil
The box's contents on his lap
Had caused him great upheaval
The Prince of Darkness once had been
The baddest man alive
But now, without that precious thing
He knew he'd not survive
For once he'd seen it for himself
All else just seemed irrelevant
He got no joy from sending rain
Or making men hunt elephants
Floods and famine just weren't fun
He laughed not at the pox
All he wanted was the thing
He had, from in that box
His evil eyes were fixed upon
The thing, and nothing more
He didn't care to whip a dwarf
Or barbeque a whore
The moaning sinners, all in chains
No longer made him happy
Since he'd got the thing he'd got
His life was sort of crappy
But he knew he'd never let it go
Now finally he had it
Not for all the tea in China
Or to torture a pet rabbit
He'd sit in Hell forever more
Just staring at the thing
Not interested anymore
In death or pain or sin
But little did the dark Lord know
That while Earth swarmed with lizards
A man called John now had a plan
To save it with a wizard
And while around them evil roamed
The two men made their way
Back up towards the old man's cave
Where the wooden box once lay
They left the town with all its doom
Avoiding lizards foaming
Then up the hill from long ago
They once more did go roaming
They passed the place where Wizard lay
Until with tears he'd moistened
And the spot where all those other wizards
Died by being poisoned
Until they found the little cave
That had once been John's home
He'd sat there with that wooden box
For years and years alone
And on the ground there lay a pool
Of gunk and goo and brains
The stinky puddle that of course
Was the first old man's remains
Mr. Wizard shook his head
And looked at John quite sadly
"I know that he was evil but
I miss my brother badly.
The thing from in the wooden box
Was so close to his heart
That if we brought him back somehow
Then that would be a start."
"That's right," said John, "The power of love
Will surely see us through
When trying to fight off evil
There's not much else that we can do
The devil has a heart of stone
He's evil like no other
He'll never love the stuff that's from
The box. Not like your brother."
"Exactly, John," was the reply
"In this mad world of lizards
We must join hands and feel the love
Between us, men and wizards
We can't defeat the evil lord
By fighting with each other
And so, I'm going to grab my wand
And bring him back. My brother."
So Mr. Wizard found his wand
And grabbed it very firmly
Then waggled it about a bit
His face all strained and gurney
Til from the end a thin white light
Did very brightly splutter
And from his mouth these funny words
He did begin to utter
"Gerang Gerang
A twang twang twang
Fertang Fertang
Meringue meringue
A bang bang bang
Pertang Pertang
A mango."
And o'er that pool of greyish gunk
A mist did start to linger
And as they watched they saw a nose
And then they saw a finger
Til there, at last, the old man lay
Just like he'd done before
A stinky, smelly, dirty, nasty
Tramp, there on the floor
The old man stumbled to his feet
And looked around the cave
He saw his brother and some bloke
And gave a feeble wave
And then he spied the little box
His face lit up a-plenty
It seemed he did not know that it
Was now completely empty
"My brother!" Mr Wizard cried
And started to embrace him
The old man stared in shock as he
Remembered how he'd chased him
And pushed him down the mountainside
So many years ago
So how come he was standing here
And not six feet below?
"I want my box," the old man said
His voice was quiet and raspy
"I want it now," it rose in tone
And started to sound nasty
The wizard looked at John who looked
Down at the floor and shuffled
"Um yeah, a-hem, alright, okay,"
Said John, his voice was muffled
He handed him the little box
Then walked away quite quickly
The old man grabbed it greedily
With fingers long and sickly
He lifted up the box's lid
And took a look inside
"You utter pair of brainless oafs!"
He very loudly cried
So John and Mr Wizard
Took the old man for a walk
And as they wandered round a bit
They had a good long talk
They told him all about the box
The poison and the wizards
And how the world was in the hands
Of evil giant lizards
"And so, you see, we brought you back
From heaven up above
To rid the world of evil
With your never-ending love
We know you are a stinky thief
To baths you are adverse
But we need to get it back before
The world gets any worse."
The old man fixed them with a stare
Through eyes like muddy pools
"You let the thing get stolen? Oh
You pair of bloody fools
If I had lived and not succumbed
To death in that fowl blizzard
We'd never have to share our land
With huge marauding lizards."
"But can you use your kindly heart
To get it back off Satan?
We know your love is truly pure
There can be no mistaking
You might be stinky and unclean
No-one would be your wife
But when it comes to that thing
You would guard it with your life."
The old man nodded, "Yes. It's true
I love it more than life
And yes, I might be smelly
And might never have a wife
But you see, there's just no need for this
You pair of scratty gizzards
For already I have the thing
You want, to rid the lizards."
"You have it? What?" the wizard asked
"But how? You can't have. Really?"
"You thought I'd gone to heaven,"
Said the man "I did... well, nearly
But 'cause I stole that blasted box
They wouldn't let me in
They sent me to the other place
You go if you've done sin.
And while the devil took his nap
I stole it off his knee
Thank God you brought me back to life
Before he woke to see
So here it is. I have it here
Inside my stinky clothes!"
The old man fumbled in his pants
The others held their nose
And from his pants he brought it forth
The others gasped in awe
"You've really got it!" Wizard said
He almost hit the floor
"I saw it on the devils lap,"
The old man then explained
"It's mine, I had to have it
Even if he had complained."
He popped the thing back in the box
And slammed the lid shut tightly
Mr Wizard asked for it
The old man said "Not likely!
That box will never leave this cave
And nor will I, oh brother
I will not let you take it now
Not you, nor any other."
So John and Wizard did concur
There really was no doubting
The box was safer in that cave
On some deserted mountain
So, saying their goodbyes they turned
To make their way back down
That mountainside they'd come up
Back towards the nearest town
And when they got there, sure enough
The lizards had all gone
Women, men and children were all happy
Singing songs
The foam which spread diseases
Had all disappeared as well
Been sucked down with the lizards
When they'd all gone back to Hell
So now my tale is nearing
Its completion, my good friend
You'll surely be unhappy
But you know all things must end
There's just one thing I haven't shared
So please read to the end
Or else you'll never know
And that might drive you round the bend
But first, let's see what happened
To the climber and the wizard
After the old man had rid
The world of all the lizards
They found a house together
Where they dined on jam and bread
And they lived forever after
(Well, until they both were dead)
And as for our unclean old man
He's still there in the cave
He stays awake both night and day
He's really very brave
And in his hands, a little box
He never lets it go
But what the hell's inside it
Do you really want to know?
Could it be eternal life
Or beauty in a jar
Or a million pounds in used notes
Or a fallen shooting star
Perhaps it is the holy grail
Or God himself, or Jesus
I know what you are saying
"Spit it out, oh please don't tease us."
So when the moon is full tonight
We'll creep into the cave
And tip the man a bob or two
To look at what we crave
We'll lift the lid and look inside
And then, at last, you'll know
What lies inside the little box
Oh hang on. The phone's ringing.
Sorry, I've got to go.

The Little Wooden Box
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