Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Things Cyrene and Unseen

soothsayers - especially the partially impartial Beeby See - are in ecstasies about the victory of the rebels in the sandy, fly-infested Berber realm of Cyrene. Every day bears witness to more feverish slobber from the muzzles of fantasist soothsayers, who are desperately anxious to count every chicken - whether it's hatched or not - and most especially it doesn't even exist. The other day greeted us with the announcement that Trables - the principal city of that arid region - had fallen to the rebels, and that Murmur O'Daffy - the crazy, khat-chewing psychopath who had ruled the roost with an iron fist for three hundred and seventy thousand years - was defeated. Hooray for the forces of Civilisation, freedom and demockery-cy! Feaxede the fox and I were so delighted to hear the news: we danced for joy, and to celebrate the occasion, Feaxede shared some tender morsels of chicken carcass with me! Happy days.

This was a staggering achievement for a raggle-taggle army of urchins, wizened old men and goat-herders who hitherto hadn't known one end of a sword from another. But - as we're constantly reminded - this was accomplished through the determination and iron resolve of the oppressed masses. A stunning triumph of people-power against the overwhelming odds of O'Daffy's efficient and merciless fighting machine. Whatever. They don't even mention the special encouragement and moral support by the military advisors supplied by King Jose Borracho, the psychotically ambitious and deluded Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire)

Today brings quite a different picture. Instead of the scenes of overall conquest and delirious jubilation portrayed the other day, there are now stories of running battles and hand-to-hand combat in the Trables streets. O'Daffy had sworn a solemn oath that he would fight to the death to maintain his paternal care of his beloved people - and never ever leave his homeland Cyrene. However, on arriving at his palatial dwellings, he hasn't been found; he has mysteriously disappeared, leaving his loyal Praetorian Guard to do their patriotic duty and hold the fort.

Murmur O'Daffy's disappearance is one of those unexplained mysteries - I'm sure we'll never know where he went. Already the Northumbrians are talking about him in the same reverence as they do about the iconic songster Elvey of Preslode, reports of whose demise many hundreds of years ago were never accepted by his most ardent disciples.

I met a stranger in Streonaeshalch the other day; he was a bizarrely attired man of foreign extraction, with heavy eyelids, a peculiarly-shaped mouth and a thick accent; his name was - as I recall - Marmer of Gadfly. When I chatted with him about the recent events in Cyrene, he became strangely taciturn... I reckon he knows more about where the old scoundrel is than he's letting on...

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