Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Herbicide of Magwald The Jacknife

We've been gleefully greeted by the soothsayers with the momentous news that the herbalist Kornrat the Merry has been found guilty of the death of Magwald the Jacknife, the renowned entertainer and malade imaginaire. The flags and bunting are fluttering in celebration, here in the lovely country of Northumbria - or at least, they would be doing so, if the weather weren't so damp and dreary. Sigh...

Kornrat the Merry was Magwald the Jacknife's personal herbalist, and as such, he was employed and paid a king's ransom by the aforesaid entertainer to pander to his every urgent and imaginary medical need. (In the faraway land of Ultima Thule, there are many whose main industry is to latch on to such wealthy neurotics, since their hypochondria provides a ready source of easy groats and fancy coats.)

Since Kornrat was highly skilled in the art and craft of herbalism, he was more than happy to provide his services at all hours of the day, and thus was an indispensable dispensary of any herbal or fungal preparation necessitated by the suffering of the poorly sick and jobby. Naturally, since the dancing superstar was subject to an endless torrent of irrational and phobic concerns about his health at any moment, he was a ready and willing recipient of Kornrat's nostrums. It was a very happy arrangement - until Magwald suddenly and inconveniently died as a result of an over-enthusiastic administration of belladonna and fly agaric soup..

At the news of his demise, the entire world came to a standstill, as myriads of Magwald's devoted followers and admirers went into a spontaneous and carefully planned paroxysm of mourning. Guffmund the Brown - the Leading Clown of the day - addressed the Witangemot and hosts of distressed soothsayers, and solemnly announced that Magwald the Jacknife was the People's Princess. It was all very moving. My colon took some considerable time to recover from this traumatic event.

So now - in the light of the recent verdict on the unfortunate herbalist - the Kingdom has breathed a collective sigh of relief. Justice has been done, and the malefactor will gently rot in an oubliette somewhere.

Meanwhile, the politicos of our Kingdom will continue their ministrations of their own assorted toxic essences in the treatment of the hapless, feckless and hopeless public. So far, their ministrations have accelerated a rapid decline in the health of the Realm. It's only a matter of time before the sickness gives way to expiry. Who will then bring them to account?

I shared my reflections on this with my master Caedmon, and he said that the pestle of the Almighty grinds exceedingly slow - and small...

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