Bard Billot on the Baron and Babs

A Weekend in the Country

So it was that Baron Luxon

accepted a weekend offer

of pheasant hunting in the countryside,

from his ancient ally Lady Babs of Kuriger.

Lo, he left Queen’s Landing in good cheer:

for the humble and oppressed peasants

had risen up and surrounded the High Keep

with their ninety six wheeler, air-con

farm carts with Apple CartPlay surround sound,

heated seating and fine chrome detailing.

He waved as he galloped past their pitchforks

on his trusty war steed Titanic;

and thus did the sweet aroma of victory

drift into the Baron’s nostrils.

Up into the hills he and his retinue

made their winding way,

where the gorse grew wild and free,

and the rabbits and possums

gambolled on the eroding meadows.

But the road soon grew rocky

and the hills dark and dusty

and the only sound was the wind

blowing in the eerie rock formations,

and the dismal ringing of Tweet alerts

on iPhones.

Finally The Baron reached the ancestral seat

of the landholding gentry of House Kuriger.

There at the gates lay twenty cattle skulls

and a rusty sign swinging

on a barbed wire fence, which read:

“Welcome to Ponderosa Ranch.

Abandon all hope ye who enter.”

The Baron remembered his visits

as a fresh faced young nobleman,

and thought uneasily to himself

“Ill fares the land!”

And there by the heaped skeletons of cows

stood a crone, hidden by a Swanndri hood.

“Good Crone!” sallied forth Baron Luxon,

“where can one find pheasants

in these dreary parts?”

The Crone pointed silently across

to the broken bad lands.

So on the Baron rode,

yet he could not shake the strange feeling

that the Crone was familiar to him.

There they drew up to the River Rubicon.

On the opposite side, pheasants sat

in long rows on the branches of dead trees:

but the pheasants looked and sounded

suspiciously like vultures.

The Baron frowned, for the weekend

was not going as he had hoped.

He sniffed again, for the aroma of victory

was growing stronger and stronger.

“What is this confounded stench?”

he demanded as they forded

through the dank and clouded torrent.

Then the Baron looked down:

and Lo, his great white steed Titanic

was drifting sideways in a fast flowing,

neck deep cascade of cow shit.

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to compose Odes for such luminaries as Wayne Brown, Bishop Brian, Jacinda Ardern, Mike Hosking, and Garrick Tremain.

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