In the Lair of the Red Dragon

The Red Dragon of the North watches the delegation

Slowly float over the horizon towards his lair.

“Why do they bring seventeen balloons?”

He queries his Chief Advisor.

The Dragon’s Advisor bows low, and answers:

“O Great Dragon, The Milk Powder People

Have frequent mechanical issues

With their ageing fleet of hot air balloons,

Thus bring their back up reserve balloons at all times.”

They watch the leading hot air balloon

Crash land gently before Firetop Mountain

In a cloud of milk powder and bouncing Zespris.

The delegation stumbles up the path to the Lair.

“Lo,” proclaims the Captain of the Guard,

“King Chipkins of the Small Rainy Islands in the South.”

The Boy King kneels before his host.

There is a long and slightly uncomfortable silence.

The Red Dragon shifts slightly on its large pile of gold.

“Old Man Methuselah calls me a dictator,” it says.

“What say you, Little King?”

Chipkins narrows his eyes.

He thinks of the noble principles of democracy.

He thinks of the need to call out evil.

He thinks of milk powder and a large pile of gold.

“Erm,” he replies, “That is not a term I’d use.”

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to write Odes in honour of such public luminaries as Michael Wood,
Whiney Luxon, Stuart Nash, and Wayne Brown.

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