The Cryer – Tuesday 27th March
TROUBLE FROM THE CHAFFES?
The friendly converse which graces the weekly meetings of the Bardic Circle was rudely interrupted last night by the arrival of Master Dart Chaffe and wife Lotte. They were complaining that Mistress Chaffe had broken a tooth on what she claimed was a pebble in bread eaten at the Cock-a-Hoop earlier that day. They believed that the bread, for which they had not paid, had been baked at the tavern, and were making loud demands for compensation, and threats of court action against the Vintners, the owners of the tavern. However, our investigations have revealed that it came, in fact, from the bakery of Minister Philippe Miller, who provides almost all of the bread used at the Cock-a-Hoop. It will be interesting to see how the Chaffes proceed in the light of this revelation.
As the Bardic Circle got underway, Master Chaffe produced a manuscript which he claimed Lotte had found, bearing a poem which, it transpired, had been written by Merthyn Vintner for the amusement of his wife, Rhea. Regardless of that, Dart proceeded to make it public, reading it to the gathered group, and offering his criticism of its supposed demerits. Since the content of the poem is likely to antagonise members of the wylds, Master Vintner asked those assembled not to tell any of the wild creatures about it. However, at the request of the anonymous reader who passed the poem to our office, and in the belief that wyldlings do not bother themselves with human news, we publish the poem in its entirety at the foot of this edition of The Cryer.
The Cryer wishes to welcome to Dee Mistress Willow Kagore, who has become Dee’s first lady blacksmith, Lex Zimmer, a carpenter by trade, and Jessie Miggins (about whom The Cryer has yet to find information). We wish them well as they settle in our fair town.
VAMPIRE VICTIM RECOVERING
Those gathered in the Cock-a-Hoop late last night were surprised and delighted by the arrival of Miss Kitiara, looking much recovered from her ordeal at the hands of the vampire. Bandaged around the neck, but wit restored colour to her skin, Kit was talking enthusiastically about the new oriental dishes she wants to put on the menu at the Cock-a-Hoop.
On this note, the editor would like personally to recommend that readers go and sample the strange and wonderfully spiced foods which Miss Kitiara is already serving at the Tavern. I am sure you will not be disappointed.
It would be wrong to end this edition of The Cryer without commending to you the weekly Bardic Circle. Each Monday at one hour after noon, a group of townsfolk gather on the Tree Stump Stage to share with each other – stories, poems, ballads, songs and riddles – and simply to chat and get to know each other better, to exchange news and opinions, to debate, tell jokes and enjoy each others’ company. There is always room for another in this circle!
WILLY, by Merthyn Vintner
There’s a willow tree called Willy,
I’ve known it quite a while,
the finest tree of those that grow
upon this wooded isle.
And oft I’ve sat beneath its boughs,
well shaded from the sun,
my love beside me as we kiss
and have all sorts of fun.
One day I sat there on my own
as it was getting dark,
and with my knife I carved a heart
in Willy’s silver bark.
And in that heart I carved two names,
both Rhea’s name and mine,
to mark the love so deep we share;
’twill be there a long time.
The willow tree, he did not scream,
he did not even shout,
and when I scratched his silver bark
no blood came oozing out.
He did not die, nor even wilt,
but grew there big and strong,
and all was fine between us both
till Runa came along.
She was enraged, she was appalled,
she really got upset.
In fact, I think it’s true to say,
far more than the tree did get.
She raged against me, and for days
campaigned to have me killed.
But not one time did she find out
if that’s what Willy willed.
Then came the day when I did say
that I could take no more,
and I agreed that I would meet
the Cora on the shore.
My punishment was my intent
so others could be free
from constant fear and wyldling threat
for something done by me.
What happened next I had not planned
for, taken to the tree,
they bound me fast to Willy, who
was going to talk to me!
They drugged me well, and as the smell
of smoke invaded me,
I heard the voice of a garou
who said SHE was the tree.
She wanted me to learn, she said,
the injury I’d done,
and I would come to have respect
for all trees ‘neath the sun.
I had to laugh, for it was clear
that voice was not the tree,
for while she babbled on and on,
my Willy spoke to me.
He told me what he really felt
about the smelly beast,
and how he wished she’d go away –
or take a bath at least.
He told me he despised the elves,
the fairies and the rest,
and didn’t really like the birds
who ‘mongst his leaves did nest.
He told me though, and I tell you,
that what he likes is us,
the human folk who carve their names,
and don’t make such a fuss
as wyldlings do when others say
or do things they abhor.
Then Willy asked to be my friend –
and now we’re friends, for sure.
Next time you see me on the beach,
a-leaning on my Willy,
I’m chatting to my willow friend –
please do not think me silly!