The Lesson

by M. Robert Bond

There's a beast with the jaws of a gator,
a bug's multifaceted eye,
the tusks of a boar,
the horns of a ram,
and the tongue of a serpent, oh my!

On its long, twisting neck is the head of a toad,
and it flies on the wings of a bat.
You won't see it coming
when it comes after you -
and is upon you, quite sudden, like THAT!

With four arms like an ape's it will grab you,
one hand on each arm and each thigh,
one scorpion tail
for your belly,
in which vital organs do lie.

With a yank, out will come your intestines,
which will dangle for several feet
as you hurtle away,
up and into to the sky,
like a balloon cut away from its fleet.

At its lair, dark and damp, it will cut off your head,
to be stored in a magical jar,
that keeps you alive
as it boils your body
in lye, while you watch from afar.

The fat of your body will be made into soap,
with which it will wash off your tongue.
How awful the taste
you will taste on that day -
the day of your death, all too young!

So that, child, to answer your question,
that, precious darling, is why
you're never to swear,
never to boast,
and never to utter a lie!

M. Robert Bond is a graduate student in mathematics living in the frozen Midwest. He will answer to the name "Epsilomancer", if ever so addressed. The Lesson is his first published piece of writing.

After expending much effort trying to find a more distinctive candidate for his favorite fruit, he surrendered to the mellow, faithful sweetness of the banana.

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