45:  Lackwits All

I feared the worst when I stepped into the centre of our circle to tell my newest tale.  That is, the romance of Sir Waine and the cankered cat.

Two young black cats standing in devil pose.Straightway some cats rose up on their legs and clawed at the air, feigning to be devils.  Or the souls of women.

It come to me that they might not wish to hear a romance.

They listened to the first part most respective, but I guessed they was hoping for a bloodie end to it.

They screeched with joy whene’er they thought Sir Waine might be slain.

All returned to hear the second part, but then came the snibs and scorns, the fleers and flouts.

One queen cat marvelled that Sir Waine’s servants were joyed by his return.  She arrkst, “Who would want him back after they had the house to theirselves?”

The lackwit does not understand the management of a great household.

I sayt that in Sir Waine’s absence the steward watched over all.

A serious looking ginger and white cat.

Linkin the Law Cat (and Know All) sayt that the steward had been lining his own pockets, more like.  Stewards must be watched, too.

Another called that there never was such a cat as a hunting leopard, and my tale was all lies.

Lies?  The geck knows nowt of poetickal fictions.

Nero the Sea Cat leapt up then.  He spake very large about leopards, saying he’d seen some in Italy, and many more in Constantinople.

A detail from a painting showing a youth with a cheetah seated behind him on his horse.
– from Benozzo Gozzoli c1461.

They were as his good friend and fellow poet (me) had told.

And while I was thinking of a courteous way to tell Nero I was not his fellow, but a far better poet than he, a cat called that doubtless Nero’s tail was bit off by a hunting leopard.

Nero answered, “True.  He snapt at my bum, but I outran the spotted clown.”

And so he got the screech that should have been mine.

My sister called that she liked my tale well, even though it was fool.  “It was,” sayt she, “a comedy.”

“A comedy?” arrkst another.  “With no blood, nor no scruffing?”

“Our mad friend’s the best for comedy,” came a call.  “I do love his preachings.”

The Mad Cat was not present to hear himself praised above me.  He’s seen fourteen winters, or something like, and keeps by his fire when the nights turn chill.

I believe he would have liked my tale, there being no scandal in it.

There was worse to come.  After all had run off, my saucie sister told me she’d thought of a better ending for my tale.

She sayt, “When Dame Cat leaps from the bed with the curse half-broke, and Sir Waine speaks of trickery, she bites his head off.  The lady in the bed becomes a hare again.  Dame Cat chases her about the house, and kills her.  Then the servants rejoice to have Dame Cat as their mistress, because she makes no work for them.”

It’s a sorry day when I must take counsel from the likes of my sister.

I sayt, “I wished to tell of virtue, not of vice.”

“Small wonder all found it tedious,” sayt she.

Well, those ingrates will get no more tales from me.

They may kiss mine arse, as my sweet friend Smokie was wont to say when any vexed him.

A dappled white and grey cat, looking thoughtful.
Gib contemplates a deep-brained sonnet.

I intend to live retired in my house and write deep-brained sonnets.  Which I will tell only to my private friends (when I’ve found some friends).

And I shall begin with one about Smokie, who never wronged me.

I have writ the first two lines.

Shall I compare thee to a puff of smoke?
Thou art more furred, and less fumiferous.

Oh, I think that will be good.


24 thoughts on “45:  Lackwits All

  1. April Munday March 10, 2016 / 1:16 am

    I hope Gib continues with his poems and tales; his private friends will be pleased. It’s a shame the cats weren’t more pleased with his story about Sir Waine. I do agree with Linkin about the steward, though. Many of them did need watching. Given that Sir Waine was not that bright, he might not have chosen a steward wisely.

    Liked by 2 people

    • toutparmoi March 10, 2016 / 2:39 am

      I’m sure Gib will get over his latest attack of the sulks. He does seem to be prone to mood swings. And yes – stewards were risky. I read somewhere-or-other (oh dear, my memory) that some thought you should never employ your steward for too long because once he (or, very rarely, she) knew all there was to know about the management of your household and/or estate it was easy to cheat you.

      Liked by 3 people

    • April Munday March 10, 2016 / 5:33 am

      It might also explain why some nobles and lords ’employed’ men who had fought beside them and proved that they were trustworthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlotte Latvala March 10, 2016 / 3:25 am

    Love the beginning of the “deep-brained sonnet.” I hope Gib finishes it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. chattykerry March 10, 2016 / 5:24 am

    Fantastic! Love the quotes – ‘thou are more furred and less fumiferous’ and my favorite. ‘he snapt at my bum, but I outran the spotted clown.’ Something very similar happened in our house yesterday… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Rachel McAlpine March 10, 2016 / 8:53 am

    My loyalties are divided: a sign of great writing. I’m wary of anyone aspiring to write deep-brained sonnets, and I love the blood and guts in Gib’s stories. Nevertheless as a writer (and even, dare I say it, a poet though never guilty of more than a couple of sonnets) my gut loyalty lies with Gib.I’m going to recommend this post (and blog) to all new writers especially those who belong to a writers’ group, workshop or salon. When it comes to bad reviews, experienced writers know their options and do their thing, understanding the consequences: suck it up or spit it out or have your hissy fit, preferably in private. Though Gib is gathering experience as a writer and performer, this is his first bad review, and it’s not nice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • toutparmoi March 10, 2016 / 9:36 am

      Even less nice for a cat, I fear. Nero attempts to support him (Nero-style) but that annoys Gib too. And he doesn’t receive his sister’s suggestion of an alternative ending with good grace, either.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Wade March 11, 2016 / 5:36 am

    Ah Gibs… What is there that hasn’t already been said. I like that bloke!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Claudio LeChat March 11, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    Trust his sister to have a “better” ending. That’s sisters for you. Fortunately I only have brothers – 6 of them. I am impressed with the opening lines of the sonnet and looking forward to reading the rest of it. Btw, if Gib is rueing his loss and lack of friends, I’d recommend Facebook 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • toutparmoi March 11, 2016 / 5:06 pm

      Thank you, Claudio. I’m sure Gib will forgive his friends when he recovers from his upset.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Robyn Haynes March 12, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    Deep brained sonnets – mmm, methinks Gib needs to take care. This may have been writ before. But then, perhaps this is where Will got his inspiration?

    Liked by 1 person

    • toutparmoi March 12, 2016 / 5:02 pm

      I’m beginning to suspect that very thing, Robyn. But how did Will get his hands on Gib’s papers? It’s a mystery.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Robyn Haynes March 12, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    A mystery indeed. Great post Denise. Its a highlight in my week.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mitchteemley March 18, 2016 / 10:41 am

    What man can resist a well-furred and not too fumiferous girl?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Claremary P. Sweeney April 7, 2016 / 12:41 am

    I’m enchanted! Gib is a wonderful story teller and should ignore his ignorant critics. (Good advice for all easily discouraged fellow writers) And he definitely has a promising future as a poet beyond compare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toutparmoi April 7, 2016 / 12:54 am

      I suspect poor Gib may have pitched his tale to the wrong market.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Claremary P. Sweeney April 7, 2016 / 3:02 am

      He’s safe enough, though, as long as no one is chasing his arse.


    • toutparmoi April 7, 2016 / 3:10 am

      He’s got that Rival Poet, Nero, to worry about. Even though I don’t think Nero has much malice in him – he’s so cheerful!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Claremary P. Sweeney April 7, 2016 / 3:12 am

      I love every one of the cats in this Tale. And I’m learning a lot about history, too. Win-Win! Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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