Illustration by Dennis Kendrick
Zaundrew and His Brother Simeon
"Deary deemmy dum, the mouse ran up the chum.
Deary deemey dumm, around the world it run.
Up and down and round again to wonder when it begun again.
To find a place where it would run again.
Deary deemmy chumm, we have begun again."
Zaundrew and Simeon sang their song. The soft, soprano voices lilting into the summer sky. They skipped and sang.
"Dee deary deemy dumm. we have found the fun."
They ran now, through the woods, away from the path, past the thicket brambles, through aging lilac bushes, now raggedy brown with years of too many blossomings. They slid down gullies and scrambled up little clifflets of sandy dirt.
"Deary dumm, deary dumm the mouse ran past the gummy dun."
Two little boys, brothers they were said to be, eight and five in age, I believe. Running -- scrambling to be free, soaring away from stern voices, scolding looks, belts and straps, schools and books, two little boys fleeing to be free.
"Dreary deemmy dumm de dumm, sing a song of funny gum.
Frogey mice and micey frogs,
Things that slime and slithe into the belly night."
Two little boys, Zaundrew, eight, and brother Simeon, the one who's only five, out for a run into a forest night, plunging deeper all the time into brambling bushes and thicket rows, while up above from lofty perching tops, owls and ravens and butterflies watch the churning feet of boys flinging past, beneath, fleeing to find a freer day through the coming darkening forest night.
So I have been told is how it all began. That one very night that changed all that was ever to ever come, from then and now and for forever more.
Zaundrew as the older boy had run from strap and scolding look for he had sung his song in the Sunday Church, where silence is golden and the crumbling leathered ancient book the law. Minister on high, altered place had scorned such silly tingling happy sounds and so the boy had run on the glistening chambered floor, clicking heels making the clanging echoed sound reverberate. And then brother Simeon followed his older brother to be sure.
Out through the courtyard they ran and through the garden green and fair and past the lake with the swans and then through the woods into forests and there they swore they would never stop until they were so far as to be never near the stern, unhappy looks of the Elders' peers.
"Deary, deemy dumm. run and run, until they are no longer near.
Deemy deary dumm run until you can no longer fear."
So they had run until they could run no more. And as they stopped to catch a breath of windy forest air, the trees themselves wrapped their tentacled tendrilling branches around themselves in blanketed nighttime coziness and the brother boys stood alone, ready never or not, for a night within the wooded never-lock.
As little boys would never want to do, they thought of the woody witches that were meant to woo only a forest habitat. The boys looked up and saw owl eyes and starlight orbs peep down at them from the black entanglements of whispering, rustling wind toned branching limber trunks.
Within in this ancient night, an older night than the one they had so quickly left behind, inhabited with all the wizened, withered primal sprites, spirit-mites that work on the forest floor waiting for lost boys to trespass down a long-lost and hidden woody path, the two boys held one breath -- together.
Now amongst those sprightly, sprouted mites, there was one Ignatious TwalingRath, the oldest of the lot who stood no more than a bramble-bushing high. Of snaggle tooth and sneering offal breath, he reigned supreme over all the other spirit-mites by strength of brawnied might, an arm of lead, a club of gnarled petrified stony wood. With such a scepter he could rule, swing it round and crash a crown or two.
Of course, there was Isiana Tristianalos, the wedded nightmare that was his wife. Once a beauty trimming fair, now a louse, who rivaled his petrified scepter club, for she could crown any one or two, who displeased her whimsy way.
Oh and there are others, yes, many more, who habitated this lost kingdom found. We shall meet them one by one, but back to the night-filled day where two boys lay asleep, aslumber, no more awake to the world that has begun to creep all around.
It was Isiana who found first two boys entangled arms entwined, hugging warmth from each others form.
"Come ancient wizened, withered King, come and look what I have found beyond thicketing bramble bush beneath the gnarly, knotted wood."
Iganatius limped a pace to see two whitened, ghostlike forms, stilly lay, yet pulse with soft, sleeping slumber breaths.
"Bring them to me, to my throne, to bow and beg for life and limb." Thus was the royal proclamation pronounced by King Ignatius his royal self to the stony deaf forest crowd.
"You are a twatted buffoon, a ballooned-headed nittiwit beyond the bailiwick of your braining boon. They are mine. I have seen them first."
So with a whisk of her wanded hand, the famed fairly-lights appeared to wrap the boys in a feathered canopy of sequined rainbow lights and lift them to the caverned castle place where the royal palace lay that ruled this unearthy forest work
And there they slept until the dawning-day rubbed its light into their eyes and they awoke, eyeballs peering out from heavy sleepy lids to see a silvered-golden bedding room in which they lay upon a downy covered coverlet.
"Who? Where? Why? What? When?" were the only questions that were asked by boys who could not know who, where, why, what, when they were where they were just then.
With a sudden burst of birthing wind enter Tristiana with her retaining courting retinue. The boys did hide and quiver under their gold inlaid coverlets; but they did after a time peek out over such said sheets and saw the hosting courtiers standing at such attention waiting for beckon call.
"Aha, my little dears, you have awoken from your slumber slept."
So said Tnstiana trying to touch the tip of whatever frozen mother stuff, might still be lying sleepy-eyed deep within her bosom breast.
But whatever maternal malingerings that might still be meandering wherever within the soul of the Queen-thing Triastiana Soulopolous were not to be found. So after such a selfless self-seeking search, she did quickly return to her normal nasty stable selfish self.
"Off with their heads."
A nice quote she thought from a book she once had read or wrote, some century or more or so ago.
The boys trembled and feared. As what were a moment before a court of hospitable hostiers were now approaching with newsome fangled tooth and claw. They came upon Zaundrew and brother Simeon readied to tear and rip their bloody guttings throughout the misty mystic castle halls.
"Oh, but let us wait a mote," was Triatiana's next quoted quote.
Thus the beasties waited a second mote before they began their famed ballied-hooyied smote.
"I have come to have a thought" proclaimed the tear-tiaraed Queen-thing Tristiana.
All the horrid creatures turned and lurched and haunched themselves upon the shining tiled floor, for such a moment such as this, when the Queenie thing actually had a thought was indeed a moment rare --. having come about before only once or twice each millennia or so.
So they gathered about so as to hear what was to be said by Queen Isadora Tristiana dear.
"Let us make these boys, ugly and bumbly as they may be, King and King of all they see, it would have its charm to give up the reign and take a softer chair. The throne you see is a thorny seated thing the hind on which can never truly comfy seated be."
So thus began the reign of Zaundrew and his Simeon. Of course, I have forgot to say, that the Kingly thing, Ignatious TwalingRath did not take kindky to this newly knighted thing. He railed and warred most naturally. But it was not far beyond a soonly time, when he was bagged and trussed and broiled for a snackly brine.
Well, it is not to say that Zaundrew and his Simeon were not goodly Lords of where they sat and saw. But boring nights and dulling days soon began to bear its weight down on such lightsome boyish souls.
Could you blame them really for tiring of scepter knights and crowning lights and having all who heard all they said, do more than was ever even bid. Self-lapping lapidary -lollipops with gooied ice creams brandy tarts does barely hardly stuff the days of daily dining ways. Toys and games do not always do their titillates after one always, always wins. Even when the order is that the other creastie beasties should win the game, it is really not quite the same as winning when the outcome is a little less than a suresome thing.
A war or two might seem just the thing for fun and such -- but really just for the other tots who shoot their gamey funning guns. It is not really such a treat, if you really know all the ferociousnicity of the fearsome foe, with whom you fight your battle bout, is really just for show.
Torture, mayhem and other nasty rasty things entertain -- but then just for the moment. Even Nasty Trashy TwalingRath had found that such a twilling throne soon lost its scintilling tuning tone.
And so Simeon and Zaundrew commenced their fatal versing conversation on the why and how they would return to the once earthly place from which they had once had come. They taled and told to Largo-Argo, the wisely wizened wizard, who told them all ever what one wanted or needed to ever know, what weighed so weightily upon their youthy souls. He said, alas, that such a coming back is not the simplest thing to be coming by, but he would see indeed what could if at all be done.
So the wizened woody one checked with the annals and found the legislative data place where such matters could be done, and by a special appeal to the Cosmic Conscious Wonderhood, an exceptional exemption could be made for small lost boys who had not yet reached the beginnings of their molting moldy manning time.
So it was arranged that two tow-head boys, blonding Zaundrew and young Simeon, would be sent backwards into time to the woody wooded never locking place and sent on their way to what was that place where one could grow and one could change.
So it came to be and pass. All Beasty Easties, that had come to know the boys, came and fibbed farewell to these loving-leaving lads. And with a wishing, whooshing wave of land and air they said farewell and found themselves running fast and past all that they had thought they saw.
With a "Deery deemy fun and gun,""and a "mouse ran up the chumming dun," - they found themselves once back again.
The very same churchy place, from once and whence they had thought from whence they indeed did once had come.
So hand in hand, back to growing old and home, they indeed backwards went, some how all the same, some how forever changed.
It is not that they remembered all or even any of what they saw and did. No, that is forgotten and just part of the storied brain that now inhabits everyone.
But you see, there is a moment when such things happen to everyone, both you and me and all those you will ever see. It is that once and very time when you run away, far from what you think you see and be, and go to that fair and fairied dragoned sometime place and thing.
Yet, it is before you decide that it is the place that you will always want to be, you think twice and three again and say, is it time to come back, at least one more time, and try the ground of growing things, to change and be more than what you started out to be. So you step back in time and touch the earth and spacing thing.
Though, you should always try to remember, there is the place of untimed forevermore from whence you first began your timed mother space flight fling. And though we all pretend that we have forgot, we really all do know that there was and is that special moment of unforgetting forevery, that second time when we each did not think to chose our road with friends and folks and other blokes --just like you and me and Zaundrew and his brother Simeon.
Oh, and by the by and way, the brothers Zaundrew and Simeon grew up to indeed to be. But still then and often now, they spend their nightly snugly bedded times, peeking through the dreaming mist and witness watch the lives and loves of Tristiana and her TwalingRath, and all the other fiendly foe and friends that had once, yet still inhabit the forevered forest wood of the never lock.
It is at moments such as these that Tristiana and that famous wrath-filled wraith that is her TwalingRath wave and wish us all a goodly nighttime fling upon the dreaming place that is called the Mother Earthing Thing.