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From Wilderness to Cities White  by Larner

Written for B2MEM 2015 in response to a prompt posted by MyBlueRose.

The Lay of Strider

I was a Ranger,

and to Bree was I newly come.

No one there knew where I was from.

Of my parts they could make no sum.

I was a cipher

to which no answer could be put.

I’d no horse, had come on foot.

Of evil Men was I in pursuit.

They did not like me.

To them I represented great danger.

No time had they for the stranger

who’d come to Bree in the guise of a Ranger.

They sensed me a puzzle,

for I would answer not their questions.

They gave me conflicting directions

and most uncomfortable suggestions.

I found the Men I sought

in the bar room at the Pony.

One tossed o’erhead a single stone he

had stolen last night from Estelconi.

Ah, but they knew me,

knew they truly must distract me.

One threw a knife hoping t’would impact me

whilst the others merely sought to trap me.

They sought to flee me.

In the bar they sowed confusion,

and with a confederate’s collusion

they tried to fool me with illusion.

They slipped out of the inn,

and in a storage shed lay hidden.

But still I came on them unbidden;

’twas their bodies’ stink undid them!

One still thought to flee,

and like a coney he raced all through town!

But afoot I chased him, and he found

that in the end I still ran him down.

A young girl squealed with glee,

and said, “He’s caught them like a spider!

I’ve never seen such a strider!”

Had I ridden I’d now be “Rider.”


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